Summary: We will all spend eternity in one of two places.
“Location, Location, Location!”
Introduction: The late Lord Harold Samuel, a real estate tycoon in Britain, coined the expression: ‘There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.’ Location determines value where real estate is concerned. But it is also important where eternity is concerned. It is my belief that our creator God has placed and awareness of eternity in every human being. There is even a verse of Scripture that states this very truth:
Ecc. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. NKJV
Because we will spend eternity somewhere, the location is of the utmost importance. In this morning’s text we have a perfect illustration of the importance of location and where we will each spend eternity. Will you stand as we read from the Word of God?
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Unique phrase found in a parable of Jesus describing the place where Lazarus went after death (Luke 16:19-31 ). It is a figurative phrase that appears to have been drawn from a popular belief that the righteous would rest by Abraham's side in the world to come, an opinion described in Jewish literature at the time of Christ. The word kolpos [kovlpo"] literally refers to the side or lap of a person. Figuratively, as in this case, it refers to a place of honor reserved for a special guest, similar to its usage in John 13:23. In the case of Lazarus, the reserved place is special because it is beside Abraham, the father of all the righteous. The phrase may be synonymous to the paradise promised to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43 ). Together these passages support the conviction that a believer enjoys immediate bliss at the moment of physical death.
Sam Hamstra, Jr.
What can we learn from this story that Jesus shared
I. Our life does not end when we pass
a. Annihilationism is the teaching that those who die apart from Christ will simply cease to exist. It is the belief that unbelievers will be "wiped out" or "annihilated" sometime after death. In other words, unbelievers will not experience eternal punishment in a literal hell, but will simply vanish (or have their souls extinguished) instead. If you believe in annihilation, that when you die you will just cease to exist, you are wrong. Most Hindus believe that humans are in a cycle of death and rebirth called samsara. When a person dies, their atman is reborn in a different body. Some believe rebirth happens directly at death, If you believe in reincarnation, that you will come back in another form like a dog or a cat, you are wrong. The Muslims believe after death, that the soul will enter Barzakh, a state of waiting, until the Day of Judgement.
When a person dies, their soul is taken by Azra'il, the Angel of Death.