18 July 2021 AM – Luke 16:19-31 – Parables21 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The debate still rages between evolutionists and creationists over the origin of life. However, evolution is illogical. Nothing is getting better including your body, your car, your home, the environment, and world politics. Things just do not get better with time. The fact that God created you is logical. Your body is far too incredibly complex to be the result of countless accidents and ridiculous odds.
Since God created you, He sets the rules by which you must live. You are accountable to Him. Disobeying God not only makes life less fulfilling, it also makes you a guilty sinner. One day you will answer to God your Judge. (Romans 14:12) “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Jesus warned in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” God also said, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalms 9:17). Hell is a real place. It is no joke. If there is a heaven to gain, there must be a hell to shun.
The Bible does not tell us about hell just to scare us, but to warn us lovingly and to urge us strongly to trust God’s plan of salvation.
Transition: In Luke 16, Jesus with a compassionate heart gave His listeners and us a preview of hell that we might take action to avoid it.
1. Jesus gave us a preview of the CULPRITS in hell (Lu 16:19-23).
a. You may ask, “Why did God even make hell?”
1) God created Satan as a holy angel. He rebelled against God, lost his holiness and determined to turn God’s creation against Him. He lured Eve and Adam into sin and plunged the human race into sinful rebellion against God.
2) Your sin and mine is no trifling matter. It is wilful rebellion against our holy Creator. Sin pollutes our character. It fouls our purity. It makes our hearts wicked (Jer 17:9). It is displeasing God. Sin greatly offends God. Let me illustrate. Vomit is repulsive. We hate to do it. Its smell is disgusting. The sight of it is foul. Few others than loving mothers can stand to clean it up. In God’s sight, our sin is far worse than vomit. Our sin is so bad that God had to send His own Son to die on the cross as our substitute to keep us from eternal hell.
3) To make things worse, we cannot erase our sins. (Proverbs 20:9) “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” Our sin condemns us. Jesus said that the wages of our sin is eternal death (Romans 6:23).
4) Here is the reason God created hell. (Matthew 25:41) “Then shall he [God] say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:“
b. Who then will go to hell?
1) Read (v.19-23). Religious people in Jesus’ day thought that prosperity was a sure sign of God’s approval and blessing. They thought that the poor were surely cursed of God. They were very wrong.
2) The context reveals that Lazarus the beggar had repented of his sin and received God’s forgiveness by faith. It also reveals that the rich man had never repented of his sin. Unbelievers of all walks of life will go to hell. Some will be the religious deceived, religious unbelievers, those depending on their good works, the self-righteous, nice people who have no time for God, drunks, drug addicts, rapists, perverts, prostitutes, porn addicts, murders, thieves, and all liars – all who have never repented of their sin and trusted Christ will go to hell (Revelation 21:8).
3) The Bible assures us that “… there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). We are all guilty sinners. There is only one thing that can save a guilty sinner from hell. [Tell the story of the Philippian jailer, Acts 16].
4) All who have not trusted Christ’s payment on the cross and received God’s forgiveness will go to hell. Where do you stand with God?
2. Jesus gave us a preview of the CONDITIONS of hell (Lu 16:23-26).
a. People are conscious in hell.
1) Jesus, God in human flesh, who cannot lie, told us that the rich man lift up his eyes in hell. He felt the torments of hell. He saw and mentally recognised Abraham and Lazarus the beggar afar off.
2) Do not believe the devil’s lie that when you die that is the end. You do not die like a dog and rot like a log. The real you is a spirit that will live eternally in heaven or in hell.
b. People feel torment in hell.
1) The separation from God torments those in hell (v.23).
2) Heat, thirst, and flames torment those in hell (v.24).
3) The lack of any mercy or comfort will torment.
4) Regret will torment those in hell (v.25). Memories of rejected opportunities to receive the Gospel will haunt them eternally.
5) God made the torments of hell equal to the enormous guilt of our rebellious sin against Him.
c. People in hell will never escape.
1) Between paradise and hell, there was a great gulf or canyon that no one could cross (v.26). Paradise was the comforting place that believers went before Christ rose from the dead. Now the spirit and soul of every dying believer goes to be with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8) “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.“
2) Those in hell will suffer there until the final Judgment. At that time, every one of them will be cast into the eternal Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:14-15) “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.“
3) Some false religions teach that those in hell will be annihilated or burned up and cease to exist. That is not what God said. (Matthew 25:46) “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Revelation 20:10) “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.“
4) No sane person would ever want to go to such an eternal hell fire.
3. Jesus gave us a preview of the CONCERNS in hell (Lu 16:27-31).
a. People in hell are burdened for the living.
1) Once the tormented rich man realised that he was doomed to an eternity of suffering and that he could never escape, he turned his thoughts to his living brothers (v.27-28).
2) He begged that the beggar Lazarus, whom he had previously despised, might raise from the dead and go back to witness to his brothers that they might repent.
3) He did not want his still living loved ones to join him in that place of torment. The devilish idea that people will party in hell with their friends is a damnable lie.
b. People in hell want their loved ones to repent.
1) Abraham told him (v.29) that his brothers had the words of Moses and the prophets written in the Bible to tell them.
2) Again, he begged that to have Lazarus resurrect to persuade them (v.30). Abraham simply said that if they did not believe the Bible, even a resurrected dead man could not persuade them (v.31).
3) The Bible is clear. Every one of us is a sinner. Our sin is revolting to our holy God. We deserve eternal damnation in hell. The only way of escape is faith in the payment Christ made for our sins on the cross. (Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.“
Conclusion: Jesus gave us a preview of hell that we might take action and avoid it. (REVIEW)
My friend, God hates your sin, but He loves you so much that He took every one of your sins on Himself and died in your place on the cross to pay for your sins. If you will trust His payment, He will forgive your sin, deliver you from hell and give you a home in heaven.