God Doesn’t Answer Prayers from Hell
Let me illustrate. Dives prayed three things to God. Not one was answered.
1. The rich man prayed for mercy.
There will be no mercy in Hell. If we want mercy we had best ask for it now before we die. After that, there will be no more mercy.
“It is appointed men once to die and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
2. The rich man prayed for an evangelist to warn his brothers about hell.
“Send Lazarus.” No. He couldn't do that. Do you know why? Lazarus could testify no more.
When we leave this life to go to be with the Lord Jesus, our days of witnessing for Christ are over. By the way, God could not answer this prayer because miracles don't save hard-hearted people.
“Surely if someone came back from the dead they would believe.”
There was another man named Lazarus who did come forth from the grave in John 11 and in John 12 the Jews tried to kill him to silence his testimony.
Almighty God said to that man in torment in Hell, "They have the Bible. They have the Word of God. This is what leads a person to salvation."
3. The rich man prayed for water.
People have the crazy idea that we can satisfy spiritual needs with material things.
The sad thing is that this man today is still thirsty...He is still thirsty... and he will always thirst.
4. Finally (the most compelling notion why prayers from Hell are unanswered): nothing gets out of the darkness of hell!
As we think about hell, we must carefully keep our feelings and emotions in check. Hell is not theoretical. We’re talking about reality.
Whenever I preach on hell, or on the people going there, I remember the church that was looking for a new pastor. The first applicant preached on the subject; “The Wicked Shall be Turned into Hell.” The search committee turned thumbs down. By a strange coincidence the next candidate preached from same verse: “The Wicked Shall be Turned into Hell.” The Committee all agreed, “Call him; he’s the one we need.” The church congregation was amazed: “Both used the same text!” However, they replied, “one was so sorry, and the other was glad of it.”
Well, Todd, I know that I answered more than you asked, but I hope that I’ve helped answer the question.
Photo Credit: ©Pexels/Rafael Guajardo
Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.