Bible Rank: 1,998
New International Version
16 "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and people are forcing their way into it."
17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
18 "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."
19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day."
20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores
21 And longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried."
23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24 So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'
25 "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony."
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family,"
28 For I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
29 "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'"
30 "No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'"
16 Until John came, there were the Law and the Prophets; since then the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone strives violently to go in [would force his own way rather than God's way into it].
17 Yet it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to fail and become void.
18 Whoever divorces (dismisses and repudiates) his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.
19 There was a certain rich man who [habitually] clothed himself in purple and fine linen and reveled and feasted and made merry in splendor every day.
20 And at his gate there was [carelessly] dropped down and left a certain utterly destitute man named Lazarus, [reduced to begging alms and] covered with [ulcerated] sores.
21 He [eagerly] desired to be satisfied with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover, the dogs even came and licked his sores.
22 And it occurred that the man [reduced to] begging died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 And in Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried out and said, Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Child, remember that you in your lifetime fully received [what is due you in] comforts and delights, and Lazarus in like manner the discomforts and distresses; but now he is comforted here and you are in anguish.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who want to pass from this [place] to you may not be able, and no one may pass from there to us.
27 And [the man] said, Then, father, I beseech you to send him to my father's house--
28 For I have five brothers--so that he may give [solemn] testimony and warn them, lest they too come into this place of torment.
29 But Abraham said, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear and listen to them.
30 But he answered, No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent (change their minds for the better and heartily amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins).
King James Version
16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And 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 tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 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.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Becoming a Christian
Would you like to experience forgiveness and new life from the God of the Bible, who calls every person to believe that he sent his son Jesus Christ to make this possible?
The Bible explains why everyone needs to receive forgiveness and is called to serve Jesus Christ. The consistency of the Bible story, which was authored by people living thousands of years apart from diverse cultures and even different languages, is often cited as evidence of divine inspiration. Wikipedia has a list of many Biblical prophesies which have come true.
The story of God's plan to restore his relationship with us can be summarised in eight famous Bible verses below.
- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
- If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
- Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The truth in these verses is simple, yet to embrace it means letting go of all our personal hopes and dreams and embracing God's greater purpose for our lives instead, a purpose far above anything we could dream or imagine.
This is the most important decision you will ever make, because it affects not just the rest of your life here on earth, but what comes after as well. Don't put it off until too late. If you died tonight make the decision to spend eternity with your loving Father in Heaven.
If you're wondering what to do next as a new Christian, check out these helpful suggestions from Mary Fairchild on About.com: