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Rev. Carl H. Kemp, Pastor

Drink of Water Please

January 15, 2006


Luke 16: 19—32 

If this is a parable, it is the only one that Jesus gave a name to one the characters. 

Abraham’s side refers to the place of blessedness. 

Hades is the place which the wicked dead go to wait the final judgment. 

I have five brothers (v28) For the first time the rich man showed concern for others. 

Luke 16:20

There was a certain beggar named Lazarus—His name is mentioned, because his character was good, and his end glorious; and because it is the purpose of God that the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance. Lazarus, ???? is a contraction of the word ?????  Eliezar, which signifies the help or assistance of God—a name properly given to a man who was both poor and afflicted, and had no help but that which came from heaven.


Luke 16:21

And desiring to be fed with the crumbs—And it is likely this desire was complied with, for it is not intimated that he spurned away the poor man from the gate, or that his suit was rejected. And as we find, Luke 16:24, that the rich man desired that Lazarus should be sent with a little water to him, it is a strong intimation that he considered him under some kind of obligation to him; for, had he refused him a few crumbs in his lifetime, it is not reasonable to suppose that he would now have requested such a favor from him; nor does Abraham glance at any such uncharitable conduct on the part of the rich man.


We may now observe,

II.    In what the punishment of this man consisted.

1.    Lazarus dies and is carried into Abraham’s bosom. By the phrase, Abraham’s bosom, an allusion is made to the custom at Jewish feasts, when three persons reclining on their left elbows on a couch, the person whose head came near the breast of the other, was said to lie in his bosom. So it is said of the beloved disciple, John 13:25. Abraham’s bosom was a phrase used among the Jews to signify the paradise of God.


   Therefore we do not find that when Abraham addressed him on the cause of his reprobation, Luke 16:25, that he reproached him with hard-heartedness, saying, “Lazarus was hungry, and thou gavest him no meat; he was thirsty, and thou gavest him no drink, etc.;” but he said simply, Son, remember that thou didst receive thy good things in thy lifetime, Luke 16:25. “Thou hast sought thy consolation upon the earth, thou hast borne no cross, mortified no desire of the flesh, received not the salvation God had provided for thee; thou didst not belong to the people of God upon earth, and thou canst not dwell with them in glory.”

There are few who consider that it is a crime for those called Christians to live without Christ, when their lives are not stained with transgression. If Christianity only required men to live without gross outward sin, paganism could furnish us with many bright examples of this sort. But the religion of Christ requires a conformity, not only in a man’s conduct, to the principles of the Gospel; but also a conformity in his heart to the spirit and mind of Christ.


Luke 16:22

The rich man also died, and was buried—There is no mention of this latter circumstance in the case of Lazarus; he was buried, no doubt—necessity required this; but he had the burial of a pauper, while the pomp and pride of the other followed him to the tomb.


3.    Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, Luke 16:25. The remembrance of the good things possessed in life, and now to be enjoyed no more for ever, together with the remembrance of grace offered or abused, will form a third circumstance in the perdition of the ungodly. Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime, etc.

4.    The torments which a soul endures in the hell of fire will form, through all eternity, a continual present source of indescribable woo. Actual torment in the flames of the bottomless pit forms a fourth circumstance in the punishment of the lost. I am tormented in this flame, Luke 16:24.


5.        The known impossibility of ever escaping from this place of torment, or to have any alleviation of one’s misery in it, forms a fifth circumstance in the punishment of ungodly men. Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf, Luke 16:26. The eternal purpose of God, formed on the principles of eternal reason, separates the persons, and the places of abode, of the righteous and the wicked,: They who wish to pass over hence to you, cannot; neither can they pass over, who would come from you hither. A happy spirit cannot go from heaven to alleviate their miseries; nor can any of them escape from the place of their confinement, to enter among the blessed. There may be a discovery from hell of the paradise of the blessed; but there can be no connection.


Luke 16:29

They have Moses and the prophets—This plainly supposes they were all Jewish believers: they had these writings in their hands, but they did not permit them to influence their lives.

As today we have God’s words but yet still don’t except Christ !!


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