Faithlife Sermons

Luke 16:19-31 The Terror of Hell: The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man

The Meaning of the Parables  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 313 views

Hell awaits those that do not repent at the proclomation of the Word.

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Intro

This morning, we are continuing our sermon series called “The Meaning of the Parables.” Throughout this sermon series, what we have been doing is looking at the different stories Jesus told in the gospels to teach us what it truly means to follow him.
And this week we are going to look at a parable called The Rich Man and Lazarus, and this is easily the most terrifying parable that Jesus told during his earthly ministry because it is all about the doctrine of Hell.
Last week, we studied the Parable of the Ten Virgins to see how Jesus expects his followers to live faithfully to him through believing the gospel, living a godly life, and sharing our faith with others while we wait for him to return to earth, establish God’s Kingdom and usher us to live with him forever in Heaven.
At the same time, Jesus taught that false disciples, those that are not saved from their sins through his gospel, will be shut out from heaven, and this week we are going to take an in depth look at what it will mean for people to be “shut out” of God’s Kingdom as we study the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus from 16:19-31.
The doctrine of hell is one of the most scrutinized and despised doctrines of our faith and to teach you about it is one of the most difficult tasks any preacher faces. Preaching on Hell, the great Baptist Pastor Charles Spurgeon said, “Beloved, these are such weighty things that while I dwell upon them I feel far more inclined to sit down and weep than to stand up and speak to you.”
The Doctrine of Hell is a sobering thing, and my hope is that as you listen to this sermon, you would not dismiss it as “Fire and Brimstone,” but consider seriously the fate that awaits all those that refuse to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ.
Let me begin our time this morning by giving you the context for our passage and then we will study what the Lord Jesus was teaching us.
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .

Context

Just before our passage, Jesus says that you cannot serve God and money and this offends the Pharisees because they loved money, and because they are offended, they began to mock Jesus.
14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.
This is right after Jesus says that you cannot God and money and this offends the Pharisees because they loved money, and because they are offended, they began to mock Jesus.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
So Jesus goes at them and says that the pharisees might think of themselves as righteous men worthy of the Kingdom of God, worthy of heaven, but God knows their hearts and the self righteousness they value is an abomination before God.
He tells them that the way to enter God’s kingdom is through receiving the good news of the gospel that Jesus was preaching. All other hopes to work their way into heaven would never work.
Then Jesus tells them our parable to show the Pharisees the fate that awaits them, and anyone else that refuses to repent from their sin and believe in Jesus.

