Central Baptist Church
Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Morning Worship Sermon

 
A CRY FROM HELL 
Luke 16:19-31
  
Luke 16:19-31 "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 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. 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; 23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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. 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. 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. 27  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29  Abraham  saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 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."

          The man had been sentenced to death for a capital crime.  His family had exhausted every means to save him.  Finally an appeal was made to the governor, who said to an officer of the court, “I will pardon him if he is repentant.”        
 
          The officers journeyed to the prison to ask the inmate one question sent by the governor : “What would you do if you could walk away from this prison?”
 
        The prisoner was unaware of the governor’s test.  He replied, “I would hunt down those who sent me to this place and kill them one by one.” 
         
          History records that the officers walked away from the prison with the pardon in their pocket.
 
          What an unbelievably sad scene this is!
          Far more sad, though, are those who refuse the risen Christ.  Jesus has come to offer to every man, woman, boy, and girl, pardon of sin, enduring peace, His daily presence, strength for today, and hope for tomorrow.
          Yet daily, many are refusing the clear call of Jesus Christ.

          Go with me today to the dark caverns of the infernal and eternal hell.
 
          Here we see the dialogue between two men one in heaven and the other in hell.
          We will look especially at : 
 
Luke 16:30-31 -  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  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." 
 
          The man in hell appeals to Abraham to send someone back from the dead and the sad comment of Abraham is that most will not even believe the word of one back from the dead.
 
          The issue is the same today, just as it’s always been.
          Can you believe the Good News that Jesus died for your sins and failures?     
 
          Can you believe that He rose again on the third day?                
          Can you believe that He will come to live in you if you will receive Him?
 
          This scripture disturbs us and causes us to face ultimate questions of life, death, heaven, and hell.

I.  THE QUESTION OF DEATH
 
          This scene confronts us with the grim reality of death. 
 
1.  Death is universal
          No family, race, or nation is exempt from death.  Death is that one common denominator of all humanity. 
          Death visits the palace and the ghetto.
          Death comes to the rich, poor, famous, and obscure.
          Death comes to the old and young.
  
Romans 6:23 -  “The wages of sin is death...”
 
          The scriptures clearly teach us that death is the result of sin.  Death came as a curse upon humanity when Adam sinned :

 
Romans 5:12 -  “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

2.  Death is inevitable
 
          One day you will die!

Hebrews 9:25 -  “It is appointed unto man once to die...”

3.  Death is a door
 
          Death is not the end of life; death is simply a journey to another place.
          Yes, death is separation, it is the separation of the spirit of man from his body.
          Death means you no longer live on this earth, but you are alive somewhere else, which brings us to the next question :
 
 
II.  THE QUESTION OF DESTINY
 
          We see several startling truths in our text :
 
1.  There is life after death.
 
2.  This life is lived in a conscious existence in a body capable of experiencing pain and comfort.
 
3.  This life is lived in one of two places heaven or hell.
 
4.  This assignment to heaven or hell is fixed and final in eternity.
 
5.  To go to hell is to experience awful torments.
 
           A noted cardiologist was saved when he heard the pleadings of a man under his treatment who was  near death.  The man caught a vision of hell and screamed to be saved.
          Some take comfort in the near-death stories of unsaved people who speak of seeing a lighted being or a  gateway.  Folks, that being could be the angel of light, Satan, leading them in one last final hoax of hope before the bottom falls out and the fall into that bottomless pit of hell!

          You have a destiny beyond time or eternity, and that brings us to the final question :
  
III.  THE QUESTION OF DECISION
 
          Everything in this passage shouts out at us that the decision to follow Christ must be made now, in this life!
          The rich man cannot change his decision in hell.
          He desires to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn his family members. Listen, his missionary zeal, soul-winning fervor are nurtured by his awful agony!
 
          Why was this man in hell?
          Not because he was rich!
          Not because he did not give to the poor!
          He was in hell because he refused Christ!
  
1.  He refused the scriptural warning
  
Luke 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.
 
          Moses and the Prophets had warned, but how often some folks are embarrassed by unsophisticated preaching.
 
          They want to be in a Church where they are not disturbed.  This man was a person whose religion was for convenience and not conviction.

2.  He refused the soul-winner at his door
 
Luke 16:28 -  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
 
          The man at his gate knew God.
          Had he only stopped and reached out to Lazarus, he would have heard about Jesus, the coming  Messiah, for Lazarus was a witness.
 
          I want you to note here that being saved is no guarantee of a comfortable life.

3.  He refused the supernatural
 
          Most of the wealthy were Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection of life after death.
          To them this life was all.  They were part of the Budweiser crowd who only go around in life once, so you had better get all the gusto while you can.
 
          Dear friends, there is a supernatural realm beyond this life.
          You must be saved, born again in order to enter that new life.
  
4.  The Savior
  
Luke 16:29,31 -  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 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.

          The issue is not wealth, poverty, religion, or works
 
          The issue is faith in Jesus Christ. 
 
Romans 10:17 -  “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 
 
          Jesus rose from the dead!
          His resurrection is an established fact of history!
 
          Will you not today hear and believe?
Hear the Scripture
Believe the Scripture
 
          Say today : “I believe the Scripture”
                             “I want Jesus in my life”
                             “I want Heaven as my home”
                             “I want Peace in my heart”
 
          Life begins again for now and eternity for those who hear and believe.