“ …the rich man also died, and was buried. And
in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and
seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy
on me,and send Lazarus,that he may dip the tip of
his finger in water, and cool my tongue;for I am
tormented in this flame.”(Luke 16:22-24)
The rich man in this passage ended up in hell not because he was rich but because he refused to express the love of God to his neighbour.He refused to accept the counsel of God for his life. He lived a care-free life. He had every opportunity to help the poor especially Lazarus who was stationed at his gate.However, he turned a deaf ear to the cry of the poor. Proverbs 21:13 says “whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard”(KJV).
…the rich man also died”. I perceive that the rich man died at a time he never expected. He hoped he had lived longer .Friend, the truth of the matter is that we must die someday, but we do not know when and how. No one is too young to die. The Bible speaks with finality saying “and it is appointed unto men (every human being) once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27; words in parenthesis are mine).
After his death, he was judged. Then the scripture says “and in hell he lift up his eyes”. He got to a place of torment.A place of anguish and agony.A place where people wail and gnash their teeth.A place where there is no comfort .A lake which burns with fire and brimstone continually.Friend; permit me to tell you this: hell was not made for human to inhabit. It was made for the devil, his angels and as many as were being deceived by the devil(Matthew 25:41).It is also made for those who do not have the fear of God in them(Psalms 9:17;2 Peter 2:4-5)
The rich man cried for mercy and mercy and comfort but he got none because, first,he refused to hear the cry of the poor when he was on earth(See Matthew 25:31-46).Second, he had no place for repentance in his heart. This same cry for mercy had always been heard and would continue to be said in hell. But friend must you be one of those who would cry for mercy eternally in hell? Say God forbid! God can only forbid it if only you confess your sins to God and forsake them today. Repentance is the only escape route from eternal damnation.
There are two more things I need to tell you before I conclude this piece.First, is the fact that your ancestors who walked into hell are praying for you right now. They are praying and hoping that you and your descendants would not come to this of torment. When the rich man realized that his prayers for mercy was too late to be answered, the next prayer he could pray was to ask that someone would go and warn his five brothers of the reality of hell, “lest they also come into this place of torment”.Friend, this is an opportunity for you to cry unto God for mercy before the destruction of hell catches up with you. Proverbs 28:13 says “he that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”.
Also, God in His infinite mercy is, and has been speaking to you through His prophets (preachers of the gospel, of which I am one).They have been warning you of the dangers of hell fire. Hebrews 4:17 says “today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your heart”. Friend, as long as this hour is called “today” harden not your heart. Allow this message of repentance to sink into your heart. You have kept God outside of your heart for too long. He is willing to come into your heart, if you let Him.Behold, He is standing at the door of your heart, knocking and saying “if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him; and he with me”(Revelations 3:20).Welcome Him into your life as you pray this prayer:
Heavenly Father, I have heard that you do not delight
in the death of a sinner.Instead, you desire that all people
should come to repentance. I therefore repent of my sins
today. Forgive and cleanse me. Lord Jesus I welcome you
into my life today. Have your way. Thank you for making
me your child now and forever. Amen