Coming Face to Face with Eternity

Steve Viars August 5, 2012 Luke 16:19-31

Please Note: the full transcript is available in the Manuscript link above.

3 principles to help us give our lives to things that matter most 

I. For Some, their Eternal Destiny will be a Grand Reversal

A. The rich man’s life

1. He habitually dressed in purple and fine linen – v. 19

2. Joyously living in splendor every day – v. 19

NKJV – “fared sumptuously every day”

The prodigal son – Luke 15:13 - And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.

The unjust steward – Luke 16:1 - Now He was also saying to the disciples, there was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions.

Luke 16:8 - …for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.

3. Considered himself to be part of God’s family

­v. 24 - And he cried out and said, “Father Abraham…”

1 John 3:17 - But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

James 2:15- 17 - If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

B. Lazarus’ life on earth

1. Was a poor man – v. 20

2. Laid at the rich man’s gate – v. 20

3. Covered with sores – v. 20

4. Longing to be fed with the crumbs that were falling from the rich man’'s table – v. 21

5. Even the dogs were coming and licking his sores – v. 20

Hebrews 9:27 - And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment…

C. Lazarus’ eternal destiny

1. Died

2. No apparent burial

3. Was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom – v. 22

D. The rich man’s eternal destiny

1. Died

2. In hades – v. 23

3. Still in conscious existence

Isaiah 66:24 - “Then they will go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched; and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.”

Mark 9:47- 48 - If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

4. in torment – v. 23

Revelation 20:11- 15 - Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.  And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

E. This was the price Jesus was willing to pay for you

2 Corinthians 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:20 - Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

II. The Day Will Come When it is Too Late to Alter Eternity for Ourselves or Those Around Us

A. The rich man’s cry

Luke 16:24 - And 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.”

James 2:13 - For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

B. Abraham’s explanation

Luke 16:25 - But 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.”

Romans 2:4 - Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

C. The great chasm

Luke 16:26 - And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.

John 9:4 - We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.

III. A Person’s Path is Changed by Listening to God’s Word

A. The rich man’s final request

Luke 16:27- 28 - And he said, “Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”

B. Abraham’s explanation

Luke 16:29 - But Abraham said, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.”

Romans 10:17 - So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

C. The rich man’s errant belief

Luke 16:30 - But he said, “No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!”

D. Abraham’s final reality

Luke 16:31 - But 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.”

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video