A young man once received a short wave for his birthday. Weeks later he turned it on and heard a transmission: “Mayday! Mayday! This is the Blue Dolphin, One Seven Seven. We have encountered a storm! (static) taking on water (static) Mayday! Mayday! Any ships in the area, please (static).”
Then there was silence. A chill came over him as his heart pounded. Their terror was now his.
In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus told a parable about the rich man and Lazarus, a beggar. Both men died and Lazarus went to be with God while the rich man went to Hades.
The rich man was tormented in the flames and cried out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24, NKJV).
The rich man was told that there was a barrier between him and God that no one could pass through. There was no hope for his lost soul. Turning his thoughts to his loved ones, he begged that Abraham would send Lazarus to his five brothers to warn them not to come to Hades. Yet he was told that if his brothers would not listen to the prophets or the word of God, then they would also ignore someone who returned from the dead.
Soberly we read Revelation 20:10, “And the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” The term “tormented” refers to the intense pain and agony of torture.
In Luke 13:3, Jesus says, “unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Jesus will come get his disciples and take them to heaven with him (John 14:1-6; Matthew 25:31-46). Those who are not washed in the blood of the lamb will be lost (Hebrews 9:13,14,22-23). We do not want to go there. Nothing we can ever imagine will match its horror.
In this parable the rich man made mistakes and is begging us not to make the same mistakes he made. Would we be swayed if a voice spoke out from beyond the grave?
Imagine a funeral scene. The preacher says the deceased man is in a better place and lauds the life of the gentleman. Then a shriek comes in the unmistakable voice of the dead man saying, “Please, somebody help me! I’m in agony in this flame! Please help me!” Pandemonium would result. Theories would abound. Charges would be laid and investigations conducted. Yet, sadly, little would change in the lives of those who heard the cry.
The rich man had waited too late to come to Christ. If he had sought Christ with as much ferocity as he sought water, he would never have been in the flames.
Jesus said he was the living water and the bread of life and the Jews ignored him. Years later when they were under siege, trapped in Jerusalem killing one another for food, they could have understood what Jesus meant. But then it was too late.
Please don’t wait until it is too late for you, because Hebrews 9:27 says, “it is appointed unto man to die once and after this the judgment.”
Do you Realize the Horrors of Hell?