The gap between eternity in hell and forever in heaven could not be crossed – not ever! So the rich man begged Abraham to send the beggar man Lazarus to his family that still lived on earth to warn them to prevent them from ending up in hell like he had. How did Abraham respond? He said the rich man’s family already received its warning about hell from the Jewish prophets. But the rich man argued that sending Lazarus would give them the wake up call they needed because Lazarus would have to be raised from the dead to deliver the warning so that they would repent and be saved from eternity in hell. Abraham’s response in this parable given by Jesus Christ was not just a lesson to a rich man burning in hell for eternity.
The response was an admonition that if heeded by us could literally change how we spend the rest of our lives on earth and where we spend eternity. Abraham told the rich man that a resurrected Lazarus would make no difference. After all, if they had not listened to and believed the Jewish prophets who had told them over and again about Jesus the Christ who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and was resurrected on the third day, then sending the beggar man Lazarus would make no difference. And after all, and most importantly of all, there is one who has already risen from the dead! Jesus the Christ! And though the Jewish prophets foretold of Jesus the Christ over and again, who has believed?
Oh, if this were only a story! But it is not. If this were only just a parable. But it is not! If this were only someone else’s story. But it is not! If only this were a warning for some random person far away. But it is not! If only this were a little tale to read and forget as soon as the tale is told. But it is not!
This, my friend, is a warning to us all! There is a permanent gap that cannot be crossed once are lives on earth are over. We must repent now and turn from our wicked ways to God by believing the Gospel that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised again. We must repent now and open the Bible and learn to live our lives according to the ways of the Lord rather than the ways of the world – now, before it is too late. For the gap is permanent. It cannot be crossed. If we finish our lives on earth without repentance and believing the Gospel, without giving our lives to God to whom they belong, if we die without becoming committed followers of Jesus Christ, we will not be able to cross the gap as the rich man could not.
Oh sure, he had his riches on earth. He had his pleasures. He had his prosperity. But he had not Jesus Christ! He had not God in heaven! He did not repent. And as he burned in hell, so on fire in torment that he would have given anything for a single drop of water, it was too late! He could not – no, not ever – cross the gap from hell to heaven. He could not leave the fire of hell behind. It was too late! He had not repented. He had not turned away from his wicked ways and asked God through faith in Jesus Christ to forgive him his sins. He would spend eternity in hell.
No, this is no little story to be left behind. It is a parable of Christ to give us warning that we must now, even in this very moment, repent and turn to the living God before it is too late for us also.
Which side of the gap will you be on? Will you spend eternity in heaven with God because you have repented, placed your faith in Jesus the Savior, and committed your life to studying the Bible and following Christ for the rest of your days? Do you have a rock solid relationship with the Lord, and are you studying His Word and growing in God’s image as we were created to do? Or are you headed for the other side of the gap, this gap that cannot be crossed once your days on earth are over? Are you headed for eternal torment in hell – forever separated from God, from our Father in heaven who desires above all else that you would submit your life to Him and be reconciled to Him by accepting that Jesus died on the cross to pay your death penalty for your sins so you can spend eternity with God our loving Father?
Which side of the gap are you on? If you are still alive and breathing, it is not too late. Make sure you are on the right side. Repent! Repent! Repent! And commit your ways to the Lord! Live the life He has called you on this earth to live. Leave behind your old life. Live the life He intended for you all along. Love Him with all your heart, with your every breath. Serve Him. And delight in knowing that He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to the cross so that you could live with Him forever. Repent while there is still time! Repent! Believe the Gospel! And enjoy forever the greatest gift that ever was, that is, and that will ever be. The Lord!
(Mar 1:15) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
(John 3:16 KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luk 16:24 And 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.
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.