Luke 16:22-31

Luke 16:19-31
19 "Now there was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day.
20 "And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores,
21 and longing to be fed with the {crumbs} which were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.
22 "Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.
23 "And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 "And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.'
25 "But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.
26 'And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be able, and {that} none may cross over from there to us.'
27 "And he said, 'Then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my father's house--
28 for I have five brothers-- that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'
29 "But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'
30 "But he said, 'No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!'
31 "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.'" (NAS)

As I was involved in an evangelistic visit, this sermon came to mind. I want to look at this passage of scripture today under the title, "What the Man in Hell Never Asked For." It is interesting to notice the conversation of this man. He asks for several things: For someone to dip the tip of their finger in water and cool off his tongue and for someone to be sent to his home. Let's consider several things he never requests.

I. First, he does not ask,
"Why an I here?" 

It seems to me that would be the very first question on his lips. He would notice Lazarus, who undoubtedly was a beggar at his gate. He sees him over in this place of comfort, but he is in a place of torment. It seems that he would ask, "Why an I here?"

You hear prisoners interviewed and many times they will say they were framed, they didn't belong there. Wouldn't someone in hell say, "I don't belong here; I was framed; It's somebody else's fault."? And yet the question never comes, and I would surmise from that he knew exactly why he was there.

He knew he had not repented of his sins and in the 30th verse he said, "If someone will go to them, they will repent." So he knew that he had not repented. He knew that the Messiah had come and that he had not received Him.

Friend, if you have never turned your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ, you will go to hell, and when you are there, you'll never ask the question, "Why am I here?" You'll know. This man knew that he had not repented.

II. Secondly, he never asked
"Why is Lazarus in heaven.

He sees Lazarus in heaven. He's a man who has received few things here on earth, but now he is receiving rewards. His rewards are because of his faithfulness in telling the story of the gospel.
He, no doubt, was one who would tell even the rich man, "Unless you repent, you will not know heaven as your home."

You see, the rich man knew something about repentance. The scripture we used in the Baptismal service about Deacon Philip says, "Do you understand what you're reading?" The eunuch says, "How can I, unless somebody show me?" I believe someone had shown the rich man, and no doubt Lazarus was the one. He knew that Lazarus had received Jesus Christ of Nazareth as the Messiah.

III. Thirdly, he never ask . . .
"When is this torment going to end?" 

When I visit someone in the hospital, if they are still in pain, they want that pain to get over. They're asking questions of the doctor, sometimes they even ask me questions. (There's no way I know how to answer.) "When is this going to stop?   When is it going to be over?"

It's interesting to note that this man in hell never asked, "When is this torment going to end?" He did ask, "Send somebody to dip the tip of their finger in water and cool my tongue." (As an experiment sometime, dip the tip of your finger in water and see if even a drop lingers.)    You see, he says, "Have mercy," but he doesn't ask for the torment to end. I have heard some such as Garner Ted Armstrong say that the idea of hell was inconceivable, it was just not something that could be in the mind of a loving God. The Bible says that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. It is not God's will that any human being ever goes to hell. So, the man is in unending torment, because it is a place prepared for Satan and his angels. If a man goes there, it will be because he rejected or neglected the message of the gospel.

IV. Another thing the man never asked is,
"When do I get out?" 

It's always a question in the hospital as the patient asks, "When do I get out?" Sometimes by our much asking, we get out sooner than we ought to, but that's always the question, "When do I get out?" If you go to a jail, the person has one primary goal in mind, "When do I get out?" The man never asked, "When do I get out of hell," because there is no end to it.

It is an eternal destiny of the soul. Speaking of judgement day, the Lord said that there was division of the sheep and goats. Some came, and he said, "Depart from me into everlasting darkness." Then, to those who had received Christ as Saviour, he said, "Enter into my Joy, and forever you shall be with the Lord." Our minds don't even begin to grasp eternity.

One of the best ways I have heard eternity described, is to say, if there were a bird on the Atlantic coast, and that bird were to go to the beach and pick up one grain of sand and fly across the Atlantic Ocean and drop that piece of sand on a beach in Europe, and then fly back and pick up another piece of sand, and keep that up until all of the sand of the beaches on the Atlantic side of America were on the Atlantic side of Europe, eternity would still be going on. I've thought about that illustration as I've sat on some beaches and I picked up a handful of sand and said, "There's no way of telling how many grains of sand are in just a handful, much less the entire beach, but if a bird were to take them all over there, eternity would still be going on." The man never asked,"When do I get out?"

V. Fifth, the man in hell never asked for justice

Notice verse 24. He cried out and said, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me," He never said, "I want to receive exactly what I deserve," because he knew he was receiving exactly what he deserved.

It is interesting to note the two thieves on the cross. The gospel of Luke records a change in one of the men's heart, and he said these words to the other thief, "Do you not fear God seeing that we are in the same condemnation, and we indeed justly (very interesting phrase) because we receive the due reward of our deeds." We're getting exactly what we deserve.

The man in hell asked for mercy. And when anybody comes to Jesus Christ they cannot strut into the kingdom. The Bible says, unless you receive the kingdom as a little child, you don't enter. There's got to be the matter of humility. As the songwriter said, "Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling." And I come and I stand and say, "I am not worthy of anything. All that I have to give is a sinful life that wants forgiveness and wants mercy." He never asked for justice.

VI. Sixth, he never asked for a new plan of salvation. 

You go to some of these "Isms" that exist today, and they have a new plan of salvation. They seem to say, "Jesus lived some 2,000 years ago, and He was all right back then, but we're so much more intelligent and enlightened, we certainly need something else today.

The man in hell never asked for any new plan of salvation. If we could have a cry from hell today, it would not ask for anything new. It would say, stay with the salvation story...tell the old, old story that is ever new. He never said, "Go to my five brothers and give them some new way so that they don't come here." But it's the old story of repentance. Repent, Repent, Repent, is the message from hell.

You see, Jesus is not a good way. You see, Jesus is not a better way. You see, Jesus is not a best way. Jesus is the only way. There's no other way to get into heaven but through Him.

When somebody comes by your house or by your place of employment and they've got some new plan, tell them to go to hell with it, because that's the only place it will get the reception it needs, and it won't get much reception there, because they know exactly what that plan will do. It'll increase their number.

VII. Seventh, the man in hell never asked for company. 

Isn't that interesting? People in the hospital like visitors. People who are in jail like visitors. This man said, "Don't come visit me. Don't come here."

Dr. R. G. Lee, one of America's great preachers said he'd like to send the entire membership of Bellevue Baptist Church to hell for about an hour. And he said, "We'd all come back with a heart on fire to win souls for Jesus Christ." You see, hell doesn't want any company. This man said, "Send somebody to talk to my brothers. Tell them about Jesus.

I read a little story recently about a man who said, "I know why you call that thing a track. After you gave it to me, it tracked me into my bedroom, and then it tracked me until I read it, and then it tracked me until I did something about it. It's no wonder you call those things tracks. It tracked after me." The message of hell is, "Don't let anybody else come here."


I. First, he does not ask, "Why an I here?"

II. Secondly, he never asked "Why is Lazarus in heaven."

III. Thirdly, he never ask . ."When is this torment going to end?"

IV. Another thing the man never asked is, "When do I get out?"

V. Fifth, the man in hell never asked for justice.

VI. Sixth, he never asked for a new plan of salvation.

VII. Seventh, the man in hell never asked for company.

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