27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
The parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man presents a strong warning to non-Christians and a call to Christians to share the gospel. The rich man does not even ask to cross over to Heaven but asks for a brief respite from the pain and torment that he is going through. The rich man cries out that his family at least be warned about the terrible future that awaits them. The rich man’s cry should convict the unsaved hearer, as he is speaking from experience that hell is not a place to spend eternity.
The rich man thinks that if someone who has died goes and warns his family that this would be enough. Jesus response is frightening – even if someone rises from the dead (referring to his resurrection) and gives this warning that this would not be enough.
This desperate picture should galvanise us as Christians to go and warn the world of its eternal damnation. This parable challenges us to go out and be the watchmen (Ezekiel 3:16-19) that God calls us to be. To go out and warn the unsaved that their sin will lead to death, our message though should not be one of bad news, but of good news. The good news that Jesus saves them for a glorious future. The good news that the brief life on earth with all its struggles and heartache mixed with joys and pleasure can be followed by eternity in heaven in a right relationship with their Creator God.