Lazarus and the Rich Man – part three

But Abraham said, ‘Child,
remember that during your
lifetime you received your
good things, and Lazarus in
like manner evil things; but
now he is comforted here, and
you are in agony. Besides all
this, between you and us a
great chasm has been fixed, so
that those who might want to
pass from here to you cannot
do so, and no one can cross
from there to us.’

I believe that Heaven is a real
place, though it may not be a
physical place. I believe it is a
place where we are once more
completely in the fellowship
with God that  He originally
intended, when he created
mankind. And I believe that
Jesus has secured our passage
to heaven by his sacrificial
death. The gift is freely given,
however it is up to us to accept
the gift. The fact that I waited
so long to accept the gift scares
the hell out of me.


Also I believe that Hell is a real
place, though it might not be a
physical place. I believe that
hell is being completely
separated from God, cast into
the outer darkness. And this is
the afterlife that some choose
by their action or inaction in
this life. That realization
scares the heaven into me.


What I do not believe is that
there will be communication
between Heaven and Hell. I
believe this was just a device
that Jesus was using in this
parable.


In this parable Abraham
responds by calling the rich
man “child” or in some
translations “son”, recognizing
that this man is also a
descendant of his. However,
Abraham tells the rich man
that Lazarus cannot do as he
demands. The is no passage
between heaven and hell. As
Abraham explains, “Besides all
this, between you and us a
great chasm has been fixed.”



Jesus  painted a horrific picture
of hell in his stories. He says it

  • is a place of eternal torment (Luke 16:23),
  • of unquenchable fire (Mark 9:43),
  • where the worm does not die (Mark 9:48),
  • where people will gnash their teeth in anguish and regret (Matt. 13:42),
  • and from which there is no return, even to warn loved ones (Luke 16:19–31).
  • He calls hell a place of “outer darkness”  (Matt. 25:30),
  • compared it to a trash dump where rubbish was burned and maggots abounded (Matt. 10:28), 

Jesus knew of, believed in, and
warned against the absolute
reality of hell.

Many churches today say very
little about hell. It is
uncomfortable to remember
that the God of the Old
Testament is also the God of
the New Testament.

God gave humans the gift of
freewill. And when, in this
earthly life, people choose
through their actions or
inaction to live outside His
perfect will, he grants them
that in their eternal life also.
And And life without God it’s
hell.


Yes God is love. He is merciful
and in His mercy provided us
with an escape from hell
through Jesus, who came to
teach, died to save, rose to
conquer death, and now
interceds on our behalf.


Prayer
Savior, forgive me from those
times when i have chosen my
will over yours, when I have
followed a path not of Your
choosing. I now give my whole
self to you. Let me have
everything or nothing.  

Whatever you give me, I
humbly accept. Whatever you
keep from me, I know is for
my benifit. God, Father, Son
and Holy Spirit, you are mine,
and I am yours completely.


Amen.

All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
Originally published September 17, 2019

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