24And the rich man cried out and said, Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.
27 And the man said, Then, father, I beseech you to send him to my father’s house—
28 For I have five brothers—so that he may give [solemn] testimony and warn them, lest they too come into this place of torment.
29 But Abraham said, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear and listen to them.
30 But he answered, No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent change their minds for the better and heartily amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins).
Luke 16: 24-30
Hmm! That was the story of the rich man and Lazarus.
This is not to say that Jesus hated being rich and loved poverty. Far from it! Bible says in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” The “you” and “your” is every believer of Christ. In another scripture (3 John 1:2), the Holy Spirit said through John, “I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospers.” I believe we have established that Jesus does not hate riches but that we should not love nor cleave our hearts to riches. But to the Lord.
So, I believed it must have been the way they both lived their lives on earth; the conditions of their hearts. It’s sad that the rich man is in hell. No redemption for him. He is eternally lost. Not even the love of God can pull him out of it, else Abraham would have conceded to his requests.
The encouraging part of the story is that Lazarus is in paradise. Glory be to God!
But, wait! The rich man begged Father Abraham to send someone from heaven to go and preach to his five brothers on the earth! He knew it’s too late for him to be redeemed. But he does not want his brothers to come into eternal damnation as he is now.
But Abraham replied that there are Moses and prophets on the earth to do that job. This got me thinking over and over the whole story.
I asked myself: Am I a selfish believer? Are you and I one of the “Moses” and the “prophets” that Abraham said are on earth to preach salvation to these “five brothers”? To our immediate neighbors?
It got me sad. My heart cried to the Lord: Help me to speak up! Help me to tell someone beside me about Jesus! Those of my household. My immediate neighbors.
For years, we have gone in and out. He has become part of the family. We exchanged great measure of generosity. But I wasn’t sure if he was born-again. Like many around us, he goes to a Pentecostal church. Being born-again is very easy to assume. But the Lord knows the heart of every man. And He knows whose His are according to 2 Timothy 2:19. Are you His?
Sadly, he wasn’t His at that time. I asked the Lord to help me. I yearned for him to come to the Lord. I determined I would speak Jesus to him. And I did. I shared the simple gospel of salvation. First response was, “I am a Christian.” Well, it was expected but I didn’t allow that to deter me, because I know the devil will lie to many to make them think, “Oh, no. I am a Christian! Don’t worry! I’m part of you. After all I go to Church.” As I relied on the Holy Spirit, I pushed past the “confession” and delivered the message of salvation by our Lord Jesus.
He accepted the Lord Jesus into his heart. Oh! What a great joy! I could sense the peace of the Lord entering his heart.
Well, I prayed quietly in my heart, “Lord, do you want to baptize him with Your Spirit now? Will You?”
“One more thing,” I said, “the Lord Jesus promised that we shall receive the Holy Spirit as a gift with evidence of speaking in tongues. And His power. Do you want the Holy Spirit to come upon you now so that you can experience same?” “Yes, I want.”
And the Holy Spirit came upon him mightily and he began to speak in new tongues. I was in awe of the Lord as all these happened. The Lord Jesus honored His words. He brought him to repentance by His Spirit. Glory be to God! We prayed in the spirit together for more than half an hour. He is now my brother because he is now united into the same body of Christ as I am by the Holy Spirit.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized (united) into one body (of Christ), whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:13.
After the experience, I kept on asking myself, “What if he died an hour before all this?” What if? What if?
Well, I ask the Lord to open our eyes to see the ripe fields and be the labourers to bring in the harvest.
For believers reading this, I charge you to do same for the Lord. You can do it. Step out in faith and the Lord will show up. Start with those loved ones. Your spouse. Your children. Your parents. Your siblings. Your uncles and aunties. Your friends etc. He will finish the work either now or later. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
Back to the rich man and Lazarus story. If you know in your heart that you are not God’s own or you have never asked the Lord Jesus into your heart, I will complete the story for you.
The whole essence of the story is to let you know there is life after this physical realm. The rewards and the judgement to come.
But the Father God had made a provision for all human beings to be saved from eternal judgement. Not by our human righteousness because that in itself cannot measure up to the standards of God. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But you are already justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus who is now the Way to receive forgiveness for sin and death, from sickness and diseases through faith in His blood. Romans 3: 23 – 25
Just to believe that God the heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ to the earth thousands of years ago, lived as a man, took our sin on His body and died with it for us; and the Father looked upon Him and was satisfied that He paid the price. And through the mighty working of His power, He raised Him from the dead and He ascended to heaven to make atonement for all the sins of mankind! And forever seated at the right hand of the Father with all that believes in Him. Glory be to God!
You can be saved from eternal judgement and become the child of God if and only if:
You acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9. Period!
For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he (or she) confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his/her faith) and confirms [his/her] salvation. Romans 10:10 AMPC
You can ask Him to come into your heart and that will settle it all. Yes! Just say the prayer below and mean it in your heart.
Lord Jesus, I believe that you came as a human being;
You lived and died for my sins and
Resurrected to bring me out of death to life in God. I accept you into my heart today as my Lord and Saviour. Thank you. For in Jesus name I have prayed. Amen.
That’s it. Go and find a Bible believing Church and join them to find out more about all that Jesus did for you and I when He rose from the dead. You can live above sin, sickness and diseases and poverty. Through Him, we reign in life.
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God bless you!