Summary: What happens when you die? Jesus gives us an answer
39. Who is Jesus?
June 05th, 2011
As we continue through the life of Jesus we are going to see the second of two parables Jesus tells in Luke 16. The first showed us how we can use our money to go to heaven, the second shows us how to use our money to go to hell. So in one week we get to deal with two of the most unpleasant issues in Scripture: money and hell. So this should be fun.
What Jesus tells us about money is that it doesn’t matter how much of it you have, it matters what you do with it. What we do with our resources is an investment either in worldly pleasures and comfort or in eternity. The focus here is not about money, it is about life and death.
Death is never an easy subject to discuss. We have lost people we love, all experienced the pain of death in some form. Now our city has been decimated by a tornado that killed 134 people and destroyed over 8,000 homes and business. We have seen a lot of death and destruction. As unpleasant as it is death is a natural part of life. The one thing we all have in common is that we die. What happens then? What happens when you die? How we answer that question will determine how we live our lives. What this storm has reminded us is that death comes even if we are not ready for it.
I want to be clear: It is not my job to tell you what you want to hear. Sometimes I wish it was. If you want to hear someone say it’s ok, everyone goes to heaven, or everyone you know and like goes to heaven you may not like this. My job is to tell you the truth of what the Bible says. Some people think of heaven like a bunch of people in togas sitting on puffy white clouds with harps and halos smiling all the time. I’ve heard people talk about hell as a party where all their friends are like it’s an eternal rave. There are lots of different views about what happens when we die, but the only person who is qualified to tell us is the one who came from life, died, and conquered death. Jesus is the only person with the authority to speak on such matters. What we believe about heaven and hell should come not from the teachings of man but from Him.
Please understand as we talk about what can be a very painful and touchy subject my goal is not to offend you, upset you, or create fear in your life. My goal is deal with an important issue and to teach what the Bible says about it. The reason I say this is because I love you and I care about what happens to you.
Jesus is going to talk about hell. He is the most loving, gracious, humble, Godly man to ever walk the earth and He speaks more about hell than anyone else in the entire Bible. Jesus not only believes in hell, He teaches about it a lot. Around 13% of Jesus teaching deals with the subject of hell and punishment; which tells us that hell is something we should take seriously.
If the most loving man alive tells us of the horror and pain that comes from being separated from God because of our sin, we need to realize how deadly and destructive our sin is. Sin is not just making bad choices, it is choosing death over life and the consequences for our sinful choices if we do not reconcile ourselves with God are terrible. If Simon from American Idol criticized you and said you were terrible you might not think anything of it, that’s just what the guy does. If Joel Osteen, the ‘be the best version of you’ guy tells you that you are horrible it might strike a harder blow. Loving people don’t like to talk about punishment. For Jesus to spend so much time talking about the eternal torment of hell must mean that hell is terrible that the only way that Jesus can love us is to warn us about it constantly. The essence of infinite love describes hell in terrible terms so that we can understand the severity of ignoring Him.
Lk 16:19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. Lk 16:20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores Lk 16:21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. Lk 16:22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. Lk 16:23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. Lk 16:24 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.’