What The Rich Man In Torment Would Have Us To Know
Have you ever stopped to consider what the rich man in torment would say to us if given a chance? Make no mistake about it, he would speak to us if he could, but he can’t (cf. Luke 16:26-31). God gives us all the information we need in His Word and it’s up to each of us to find those facts and apply them to our lives (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3)! But let’s suppose for a minute that it were possible for him to speak to us. What would he say?
The rich man would tell us that our time on earth is limited and that death is inevitable. He’d fared sumptuously every day. He had it all, and I’d dare say that death and eternity were the furthest things from his mind, as they are with many still today. But despite the comforts and pleasures he’d enjoyed in this life, time ultimately came for him to cross over into eternity. We’re all going to die (cf. Heb. 9:27; Jam. 4:14). Cemeteries are proof that our time is limited. People of all ages and from all walks of life can be found buried therein! Thus, what time we do have in this life should be spent in preparing for that life to come!
The rich man would tell us that hell is real! It’s amazing to hear people talk about there being a heaven, but in the same breath reject the notion of there being a hell. Hell is a prepared place for an unprepared (spiritually) people, make no mistake about it (cf. Mat. 25:41; 2 The. 1:8-9; 2 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 21:8). Because hell is real we must fear it and use it as motivation to keep us on the straight and narrow (Mat. 7:13-14).
The rich man would tell us that earthly things have no eternal value. What do you suppose his fare and sumptuous life before death meant to him after death? Those things he had enjoyed in this life could not help him, comfort him, or aide him in eternity! It’s what we do in this life that will follow us into eternity, not what we have (cf. Rev. 14:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Mat. 6:19-20; 2 John 2:15-17; 2 Pet. 3:10-14).
The rich man would tell us to quit making excuses and obey God today! He will spend eternity in torment thinking about the excuses he made and the subsequent opportunities he squandered to obey God’s Word. Opportunities to obey God’s will are quickly passing and will soon cease! Today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:15)!
Where we spend our eternity will be determined by how we spend our time on earth. Let’s not make the same fatal mistake as did the rich man. Let’s spend our time in this life preparing for and looking forward to that life in the hereafter.
Terry R. Townsend (October 9, 2012)
Terry preaches for the Curry Street church of Christ, Jasper, Alabama