READING: Luke 16:19-31
[a] It is customary today to poo poo the whole idea of hell - it is
'uncivilised!' It is a 'product of the fears of the dark ages!'
[b] 'We want to preach a God of love!! Not some sort of cruel Judge,
Who is just waiting to damn the wicked!'
[c] In all their deliberations, the armchair theologians end up with a
'MARSHMALLOW GOD' Who treats sin as unimportant, and just becomes no
more than a figment of their imagination - Can I say reverently, He
becomes no more than a GREAT SUGAR DADDY IN THE SKY!
[d] They have manipulated the idea of a LOVING GOD, until He is a God
no longer interested in RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUDGEMENT!
[e] The Bible knows nothing of such a God!
[f] The God of wrath and judgement that we see in the Old Testament has
He simply has revealed more of His nature and His love through Christ!!
[a] But that does not detract one iota from the God Who hates and
loathes sin in every shape or form, and will judge those who leave Him
out of their lives and refuse His Salvation in Christ!
[b] See the Christ of God hang in agony and shame on the cross of
Calvary bearing the sin of this whole world - THEN TELL ME SIN IS
UNIMPORTANT AND DOES NOT CARRY THE PAIN OF JUDGEMENT!!!
[c] If you doubt the judgement of sin - then look to Christ on the
cross, as He dies the "just for the unjust, that He might bring us to
God" says the apostle Peter!
(ii) He also says, "He bore our sins in His Own body on the tree."
(iii) "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world"
says John the Baptist!
(iv) "He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our
iniquities" says the prophet Isaiah!
(v) "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life
for his friends" said Jesus of Himself!
(vi) "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin, that we
might be made the righteousness of God in Him." said Paul to the
[d] AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN THE SCRIPTURE REITERATES THAT CHRIST TOOK
OUR PLACE ON THE CROSS, BEARING OUR SIN!
WHAT NEED, IF THERE BE NO JUDGEMENT??? IT WOULD MAKE NO SENSE!!!
[a] In the Bible you find that PURPLE was the colour of worldly riches.
[b] In Luke 16:19, Jesus told about the RICH MAN AND LAZARUS THE
[c] In His description of the rich man, Jesus says, "he was clothed in
PURPLE AND FINE LINEN."
The contrast to this was of course that LAZARUS WAS CLOTHED IN RAGS!
[d] The high quality expensive cloth was dyed purple, and was not the
sort of thing most people could afford - especially Lazarus.
[e] How wonderful it would be to be rich - or so so many think!
The problem is that so many of the richest people are spiritual
[f] SO IT WAS WITH THE RICH MAN! In spiritual things, the situation was
reversed, Lazarus was rich, and the one with all this world's wealth,
was spiritually bankrupt!
[g] Both the men in our story were starving! One physically & one
KEEPING THE FAITH
[a] Sometimes, when people are saved, they suddenly expect that they
will no longer have a care in the world - all their needs will be
magically met, and they've "never had it so good!"
[b] The Bible teaches no such thing! Lazarus was obviously the
equivalent of a Christian in his day - and look at the state he was in!
But the thing is, he kept his faith!! Through it all, he kept true to
the Lord, otherwise he wouldn't have ended up in Paradise!
[c] When he died, Lazarus, it says, was carried by the angles into
Abraham's bosom or paradise! The place of the 'righteous' dead. I use
that term guardedly, as I know "There is none righteous, no not one"
according to Scripture. But it was a place of waiting, for those who
had sought to follow God in their lifetime.
[d] THE RICH MAN ON THE OTHER HAND DIED - AND ACCORDING TO JESUS,
WAKENED UP IN THE AGONIES OF THE FLAMES OF HELL!
[e] Jesus told this story for a reason - to warn His hearers of the
dangers of eternal damnation for those who die without having made
their relationship right with God!
[f] SIN IS A VICIOUS PLAGUE WHICH WILL DAMN YOU FOR ALL ETERNITY, IF
YOU DIE WITHOUT CHRIST!
WEIGH IT UP -
[a] When Jesus told a parable, he did not give the characters names!
SO DO NOT BE FOOLED INTO THINKING THIS WAS A PARABLE!!
[b] Jesus loves us, so He warns us of the consequences of a life that
leaves God out of the picture!
[c] The Bible tells us in John 3:16, that God "GAVE His only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE
Jesus also says, "WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN, IF HE SHOULD GAIN THE
WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL."
[d] "O Abraham," wails the rich man, "if someone were to go back from
the dead, then they would believe!"
[e] That's exactly what Jesus has done, and yet you haven't believed
yet, have you??
[f] Not one of us knows if we will have a tomorrow - well does the
Bible say, that "NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME, BEHOLD NOW IS THE DAY OF
[g] I'm sure the rich man had no idea that his life was about to end!
SUDDENLY! IN HELL HE LIFTED UP HIS EYES BEING IN TORMENT!
A SPLIT SECOND - AND IT WAS TOO LATE FOR ALL OF ETERNITY!!
[h] My dear friend, we love you tonight, and we don't want you to risk
Hell for all eternity - we would plead with you at this moment -
GET RIGHT WITH GOD!!
Salvation Army Song Book