Summary: Uses the example of the rich man in hell to describe how believers ought to develop spiritual disciplines.
What Hell has that we need?”
REFLECTION: Hell is mentioned 54 times in the Bible by name, and many other times by implication. Our Savior mentioned it no less than 15 times during his earthly ministry. Hell is a real place that we need to reckon with in order to live obedient and grateful lives.
DIRECTION: In our text there are two characters. The one wakes to everlasting comfort and the other opens his eyes in eternal torment. Yet, even in this agony he demonstrates three things that should be characteristic of every one of us.
Luke 16:23-24, "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried ... "
Mat 8:12, "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping…”
A. THESE WERE NOT TEARS OF REPENTANCE BUT PERHAPS OF REGRET.
1) Hell is not designed for repentance but for punishment. (Rev. 20:11-15)
a) The time for repentance is now on earth. (Heb. 3:7,13,15)
b) If the “goodness of God” won’t lead to repentance, then the punishment won’t. (Ro. 2:4)
(Heb 12:17) "For ye know how that afterward, when he (Esau) would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears."
2) It appears that heaven will have some tears of regret. (Rev. 7:17 and 21:4)
B. WE NEED TEARS OF:
1) Compassion: "weep with them that weep." Ro. 12:15
a) Jesus modeled this for us: (Luke 19:41) "he beheld the city, and wept over it," (See also Jn 11:35)
b) Paul modeled this: (Acts 20:31) “By the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
2) Conviction: Now is the time to repent and respond to the Holy Spirit.
> (2 Cor 6:2) “behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"
> (Heb 3:15) "To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation."
a) To Christ: He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with Grief.” Is 53:3
b) To the Cause of Christ. (Seek and to save the lost!) Luke 19:10 (Mt. 28:19,20)
2 Cor 2:4, "For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you."
C. OUR TEARS OFTEN GERMINATE THE SEED WE SOW. Psa 126:5-6
"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
2. PRAYERS Luke 16:27, "Then he said, I pray ... "
A. PRAYERS (LIKE TEARS) IN HELL WILL BE TOO LATE. “son remember…” v25
1) They who don’t have time to pray on earth will pray in hell
2) His prayers were primarily selfish. (For relief and relatives.) (Sounds familiar!)
B. WE NEED TO PRAY WITH HELL’S INTENSITY BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!
James 5:16: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Note: effectual: (en-erg-eh'-o) active, efficient, mighty, work
1) Jesus: Heb. 5:7 "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;"
2) Elijah: (James 5:17) " he prayed earnestly that it might not rain:”
3) Paul: (Rom 10:1) "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved."
4) Early Believers: Acts 2:42 "they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
Note: Steadfastly: (pros-kar-ter-eh'-o) means to be earnest, to persevere, be constantly diligent.
C. CORPORATE PRAYER IS VITAL BECAUSE IT ENABLES US TO HAVE:
1) The power of God: Acts 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”
2) The presence and blessing of God: (Mat 18:19,20) "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
NOTE: The instructions on resolving conflicts immediately follow these verses: Unresolved conflicts grieve the Spirit of God (Eph. 4:29-32) and quench the power of God.
3. CONCERN FOR THE LOST
Luke 16:28, "For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment."