Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus… Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.'” Luke 16:19-24
I want you to note that today’s text is not just another story. Some refer to it as a parable, but it most certainly is not! A parable, like Jesus often used, has no named characters, and usually speaks in metaphors and not actual events. This account is the real account of a man going to hell. Jesus is actually giving us a behind the scenes look at eternity!
In our text there are two characters. The one wakes to the presence of the Father and the other finds the shock of eternal torment. It is a sobering reminder that when you die, there are only two destinations for your eternity! There really is a heaven and there really is a hell. No one has the right to make that eternal decision but you. You must make that decision while you are living! An evangelist friend of mine often says during his invitation to the lost; “God voted for you, Satan voted against you, tonight you can cast the deciding ballot!”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for this view of heaven and hell. You are the only reason I have a choice for eternity. You made me in Your image, as an eternal being. You made me to be with You and to find wholeness in praising You. Thank You for Jesus and for the sacrifice that He made on the cross. He took hell for me. I take Your life for my life. I leave behind my sin, knowing that it brought death for You so You could give life to me. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Further Reading: Luke 16:19-31