The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” —Luke 16:22-31

            We all have at least one thing in common— we all are going to die (except for those followers of Jesus living when He comes back!).  After death there is another fact that we all have in common— our destiny is sealed to heaven because we follow Jesus or to hell because we did not want anything to do with Jesus.  This is a fact that Jesus shared so many times— “Then they (those who do not follow Jesus) will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous (those who do follow Jesus) to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).  Death is the great leveler.  It comes to both the rich and the poor and neither riches nor poverty can stop that appointment with death— “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).  Where will you be judged to— heaven because you are living for Jesus or hell because you don’t want anything to do with Jesus?

            I do not understand hell or the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15) and I am so glad I don’t have to be concerned about going there because I am following Jesus, though not perfectly.  I am safe in Him.  But for those who are not following Jesus and don’t want anything to do with Him, heed the words of this rich man who died and went to hades/hell.

  • He wanted mercy (too late, his destiny was sealed)
  • He wanted Lazarus to come minister to him (though he never ministered to Lazarus)
  • He only wanted one drop of water (yet he never gave Lazarus anything)
  • He was in anguish in flame (his earthly pleasures long forgotten)
  • He asked for Lazarus to be sent to his five brothers (never before did he care about servants of God coming to him or others)
  • He wanted Lazarus to warn them of hades/hell (he never pondered that he was destined for this place and apparently, he knew his brothers weren’t)
  • He did not want his brothers to “come into this place of torment” (He now had a concern for the destiny of others)

His destiny was sealed.  He had no hope now.  And the desire that he had for Lazarus to go warn his brothers would not be heeded.  His brothers had the Word of God and the messengers of God.  If they would not listen to them, then neither would “they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”

Dear Father, help us to warn people of hell and encourage them toward calling on Jesus to follow Him and be with Him forever in heaven after they die.  Yes, Father, may this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus.  Yes, may this be so for Your Honor and glory and the eternal benefit of others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRSGXKsv7IU

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