Church of Christ
Mission USA

Two Men Lived, Two Men Died

by Perry Sexton     

      Please read this sobering account found in Luke 16:19‑31: "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."

      Consider the following points from the account:

(1.) Blessings in this life are not a sign of one’s salvation.

(2.) One’s poverty and hardships are no indication of one’s lost state.

(3.) The saved one was transported by angels.

(4.) No such thing is mentioned of the lost one.

(5.) The lost man died and was buried. It is very reasonable to believe he had a very ceremonious funeral. Let us compare to many of this day: Many are caught up in religious error and will be lost eternally unless they repent and obey the gospel and remain faithful (Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 13:3; Heb. 5:9; 2 Thess. 1:8,9, etc.). Most often the preacher presiding at the funeral will preach them into Heaven as if he knows that! What arrogance and hypocrisy! All the while the deceased lost one has been tormented in the flames since his death because he never obeyed the truth, the gospel (cp. Matt. 7:21-23; 1 Thess. 1:8-10, etc.). Yes, I know, many will not believe the truth until they experience the truth and then it will be too late forever and ever. We can awake to the truth now or later, but awake we all will.

(6.) The word “hell” here is from the Greek word “ᾅδης” which is “hades from G1 (as a negative particle) and G1492; properly unseen, that is, “Hades” or the place (state) of departed souls:—grave, hell” [Strong’s]. So clearly, the account is of the in death state. Also the rich man had “five brethren” back on earth and the account took place during Old Testament times (cp. v.29).

(7.) The lost are “tormented” beginning at the moment of death (v.24).

(8.) There is no second chance for salvation after death. See next paragraph.

(9.) None can return from the dead and warn others of the terrible torments of the lost.

(10.) The sad thing is many would not believe even if one did come from the dead and tell of the horrors of that place, because they do not believe the truth now. We have the Bible: God’s Word! If we are not truly following that now, when will we? It is the greatest power on earth (Rom. 1:16). Just go back and read how many did not believe even though Jesus Himself rose from the dead. How many would not believe the eyewitnesses preaching the resurrection of Christ? Even the guards of the tomb who witnessed the resurrection and others who heard their factual account would not serve God (cp. Matt. 28:1-15).

      The account is of two men who lived and died. The account is after death, but before the Judgment: they were in the realm of the dead. All will face death unless the Lord should come first (cp. 1 Thess. 4:15 and context). By inspiration Paul said: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Heb. 9:27). The Scriptures plainly teach that the opportunity for salvation is now while we have the breath of life. When death comes upon us or the Lord suddenly appears it will be forever too late for those unprepared! Consider: “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (2 Cor. 6:2 cp. Heb. 3:15). Let us therefore examine ourselves while we yet have the opportunity (2 Cor. 13:5).

  •    Which man will you be like whenever you die?
  •    Will you be comforted or in torments?
  •    Are you now in religious error (Matthew 15:8-14)?
  •    Are you caught up in the sins of the world (1 John 2:15-17)?
  •    Have you obeyed the gospel (2 Thess. 1:8-10 cp. Heb. 5:9)?
  •    When you die will you leave an evil example of sin and religious error behind for your loved ones to follow in
  •    the same paths which leads to eternal destruction (cp. Matt. 7:13,14)?
  •    Please think seriously about your soul's salvation and the example you are setting before your loved ones.
  •    Please read carefully: Hebrew 9:27; Revelation 20:12-15; Matt. 7:21-23; 15:8-14; 2 Thess. 1:8-10; Heb. 5:9.
  •    Write us for a Bible study. See address above, or back for email.  ♥

See 2010, 5 WOL for what a Baptist preacher said about this article