“19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeing Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 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.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:19-31
The rich man was probably quite proud to have given the beggar, Lazarus, his crumbs. Before Jesus came to die on Calvary’s Cross to take away sin from whosoever accepts Him as their Lord and Savior, the Old Testament Saints believed the revelation given to Abraham regarding their coming Redeemer (Romans 4:16). The Resurrection of Jesus is proof that every sin, not most sin but EVERY sin was atoned for on Calvary’s Cross.
“7 But unto every one of us is given Grace according to the measure of the Gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore He said, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.)” Ephesians 4:7-10
Jesus led captivity captive when He descended to the lower parts of the earth and redeemed the Old Testament Saints…including Lazarus. Satan held the Old Testament Saints captive but they were comforted and separated from the torment of those who died not believing God would send their Redeemer.
The rich man’s riches didn’t lead him to the Lord and neither did the beggar’s poverty keep him from the Lord. The rich man, knowing that he was eternally and consciously entombed in hell begged Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers to testify of this place called hell; to testify of his torments.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18
Jesus is not one of many options to avoid condemnation. He is the ONLY Way, the ONLY Truth and the ONLY Life. No one comes to God except through Him (John 14:6). This Truth does not change because one does not believe. The Truth remains the same. We are born condemned because of Adam’s fall. God sent His only begotten Son not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.
The lost are not lost because they reject Jesus; they reject Jesus because they are lost…they are condemned, consciously and eternally entombed in the torments of hell. We, as Believers, have a responsibility to tell the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. Not every Believer is called to be a Minister of the Gospel but every Believer is given the Great Commission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the world.
I have lost loved ones that may not listen to me but may listen to you. If they ever crossed your path, would you tell them the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Would you witness to them of the goodness of God? They are lost and condemned. They need to know Jesus.
There are millions upon millions who have loved ones praying for their Salvation. Perhaps God wants to use you to lead them to the Lord. Prayerfully consider. The rich man waited too late. His prayer to Abraham to send someone to testify to his brothers availed as much as other’s fruitless prayers to Saints, absolutely nothing. Go, tell them…tell them of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
-Donna Clark Warren