Two Destinations in Eternity

 There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
The Rich Man
Jesus describes a man who is extraordinarily wealthy. He is clothed in purple and fine linen which is the most expensive color and some of the most expensive pieces a person could wear.
Jesus also says he feasted sumptuously every day. This means he ate in luxury, not just every once in a while, but every day. This guys was going to Ruth Chris every night to eat.
Then Jesus describes a poor man named Lazarus.
Lazarus is so poor and so destitute that he lives a life of begging.
When Jesus says he was laid, this implies that Lazarus was paralyzed and had people drop him at the gate of the rich man so that he might possibly, just maybe, eat some of the scraps from the rich man’s table.
If that weren’t enough, Lazarus was also covered in horrible sores that made him disgusting to those that would pass by, especially the rich man who ignored his existence.
Jesus even says that dogs would come to lick his wounds.
In 1st century Israel, dog’s were not seen as man’s best friend. They were not house hold pets. They were completely feral and were seen as disgusting scavengers. People in Jesus’ day hated dogs.
I’ll tell you, many that live in the Middle East today still have this opinion. I remember a time when I lived in Jordan for a summer in college where we could see some local children chasing, and yelling, and kicking some dogs because they just despised them.
And yet, even these dogs were kinder to Lazarus than the rich man because they tried to heal his wounds the same way dogs try to heal their own, by licking them.
Here is where the Pharisees, no doubt began to be offended by Jesus because the pharisees loved money just like this rich man.
According to their understanding, the rich man is exactly the kind of person who would surely be in heaven. He was extraordinarily wealthy which and those listening to Jesus would have concluded that he was greatly blessed by God whereas Lazarus was cursed.
They would’ve seen Lazarus as worthy of Hell and God’s displeasure given his suffering he experienced in life. In their view, he was as grotesque as a person in God’s sight as his circumstances in life.
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
However, Jesus turns his audience’s expectations upside down.
Jesus says that Lazarus, the poor, pitiful man who was viewed as cursed and hated by God, died and was carried to “Abraham’s side.”
Now Abraham’s side simply means heaven. Remember who Jesus is talking to. He is talking to pharisees who viewed their salvation secure because they were sons of Abraham not because of their faith in Jesus.
You are not saved just because you call Abraham your father.
Jesus says the Rich Man also died, but surprisingly to Jesus’ audience, he is not also taken to Heaven. Instead, he is taken to “Hades,” which is what we would call Hell.
Hades is a Greek word that refers to the place of the dead which Luke uses because he is writing to Gentile Christians who spoke Greek and came from a Greek philosophical worldview.
Notice also, that Jesus doesn’t describe the Rich Man as uncommonly cruel or a heinous evil doer as if those are the only people that are in hell.
Jesus here shows a reversal of fortune for the Rich Man and Lazarus. Where Lazarus was in torment while on the earth, he is now experiencing blessed peace while the Rich Man now suffers in torment for eternity.
Now let’s talk about this as a parable for a moment. Some people might look at this and say that there is no indication that Lazarus ever believed the gospel and yet he goes to heaven. However, remember how parables work.
They are short stories told to a particular group of people to teach a particular lesson.
If you remember the context of this passage, Jesus is talking to Pharisees who themselves were lovers of money. He is trying to show these self-righteous men the fate that awaits them for not believing in him or his gospel.
The Pharisees would have identified with the Rich Man, and Jesus is trying to show them, “Listen. Judgment is coming, and Hell is a place of eternal, conscious torment for all those who refuse to repent and believe in me.”

Hell Is A Place Of Eternal, Conscious Torment

24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’
Here the Rich Man cries out to Abraham (Remember how the Pharisees would often appeal to Abraham as their father as the basis of their salvation and entrance into God’s Kingdom) “Have mercy on me!”
What is so sobering is how Jesus illustrates what it is like to be in hell. From this story it is clear that hell is a place
of agonizing existence
full of regret and anguish
and relentless burning torment.
It is so horrible that the mercy the Rich Man asks for is just one drop of water from Lazarus’ finger.
25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
But just as sobering as Jesus’ description of Hell is Abraham’s response.
He says that the Rich Man is intended to suffer in his place of torment and not even one fingertip’s drop of relief will ever be given to ease the suffering of the soul condemned to Hell.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
But that is not all. Abraham goes on to say that the Rich Man has no hope for relief. There is no possibility of escape or rest because of great chasm that lays between Heaven and Hell in Jesus’ story.
This doesn’t mean that in heaven the saints will be communicating with the damned, remember this is a parable and else where the Bible teaches us that Hell is a place of utter darkness.
But at the same time, don’t make the mistake of believing that Jesus is just telling a made up story and Hell doesn’t actually exist. In his parables, Jesus would make up characters, scenarios, and dialogue to communicate his message but he did not make up truth.
What Jesus is communicating to the Pharisees is the finality of Hell. There is no escape from the judgement of those who refuse to repent and believe the gospel.
Now before we go any further, we need to take a moment and do some doctrinal work concerning Hell. The first thing that Jesus’ parable shows us is that...

