The parable in Luke 16:19-31 of the rich man and Lazarus is the story of two beggars. Many of us know this story of Lazarus begging daily at the gate of the rich man “desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table…” Luke 16:21. Their contrasted lives after death is where the story is told. For after their deaths, the rich man begged for mercy and asked to “…send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. but Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your life time your received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.” Luke 16:24-25.
The story doesn’t end their though. The rest of the story is where I want to focus. There is more meat on this plate that we must also swallow, although it may be tough. The rest of the story tells of the rich man’s disillusioned and deceived brothers. The brothers the rich man loved dearly were on their way to join him in eternal torment if someone didn’t warn them. “Then he said (the rich man), ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him (Lazarus) to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.” Luke 16:27-28. The rich man believed if only someone from the dead would go back and warn his brothers they would believe.
Regret of not hearing the warnings. Regret of not seeing what is plainly taught in scripture. Regret of not believing the Gospel of Jesus of Christ is what the rich man was feeling. Regret of being a bad example in life that caused his friends and loved ones to be damned. Regret of not spending his time, talent and money to propagate and spread the Word of God so others could escape eternal torment. Besides being tormented by the eternal flame, the rich man was tormented with regret.
Abraham responded to the rich man “…They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.” Luke 16:29.
When we reject God’s written Word, do not listen to His preachers and teachers, do not appreciate His mercy and grace we are rebelling. We are wanting the Gospel of Jesus Christ our way and on our terms. We stumble over His warnings. God sends judgment on us for us to repent and turn to Him; not rebel against Him. It is not until we realize God’s worthiness in our life, that our unworthiness is revealed.
Today Jesus is our Saviour. Jesus died on the Cross for our sins. He is alive today. While the enemy is at the Throne of Grace accusing us, the Lord is on the Throne of Grace petitioning for us. Jesus went through death on the Cross and was resurrected so we would not have any regrets. Why would we rebel? Why would we not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Was it not enough? How could we blame Him for being indignant at those who reject His Work on the Cross?
No one likes regret. Is there someone in hell today crying out for the Lord to send someone to cross your path so you will listen His Word? Will you listen?
This meat may be tough but if we chew on it a little longer it becomes a little easier to swallow. Don’t have any regrets. – Donna Warren