“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar name Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, 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.” But Abraham said, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and Likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And beside all this; 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.”
Then he said, “I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him 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.” Abraham said to him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, “No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent. “But he said to him, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded thought one rise from the dead.” (Matthew 16:19-31)
Jesus taught the people He ministered to in parables all the time, however this story is not a parable. It was an actual conversation in Hell. How did Jesus know this? Because He’s God. God hears every whispered conversation everywhere at once…even in Hell.
After Jesus rose from the grave, Abraham’s bosom was emptied out of every soul. Some actually rose from the dead when He did! The rich man is still there and likely his five brothers if they didn’t repent. The Bible says that Jesus “led captivity captive” all the way to heaven the saints of old were set free to see God face to face in heaven! What a wonderful time that must have been! Abraham, Moses, David, all the prophets, John the Baptist…even the thief on the cross who cried to Jesus for mercy was there.
It was likely that the rich man never concerned himself with Lazarus’ plight even though he passed by him day after day. He was just a disgusting human being that he wanted to go away. We might look down on that rich man today thinking he was such a jerk, but today, there are people we pass by every single day who need to see God’s mercy and love in action. How can we do this? First of all we are commanded to PRAY for people. Lifting up people for salvation is the greatest gift you can give someone because God takes that prayer and begins to work in that person’s life.
Second, we can ask God to bring us to people we can help in whatever way we can. Of course you have to use the wisdom of God because this world is crazy evil. Only do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do. This leads to a requirement: you must have an intimate relationship with the Lord to hear from the Holy Spirit. He knows what is going on in the hearts of people.
Third, we can be bolder in telling people of the good news of the Gospel. We can do what Jesus did. He was as bold as they come! He fearlessly taught the truth of God, He didn’t hesitate to bring healing and deliverance to the oppressed. For us, this takes knowledge of His Word. The Bible is full of instructions and principles that give insight into the situations of oppression and disease.
In today’s world, there are scoffers and scorners who just don’t believe the Gospel. They prefer the philosophies of the world’s system. In fact, one of the signs of the end times is that there will be scoffers who say “where is the promise of His return?” In today’s world, the church by and large has abandoned any teachings on the requirements of repentance, the Blood of Jesus…and the existence of Hell. They scoff at these things too. What are people supposed to do if the “church” leadership doesn’t teach them the Truth? Now more than ever, the prayers of the saints, those whose robes are washed in the Blood of Jesus, who know the Truth of His salvation and His coming; we must pray for those who are in darkness. People have itchy ears and don’t want to hear the truth of the Gospel. Only the Holy Spirit can draw them..so people of God, let’s get to praying before time runs out on the age of grace and the dreadful day of the LORD’s wrath begins.
Stay strong believers….