Consider the ending of the McDurmon’s analysis of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus:
The rich man, however, is not done. He makes a second request, this time less commanding but more desperate: “Send Lazarus back to warn my five brethren” (v. 27–28). He still thinks Lazarus should serve his interests, but at least he is now concerned for others besides himself. Yet Abraham refuses this request also. There is no need for sending Lazarus, the rich man’s brethren (the Jews) already have the best witness that can be given: “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them” (29). The answer is a mini-lesson in itself: the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God, and yet had ignored them and would continue to ignore them to their own destruction. The rich man himself knew them and had ignored them. It was the greatest indictment the Pharisees and indeed all of Israel could receive: that they held God’s own Word in their hand, heard it preached in their synagogues, looked the Word incarnate in the face, heard Him teach in their streets, ate and drank with Him (Luke 13:26), and yet never heard Him, never received Him.
Salvation in Christ
So we get Jews who claimed to uphold the Law, but in the end only preferred sterile ceremonies to impress men – and was rewarded with the destruction of their temple and the removal of both the Way of salvation and the Great Commission, from those who were merely genetic Sons of Abraham to the spiritual Sons.
But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. – Romans 10:19-21
The Enduring Law
Certainly, salvation is tied to calling Christ the Risen Lord, and not our failing obedience to the Law. But certainly the moral laws of Christ stand forever, as spelled out in Mathew 5:17-19
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
“They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them”
How strange, that it is a man’s presuppositions that determine if he will exalt Christ, and not any set of brute facts.
The mere fact that Christ rose from the dead is simply not enough on it’s own to sway any man; nor would any amount of supernatural miracles, technological achievements, or endless tide of blessings.
No. What a man must know is that
God through Christ made Heaven and Earth;
God sets the standards of justice, and not powerful men;
Men have failed to uphold the standards;
Men need the Blood of Christ to cover their sins, and be redeemed;
Men need the Holy Spirit to be sanctified, and to thus obey the Law of Christ. Not as a route of salvation, but as the natural outcome of being righteous and holy.
Men must hold Christ as the Example.
And how do we know that Christ is Our Example? He obeyed the Law, being morally perfect.
Likewise, we also must be morally perfect, as our Father is in heaven.
So, to recognize Christ’s moral perfection, we must first recognize the moral perfection and unending validity of the Law.
The enemies of God may pretend obedience for a while, to gain physical blessings for a while. But the wicked remain wicked, although they may cloak it for a while, and in the end they despise God, even willing to reject His blessings and despise even life itself in the expression of their hatred.
The adopted sons of God, following in the steps of the Only Begotten Son, continue to be perfected in obedience, continue to gain blessings (in the main) on Earth, and gain the most profound blessings (as a certainty) in Heaven and in the New Creation.
Over time, the children of the righteous, should they choose to be righteous themselves, will only build on the blessings, and rise to even greater positions and honour – so long as they are not deceived, “And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:17) To reach the high goal, they must continue to recognize the true source of their blessings, the hand of God.
Appendix: Deuteronomy 8
Many great men, great nations, great races chose to obey God for a time… gain the blessings of His hand for a time… and then turn their backs to Him, rejecting Law and Grace alike, insisting that they themselves got their wealth and power by their own might and mind.
And then comes the judgement.
It is critical for any and all Christian societies – certainly such cultures here on Earth, and even any hypothetical ones that may exist in the Heavens – to truly grasp and master Deuteronomy 8, and set these words in their hearts and minds, to guide them every step of the way.
Once your nation, your culture, your race, your heart, your hopes, your future is broken, it can never be the way it was. Physical Israel will never be what it should have been… neither will Germany… and neither will America.
Make sure that you and yours stay out of the pit. Remember Deuteronomy 8.
Deuteronomy 8:1 All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.
2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.
6 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
7 For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;
8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;
9 A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.
10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
11 Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
20 As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.