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There once was a hungry sheep in God's fold. Each week he would seek the sustenance of God's Word from his shepherd, Pastor Lazarus. Instead he was greeted with a serving of purpose driven slop. Seven steps to a more significant life. How to improve a marriage he did not even have. Clever sermons about the world's favorite movies and Star Wars themed worship sets. The more he read his Bible however, the more he was able to discern that something was wrong. He tried to see Pastor Lazarus but was always redirected to subordinate staff because his shepherd was too busy casting vision and seeing to the building fund to tend to the poor sheep he was entrusted with. The subordinate staff would tell the poor sheep he was selfish and accused him of having a religious and rebellious spirit. Disconsolate, the poor sheep was finally able to corner Pastor Lazarus after service one week to ask about the possibility of having the Gospel preached each week instead of topical sermons about how he was destined to reign. Pastor Lazarus said that he was sowing discord and needed to leave his church.
So the poor sheep left; confused, hurt, and wondering if he could ever trust another person who called himself his shepherd. He wandered the Christian landscape. His wounds hardened into scars. The friends he had made at the church stopped calling him. He was cast into the wilderness.
One day, the poor sheep died and was carried by angels to Jesus's side. Pastor Lazarus also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment for being a false teacher and making merchandise of both the sheep and Gospel, he lifted his eyes and saw Jesus far off with the poor sheep by his side. And he called out, "Jesus, have mercy on me and send the poor sheep to me to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame."
But Jesus responded, "Child, remember that you in your lifetime had opportunity after opportunity to preach the Gospel to all who were entrusted to you, including this poor sheep here. But you chose to not feed him. You chose to starve him. You instead were seeking to build your business. Pastor Lazarus was going to try and respond that it was all for building the kingdom but he knew that his heart was laid bare before the King of Kings. All the lies he had told himself over the years were now plain to him. There was no more hiding behind pious sounding platitudes.
Seeing the great chasm between them, Pastor Lazarus pleaded, "Please Jesus, send the poor sheep to my brethren in the pulpit, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment." Jesus replied, "They have Moses, the Prophets of old; let them hear from them." Lazarus replied, "No Father, if someone goes to them from the dead they will repent!" Jesus replied, "They have the Gospel of He who has defeated death! Yet they chose to preach about greed, sinfulness, and excess. They traded my true glories for false signs and lying wonders. They were warned directly by God the Father that they would be held to higher form of judgment and that the blood of their listeners would be held against them; yet they continued to blessedly subtract sheep from my sheepfold, and slaughter those seeking me by making them twice the son of hell that they are! They chose to scatter away from me instead of gathering to me. They love this world, not me. So it matters not if I sent a legion of angels to warn them. Their hearts are hardened. There is no more fear of the Lord before them. So this poor sheep will now be comforted and as for you Lazarus"
"Don't say it Lord, please", Lazarus cried.