Once upon a time, there was a rich man, expensively dressed in the latest fashions, wasting his days in conspicuous consumption. A poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, had been dumped on his doorstep. All he lived for was to get a meal from scraps off the rich man’s table. His best friends were the dogs who came and licked his sores.

Then he died, this poor man, and was taken up by the angels to the lap of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell and in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham in the distance and Lazarus in his lap. He called out, “Father Abraham, mercy! Have mercy! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool my tongue. I’m in agony in this fire.”

But Abraham said, “Child, remember that in your lifetime you got the good things and Lazarus the bad things. It’s not like that here. Here he’s consoled and you’re tormented. Besides, in all these matters there is a huge chasm set between us so that no one can go from us to you even if he wanted to, nor can anyone cross over from you to us.”

The rich man said, “Then let me ask you, Father: Send him to the house of my father where I have five brothers, so he can tell them the score and warn them so they won’t end up here in this place of torment.”

Abraham answered, “They have Moses and the Prophets to tell them the score. Let them listen to them.”

“I know, Father Abraham,” he said, “but they’re not listening. If someone came back to them from the dead, they would change their ways.”

Abraham replied, “If they won’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, they’re not going to be convinced by someone who rises from the dead.”

As a young man, I heard our pastor preach many sermons described as “hell fire and brimstone!” He held nothing back, ensuring everyone knew what the Bible said about hell. How awful it would be there if we did not simply accept Jesus Christ as God’s Son and ask him to forgive us for our sins. I knew I didn’t want to be there!

The above story was initially told by Jesus himself. It is recorded in Luke 16:19-31, and the version I pulled from was The Message. It makes me wonder, though, if someone did come back to life and had been in hell as their sentence from how they lived their life and told everyone about hell, would people believe them? Would you?

You probably won’t ever hear of someone coming back from hell. But you do have the Bible, which is full of truth. Some of those truths are:

All have sinned and have fallen short of the Glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)

After you die, you will stand before God and give an account of how you lived your life on earth.
(2 Corinthians 5:10)

Unless you are “born again,” meaning you accepted Jesus Christ, you cannot enter heaven.
(John 3:3)

Accept Jesus. Ask him to forgive you of your sins and live forever in heaven. If the living knew what the dead knew, the whole world would follow Jesus the Christ!

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady.