Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.
June 24, 2018
SCRIPTURE: Luke 16:19-31
KEY VERSE: But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (Luke 16:25)
INTRODUCTION: I once read about a Sunday School teacher who taught about four views of hell. Let me summarize those four views for you this morning.
· There is no hell, no eternal dwelling for the unsaved, and the lost will simply be destroyed and cease to exist.
· There is a hell, but it is only a temporary dwelling place for the lost until they are purified and go to dwell with God.
· There is a hell, but it will not be as the Bible describes it. The fire, darkness, and torment are only symbolic terms for being separated from God and heaven.
· There is a literal hell and it will be the eternal destiny for all who reject Jesus Christ as Savior. It will be a place of everlasting punishment and eternal suffering.
A. Now, the only view that can be held by Bible-believing Christians is the last one. (1) Hell is real, and (2) it will be the eternal dwelling place for the souls of all who will not accept Jesus Christ as Savior.
B. Perhaps one of the least enjoyable topics to preach on is the subject of hell. It is not very positive…as a matter of fact, it is frightening to those who will one day wind up there. However, it is still a necessary topic for us to consider.
C. There are nearly twice as many verses in the Bible that deal with hell as there is that speaks of heaven. It is not a place where God wants man to go, but many will, in spite of all that God has done to prevent it. This morning, I want us to consider lessons that we can learn from the rich man of Luke 16.
D. Usually when we think of learning Bible lessons, we think of the positive instruction given to us by those who are wise and experienced. But it is possible for us to learn lessons from the mistakes of others. As a matter of fact, we do not have to repeat the mistakes of others in order to learn.
I. TWO DIFFERENT MEN. (Luke 16:19-22)
INSIGHT: A solemn paragraph closes Luke chapter sixteen. Avoid the use of the word "parable" in connection with these verses. The Lord said, "There was a certain rich man." It is history and not a parable.
Jesus used illustrations that were familiar to His hearers. They knew exactly what He was talking about. He uses the name of one of the individuals involved in this story; the Lord would not have given the name of someone who did not exist.
A. The Rich Man. (Luke 16:19)
(Luke 16:19) There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day.
1. This is the story of a rich man who lived and died without the Lord.
It moves into a realm that we know nothing about. In this story Christ passes from this world to the next without making any break at all. Although we cannot pass through the curtain between this life and the next life, Jesus speaks of the next world as naturally as He speaks of this own life.
2. When a man is left to his own imagination, he seeks out many inventions and out of his wildest dreams he makes questionable speculations.
When man uses his imagination, he gets into trouble. In this story we learn what the Word of God says. There were only four men who ever spoke with authority concerning the other side of death: (1) The Lord Jesus, (2) Lazarus, (3) John (who was given the Book of Revelation), and (4) Paul, who was “… caught up to the third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2).
B. The Poor Man. (Luke 16:20-22)
(Luke 16:20-21) And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
1. Here are two men at the opposite ends of the social and economic ladder -- and, I suppose, every other ladder.
One man represents the top echelon in riches, and the other man represents the lowest extreme of poverty. No two men could be farther apart in every way.
2. Lazarus was dependent upon the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table.
Lazarus was never invited to sit at the rich man’s table. Lazarus had to be kept in a humble place. The dogs came and licked his sores. In a few words our Lord pictures the depths of the terrible degradation and despair into which this man had fallen.
3. I’m sure had you lived in that town you might have gotten the impression that poor Lazarus (dressed in rags) did not have much in the way of any spiritual discernment or spiritual riches.
I am sure all of us would have written him off as a hopeless case. On the other hand, I am sure that the rich man had several buildings named after him -- perhaps a synagogue, a school, or a mission enterprise. I am sure he had a wonderful name in the town in which these two men lived.
4. However, all that the people in the town could see were the outward appearances of the rich man and the beggar whose sores were licked by dogs.
This is a picture of horrible poverty and extreme riches. Two men could not have been farther apart.
II. TWO DIFFERENT DESTINIES. (Luke 16:23-26)
A. Hell is a real place. (Luke 16:23)
(Luke 16:23) And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
INSIGHT: When death came, it changed everything: the rich man was poor and tormented, and the poor man was rich and in paradise! Keep in mind that it was faith that made the difference. The rich man did not go to the place of punishment (Hades) because he was rich, just as the beggar did not go to paradise because he was poor. The beggar was a believer, and the rich man an unbeliever. Not only were their situations reversed, but they were also fixed and could not be changed.
Again, this is not a parable that Jesus speaks. Rather He is relating a real experience in the lives of two real individuals. Two men die…and two men are instantly aware of their existence after life.
