As we continue to consider motives for sharing the good news, today we’ll look at the cry from below.
(19) 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.
Suffering and Sorrowing
The rich man awoke in Hell. What a terrible situation he was in. He had lost all the wealth, comfort and pleasure of his earthly life. Instead, he suffered in a place of endless torment. This man, who ate and drank like a king, now considered a drop of water a feast. Not on was he suffering, but he was told there was no way out. Suffering is bad – hopelessness is worse.
In his suffering, the rich man’s thoughts turned to his family. He had five brothers who were still alive. What about them? He thought how terrible it would be for them to come to this pace of torment. In his agony he called out for someone to go warn them not to follow his example and share his fate. He thought a messenger from them dead would make them believe, but he was wrong. What they needed was to hear and believe God’s Word.
The Cry Continues
In the very moment you read these words, countless multitudes of other souls cry out from the grave for someone to reach their living loved ones. They, too, have experienced the torments of Hell. Their fate is sealed, but they desparately want to warn their friends and family to flee from the coming judgment.
God isn’t going to send departed saints back to preach the gospel. Yes, those loved ones need to hear God’s Word, but how?
(13)For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom 10:13-14)
As we’ve already talked about, we have been sent by God to proclaim the good news. We must answer the cry from below.
What About You?
- Is someone crying from the grave for you to be saved, warning you to escape Hell? Will you heed that cry?
- Are you taking the request of lost souls seriously? Who do you know that has left life without Christ? If you could hear their cries, who would they be asking you to warn about Hell? Will you fulfill their request?