On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast (11/25/20), Hank dives deep again into St. John Chrysostom’s sermons on the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man, collected in the book On Wealth and Poverty. Unlike so many sermons today, St. John’s are not feel-good sermons for a feel-good generation. Rather, they are sermons laden with truths that transform—his words thunder from the past with prophetic urgency. Chrysostom writes, “For the righteous, both the life hereafter and this life provide great pleasure. But the wicked and greedy are punished both here and hereafter. They are punished even here by the expectation of the retribution hereafter, and by the evil suspicion of everyone, and by the very fact of sinning and corrupting their own souls.” After his fourth sermon in the series, an earthquake struck the city of Antioch. As such, his next sermon is rife with references to the earthquake’s catastrophic effects. The earthquake, says St. John, manifested the power of God; its cessation showed His mercy. Nonetheless, it should make us mindful of God’s judgment, which the Antiochians had escaped for the time being. But judgment is coming, and that for all of us. Perhaps we should not fear the earthquake—or the current pandemic—but the cause of each. Fear the anger of God on account of our sins. When we rightly fear the Maker of heaven and earth, we are led from the wide road and seek the entrance of the narrow gate. Our Master is loving and filled with compassion. He knows the weakness of our nature. He seeks only one thing—that we might leave the way of transgression and “enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction and those that enter by it are many.”

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