by Rev. Howard Rosen, Jr
(Dillwyn, VA)

Pleasant Grove Baptist

Luke 16:16-31
When we think about the subject of hell surely we think about that awful place that God has prepared for the Devil and his angles. But do we think about hell as a place where we can learn lesson on what we are to be doing in the church of Jesus Christ?

My friend there are many lessons we can learn from this story in God’s Word today.


The rich man lifted up his eyes in hell and saw Abraham and Lazarus. Folks we need to learn that church of God needs to get their eyes on God’s man and God’s people. We have made heroes out every kind of sport, recreation and Hollywood personalities there is, and have taken our eyes off of God’s people, the men of this book, the great preachers of our time and times past. It is so important that we get our focus back on the people of faith if this man had it to do again he would. We need to learn from him!


This man has a different attitude now as he cries Father Abraham, he was crying for mercy, yes it was everlasting too late for him, but my friends we need to learn that God does not wink at our sin and we need to confess and cry out for His mercy in our life.

We also need to learn how to show God’s mercy to others, we are so quick to run down a back bite and criticize our brothers and sisters in Christ and forget about the mercy has shown to each one of us. We want judgment for others and mercy for ourselves, honey God is the same to everyone! We all need His mercy!

3. FIRE – V 24

The fires of hell are tormenting, suffering, and punishing fires. They destroy hope, they destroy happiness, they destroy comfort, and they destroy peace. There is a need for a different kind of fire in the church, we need the fire of the Holy Spirit, we need the fire that Jeremiah was talking about (20:9) when he said that God’s Word was like a fire shut up in his bones.

When the fire comes from God we can not help but talk about His goodness and praise His name that others may know that the fire in our soul comes from the God we serve.


Remember that in thy lifetime . . . Hey! We need to remember where God brought us from. This man in hell was reminded how he had rejected God. We need to be reminded what a great salvation we have and how great a love God has shown us! We need that memory every time we come to church that we might worship God in Spirit and truth!

5. PRAYING – V27

I pray thee! What a sad thing to want to pray, but for him it is everlasting too late. No wonder Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. Honey we need more praying in the church of Jesus Christ. Not only praying but this man prayed with urgency a real burden for the lost! He prayed for someone to go tell his family about the place he was in.

He prayed for a Christian to go to his father’s house to testify to them. If this man was in church today, he would be faithful to the house of God, he would go visiting, he would be a soul winner, and support missions, and when he couldn’t go himself he would surely pray for those that could!


This man wanted to send someone from the dead to preach to his family, and Abraham clearly tells him that the Word of God we already have is enough to save any sinner. The preaching of God’s Word is the way God chose to draw people to Him.

We think we can improve on His plan, we think we need to rearrange the service to take away from the preaching of the truth of God, but friends we can see across this land today that this kind of thinking is failing and it will continue to fail and is as an empty effort to win people to God as the idea this man had!

7. PASSION - V30

I will have to say that this man was not willing to give up. He had a passion to try to get word back to his home; he had a passion for the souls of his family. He had a passion that made him change his focus from himself to others. He first was asking for a drop of water for himself then he forgot about what he wanted and started thinking the needs of others.

My friends what a lesson! Let’s face it we don’t get passionate about the salvation and the spiritual condition of others because we are so wrapped up in our own selfish way. We don’t like the pews, the lights, the carpet, the parking, the way they do their class, the way they dress.

We fret about anything with a great passion except the things that God would have us to have a passion over and that is lost souls! Honey if anyone in this Bible had a reason to be selfish this man did, he was burning in the fires of hell, he was in the place of everlasting punishment, but he saw the need to have compassion on others, we so need this lesson in the church today.

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