Summary: Five minutes in Hell can teach us a lot of important lessons.
Voices from the Other Side
19 ¶ There was a certain rich man who was customarily clothed in purple and fine linen and making merry in luxury every day. 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who 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. But even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it happened that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich one also died and was buried. 23 And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, there is a great chasm fixed between you and us; so that they desiring to pass from here to you cannot, nor can they pass over to us from there. 27 And he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. 30 And he said, No, father Abraham, but if one should go to them from the dead, they would repent. 31 And he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even though one rose from the dead. Lk. 16:19-31 (MKJV)
Jesus had three main topics in His ministry of teaching,
1. MONEY and material possessions,
2. the Kingdom of GOD
3. and HELL. (Use ideas on next page)
• This story includes all three. Context of Lk. 16:19-31= covetousness. vv. 1-13 Unjust steward. “No man can serve two masters”, vv. 14-18 Covetous Pharisees.
• The only possible way to describe eternity, Heaven or Hell, is with God’s vocabulary, God’s WORD.
• Don’t miss the point - this is a real story about real PEOPLE who still exist.
Several truths concerning eternity from Luke chapter 16.
1- The Way things APPEAR Now Won’t Count Much in Eternity. (vv. 19-23)
1. A beautiful appearance in the sight of men may be utterly CORRUPT in the sight of God. (v. 19)
2. The poor and loathsome in the sight of man may be RICH in the eyes of God. (Vv. 20-21)
3. A man with the burial of a dog may be attended by the ANGELS. (v. 22)
4. An expensive funeral can produce a miserable SOUL. (v. 23)
2- The THINGS I Possess Now Won’t Serve Me in Eternity. (v. 24)
1. The richest man on earth won’t be able to buy a single drop of WATER.
2. Paul counseled us not to trust in UNCERTAIN riches.
17 Charge the rich in this world that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, He offering to us richly all things to enjoy, 1 Tim. 6:17 (MKJV)
3- PAST Opportunities Won’t Count in Eternity. (vv. 25-26)
1. True torment will be the memory of a wasted LIFE. (v. 25)
2. SAINTS and Ain’ts live together now, but will one day be separated for ever. (v. 26)
3. It will be too late to get SERIOUS. (Vv. 24, 27-28)
4- Those Who Refuse to Believe God’s Word Now WILL Perish WITHOUT Remedy. (Vv. 29-31)
Jesus’ words about HELL are sober, and serious. His constant admonition to His hearers was this: Do WHATEVER you must to avoid Hell.
Jesus teaches us that Hell is a place of conscious torment, regret, justice and that it is final.
If what Jesus was teaching about Hell is symbolic (as some say) then it only stands to reason that the reality is worst.
Hell is a word of hope for believers. It means that the scales of the universe will finally be balanced and evil will be judged, condemned and eradicated.