December 28 – Sermon from Hell – Luke 16
Jesus tells the story of a wealthy man and a beggar named Lazarus. The wealthy man had everything he needed and wanted. Clothes, food, and the luxuries of life were all experienced by this wealthy man. The beggar had nothing. Nothing is said about the character of either man. They did share one thing in common which was that they both experienced death. The wealthy man went to Hell, while Lazarus went to Heaven. In this passage, the wealthy man is allowed to speak from Hell. What would he say? What will be his message? What really matters to him? First, he asked God to for the slightest form of relief from the pain he was experiencing in the form of Lazarus dipping his finger in water and placing his wet finger on the wealthy man’s tongue. This request was denied. Secondly, he asked God to send Lazarus back from the grave to warn his five brothers about this awful place called Hell. Again, his request was denied. God reminded the rich man that while he was on earth, he placed more value on his life on earth than his preparation of his eternal life in Heaven or Hell. Simply put, he did not need Jesus. He did pretty good on earth without God. Then to his request to warn his brothers, God’s reply was similar. God reminded the rich man that if his brother would not listen to the Preachers God had already placed in his brother’s lives, than they would not listen to Lazarus’ ghost that returned from the grave. The wealthy man and his brothers did not need God in their lives. Many folks today are in the same boat as this family. They acknowledge God. They are good people. They are successful as the world counts success. They might even have a heart for the poor and underprivileged. But they do not need God. Sadly, these folks will end up in the same place as this wealthy family. Their eternal home will be in Hell as well. Do you need God?