1. Hell is Real

Jesus talked about hell more than anyone else in Scripture.
In fact, he talked about it more than any other topic.
13% of his teachings are about hell and judgement and over half of his parables describe the eternal judgment that awaits unrepentant sinners.
Now I understand that Hell is probably the most unpopular subject in the Bible. So much so that many “Christians” have gone so far as to deny its existences as an outdated religious construct.
However, to not believe in Hell is to not believe in Jesus and to reject the Bible and its authority as the perfect Word of God. When we do this, we we refuse to believe in Hell because we don’t like the message it communicates, we reject and abandon the source of authority for Christianity itself.
The Scripture is clear in that, to reject Hell, in a very real sense, is to reject Christianity because it is a fundamental doctrine that is tied to
God’s holiness and justice,
the evil of sin,
the need for Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection,
and the mission of the church.
The Bible is clear that there is a definite place where all unrepentant sinners will spend eternity after they die under the wrath of God for their sins.
This place is called Hell, and it was created by God.
However, God did not create it for humanity. Speaking about those that do not follow Jesus, he says in 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Satan, the enemy of God led a sinful rebellion against God. The Bible says that God cast him down to earth where he now roams like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour with sin so that they will suffer with him in eternal judgment.
If God made Hell for Satan and his demons, why are they not their now? Jesus is waiting until the end of the age. He is waiting until he returns to exercise judgment on all his creation and says that on that day, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Hell is a place that is for sinners, of whom Satan and his demons were the first. But, because of humanity’s Fall into sin, Hell became the final destination for all those that refuse to repent of their sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ so that all their sins could be forgiven.
What is amazing is that Jesus talked more about Hell than he did about heaven. Not because he wanted people to be terrified of God as some kind of wrathful being, but because he wanted to urge people to repent by seeing where their sin would eventually take them.
People don’t have a problem believing in Heaven. Only the staunchest atheist denies that there is some existence available after death that is a “better place” of blessing and peace.
But Jesus doesn’t give us the option to believe in one while rejecting the other, Hell is as real as heaven.

2. Hell is Eternal

Now we have already mentioned how the Great Chasm between the Rich Man and Lazarus how Jesus even taught in the Parable we are studying today that Hell is Eternal.
; 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels...46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
First, Jesus describes hell as a place for those cursed by God and an “eternal fire.”
Then Jesus says in verse 46 that those that reject his gospel will go away to eternal punishment while those that put their faith in Jesus enter eternal life.
46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
The word translated eternal is the same in both eternal punishment and eternal life.
In other words, the eternal punishment of the wicked lasts precisely as long as the eternal life of the redeemed.
This means that if you believe in the eternality of heaven, then you also must believe in the eternality of Hell.
And lest you think that Hell is only a construct of the NT authors the Bible is consistent because the prophet Daniel said And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .

3. Hell is Horrible

When people talk about going through difficult circumstances in life they say it is like going through hell. This is completely understandable because even implicitly in our language we understand Hell to be the strongest word we can use to describe our hardships and afflictions.
However, this trivializes the gravity of hell because nothing someone suffers in this life can compare one fraction to the horrors of hell.
First, Hell is so horrible because in it, unrepentant sinners suffer under the wrath of God.
Describing sinners who are cast into Hell, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night...
John likens suffering in hell as drinking God’s wrath poured out in full strength.
Notice also that it is in the presence of the Lamb that unrepentant sinners are tormented. Jesus rules over Hell. Not Satan.
And Hell is so horrible because God is infinitely holy, hating sin from his very nature.
In fact, Hell is so horrible that words cannot begin to describe the torment that awaits those that do not put their faith in Jesus. Instead, the Bible uses these amazing word pictures to communicate the feeling of torment those in Hell endure.
And the torment the Bible describes is wholistic. Meaning that it is physical, emotional, and spiritual torment. One of pain and great anguish and the feeling of loss devoid of all hope.

