A Great Gulf Fixed
Luke 16:20: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man*s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And 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; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And 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. 25 But 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. 26 And 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. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father*s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
A great golf fixed are four of the most troublesome words in the Bible.
Hebrews 9:27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Before men die the gulf is neither great nor fixed. After they die it is both. There are Biblical churches in many neighborhoods in our world with unbiblical churches right next door, across the street or in the next block. One church is on Abraham*s side of the gulf and the other church is on the rich man*s side of it. There are Christian families living right next door to unsaved families. One family is on Abraham*s side of the gulf and the other is on the rich man*s side of it. There are Christians who work right next to unbelievers. In many cases, the gulf is not yet great or fixed.
2 Corinthians 13:5: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Which side of the gulf are you on? If you are on Abraham*s side of the gulf, are you reaching across it whenever you still can and whenever God gives you an opportunity? If you are on the rich man*s side are you fighting to stay there?