We have all heard the statement: “Misery loves company.” It is true that when one is sick or in trouble he does not feel quite so sorry for himself when he realizes that others are as unfortunate, and perhaps more so, than he.
However, some have used this phrase: “Misery loves company,” in speaking lightly of hell. Perhaps you have heard someone say: “Well, if I go to hell, at least I’ll have lots of company.” This is true, but the company the lost will have when cast out of God’s presence will hardly afford them comfort.
The Bible story of the rich man and Lazarus brings this fact out with great force. The rich man, you will remember, “fared sumptuously every day,” while Lazarus “was laid at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.”
In the process of time both died, and the rich man, having felt no need of salvation, suddenly was made to experience God’s wrath upon sin, for the sacred record says: “In hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments” (Luke 16:23). From his place of torment the rich man saw Lazarus with Abraham “afar off,” but this surely afforded little comfort, while we do read that “Lazarus was comforted.” The rich man, then, still with haughty superiority, asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to warn his five brothers, “lest they come into this place of torment.” He did not wish his brothers to join him in hell. “Misery” among those cast out of God’s presence, then, does not “love company.”
The story is brought to a close as Abraham refuses the rich man’s request, explaining that if his brothers would not hear the Word of God “neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31).
The way to avoid the lot of the rich man, then, is to believe the Word of God, particularly that part of the Word which tells how Christ died for our sins that we might be justified by grace through faith. Don’t be deceived by the old adage: “Misery loves company.” Receive Christ as your Savior today.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.