Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rich man and Lazarus

Luke 16:19 Jesus said, "There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed and who lived each day in luxury.
20 At his door lay a diseased beggar named Lazarus.
21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.
22 Finally, the beggar died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried,
23 and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Lazarus in the far distance with Abraham.
24 "The rich man shouted, 'Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in these flames.'
25 "But Abraham said to him, 'Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.
26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. Anyone who wanted to cross over to you from here is stopped at its edge, and no one there can cross over to us.'
27 "Then the rich man said, 'Please, Father Abraham, send him to my father's home.
28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them about this place of torment so they won't have to come here when they die.'
29 "But Abraham said, 'Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read their writings anytime they want to.'
30 "The rich man replied, 'No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins.'
31 "But Abraham said, 'If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.'" (NLT)
Most agree that this is an actual story, but to those who believe it is a parable it stiil illustrates several truths.
1. In heaven things may be reversed, the selfish rich man will be in torment and Lazarus will be in a separate place, where the saints were kept before the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.
2. There is a hell, a place of torment
3. There was a place where the souls of the saints were held, called paradise.
4. The souls of the dead were aware of where they were
5. They cannot leave hell, but paradise was probably taken up with Jesus
6. Even though someone was risen from the dead, many will not believe
There is more to the story, but these I see from having read the story many times. Some want to say this is only a story, because they do not agree with it's truths. Parables illustrate truths, and actual stories are true testimonies.

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