Thursday, April 28, 2016

Timeless Truths: What Christians believe about… #5 - The Afterlife (Part 2)

#16. Timeless Truths: What Christians believe about… #5 - The Afterlife (Part 2)

April 28, 2016

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 Hades, 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 set in place, 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 family, 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.’ ”
All Scripture quotations are from the NIV.

This is Luke’s version of Jesus’ parable: The Rich Man and Lazarus

The tone and meaning of this passage are very similar to the Matthew 25 passage. <See last week’s Part 1> Here Lazarus matches the description of “those in need”

The rich man sees Lazarus daily and walks right by him offering no assistance.
Heaven with gates of pearl and streets of gold demonstrates the difference between God’s idea of value and the world’s idea of value.

  • Hell is described as a place where there is no access to the presence, mercy, and grace of God.
  • Those in hell cry out for God like an injured child calls for a parent. But, in hell, there is no response from God to their pleas.
  • There are chasms in our lives that we’ve allowed to form. These chasms must be crossed before death. Strained relationships between family members and friends—examples of life chasms—must be addressed in this life.

What really mattered in both passages were relationships with other people.

The lesson is that poor horizontal relations—between us and other people—on Earth are unacceptable.

Our horizontal relationships show what our true relationship with God is.

Thanks to Rev. Scott Peterson for the central teachings used in this blog.

Next Thursday's Timeless Truths Series: Rahab: An unlikely hero

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