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Norma Stillings sang a special song in the morning service, Darlene Sorensen sang in the evening service. Pastor Bob Sorensen preached a second message out of Luke 16, “What the man in Hell did and didn’t ask for!”
Today many people deny the existence of Hell, but Jesus warned about it in many of his teachings. In Luke 16 we read about the beggar, Lazarus, and the rich man. During his lifetime the rich man had enjoyed every comfort, but when he died, he opened his eyes in hell.
The rich man asked for mercy, but did not get it. Mercy is shown when a guilty person does not receive the punishment he deserves. The scriptures tell of many times when mercy was extended to repentant persons, such as the prodigal son who returned to his father, and the humble publican who prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” It is only while we live that we can ask for mercy. When we die, it is too late.
The rich man looked far off and saw Lazarus being comforted in Abraham’s bosom. He asked for water to quench his thirst and for cooling relief from the torment. His cry was for some comfort and he did not get it.
He asked for someone to go warn his brothers, but no one went. This cry no doubt comes still, “Go warn my loved ones not to come to this place.” We who do believe are the ones who should go warn everyone we know. “Do not go to that place of torment.”
He did not ask, “Why am I here?” He knew that he had rejected the Messiah. He had not repented. He did not ask, “Why is Lazarus in heaven?” He remembered every thing about Lazarus and his faith. He remembered every witness of faith in God that he had ever heard.
He did not ask, “When will this torment end?” or “When do I get out?” The rich man knew that there is no parole from Hell. There is no end to eternity.
He did not ask for justice. He knew that he was getting what he deserved. He did not want justice, he wanted mercy. All who ever go to heaven go there by mercy, for all have sinned.
He did not ask for company. He did not want his brothers to come to that place.
He did not ask for another opportunity for repentance. Those opportunities were all past. Even now many are thinking that some day they will repent, but today might be the last chance for repentance.
He did not ask for forgiveness. He knew that he had waited too long. But while you are still breathing there is a chance. Jesus paid the price for sin and if you will accept what he has done on your behalf, you can call for mercy now and receive forgiveness for sin.