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You Can't Get There From Here
By Pastor John

Luke 16:19-31
19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 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.' 25 "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. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' 27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' 29 "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' 30 "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' 31 "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

Notice that both men, though dead, live on in the afterlife.

Lazarus is in Abraham's bosom - paradise, in the presence of God. He is Face to face with Jesus   

1 Corinthians 2:9   
"But just as it is written, 'Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.'"

The Rich Man is in Hades - the abode of the unsaved between death and the great white throne judgement.
   
Revelation 14:11   
"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night"

"Great weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Notice the rich man has no name, but the beggar does - Lazarus,
This is the exact opposite of what would have been on the earth. Everyone would have known and revered the rich man's name.  Nobody would have known the name of the street beggar. The rich man no doubt reveled in his fame and fortune. He probably loved everyone treating him like a king, fawning all over him.

But if you want a lasting name, you can't get there through earthly wealth and power. You can only get there through Christ.  Everyone now knows the name of the beggar - Lazarus.

You can't get from Heaven to Hell, vs. 26.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot,

The rich man wanted Lazarus to come put a drop of water on his tongue because he was in agony.  But you can't get there from Heaven.  Once you are with the Lord, you can't go comfort loved ones who didn't make it.  They will have had their chances to repent and accept Christ.  It will be too late then.  They will be beyond comfort.  Now is the time to help them.  Pray for them. Witness to them. Then it will be too late.

You can't get from Hell to Heaven, vs. 26.
nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

The rich man probably would have given his entire earthly fortune for a little relief. His fortune was useless to him now. There will be many people in hell who would give anything to have one more chance. To have one more chance to attend a church service and hear the Gospel of Salvation presented once again. On earth, they thought church was boring and a waste of time. They thought, who needs God. But, oh, what they wouldn't give for one more opportunity. But there will never be another opportunity. You can't get from Hell to Heaven. There is no purgatory, just an uncrossable chasm.

You can't get back to earth from Heaven or Hell, vs. 27-31.
27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' 29 "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' 30 "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' 31 "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

Once a person has died and gone to either Heaven or Hell, there is no coming back. Christians need to know this today.

How shall a person believe?  Through the word of God.  And through the risen Christ.

   
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