Nowhere in the text of Luke 16 is “The Rich and Lazarus” called a parable, but even if the characters are fictitious, Jesus doesn’t ever make fantasy out of doctrine.
I. Luke 16:19-31. We cannot change anything after death. The beggar Lazarus, who had a terrible earthly life, received comfort after death while the rich man, who never thought about anyone but himself in life, was in torment. And that was it. There was no changing their situation, no prayers or purgatory-like system to move a loved one from one side of the chasm to the other. Death is final.
II. 2 Corinthians 7:10-11. The time to repent is now. Allow godly sorrow to produce in you the fruit of true repentance while you still have breath. One who procrastinates in obeying the gospel and living a life of repentance and obedience may find that time runs out on him suddenly. We are not guaranteed even one more minute. The rich man certainly would have liked a second chance.
III. 2 Timothy 3:16-17. We have everything we need to repent. The rich man’s brothers had Moses and the Prophets, God’s Word at that time, the same Bible that the resurrected Jesus preached the gospel from on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:25-27). We have the completed Word of God that thoroughly equips the man of God for every good work.
Like the rich man’s brothers, the world today isn’t convinced of the narrow path to eternal life even though Jesus has risen from the dead. They continue searching for spiritual truth when all they need is widely available to them within the pages of Scripture. What will convince you to live repentance now while you still have breath?