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The Right View of Life

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A Sermon on Luke 16:19-31

The Rich Man and Lazarus

“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” (ESV)

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Heaven or hell. Those are the only two eternal destinations for mankind. In this sermon on Luke 16:19-31, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones takes us on a study of the two very different destinies presented in Scripture. These correspond to two different ways of living. There is the carnal life of sin and pleasure that is only concerned with what is temporal and physical. This life leads to eternal destruction, and is the destiny of all who die in sin. The other way of life is one that is concerned with God and what is true, good, and eternal. This life leads to eternal life and communion with God. These two lives are either of unbelief or belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ones attitude toward life, death, and the soul reflect the hearts and minds of people. The story of the rich man and Lazarus show these two principals at work in these two lives. Jesus shows the folly of living for this world with its fleeting passions and desires. But those who seek the Kingdom of God are blessed and righteous even though they may suffer in this life. And those who believe do so only because of the work of God upon their hearts. For even if unbelievers were to see a man rise from the dead they would not believe in Jesus and His Gospel.


Additional Scripture Translations

Luke 16:19-31, New American Standard Bible

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19“Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, enjoying himself in splendor every day. 20And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21and longing to be fed from the scraps which fell from the rich man’s table; not only that, the dogs also were coming and licking his sores. 22Now it happened that the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s arms; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23And in Hades he raised his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his arms. 24And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus, so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set, so that those who want to go over from here to you will not be able, nor will any people cross over from there to us.’ 27And he said, ‘Then I request of you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not come to this place of torment as well.’ 29But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”

Luke 16:19-31, King James Version

19¶ There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And 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; 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And 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. 25But 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. 26And 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. 27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.