Lazarus and the Rich Man

Luke 16:19-31

If we as Christians are saved, what are we saved from? Hell.

Who do the characters in the parable represent?

  • Rich Man – Pharisees or unbelievers
  • Lazarus – Us or believers
  • Abraham – God

v20. There is a huge disparity between the descriptions of Lazarus and the rich man.

v21. Remember how the Jews thought this condition would have been a curse from God. (Pr 28:27) The truth is basically the opposite.

v22. Abraham’s Bosom – Paradise.

v23. Torment, what does that mean? Not torture, God does not torture anyone in the Bible. This torment is self-imposed with no opportunity to repent. Like a bad decision in life.

v24. He’s still selfish. I’m surprised he knew Lazarus’ name. He hadn’t paid any attention to him before.

v25. The rich man isn’t in hell because he was rich. Lazarus isn’t in Paradise because he was poor. It is because the rich man didn’t allow his blessings to bring him to the Lord and Lazarus didn’t allow his poverty to keep him from the Lord. Eternity on both sides.

v26. Paradise is no longer there. Christ emptied it and took all the captives to Heaven. There is no purgatory, no second chances.

v27. It is as if the rich man still feels superior to Lazarus.

v28. He realizes that he is stuck there, but now he shows concern for others.

v29. Shows that the Law doesn’t save.

v30. Scripture contains all that is necessary for salvation. No evidence to a closed mind will open it!

v31. How true?

What human beliefs are shattered?

  • Material rewards do not necessarily indicate righteousness or your standing with God.
  • Material rewards test your faithfulness and maturity more than they indicate it.

What divine wisdom is revealed?

  • Choices in this life affect our eternal destiny.
  • Our destiny is fixed after physical death. Don’t be wrong about eternity.
  • If you are not open to the evidence you already have, you’re not going to be open to a miracle like the resurrection.

Hell is NOT

  • A torture chamber
  • Run by Satan, he is the chief prisoner there
  • Where God sends you against your free choice
  • Where you’ll see your buddies
  • A place of repentance
  • A place of equal punishment (Lk 12:47-48)
  • A scare tactic to get you into Heaven, you don’t get into heaven because you don’t want to go to hell

Hell IS

  • A furnace of fire (Mt 13:42)
  • A perpetually burning dump (Mk 9:44-48)
  • Being lost in outer darkness (Mt 8:12)
  • A bottomless pit (Rev 20:1,3)
  • Separation from God (2 Thes 1:9)
  • A place of anguish and regret (Lk 16:28)
  • Where the worm doesn’t die and the fire is not quenched (Mk 9:48)
  • A place of torment (Lk 16:24, Rev 14:10)
  • A place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mt 13:50)

“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof, but on the basis of what they find attractive.” – Pascal

Common objections to Hell

  • Isn’t there a second chance?
  • Isn’t hell overkill?
  • Why eternal punishment for temporal sins?
  • Why not annihilate sinners?
  • Why create those God knew would choose hell?
  • What about those who have never heard about Jesus?

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