Many preachers consider Luke 16:19-31 one of their favorite sources for a message. These verses of Scripture belong to a deep gold mine. There are many truths to be extracted. Two of my specials deal with the finality of eternity and the other the fact that our senses will serve us after death. In essence, there is no going to the post office for an address change after death. Furthermore, for those who believe Hell is a state of mind; or this current earthly life is all the Hell we will experience-read on.
The Bible contrasts two men-one rich the other poor. The rich man “fared sumptuously” (had it made) and the poor man was so broke he couldn’t pay attention. This doesn’t mean the rich are going to Hell and the poor to Heaven. The rich man had so much he could care less about God and the poor man so little all he could do was lean on God. The boiled down truth is this. If a person trusts in their own riches and doing good to gain Heaven, they are mistaken and will perish. On the other side so will a poor person. What makes the difference is accepting Jesus’ sacrificial death on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins. So rich or poor can go to Hell, but the truth is many poor folk are more humble and willing to accept God’s truths. “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” (Luke 16:22). Lazarus was carried to His Saviour and the rich man stuffed in a hole (Hell). The Bible makes it perfectly clear it’s Heaven or Hell and the choice is ours. Don’t count on coming back as Rover or kitty either-ain’t happening. “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” (Luke 16:26).
Now look at the senses in play here. “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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” (Luke 16: 23,24). Doesn’t sound like soul sleep or annihilation to me. I will allow the reader to discover the senses used here.
These verses reveal harsh reality. I never got pleasure preaching them; preferring to preach God’s love. But there are those who need to be scared to put the fear of God in them and to wake them to a reality of toasting for eternity. It’s kind of like Christmas. Will you spend it with Santa (a falsehood) or with Jesus whose birth we celebrate this time of year.