Summary: By nature, Man is very curious about the future. How he wishes to know, today, what will happen tomorrow! Perhaps one of the reasons for such curiosity is to plan and prepare so that he or she is not caught “sleeping” and unprepared. But the future is not


Scriptural Text: Luke 16: 19-31

By nature, Man is very curious about the future. How he wishes to know, today, what will happen tomorrow! Perhaps one of the reasons for such curiosity is to plan and prepare so that he or she is not caught “sleeping” and unprepared. But the future is not shrouded in secrecy to man. Life is so generous to all in this wise. Everyone knows that the baby of today is born to grow to adulthood; the young employee of today will, in no distant future, leave the employment, having attained the set mandatory year of retirement, for a younger person to take over. In no distant future, the aged will go the way of his ancestors, confirming the saying among the Yorubas that “Awaaye maalo koo si;” Aaye looja, Oorun niile.”(No one will live forever on earth; heaven is home whereas earth is mere market place and its trading period will soon end).

Ironically, with all these future events known to all, majority of people do not prepare for them. “Preposterous!” you’ll say. Yes, the unbelievable high level of foolishness being displayed by such!

How about Life after death? Neither is this kept secret to Man. God has graciously revealed enough for Man to prepare for. Read Deut. 29:29. Our text for this message is just one of the numerous teachings of the Holy Scriptures on Life after death. In this passage, the LORD Jesus gave us a “peep” to life after life. Behold the revealed truths he gave:

#1. Both the rich and the poor will die. “And it happened that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich one also died and was buried.” v.22. Death is a leveler. It brings about a total eradication of the various differences Man had set up for himself on earth. For Mr. Death, there is no rich or poor; famous or infamous; leader or the led; black or white; literate or illiterate; righteous or unrighteous.

#2. The dead do not all go to the same destination after death. “. . . . the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich one also died and was buried. And in hell he lifted up his eyes.” v. 22,23a. “Abraham’s bosom” is the Scripture’s identification for the destination of the righteous after death. I do remember “Burning Hell,” one of the films we used for outreaches in the 1970s. In the film, there was an elaborate and flamboyant burial service for the rich man. The officiating Minister eulogized the rich man and ended his sermon thus: “And we are sure he has gone to heaven!” The scene then changed from the church service to where the rich man found himself – “And in hell he lifted up his eyes.” v. 23a. The presbyter got it wrong! The Lord did not see it the way he saw it. He had judged by outward appearance, but the LORD looked at the heart, 1 Sam. 16:7b. Note also that there was no indication that the poor man was buried, v. 22. But that made no difference. Flamboyant or no burial at all, is no consideration to indication of the eternal home of a person after death.

#3. There is life after death. We do not go into extinction after life. “And in hell he (the rich man) lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” There is life after death, Jesus hereupon confirms. Yes, there is life after our life, or existence, on earth.

#4. Hell is a place of torment and anguish in flames. “There in torments . . . . he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.” v. 23, 24. The rich man longed for a drop of water from the tip of Lazarus’ finger to cool his tongue. Such is the anguish experienced by those in hell. Oh that we’ll all escape these flames! All these truths are revealed so that we can adequately prepare ourselves.

#5. The comforts or cares on Earth will not be in the hereafter. “But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things.” v. 25a. We shall retain the knowledge and memory of our lives on earth. Son, remember that you in your lifetime . . . ! Hey, what will you be told to remember when you stand before God? A son expected in heaven found himself in hell!

#6. We shall all be recompensed. “. . . . But now he is comforted and you are tormented.” v.25b. The magnitude of one’s wealth is not as important as the way we used it. The rich man did not go to Hell for being wealthy, but for being selfish and uncaring. What a comfort over life’s sorrows Lazarus now received! No wonder the rich man was now wishing for a drop of water from the fingers of Lazarus – someone whose body was covered with sores while on earth but now no more covered with sores, v.21. Glorious!

#7. There will be a separation. “And besides all this, there is a great chasm fixed between you and us; so that they desiring to pass from here to you cannot, nor can they pass over to us from there.” v. 26. Eternal separation awaits all ‘Grace Wasters’ on earth!

#8. Those in torments wish their relatives still on earth do not join them in Hell. “And he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” v. 27,28. Oh, the longings of the departed souls for you! Oh, their desire that you will go to the place of comfort after death! Oh, the heart of Jesus preparing a place for you in His father’s house! Oh, do not let these words bounce off your heart! Oh, why not be saved today!

#9. No one is kept in the dark as to what to do to be saved. “Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them.’ ” v.29. Before your Manufacturer recalls you, take hold of your life’s Manual, the Bible, and obey it.

#10. If the Word of God preached to you by one of the living disciples of Jesus does not convict you of your sin, and bring you to the cross, where Jesus died, for forgiveness, you won’t be saved even if someone rises from the dead to preach to you.

“The rich man answered, 'That is not enough, father Abraham! But if someone were to rise from death and go to them, then they would turn from their sins.' But Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone were to rise from death.' ". v. 30, 31.

Whoa! Ten great truths revealed by He that is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, even Christ Jesus the Saviour-Redeemer, Friend and King. None has any excuse again. I need no other argument; I need no other plea. It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me. So, what next? Be instructed:

Some things are hidden. They belong to the LORD our God. But the things that have been revealed in these teachings belong to us and to our children forever. We must obey every word of these teachings. Deut. 29: 29 (GW)

It is better to live right and be poor than to be sinful and rich. Ps. 37:16 (CEV)

So then there remains a rest to the people of God. For he who has entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Therefore let us labour to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of unbelief. For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Since then we have a great High Priest who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. Heb. 4: 9-14 (MKJV)

These little troubles we may have on earth are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. 2 Cor. 4:17. So, hold on, weary pilgrim. Don’t trade off your eternal consolations with fleeting things on earth.

Will you be among the ransomed host, or be found among the lost, when Jesus comes? Son, remember that you in your lifetime. . . . God awaits your return home. – dod.