Pictures of Hell

actually gives a summary of some of the consistent pictures of Hell given in the Bible.
It talks about fire and sulfur. This idea of burning under God’s wrath.
It also says that they have no rest, day or night. It is a constant torment with no relief forever and ever.
I don’t know if you’ve ever suffered in an extraordinary way in your life.
I remember when I moved to Seattle before Jess and I started dating that I suffered for the first time in my life. I didn’t know it at the time but I was going through culture shock. I missed my friends, and family, I was depressed, and for the first few weeks I would go to work and come home, crawl into bed, and try to fall asleep as fast as possible just so I could get a moment where I wouldn’t feel the pain I was going through.
So if you have ever felt pain like that, perhaps when a loved one died, or a marriage crumbled where all you wanted was just a little relief, a little rest, a little time to not think about it anymore, to not feel it anymore, that is a picture of the pain and torment experienced in Hell but there is no relief.
In another parable, Jesus describes hell this way. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus says that being thrown into Hell is like being bound hand and foot and thrown out to outer darkness.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
This is describing the kind of darkness completely devoid of light. When we talk about children being afraid of the dark that is a picture of the terror that will be experienced in this darkness for eternity
If you remember as a child being afraid of the dark and having that kind of dread, that kind of fear, that is a picture of what suffering in Hell will be like.
Finally consider Jesus’ final word. Weeping and gnashing of teeth. This is a common expression Jesus uses for hell.
Weeping signifies the pain and loss and regret experienced by those in Hell for refusing to repent of their sin and worship Jesus.
And the gnashing of teeth is like the grinding of your teeth. We use the expression that when we go through something difficult we just need to “Grit our teeth and bear it.” That is what Hell is like but there will be no relief. The difficulty that leads to one gritting their teeth will never relent.
Finally, consider the picture Jesus gives in but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Jesus says this just before he says if your right hand causes you to sin then cut it off because it is better to go through life maimed than to be thrown into hell with both your hands.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Consider the picture of terror. Its like someone takes you to the middle of the ocean, ties a large stone to your neck, and throws you in and as you are being dragged to the ocean floor you begin to gasp for air and feel the weight of the water begin to crush you.
What Jesus is saying is that Hell is like that but those moments, that terror, is an stretched from the few minutes it would take you to drown to an eternity.
This is what hell is like. This is what awaits those that refuse to repent and believe the gospel.
Writing about Hell, RC Sproul once said “...the sinner in hell would give everything he had and do everything he could to make the number of his sins in this life one less, just to get one ounce less torment.”
the sinner in hell would give everything he had and do everything he could to make the number of his sins in this life one less, just to get one ounce less torment.
In our story, the Rich Man would’ve traded his whole life just for that one drop of water from Lazarus’ finger, but he will never enjoy one ounce less of torment.
This is the terror of Hell
Now given how hard this doctrine is, there are some common objections you will face for holding the biblical view of Hell. I cannot go through all the nuances of each one but I do want to help you see an answer for some of them.

Common Objections to Hell

1. A Loving God Wouldn’t Send People to Hell

You will hear things like God is love. How could a loving God send people to suffer in this way for eternity?
In a very important sense, God does not send people to Hell. The only ones there are those that continually and willfully rejected Him and His salvation throughout their life.
Whether that is through the explicit preaching of the gospel
Or through God’s general revelation in the created order which Paul says For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
But not only that, Love is not all that God is. God is also Holy and Just. Were God not to punish sin and wickedness to its full measure, he would no longer be God as he has revealed himself to be.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
He would not be holy or just at all.
Also, almost ironically, the doctrine of Hell actually magnifies the love of God. It doesn’t diminish it.
Consider the fact that God did not have to save anyone in order to still be good and loving. God chose to save sinners because of his love for them and provided a way to avoid eternal punishment in Jesus Christ.
Paul says in that God who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
God so loved us that he himself died for us so that we would not have to suffer in Hell. What kind of unloving God would ever do such a thing?
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .

2. God Saves Everyone - Universalism

Universalism is particularly popular in our culture. You will hear that there are many paths to God and Jesus is just one way to get to him. All people will be saved in the end.
Universalism comes in two forms
Accepts All - Not Just
God Accepts All
This is where God will just say to every person, you know what “we are good. I understand. It was hard, and my commands weren’t really fair.
However, we have seen that God would not be Just or Holy if he did not punish sin.
And to believe this is to reject Jesus’ understanding that he is I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Ok. Well maybe Jesus is the only way, but because God is so loving he will give everyone another chance to repent after they die. That when they die they will see Jesus and fully repent of their sins.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Again, this goes against the clear teaching of Scripture which says And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment
Gives Everyone a Chance to Repent After Death
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .

3. God Destroys Sinners - Annihilationism

Ok, well maybe God does punish sinners, but because he is good he doesn’t make it last forever. He only punishes them for their sins and then completely destroys them.
However, we have already seen from Scripture that Hell is an eternal punishment.
Not to mention this view was already condemned as a heresy at the 2nd Council of Constantinople in 553AD.
To hold this view is to not see our sin as truly evil and wicked as God says it is. In turn, this view implies that God is not actually as Holy as he says he is so it must be rejected as a completely unbiblical position.
Now, we have talked about some really hard things this morning concerning the coming Judgment, but I want to leave you with some good news.

