Luke 16:19 – 31 . . . Yesterday we began a short look at this passage and we left with the following charge:
It would be wise to put the things entrusted to your stewardship to eternal use... missions... the proclamation of the Gospel... these sort of things.
Today, let’s look at some of the characteristics of hell.
1. In hell = The rich man does not simply “stop existing”. There are definite places where people can spend eternity.
2. he was in torment = Why is this one of the most remembered aspects of hell? As one commentator has well said: one knows that he is separated from God. No more grace… no more mercy.
3. he looked up and saw = We will see (no pun intended) that the residents of hell have total sensory perception. This makes the torment that much more unbearable.
4. Abraham far away = We will not get into some of the technical aspects of hell and Abraham’s Bosom and these sort of things. If you feel that urge, take some time to study it out. But for now… notice that there are those who are in torment for eternity and others who are not.
5. he called to him = This shows both volition (exercising his will) and emphasizes the fact that this takes place in a body… one that can feel and see and experience pain.
6. I am in agony in this fire = This man will experience agony without end, though he enjoyed the “finer things of life”.
7. you are in agony. = This is not just an illusion… not something the rich man is simply mistaken about. He is, and will remain in, agony. Abraham realized it just as plainly as the rich man did.
8. between us and you a great chasm has been fixed = There is a very clear demarcation between those who are saved and those who are not. As much as our society wishes to blur the distinction… the reality is that in God’s eyes you are either one of His
9. those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' = The citizens of heaven do not desire this sort of agony on anyone… but God is just. The occupants of hell do not want to be there either… and they can not escape. The old adage remains true: forever is a really long time.
10. Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment. = We will speak more on this later, but notice that the rich man now desires to see souls saved!
Tomorrow we will examine a few facets in greater depth, but for now consider the following:
a) Those that do not trust in Christ have been promised this place of unending torment. (John 3:36)
b) Those who are under the wrath of God in hell will have to bear the unbearable. THAT IS A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH!
Brethren… who do you know is on a collision course with the wrath of God that needs the Savior? Who must you tell the Gospel to?