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The Rich Man & Lazarus
By Ron Boatwright

     Our Lord, in trying to get us to go to Heaven and to warn us to not go to Hell, gives a true account of what happened to two men in Luke 16:19-31.  In verses 19-21 Jesus says there was a "certain rich man who fared sumptuously every day" and "there was a certain beggar named Lazarus full of sores who the dogs came and licked his sores".  These are not fictitious characters but were "certain" people.  Satan would like for us to reason Hell out of existence.  There are those today who falsely teach that there is not going to be a Hell.

     In verses 22-24 Jesus says, "So it was that the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abrahamís bosom.  The rich man died and was buried.  And being in torments in Hell, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom.  Then 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."  Abraham then said in verse 26, "Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us."

     The rich man became the beggar in Hell.  The poor man became the rich man in paradise.  The rich man was clothed in purple and fine linen but in Hell he was robed in a garment of fire.  The poor man was attended by the dogs, but is now attended by the angels of Heaven.  The rich man fared sumptuously every day, but in eternity he cannot even get a drop of water to cool his tongue.  The poor man suffered evil things but in eternity he is comforted.

     After the rich man died, he could still feel, see, hear, talk, and remember.  In verse 25 we read, "But Abraham said, Son remember that in your life time you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus the evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented."  There is only one of two places that each one of us will spend eternity, Heaven or Hell.  After death everyone will be very conscious and aware of what is happening to him.  "Son remember."  One in Hell will remember all the lost opportunities and how he wasted his life.  One will chastise himself throughout eternity because he didnít have to be there in Hell.  Hell is permanent; there is no getting out of it.

     The rich man then begged Abraham to send Lazarus back to the earth for he said in verse 28, "I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment."  The rich man was now a believer in Hell and he could not stand to see his brothers come there also.  But in verse 29, "Abraham said to him, they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them."  Today we have the New Testament of Christ, which tells us how to go to Heaven and stay out of Hell.  Let us study our Bibles diligently and live an obedient life to make sure we donít end up in Hell with the rich man.