The rich man found himself in Hell. He looked up and saw Lazarus, the man who in life was not worthy of his attention and his mercy. Now though, as he writhes in agony in the darkness – where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched – he cries out to the figure of Abraham as he sees it, calling to him louder than we can imagine Lazarus ever cried out at his gate!
He calls to him, pleading, speaking of how tormented he is by those terrible, unquenchable flames, asking if he would be as merciful as to let Lazarus simply dip his finger in water and touch it to his tongue. Those same fingers, I’m sure he remembered, that once feebly grasped crumbs in the street, that in a life scratched runny sores…
In the midst of his torment, even those memories were not enough to deter him from begging for just a single drip of cool water off of them.
He certainly would have also remembered every little sin he ever committed, and with unimaginable horror, I’m sure he remembered with perfect clarity every opportunity he had to change his course, to accept the grace offered to him.
This man was conscious!
He was clear in his thinking!
This isn’t a foggy area, or something mystical!
Np, this man is totally aware of his surroundings, of his torment, and of the reasons why he is there!
Then the figure he sees as Abraham answers him, saying:
“…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. 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.”
The rich man, I’m sure, was keenly aware of how flawed his priorities had been in life. He lived the high life, he focused on the material world. The beggar suffered in life, but he undoubtedly kept his eyes toward the Lord.
How many today – right now even – will close their eyes one final time, only to wake to the dark and terrible flames of an eternal torment, remembering how they lived their lives with their hearts anchored to the material fineries of this world…
How much regret fills those condemned souls?
Will you be among them? Will you know such regret?
Sin will drag you to the pits of Hell, and there is no way out!
There is a great gulf that separates the restful and the tormented, and just like the rich man, our destination is locked-in when we draw our last breath. You are alive today, fully capable of determining your eternity…
“Hell & the Rich Man” continues next time…
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