Before he came to faith, my husband used to ask me why God had all these requirements, expectations, and demands for people to be able to make it into heaven. He felt like there were all these walls built up to keep people out, and it didn’t sit well with a “loving God” that he was hearing about. He couldn’t buy it. This weekend, we heard a reading that shows us a little explanation.
There is a rich man, living in absolute luxury, and at his gates sits a beggar, Lazarus, who receives nothing. After they die, the roles are reversed and the rich man is in hell gazing across to Lazarus in the arms of Abraham in heaven. The man begs Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers, so that they will change before they end up in the same state. Abraham’s response is that even if someone should rise from the dead, they won’t believe anyway. These walls weren’t built by God, but by the rich man. These walls are built by us. One brick at a time, one day at a time, we lay down our barriers and wonder why God won’t come through. Is it that He won’t come through, or that we won’t let Him in?