Summary: This sermon draws a contrast between the death, buriel, and after life of two people through the words of Jesus. This message also shows the importance of sharing Christ to our friends and family before it is eternally to late.
Message From Hell
A few years ago there was a TV show called Early Edition. The main character in this program would receive a paper every day that showed what was going to happen the next day. He would then set out to correct the bad things before they happened. Through a series of events in which he often put himself in harms way he would accomplish his destiny.
If we as Christians new something bad was going to happen to someone we would try to prevent it – wouldn’t we?
Before we go further let me give you some statistics I have found:
Experts say that 3 people die every second.
If this fact is true, then 180 people die every minute, 259,200 people die every day, 94,608,000 people die every year
Of the six billion people on earth today, experts also say that 2/3 of them have never heard the Gospel one time. If these percentages hold true, then 63,103,536 people die every year without ever hearing the Gospel one time! ** Some of these people are within our reach!!! **
Death is not only for the old. In “2001” 1529 children fewer than 17 died in North Carolina.
**This morning I want us to pull back the roof of hell and look at one persons plight in hell.**
I. In This Life
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
A. Two Men
a. Rich man (unnamed in the bible)
B. Two Different Life Styles
a. The Rich Man
• He was rich.
• He wore the fanciest clothes.
• He had plenty of food and any thing else he wanted.
• He had the best of the best.
b. The Beggar (Lazarus)
• Sick (full of sores)
• Dogs were his best friend (they licked his sores.)
• He would have been happy with just the crumbs that fell from the rich mans table
II. Two Different Burials
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
A. The beggar died and was carried into Abraham’s bosom.
a. Abraham’s bosom was considered the place where saints went at time of death (a place of paradise, a place of rest and comfort.)
b. His undertakers were Angels
B. The rich man died and was buried.
a. The funeral was probably the best that could be bought in those days.
• Paid mourners
• Fancy casket
• Big Feast
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
A. The rich man was not used to asking for anything – He was used to giving orders – He was used to having things his way.
B. The rich man had all his senses.
Feel (v. 23 a tormented in the flames) Taste (v24 wanted cool water)
Hear (v.25 Hear Abraham)
IV. No Help – No Hope – To Late
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
A. The tables are turned – Now instead of Lazarus begging the rich man is begging for relief.
V. Sudden Humanity
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
A. We see the rich man finally has concern for others.