Many of us have read the parable of Dives and Lazarus. However, not many of us have given it serious thought. We continue to be church goers, without pausing to think for a moment of the words spoken through the prophet Ezekiel 33:7-8 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood."
Yes, my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, God has made you and I as watchmen over our own homes and over the communities and places that we live in. Are we concerned about the people in our family and in our community to pray for them or to go and tell them about Jesus Christ.
But one person in Jesus' story had it envelop every fiber of his being: the man in hell. To such a degree that he experienced a remarkable change in priorities. As I once heard someone observe, five minutes in hell made the rich man a flaming evangelist. Why? Because suddenly he knew it was all for real. And once he knew this, nothing mattered more than warning those he cared about. He knew that hell was not a figment of someone's imagination. It was real, and real people go there for eternity. And the man in hell knew that it would take someone going to them, talking to them, making it clear to them. Hell has a way of making that evident. We must realize that our friends, our family members, that person in our neighborhood, the person we work with who does not know Christ is in real trouble.