The poor man is in bliss while the Rich Man is in agony
Even in hell hasn’t repented – come and serve me…..not in a good place!
Selfishness of the rich man persists – make poor man his servant or his messenger and only for his brothers…what of the rest of mankind?
Do we only pray for our families?
Heaven and hell are absolute and nothing can go between –
In heaven people know God’s perfect presence, in hell they don’t. In heaven people know joy and no pain, in hell they know pain and no joy.
Fixed forever no second chance…ie no purgatory
Only in hell should people imagine that praying to a man could help them, and even there it doesnt!
“two reasons the request cannot be honored: to grant it would be (a) improper and (b) impossible.”[i]
Even temporary relief of the rich man’s suffering not allowed.
Its DESPERATE, and its CONVICTING
The MORALS of the Parable
1. There is no mercy in hell but bliss in heaven
2. There is no answered prayer in hell
3. There is no experience of the presence of God in hell.
4. Miracles alone will not save anyone:
When other Lazarus came to life leaders didn’t believe but wanted to kill him John 12:10
When Jesus came back to life authorities plotted a lie to conceal it!
5. The afterlife is REAL, We will have memories, and recognize each other.
6. Outward appearances don’t always represent inward reality
7. Make sure you are spiritually rich
8. Care for both the physically and spiritually poor
9. Share God’s word with others as it is able to make us wise to salvation “they have Moses and the prophets”
10. Don’t be surprised if some others reject the gospel you bring
11. Realize how important your influence on others can be for good or evil:
C.S. Lewis: “Remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would strongly be tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.[ii]
12. The child of God, like Lazarus can be content in every circumstance if he knows heaven is coming
The MYSTERIES of this Story =Unanswered questions in this parable
1. If rich wont be saved necessarily, WHO would!?
2. What is it that makes Lazarus acceptable to God?
3. How can we tell if anyone will be saved?
4. If all we deserve is hell then how can we get to heaven?
5. Why should anyone be saved? = scandal of the gospel
6. What is it that can persuade us if a resurrection won’t?