Jesus gave the parable of the “Rich Man and Lazarus” to warn the Jewish leaders that Israel (the Rich Man) was about to be cast out of God’s favor. Soon, Lazarus (the Gentiles – those considered poor because they had no relationship to God) were going to be favored by the Gospel call. They would be received into Abraham’s bosom, “if ye are Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”
Jesus gave a similar lesson in the previous parable of the “unjust steward”. There Jesus instructed the Jewish leaders to stop exacting the last tithing of the law. Their teaching, which demanded tithes over caring for one’s family, would and did “… devour widows’ houses.” Sadly, these teachers desired status “… and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.” Luke 20:47. Earlier at the same event, Jesus gave the parable of the “Great Supper” and summarized it in Luke 14:24, “For I say unto you, That, none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” Many of Jesus’ parables were directed to the Jewish people to help them comprehend God’s perspective Israel’s practices and to prophesy what was about to happen to the Jewish nation.
As in the parable of the unjust steward, the Rich Jewish people were about to be put out of their stewardship of the word of God. But instead of doing as the shrewd unjust steward did, the Rich Jewish people did not develop characteristics which might endear them to the Gentiles. Instead, the Gentiles became God’s instrument to destroy their nation. Thus, the Rich Jewish people died as a nation and began to be persecuted and slaughtered through pogroms and crusades, i.e. the place of fiery torment in the parable.
The “Lake of Fire” is defined as second death in Revelation 21:8. No one can go into second death, until they have received life through Christ, i.e. taken out of Adam, and transferred into Christ. Therefore, the Rich Man will have another chance to get it right, even as we see the beginnings of it with the Jewish people returning to Israel today. The regathering of Israel is prophesied in Ezekiel 37 the valley of dry bones. Also see Romans 11:25, 28 & 32: “For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles be come in… As concerning the gospel, (for now) they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes…For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.”