Jesus tells a parable about a Rich Man and Lazarus in which the Rich Man ends up in Hades and Lazarus ends up in the presence of God. Interestingly the Rich Man doesn’t want to leave but wants Lazarus to come to him to ease his suffering even though the Rich Man never tried to ease Lazarus’ suffering.
We experience glimpses of heaven and hell on earth all the time. God has a plan to end all suffering and bring those who want to be with Him into His presence.
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Jesus tells a parable encouraging us to be wise with our money yet never let money become our master. Instead we should fully follow Jesus and be trustworthy with what we have so we can be entrusted with more.
Jesus tells a parable about the Rich Man who ends up in Hades and Lazarus who is taken to Abraham’s side. While they were alive, the Rich Man never helped Lazarus as he suffered with sores and poverty. He ignored his suffering day after day. Now the Rich Man is asking for Lazarus to ease his suffering.
It’s interesting because the Rich Man never asks to leave Hades. He just wants Lazarus to come to him and relieve his suffering. Sadly, he never apologizes to Lazarus for neglecting him either.
The Rich Man wants Lazarus to warn his brothers but then Jesus ends the parable with an ominous statement: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:31 NIV)
Now with Jesus, we do have someone who rose from the dead pointing us towards eternal life with God.
It’s important to know that most of us have a view of hell based more on medieval paintings than based on what’s actually in the Bible.
Physical death is when our spirit is separated from our body.
Spiritual death is when our spirit is separated from God.
Hell was not created for people but for the devil and demons.
At the same time, God will never force anyone to be with Him. All who are willing can come to Him through what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Atheist turned believer and apologist, C.S. Lewis explains it this way in his book The Great Divorce:
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”
We are constantly bombarded with evil and injustice in our world. We long for God to rid the world of evil, perhaps a better question to ask is: “How can a loving God not create hell?”
For more on this, check out the message from Tim Mackie on this passage here: