"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.’ “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.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.“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’" Luke 16:24-28
A tragic scene here.
These words of torment and desperation are issued from Hell. You don't have to conjure up much imagination to hear the agony and angst expressed in these pleas.
This is a dramatically different guy than the rich man we see at the beginning of the story. A man who ignored a starving crippled beggar on his front porch suddenly has a passionate concern for people who don't know God!
What happened to this man?
Unfortunately, Hell happened to this man. And it wasn't because he was rich it was because he never got around to caring for his soul. He procrastinated.
Perhaps his preoccupation with his wealth was a factor. Perhaps his wealth influenced his priorities in the wrong direction. Maybe his riches puffed him up with pride. It is possible the many privileges he enjoyed desensitized him to the plight of others. Those can be by-products of having wealth but there is nothing sinful about being rich. Sure, having wealth can complicate your life but so can poverty!
Here's the bottom-line! Here's the crucial take away from this parable: an understanding of Hell creates an urgency for souls!
Once the reality of Hell sinks into your consciousness you will never be the same. When you become absolutely convinced that there is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to avoid it changes how you live! Your behavior changes! Your perspective changes! Your priorities change! You gain a new passion! You stop procrastinating and start evangelizing!
The more you meditate on this parable the more tragic it becomes! He didn't have to end up in Hell. There was mercy and grace available to him. He could have joined Lazarus in Paradise. If he had it to do over again he would certainly do things differently. But he can't.
However, you can! You still have a day of opportunity! You can take this reminder that Hell is real and it is terrible and it is eternal! God is patient is waiting for you but you have an expiration date and so does His grace. Don't put off trusting Christ for salvation. This can be the day of your salvation.
Jesus believed in Hell. If you believe in Jesus you must believe in Hell. And if you truly believe in Hell there will be an urgency to warn others.