INSIGHT: We are introduced to two men and their existence while living upon this earth. The rich man fared sumptuously every day while Lazarus lay at the gate begging. Just as these men had an identity while alive on earth, they retain their identity beyond the grave! When the rich man died, he was still the same man as he had been before…but the conditions had changed drastically!
B. Punishment is terrible in hell. (Luke 16:24)
(Luke 16:24) And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
The first description we have of him after death is that he is in torments, Luke 16:23. We get a clearer picture of what this meant in Luke 16:24 when he cries out "…I am tormented in this flame!" He was thirsty…so thirsty that he would be happy just to have a drop of water to cool his tongue. Note that this is immediate…there is no indication of a long passage of time between (see, Luke 16:22-23).
C. Hell is not just a bad dream. (Luke 16:25)
(Luke 16:25) But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
God clarified this with him in Luke 16:25. God said, "Remember". The eternal existence of the lost in hell will be one that is intensified by their memory. Imagine the horror of that moment as he realized that he would never get out of hell. Hell is eternal…and there is no escape!
D. People are deceived about hell. (Luke 16:26)
(Luke 16:26) And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
1. As we mentioned earlier there are those who think that hell and its torments are only temporary…but they are deceived.
There are those who think it surely cannot be as it is described in the Scriptures…but they are deceived. Still others fantasize of some celestial existence that has absolutely no basis in the Word of God.
INSIGHT: Some time ago, a woman spoke to a preacher about something she was doing…she was ashamed of it…and said, "I know I am going to go to hell." But she is deceived into thinking that hell is an acceptable alternative…it isn't!!! I've been told by some that it is where they want to go, because that is where their friends will be.
2. There no indication that the rich man was aware of anyone else in hell…his was a lonely, horrible, eternal tormented existence.
No one would want to go to hell unless they were deceived into thinking it isn't going to be like God said it will be. But God is NOT a liar!
III. TWO DIFFERENT TESTIMONIES. (Luke 16:27-31)
INSIGHT: The rich man’s concern was too late. He was obviously a man of influence. He was wealthy and extravagant in life. However, now he realizes that he will never be able to leave this place of torment. He finally thinks of someone beside himself.
A. The rich man had five brothers. (Luke 16:27-28)
(Luke 16:27-28) Then he said, 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.
He wasn't anxiously awaiting their arrival! He wanted to do anything he could do to keep them from coming to this awful place. He begged Abraham to allow Lazarus to go to his father's house. Why? He was concerned for them.
It seems that he may have been the oldest, the one the rest had looked to as an example. And he finally realized that he was leading them down the road to hell, and he wanted to do something about it…but he was too late.
B. The rich man didn't understand. (Luke 16:29-31)
(Luke 16:29-31) Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Abraham's response seems cold and indifferent. But it was just the truth. “Moses and the Prophets” speaks of the Word of God. If one will not hear the Word of God, they will not “be persuaded though one rose from the dead.”
If his torment, loneliness, and haunting memories were not punishment enough…think of existing with the expectation that your loved ones will be following your example and will soon be coming to this awful place.
Where Are the Fish?
By David C. Egner
And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. (Mark 1:17)
· A pastor told me a fascinating story of a church in a Canadian fishing village.
The founding fathers had chosen to build the church at the rocky edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Because it was located in the center of where the fishermen and townspeople lived, the church flourished.
· As the congregation grew, however, the members decided to construct a new building far from the waterfront.
Then an interesting thing happened. They seemed to lose their zeal for the lost after they moved. Why? Some said it was because they were no longer among the people. We see in Mark 1 that Jesus began His ministry by walking along the Sea of Galilee and calling fishermen to be His disciples. He told them, "Follow Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men!"
· Where are the "fish" in our communities? Do we expect them to come on their own to our church and hear the pastor present the gospel?
Or have we chosen to follow Christ and become fishermen who dare to go to where the fish are, taking the message of life and hope to our schools and workplaces and neighborhoods?
· Just as we won't catch fish in a kitchen sink, we can't "catch" souls if we don't go where they are.
– Adapted from David C. Egner, Our Daily Bread, August 5, 2000
You do not have to cross the seas
Nor foreign lands explore
To share God's Word with needy souls
You'll find them right next door. -- Anonymous
CONCLUSION: What did we learn in our Bible study this morning?
· We learned that Hell is real and eternal.
For anyone who has never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior do not delay any longer. Come to Jesus today. Accept His atoning work on Calvary and be saved!
· We learned that Hell waits for all who reject Jesus Christ.
Do we care about our family and friends? The most asked question when someone dies is this, 'Was he a Christian?' The problem is that if we wait until they die to ask that question, we are too late.
· We learned that we must reach the lost TODAY before it’s too late.
They must hear the gospel message. "…How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?" (See Romans 10:12-17).
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “After accepting Christ's invitation to come, we must obey His commission to go.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
E-Mail: Ronald Purkey