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The Thrill of Witnessing

A Nobody Named Kimball

The Right House with the Wrong Address

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The Cry From Hell
Luke. 16:19-31

"I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them lest they also come into this place of torment," cried the rich man in hell (vv. 27-28). Who in hell cares? Everyone! Christians must care now.

General William Booth of the Salvation Army said he wished every one of his soldiers could spend five minutes in hell, for they would then come back with a greater burden for those around them. A preacher startled his church one Sunday morning by saying every one of his members "out to go to hell..." After a pause, he continued, "..."for five minutes to get their hearts fired up to witness." A good look at hell in the Word can do just that for us today.

Take a quick excursion through hell. See the rich man as "in hell he lifted up his eyes being in torments" (v.23). He is a believer now! He believes the fire is real. Billy Sunday said, "A lot of people think that because they don't believe in hell they have put out the fire and shut the door." "I am tormented in this flame" (v. 24). The suffering is real. The jokes about hell are no longer funny.

Notice; he sees Lazarus in comfort and finds "there is a great gulf fixed" between them (v. 26). How terrible when families will be separated forever. Will those in hell realize this separation? The Bible indicates they will! Living without God means dying without hope.

The rich man was conscious. God tells of his eyes seeing, his tongue feeling, his voice speaking and his mind remembering (vv. 23-25). The great tragedy is that he did not cry out for mercy until now (v. 24). If he had only cried out before death, he would not be here; but he had been too busy enjoying his riches. Better to go to heaven in rags than to hell in robes. "Behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Hear him beg for someone to warn his five brothers (v. 28). Someone you meet today may have a brother in hell or on earth who would beg you to "warn my brother." Christians who realize what hell is like ought to be deeply moved to heed this cry and warn the lost.


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