Summary: it is impossible to change in eternity, no preacher, no prayer over your life, no good words spoken will get someone out of hell, there is a great gulf fixed
Intro: if you have a Pastor or Preacher who has convinced you there is no hell or eternal punishment, I have one thing to say, He is a liar, a false prophet, and the truth is not in him.
Luke 16:16-31 gives us the account of Lazarus and the rich man. They both live, they both die, they both are carried to their rewards, but there is one big difference, they arrive at different places. Verse 13 states that the rich man goes to hell, is in torment, looks up and sees Lazarus in the arms of Father Abraham. I would like to concentrate on verse 16 as my main thought, the great gulf fixed so that no one can go from hell to heaven, and no one can go from heaven to hell.
The Great Gulf Fixed
Background: it seems to me that in the midst of the suffering, the rich man finds the Lord, the atheist finds the lord, the one who didn’t have any time for Jesus Christ, has all the time for Jesus now. And in this world we may have second chances, thank you Lord, third chances, even 7x70 for the same offence, but in hell there are no second chances.
1. We need to get it right the first time—when we were young and played marbles, we got do overs if the marble slipped. The other players would let you take another shot. But there are no do overs for this life. You get one chance to live for God, one chance to live a holy life, one chance to give your heart, soul and spirit to Jesus Christ as Savior. The great gulf fixed will not allow us to give it another try for God.
2. Roles will be reversed- v.25 the solemn words spoken to the rich man should ring in our ears, you had good things in this life, Lazarus had bad things in this life, now he’s enjoying the good, you are getting the bad.
It is so easy to complain sometimes about how hard it is to walk with God. You may see others that are serving the world, the devil, their flesh and think, what an easy road they are traveling. But when the roles are reversed and those who served the Lord are enjoying eternity, while those who served themselves are being tormented, it will never change. There is a gulf fixed where how you end up, is how you will end.
3. All the good you want to do, or all the evil we want to undo, cannot be changed. Verse 27—the rich man all of a sudden has a heart for others. He wants Lazarus to be sent to his family to preach so that they won’t end up like him. Everyone will be a preacher in hell. Everyone will want to see Missions in the World, everyone will want the gospel to be preached, but it is to late then. If you want to see God’s Word spread in this world, your family saved, lives changed forever---do it now. Once someone is in hell there is no way to do the good we should have done, or erase the evil we should have shunned.
4. Having it all, to having nothing, having nothing to having it all-it is amazing that the one who had feasts at his house, the best robes in town, the best of everything, now wants one drop of water to cool his tongue. Imagine that Lazarus just wanted a crumb from his table but didn’t get it in this life, now he wants Lazarus to give him a drop a water in his torment. Jesus said, how you mete it out is how it will be measured to you. You see, how we forgive, is how we will be forgiven, the compassion we show is the compassion we will receive. He that sows to his flesh will of his flesh will reap destruction, he that sows to his spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting.
5. Finally, the rich man said, maybe if Lazarus went back from the dead, his family would believe, but the truth is, if they won’t hear the preachers, the ministers of the gospel, they won’t even hear if someone comes back from the dead. God is not going to start a ministry of bringing back the dead to be the preachers. He is going to use his people to spread the gospel. If someone rejects this message, they will pay for the rejection, they are condemned already, if they receive the gospel they will be saved.
Close: Modern day preaching is becoming comical. No sin, no hell, no having to live right or seek righteousness. Everything is great, everything is wonderful. Come to church, shake the preachers hand, say a few amens, join the membership and everything will be all right. Remember the rich man didn’t become a prayer warrior until it was to late to pray. Jesus said, many will say unto me on that day, Lord, Lord, but he will say, depart from me, ye that work iniquity (live in sin) I never knew you.