Scripture: Luke 16: 19-31
19 “Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. 20 A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was taken to his gate, full of sores, 21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The beggar died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. 23 In Sheol, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. 24 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 in anguish in this flame.’
25 “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But here he is now comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that no one may cross over from there to us.’
27 “He said, ‘I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house; 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won’t also come into this place of torment.’
29 “But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them listen to them.’
30 “He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’ ”
‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’ Sometimes no matter what we say and do, people will still not want to listen or indeed to hear. They will not see or understand that the chasm which separated the rich man from Lazarus existed in life, and continued after death. While the rich man ignored the chasm in life, he could not do so in death. When he was alive, the rich man had a chance to be compassionate, to help Lazarus – but he chose to do the opposite. While it can be incredibly frustrating and distressing to see people ignore this chasm and ignore compassion, we can’t force them to listen and act. So hand them over to God and allow the Spirit to do the work. Can you?