Thank you for joining me again on this column. In Luke chapter 16 verse 19, we read: “There was a certain man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fed sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and leaked his sores. So, it was that the beggar died and he was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torment in hell, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus, in his bosom. And he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this place.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your life time you received your good things and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted and you are tormented. Besides all this, between us and you, there is a great gulf fixed so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot nor can those from there to us.’ Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, that you should send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said to him, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead they would repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they did not hear Moses and the prophets neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”
This is the popular story of the rich man and Lazarus. Jesus told the story about two people who were known when they were alive, a rich man and a poor man. There is something you must know: the offence of the other man is not that he was rich. It was simply because he rejected God. The rich man and Lazarus were on earth as human beings like you and I. One was blessed and the other was a beggar and the Bible said, that dogs were licking his sores. But both of them had one thing in common, like everybody, rich or poor. We all have one thing in common, that is death.
Whether you are rich, poor, sick, healed, in the palace, in the gutter, wherever you are, we all have one thing in common – death. There is nothing anybody can do about it. The surest thing on earth is death. In fact, the most accurate prophesy is the prophesy about death because everybody must die. No matter what, it must happen one day. It may only be delayed, but it is bound to happen.
Death came to the poor man and death also came to the rich man. Even now, there are rich men and poor men dying. We have seen death in Nigeria like we have never seen before. Top people, low people, people of God, people of the devil have all died. Everybody is going to die. The Bible says that death came visiting and one day Lazarus died and the rich man also died.
Friends, I want to ask you a question: If you die today, where are you going? Where will you be? The rich man died and he was buried and then his soul went to hell. But the poor man was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom. What a difference! There was no time for high mass or low mass or service of songs or wake keep or any of those things. Immediately they died, one went to heaven and the other to hell. Anytime there is a crash, or mass death, if you can see in the spirit, you will find that some are going to heaven and some are going to hell. Anytime there is death anywhere, people are either going up or down.
Where you go is determined by you, not after you die, but while you are still on earth, while you still have chance to hear the gospel. Many people have died without being told about Jesus Christ. You are blessed to have the gospel.
The story in the scripture we quoted is a reality told by Jesus; it is not a parable. The Lord Jesus knew about the people He talked about. Now, see what happened in verse 24: The rich man cried out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger on water and cool my tongue.” May you never go there.
Friends, God never intended for man to go to hell because hell is real, the torment is real, the fear is real and the demons are real. Do you watch horror movies and see the wicked creatures with long fingers and creeping things; they are the images of the things in hell.
Imagine living in the midst of those things. The Bible says the worms do not die. There is torment forever and ever. The place is burning and people are crying. Some people have had visions of hell. Others have gone there and are back. Their stories are something you pray you don’t ever see. Be sure that you do everything you can never to go there.
The only thing that will take you to hell is not your sin. It is rejecting Jesus. You can be a good man, but if you reject Jesus, you will go to hell. That is what the Bible says: it is not by works but by grace. Salvation is a gift that God gives, not because we deserve it but because of His love.
The rich man was in torment in hell and he saw Lazarus, the beggar at the other side, not in hell, but he was enjoying. He was alive. The rich man said: Please, tell Lazarus to dip his finger in water and drop on my tongue.
Friends, hell is real. The Lord does not want you to perish, that is why he said to me: Souls, Souls, Souls, Souls, and More Souls at all cost. Any how it comes to you, you have to hear the gospel. I have to tell you the truth about life and about heaven and about hell; about God and about the devil that hates your God. The devil wants to take you to hell. Hell is his place and not for you. The rich man said: Father Abraham, please send Lazarus – not to get a bottle of water, not a glass of water, just a tip. He was confused.
Then he added; Go to my brothers, go and tell them about this terrible place. Do not let them come here. And Abraham said they have Moses, they have the prophets, they have the Bible. If they cannot hear the prophets, nobody is going to go from the grave to tell anybody about Jesus.
That is why we are telling you now. This is real. Jesus told this story in Luke 16. He saw Lazarus at the other side. There is a great gulf between heaven and hell. Once you go to hell, nobody can help you again. You need to give your heart to Jesus now. Avoid hell; it is not a place you should go.
Kneel down and say Lord, be merciful unto me a sinner, I repent of my sins. I believe that Jesus died for me. About 2000 years ago, He paid the price for me to be saved. Lord Jesus, come into my life, be my Lord, be my Saviour, be my Master. From today, I want to follow You. I am born-again according to Your word. Amen. This is the most important prayer in the world.
Father, in the name of Jesus, every brother, every sister that prayed this prayer, Lord confirm Your word in their lives. May they be saved, healed, delivered and blessed in Christ.
Three things I tell new believers like you:
1. Get yourself a Bible and begin to read from the book of John.
2. Pray to God in the name of Jesus, He will answer you.
3. Look for a good Bible-believing church where Jesus is preached and taught in spirit and in truth. Begin to grow there, and your life will never be the same.
May God bless and keep you from the power of the wicked one, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
NB: First published December 2013