Monday, April 30, 2012

The warning

Just recently Alex Trebek gave away the answer to a question while filming his show Jeopardy. This was an accident that required his producers to stop filming so they could figure out how to cut that portion out of the show. Alex unintentionally gave something away. Over the last few days I have been thinking about a passage where something similar happened. The below passage is a fascinating one where we are given a glimpse into hell. Take a look and I will finish my thought below:

Luke 16:19-31 - 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 hell, 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 fixed, 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 father’s house, 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.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
The fact that this story was recorded was not something that happened accidentally like Alex Trebek giving the answer to a Jeopardy question. This story was recorded because God wanted it recorded. In his mercy he is giving us a warning that hell is not a place that will be "one big party" as many joke about. It will be a place of torment where anyone who rejects Christ will spend eternity.

We do not know what happened to the rich man's family. We can assume they never repented and joined their brother in hell. Don't follow in their footsteps, take this warning that this family missed and change your final destination. The Bible, as Abraham mentioned in the parable, has given us very clear verses on salvation:

John 3: 16 “For 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.

John 10: 7-10 - 7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 14: 6 - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Acts 4: 10-12- 10 It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

I John 5: 12 - 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Don't repeat the mistakes the rich man and his brothers made. Just like Abraham said we too have access to Moses and the Prophets. The rich man's brothers either never took the time to read it or they read it and simply thought of it as a fairy tale. They refuse to believe in a literal place called hell. Take this information and meditate on it, pray about it and make your decision to believe it or reject it. My prayer is that you will believe it and enter into a relationship with the God of all creation, not just to escape hell but to enter into a relationship with the God of the Bible who desires to fellowship with his creation.


  1. As much as I appreciate you and your blog, this time let me tell that I not agree with the interpretation of the PARABLE from Luke. If people in heaven are going to be communicating with people in torment through eternity, that’s a very hideous, grotesque picture.

    Another thing is it talks about one drop of water cooling the tongue of a person who’s in torment. Well that’s obviously an exaggeration. And then finally, it says that the beggar who dies and is saved goes to Abraham’s bosom. There’s no other Scripture anywhere that says that all the saved go to the bosom of Abraham. If that’s true, then he has one very large bosom because there have been a lot of saints who have died through the ages.

    So there’s so much symbolic language in this that if we take all of the pictures literally, we’re going to come up with a very distorted picture. The lesson in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is always missed because people use it to try and prove the state of the dead and hell using pagan assumptions.

    The lesson is, that the rich man, who is a symbol of God’s people who have the truth that are not sharing their food with the poor, the lost, they may find that in the Judgment the poor are saved and the rich are lost. We have a responsibility to share the Gospel. Just like Jesus was telling His Jewish brethren that if you do not share it with the Gentiles, you might find that many come from the East and the West and sit down in the Kingdom with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and you will be cast out and the Gentiles will be in.

    For the church today, it’s the same message. If we are building walls around our church and saying, ‘We’re saved because we’re Christians and we’re going to study our Bibles together and forget the lost of the world’ – in the Judgment we might find out we really didn’t love our brother. We’ve been hoarding our food so to speak, while they’ve been starving for the crumbs of the Gospel.

  2. Ovidiu, Thanks for your comments. I hope I did not misconstrue the thought that this was a picture of heaven. I believe it is a picture of what is often referred to as Sheol. I believe that Sheol was divided into two sections “Paradise” and “Place of torment”. Those in Paradise were taken to heaven after the resurrection of Christ and those in hell are still there until after the Great White Throne Judgment per Revelation 20:11-15.

    When Christ arose and ascended into Heaven, the Saints were called forth and also ascended AFTER Him (Matthew 27:52-53). Christ was the first to Ascend. In other words, the doors of “Paradise” were open and the Saints went to Heaven. The place of Torment is still filling up and will do so until the Judgment seat at which time they will be Judged and cast, along with Satan, into Hell. Thoughts?