Summary: Looks at the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. In this story we get a glimpse into what God says about heaven and hell.
Title: The Reality of Heaven & Hell
Theme: The contrast between heaven and hell.
Text: Luke 16:19 - 31
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30) For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
If you would I would like you to turn in your bibles to Luke 16. Luke chapter 16. We will be looking at verses 19 – 31. This is the famous story called “The Rich man and Lazarus”.
Some question if this is a parable or an actual story. The answer is we find that when Jesus told a parable He did not name people. Also it is easy to tell by the context of a passage if it is a parable.
This story is found at the end of chapter 16. Looking at the context of the chapter it would seem it falls into the line of “corrective teaching”. The Pharisees “religious leaders during the Bible times” had been teaching different doctrines that were contrary to God’s teaching.
Here Jesus is correcting one. There was a teaching among the Pharisees that there were “levels
From Youtube video "The Fable of Abraham's Bosom"
Malkhut Shamayim - Olam Haba - Where God lives. Souls will attain this level after the arrival of the Messiah
Gan Eden - The souls are in paradise by virtue of their works.
Sheol - These souls need the "Kaddish" prayer to get out of here. Some say it lasts around a year.
Gehinnom - Most of these souls are out of luck. They are here because of not following in God's work.
Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
This is a reminder of the doctrine of purgatory. There is no biblical evidence of this. I believe it is a way to sooth man’s conscience when thinking of an eternal hell.
(Luke 16:19) "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20) But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21) desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Jesus begins this story by showing the contrast between the two.
You have the rich man who was “clothed in purpose and find linen” – This is a sign of riches and being able to afford the best of life. We get the impression that anything he ask for he got.
He “fared sumptuously every day” – He lived life to the fullest. Not wanting for anything. Not a day went by that he had a need.
He was a poor man. He was a beggar. He was a sick man. It even shows his health condition. Sores. His position was sitting at the Rich mans gate to beg for food.
(Luke 16:22) So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
This is interesting in the way they died. Although the rich man probably had an elaborate funeral. He probably had friends come from all places yet he still died as he came. As Job would say, “Naked I came into the world and naked I shall leave”. All the riches in the world could not save him from death.
And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21
Lazarus (the beggar) died also. Maybe not as elaborate funeral if there was one. But he died with nothing. The next verse tells us the difference.
(Luke 16:23) And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Key to the destination. Notice that the beggar Lazarus had a name yet the rich man here is never named? Why? Lazarus knew God and God knew Lazarus name. Rich man did not know (nor did care to know) God so God did know him.
Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (22) Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' (23) And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'