Summary: When the rich man in hell begged for Lazarus to be sent back to warn his family about avoiding his fate, Abraham reminded him that they had the Scriptures. Nothing else has ever been used of the LORD other than His Word to convict the sinner.

Whenever a real man of God stands behind the pulpit and preaches the Word of God (2 Timothy 4:1-5), he is to hold nothing back and never compromise the Scriptures for the sake of feeling, alleged offense, or cultural beliefs. No preacher worth his sacred calling should ever water down the power of the Scriptures to convict and change the hearts of even the vilest offender. You cannot take out those teachings and declarations made by Almighty God, His prophets, the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles and put away whatever you think might get someone upset or bent out of shape as it pertains to the condition of their soul and eternal destiny. Salvation through Christ is the only means by which anyone of us can enter the portals of heaven when we take our last breath (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). No child of God should ever be afraid of what the world thinks of the Gospel message, nor of the consequences that face all of us who stand for the integrity of Jesus Christ and His mercy upon us. The Scriptures are sufficient (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21) and never instruct us to add "extra credit" of our own merit, which amounts to nothing more than a leper's filthy rag (Isaiah 64:6), nor practice religious observations or rituals that appear to give further aid in the redemption process. Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians (1:8-9) to refute such thinking.

I say all of this to reinforce what may sound harsh to some brethren, but I say it with concern and care for the welfare of your souls, and that is that no amount of testimony, visions, dreams, signs and wonders by modern "apostles", or "prophetic utterances", "revelations", or alleged "visits to heaven (or hell) that have been uttered or proclaimed by anyone, even with the best of intentions, would convince me if I were an unsaved individual that the claims of Christianity are true and valid. If the Scriptures tell me about the reality of both heaven and hell, should that not be enough, or do you not believe what God has written? Go back and re-read the story of the rich man and Lazarus and pay attention to what was said in the last four verses of the account. The man in Hades realizes that he is never going to get out. He will have to endure the torments and thoughts of how he could have avoided this horrid place and that he deserves what he is getting, not for his neglect of the beggar Lazarus who now resides in the Bosom of Abraham, another name for Paradise (Luke 23:48) , but for the neglect of his soul before God. He is in the same predicament as the farmer with the abundant harvest whose soul is required by God and is woefully unprepared for that journey (Luke 12:13-21).

The Scriptures make it as plain as day that when a wicked person sins, he will have to pay for it at the judgment (Ezekiel 18:19-32; John 5:28-29; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). Unless that individual has repented of their sins and rebellion before God, asked for His forgiveness, and turned to the LORD for salvation (Romans 10:9-10), they will spend eternity in hell where there will be no rest for them anymore (Revelation 14:9-11). The Lord Jesus spoke more of hell than he did of heaven (Matthew 5:22, 29, 10:28, 18:9, 23:15,33; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 12:5, 16:19-31). Hell is described in Scripture as outer darkness (Matt. 8:12), eternal fire (Matthew 25:41), eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46), a place of eternal destruction (2 Thess.1:9), the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). It is the eternal home for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41), the wicked of all time (Rev. 21:8), the disobedient (Romans 2:8-9), the beast and the false prophet (Rev.19:20), the worshippers of the beast (Rev.14:11), and all who reject the offer of the Gospel (Matt. 10:15).

The rich man wants Lazarus to return from heaven and warn his five brothers about the horror of hades. That sounds noble on the surface, but it is a reflection of how he treated Lazarus while he lived. This beggar was seen as nothing more than an errand boy, doing the work that he should have done for himself and his family when they were alive and kicking. Lazarus says nothing. Does he want to leave the comfort and beauty of heaven to satisfy the request of someone who did not care if he lived or died while they were both on Earth? Even if he did go back to Earth and confront the man's brothers, would they react with terror or apathy? After all, this was a bum that had been lying by the gate of their home getting a bath of spittle from mongrels who licked the man's sores. You know as well as I do that he would be rejected and sent away in derision, and it would be no different today. Another thing to consider is that Lazarus' story would not hold the same weight or authority as does God's absolute and final Word. What would Lazarus say that was not already confirmed by the Scriptures?

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