19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
There are many interesting things about this passage, especially since there are not very many stories in the Bible that give us a glimpse into both heaven and hell. It actually makes me feel quite uncomfortable because I don't like the thought of people being tormented in hell. But it's a really good reminder of eternity and also of what is most important in this life (and it's not making lots of money!).
I think my response to this passage must be to renew
my heart and my prayers for those who are on the road to an eternity without God.
I will have an eternity of comfort. I don't need to seek comfort in this life as my main goal. I need to seek to play my part in bringing others to know Jesus.
Father God, stir my heart to pray and to obey Your Spirit in all that I do. Help me to push aside the goal of seeking a comfortable life and to align my goals with eternity.
Written by Shelley Witt