Luke 16:19-31 (The Message)
19-21"There once was a rich man, expensively dressed in the latest fashions, wasting his days in conspicuous consumption. A poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, had been dumped on his doorstep. All he lived for was to get a meal from scraps off the rich man's table. His best friends were the dogs who came and licked his sores. 22-24" Then he died, this poor man, and was taken up by the angels to the lap of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell and in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham in the distance and Lazarus in his lap. He called out, 'Father Abraham, mercy! Have mercy! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool my tongue. I'm in agony in this fire.' 25-26 "But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that in your lifetime you got the good things and Lazarus the bad things. It's not like that here. Here he's consoled and you're tormented. Besides, in all these matters there is a huge chasm set between us so that no one can go from us to you even if he wanted to, nor can anyone cross over from you to us.' 27-28 "The rich man said, 'Then let me ask you, Father: Send him to the house of my father where I have five brothers, so he can tell them the score and warn them so they won't end up here in this place of torment.' 29 "Abraham answered, 'They have Moses and the Prophets to tell them the score. Let them listen to them.' 30 "'I know, Father Abraham,' he said, 'but they're not listening. If someone came back to them from the dead, they would change their ways.' 31 "Abraham replied, 'If they won't listen to Moses and the Prophets, they're not going to be convinced by someone who rises from the dead.'"
Jesus tells a story of two men; one who lived by the world and the other who lived by any means possible. When death came upon these men they received two very different eternities. The rich worldly man, who was never named, but only referred to as a rich man found himself in hell. The poor man, named Lazarus was shown to be in the comfort of heaven with Abraham. The rich man pleaded with Abraham to have mercy on him, but Abraham could not help him. The man even realized if there was no mercy for him then maybe his family could be warned. But Abraham told him if they didn’t listen to the words of Moses and the Prophets who spoke the Lord’s word and performed miracles, why should they listen to a dead man?
Hell is not a place many of us like to think about. In fact in some religions hell is non-existent. A person dies either to a good life or they become non-existent. But Jesus let us know there is a place called hell. In hell there is a separation from God for eternity. It is a place where all the wrongs and regrets are remembered. It is a place where there is suffering and torment that is ever lasting. In heaven though there is peace and comfort. Lazarus was no longer living a painful and suffering life, but instead he was consoled. It is a place where everyone is in the presence of God and there are no regrets. Jesus Christ died for the salvation of all men. He was beaten, tortured mocked, and hung on a Roman cross to die. It was God’s plan to provide salvation for all those who had faith to believe that His Son Jesus paid the price for sin. The apostle James said this, “And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith. He was even called the friend of God.” We know Abraham was in heaven and believed God and the plan for salvation. Do you believe? If so God bless you that you will live a life eternal in the comforts of heaven.