The rich man who had refused to comfort Lazarus was sent to Hades (the place of the dead). From there, he was allowed to look into Paradise where he saw Lazarus sitting with Abraham. Realizing how wrong he had been in not showing mercy to Lazarus when they both lived on earth, he began to beg for mercy. “Just allow Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and bring it to me”. But Abraham reminded the rich man that he had had ample opportunity to help others with his riches while he lived on the earth. The rich man realizes that the reason he has ended up in this place of torment is because he refused to accept Jesus and his teachings. Since there is now no hope for him, he remembers his brothers and asks Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to witness to them.. Abraham tells the rich man that it wouldn’t make any difference, if his brothers won’t believe Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe just because someone returned from the dead. We find this statement proved to be true over and over since so many refused to believe when Jesus was raised from the dead. Even now, with all the proof we have of His Resurrection, there are those who still refuse to believe. Since we don’t know who those believe are, we still must witness to everyone that God puts in our lives. When we don’t share the Gospel with those around us who desparately need it, we are as guilty of withholding our riches from them as the rich man was in withholding his riches from Lazarus. Our part is to share the Gospel with everyone, God takes care of the results.
45 “Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. 46 If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. 47 But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”–John 5:45-47 (NLT)
It wasn’t necessary for Jesus to accuse us or condemn us. Our unbelief has already condemned us. Just as the religious leaders were condemned by their unbelief of the Old Testament Scriptures, we are condemned by our unbelief. We have even more reason to believe the truth about Jesus than the people that Jesus was speaking to then. If we believe in Him, there is no condemnation or judgment for us. 18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.–John 3:18,19 (NLT) 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.—Romans 8:33, 34 (NLT)
Will the world accuse us and condemn us? Will we be offended? Of course, but we must remember that the words they speak have no authority in the courts of heaven. If we believe, there is no condemnation for us. This is the Good News that we need to spread to a world full of people searching for something to give them hope in a world filled with violence and discord. There is someone who can give them the peace for which they are so desperately searching.