Luke 16:26-31

Luke 16:26 (KJB)
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.

Abraham then tells the rich man that Lazarus cannot go to him because there is also a great gulf or chasm between them. So there is no way that one can go from Heaven to hell or from hell to Heaven. Once a person dies and they are in their final destination, they can never leave. This means that those who are in hell are sentenced to remain there for eternity, so they can neither leave nor receive visitors. This is not a place of recreation but a place of punishment. The rich man should realize that this great gulf had already existed between him and Lazarus while on earth. Lazarus was poor and the man was rich and that chasm exits today when those who are wealthy think they are some kind of elite of this world. They look down upon the poor as nothing but cannon fodder for their created wars for profit. The great chasm is also between the saved and the unsaved but while on earth, the only way one can cross from the side of hell to the side of Heaven is by the grace of God.

Luke 16:27 (KJB)
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

Then the rich man begins to think about the family he left behind. He now realizes that he will never get out of the place he is in. A little bit of compassion is now shining through as he shows concern for his family which is still living on earth. Still though, he still sees Lazarus as a servant and wants Abraham to send him to his family’s home.

Luke 16:28 (KJB)
For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

He was hoping that if Lazarus could go to them and testify to the fact that eternal damnation is real and he could warn them about seeking the Lord so they would not have to suffer the same fate that he did. He had hoped that Lazarus could convince them to repent and change their ways before it was too late. If they did not pay attention to Lazarus while he was living on earth, then why would they listen to him and heed his advice now?

Luke 16:29 (KJB)
Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

Abraham is telling them that the Scriptures would be sufficient to bring about true repentance but it seemed like those who lived in the house were not concerned about the things of the Lord. If they were true students of the Scriptures, they would realize that there was a place of eternal damnation for the payment of sins but it seemed all they cared about was feasting. This verse is also for today especially for those who think that they need some type of signs and wonders to accompany what they are preaching. The Scriptures can stand alone as the means to bring about salvation and repentance.

Luke 16:30 (KJB)
And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

The rich man objects and believes that if one went to them from the dead, then they would believe the message and would repent of their hedonistic ways. The basic principle taught here is that if one is unaffected by the teachings of the Scripture, they will be just as unmoved by something miraculous. This fact is borne out by the story of the other Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead. (John 12:10 KJV) But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; There were many witnesses to the death and the raising of Lazarus and here Lazarus was sitting with the chief priests and instead of them marveling at the fact that he was dead and that Jesus brought him back to life, instead they wanted to kill him. This shows you that those who are heard hearted toward the Scriptures will be just as hard hearted toward anything miraculous, even if it is a true event. Then there is the resurrection of Jesus. (1 Cor 15:6 KJV) After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. He was seen by over 500 brethren and yet people did not believe because of the resurrection but believed by the preaching of the Word of God.

Luke 16:31 (KJB)
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Miracles do nothing to convince people because they do not have the ability to convict a person of their sins as the Scriptures do. We have the witness of Scripture that resurrections do not produce fruit unto salvation. We saw that the resurrection of Lazarus did not soften any hearts because the chief priests wanted to kill him. The resurrection of Jesus did not convince anyone unto salvation but only the preaching of the word and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can accomplish that.