Summary: Foundation aspects of Church found in Hell.
Three Things in Hell that should be in the Church
Luke 16: 19-31
Introduction: I have preached a message about people who like to play around with their salvation and cut it close with God. Eventually, there are instances where those types of people cut it too close and don’t make it. The rich man in this story was one of those people. Jesus doesn’t tell if this man knew about the ways of God, but we can infer it because of his actions in hell.
The rich man finally saw that he should have been living a life that he knew was right and in Hell he tried to do some of the things that he should have done on earth.
I. Three things the Rich Man tried to do
1. In verse 24 the man cries, “Father have mercy upon me,” which means that is sorrowful for the things he did on earth and wishes to be forgiven. Imagine this man. While he was being burned in that eternal flame he was crying out, no doubt screaming for mercy.
2. While he was on earth he was too busy having a good time, spending his money, treating his friends, partying, etc. He forgot about what he had been taught was right and he threw his life away for a season of pleasure.
3. Every time he had an opportunity to repent, he turned away. Every time conviction began to fall upon his heart, he ignored it. Every time someone asked him to come pray, he gave an excuse. And in the end it cost him his soul.
a. What profit it a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? This man found out very quickly that all he had on earth meant absolutely nothing in hell. He was tormented by the memories of all the riches he once had.
1. In verse 27 the man says, “I pray thee,” meaning he was trying to call upon something greater than himself to help him. He knew the way to be saved; praying.
a. This rich man was like a lot of people. They forget about praying until mom comes down with cancer or brother is in a car accident. Prayer is not a toy, nor is it something that we should take advantage of. Prayer is a sacred thing that the Lord has allowed us to have in order to commune with him.
2. The rich man had a chance for his prayers to be heard while he was on earth, but he threw it all away for sinful pleasure. He had many times to kneel somewhere and make things right with the lord. In Hell he cried out trying to pray. There are so many people in Hell right now crying out trying to pray, but it’s too late for them
1. The rich man finally realized that he had already lost out on heaven because of his failure to pray and repent, so he pleaded with Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers about the place he was suffering in.
a. His love for his brothers was still in his heart and he felt failure because he neglected to witness to them about Hell. He was too busy being warned himself and wallowing in the pleasure of his sin that he forgot about telling others about Hell
2. It took Hell to remind this man about what he was commanded to do on Earth. Instead he wasted opportunity after opportunity to be a great instrument for God. Now in Hell, he tried to do his best to do what was right, but it was too late.
3. There are probably many people in Hell right now screaming, pleading, and crying for someone, anyone to go to their sinful families and warn them about Hell. They cry out for someone to deliver a message straight from Hell to all the friends they used to party with on earth
a. Their message would be: It’s not worth it. All my riches, all my glory, all the pleasure I had on earth aren’t worth what I’m feeling now in this hot flame of Hell.
II. Three things in the Church
1. There’s a lot of things going on in churches today that we ought to be ashamed of because Christianity is slowly losing ground and becoming unpopular so people begin to fit in with the world.
a. There are things that are blatant sin coming in and sitting right in the house of the lord. The pastor gets up and preaches against it and he either gets thrown out or the people just ignore it
b. What happened to repenting? We’ve got to be wary of what kind of sin is in our lives. Even if I haven’t sinned, I repent and ask the lord to forgive me anyway. What happened to laying things on the altar and having personal convictions?