19 有一個財主穿著紫色袍和細麻布衣服，天天奢華宴樂。 20 又有一個討飯的，名叫拉撒路，渾身生瘡，被人放在財主門口， 21 要得財主桌子上掉下來的零碎充飢；並且狗來餂他的瘡。 22 後來那討飯的死了，被天使帶去放在亞伯拉罕的懷裡。財主也死了，並且埋葬了。 23 他在陰間受痛苦，舉目遠遠的望見亞伯拉罕，又望見拉撒路在他懷裡， 24 就喊著說：我祖亞伯拉罕哪，可憐我吧！打發拉撒路來，用指頭尖蘸點水，涼涼我的舌頭；因為我在這火焰裡，極其痛苦。 25 亞伯拉罕說：兒啊，你該回想你生前享過福，拉撒路也受過苦；如今他在這裡得安慰，你倒受痛苦。 26 不但這樣，並且在你我之間，有深淵限定，以致人要從這邊過到你們那邊是不能的；要從那邊過到我們這邊也是不能的。 27 財主說：我祖啊！既是這樣，求你打發拉撒路到我父家去； 28 因為我還有五個弟兄，他可以對他們作見證，免得他們也來到這痛苦的地方。 29 亞伯拉罕說：他們有摩西和先知的話可以聽從。 30 他說：我祖亞伯拉罕哪，不是的，若有一個從死裡復活的，到他們那裡去的，他們必要悔改。 31 亞伯拉罕說：若不聽從摩西和先知的話，就是有一個從死裡復活的，他們也是不聽勸。
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 Hades, 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 set in place, 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 family, 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.’”
- On a scale of one (the rich man and his brothers, being in Hades, or on the way there) to ten (Lazarus, with Abraham, and God), where do I stand? Why do I place myself there? In the context of this story, there is no “in between”. There is only either where the rich man is, or where Lazarus is. How does this make you feel? How does this reflect your understanding/belief of Hell?
- The problem of the rich man and his brothers is not lack of knowledge of God’s word for they have Moses and the Prophets’ teachings. Part of their problem lies in unbelief. They would not respond to the Word of God, “to Moses and the Prophets”. They simply would not be convinced. Do I have that tendency in myself?
- Meditate on v31, read it over a couple of times. What about me? Do I listen to God’s word? Am I convinced of it? Do I show my faith by my obedience?
- Does this story inspire me to be concerned of my unbelieving family members and friends? Write their names down and pray for them one by one that they would be willing to hear the gospel and accept Jesus as their Lord and saviour.
Parents, this is another good opportunity to guide your child to consider eternal life and salvation. Read through the story slowly. Allow children to ask questions. Then help them to make the decision to accept Jesus or to reassure them of their salvation in Christ.