4. Hell is Avoidable

27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”
Seeing his fate is sealed, the Rich Man begs Abraham to tell his family to repent. Abraham responds that they have Moses and the Prophets which Jesus uses here to describe the OT Scriptures.
The Rich Man replies that just the Scriptures will not be enough to convince them and Abraham says if they do not listen to the Scriptures even someone rising from the dead will not convince them either.
What Jesus is saying is that the Old Testament and now the New Testament proclaim God’s holiness, humanity’s fall into sin, God’s plan of Salvation, and the coming Judgement.
This is a powerful affirmation of the sufficiency of Scripture. There is not a new way to salvation. It has been proclaimed as long as God has been revealing himself.
We must repent of our sins and believe in the one God sent to save sinners, Jesus Christ. The power to avoid Hell is proclaimed in the Word of God, which is the gospel.
The gospel proclaims that we are all dead in our sins. We are hell bent on going to hell, but God being rich and mercy and love, became a man in Jesus Christ. He lived sinlessly on the earth and died on the cross on our behalf as our substitute. God poured out his wrath that was waiting for us in Hell on Jesus so that all that put their faith in his sacrificial death and resurrection would be saved.
Hell does not have to be the fate of any person because God desires that all would be saved.

Application

A Call to Repent
If you have not put your faith in Jesus, what we have been talking about this morning is your fate. You will suffer for eternity.
Someone is going to pay for your sins, it will either be you in hell, or it can be Jesus on the cross if you just put your faith in him.
What that means is that you pray to God and confess that you are a sinner in need of his grace and that you believe God sent Jesus to die and rise again for you, and you give your whole life to him.
You turn away from sin which invites the wrath of God and begin living a life of worship and obedience to Jesus.
It is appointed for man to die and then face judgment. Do not face the judgement un prepared. Be saved from your sins in Jesus Christ.
Worship to God for Salvation
Have you ever considered the absolute horror that God saved us from in Jesus?
I think it is so easy for us to assume that God would have always saved us. To not see our sin as heinous or rebellious as it really is. If you believe in Jesus, God has saved you from hell and has given you eternal life!
Praise him for being the God of our salvation.
What I want you to do is to take time today or this week to sit and consider the fact that God did not have to save you, but in his goodness he chose to and pray a prayer of thanksgiving to him for his salvation.
Live Concerned For the Lost
Our attitude should be the same as God’s towards the lost. He does not take pleasure in their death but urges them all to turn from their evil ways and worship him.
God has given us the mission to make disciples. To proclaim his salvation to the lost around us so that they also would have eternal life.
I believe there is a progression for our ministry of Evangelism
Do We Pray For Them?
Do you pray for those around you that do not love Jesus? Do you ask God to let them see the gospel and for him to save them?
Do you ask God that he would allow you to be a part of their testimony by bearing witness to his salvation?
Do you ask God to help you see and take the opportunities he provides to love and serve them so that you might share the gospel with them?
Do We Seek to Love Them?
Do you make a conscious effort to love them? Get to know them? Try to find ways to talk about what God is doing in your life and how he is redeeming you?
Or do you avoid them? Say maybe tomorrow, or next week or next year you’ll finally ask them over for dinner, out to lunch, or to have a coffee.
Are we pursuing people like God pursued us in Jesus Christ?
Do We Proclaim the Gospel to Them?
This is the point where most people get scared to jump into the mission of God. What if they reject me? What if I don’t say something right and make it worst?
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”
Listen, it is God who does the saving. You are just called to be faithful, so even if you totally bumble it, God still uses our foolish words and attempts to share the gospel to save sinners.
My hope today is that all of us would begin taking the first step and begin praying for one or two people in our life that we hope God will save, and if you are already doing that, begin to pray that God would give you opportunities to love and serve them so that hopefully you can share the gospel with them.
After all, For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent?
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
This is a call for us to be a sent church. To see our life as a mission field. To Be bold to live and proclaim the gospel so that more people might be saved from the terror of hell.
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent?
Let’s pray
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Related Media
Related Sermons