The answer is an emphatic NO, for once a person dies and enters into eternity their eternal state (their DESTINY and their PORTION) is fixed and cannot be changed. We have had similar questions like this in the past and we have usually turned inquirers to the same portion. We will now look at Luke 16:19-31 from the NKJV. It is mostly self-explanatory, so I will only offer a few comments.

Verses 19:-21: “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.” We believe the Lord Jesus is speaking of two actual men and while they were alive on earth, one lived in the lap of luxury and the other in extreme poverty.

Verses 22-23: “So it was the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” The two men died and “the tables were turned!” The beggar is now in ETERNAL BLISS and the rich man in ETERNAL TORMENT. We aren’t told WHY they are where they are, but we know from other scriptures that the BELIEVER IN JESUS CHRIST goes to heaven when he dies and the UNBELIEVER goes to a place of eternal punishment. John 3:36 declares, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” So the beggar was surely a believer and the rich man an unbeliever. The fact that one was rich while on earth and the other poor had nothing to do with it.

Verses 24-26: “Then 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.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’” These words are crystal-clear, teaching us that one’s eternal destiny and their portion in eternity are FIXED, and that no one can alter that state even if they wanted to. It stands to reason that if Abraham could not send Lazarus to Hades to help relieve the suffering of the rich man, then it would do no good whatsoever for one on earth to pray for those who have entered into eternal torment.

Verses 27-31: “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’” We have already seen that it is useless to pray for the loved ones who have died; here we learn that it is also useless for those who have died to pray for those yet living! What has always struck me about this portion it that it is quite possible the rich man had never prayed while he was alive, but now we find him praying, first for himself (as we saw in verse 24), and then for his five brothers. Yet in each case it was, as we say, “an exercise in futility.” The rich man’s prayer illustrates what we said above, that one’s eternal destiny is determined by his response to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in other words, to the Word of God. His five brothers were still in the land of the living and thus they still had the opportunity to hear and believe the Word of God (i.e. Moses and the prophets). This is God’s way of speaking to man and if one rejects that Word they will not believe and be saved, even if one were to appear from the dead. (300.1) (DO)