Luke 16:19-31, John 3:18
May 26, 2019
The idea of heaven is met with positive feeling yet so many thoughts about are not consistent with God’s Word. Most everyone thinks they will be there when they die. As if it is an inalienable right to everyone that was born.
It is no surprise that people have thoughts about Hell that have no foundation either. Hell is a place that most don’t want to go. They think if they do enough good things they won’t have to go there. Believe it or not some think they want to be there. I heard people say they will be happy in Hell because it is going to be filled with “partiers” and they like to party.
Let’s see what Jesus says about Hell from Luke 16:19-31.
19 “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out 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 off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
What a powerful and disturbing . It does story or parable give us a glimp into Heaven and Hell from the mouth of Jesus.
Hell is a Place for the Judged
The Rich man, in this story, dies and is buried and finds himself in Hell. Lazarus dies and He is carried away by angels to Abraham’s bosom or Heaven. The rich man did not question why he was there. He cried for mercy but didn’t ask why he was there. He appears to be resigned to the fact that he deserves to be there. He just wants some relief.
Judgement of Hell is based on God’s standards. Sin or rebellion is against a Holy God. Sin cannot be tolerated by God. Do you believe that God can do anything and everything? There is nothing He cannot do but there is one thing. He cannot go against His character and He is Holy. He created Hell, but not for those who believe that Jesus died for them.
So, in John 3:18, when Jesus said, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18
“He came not to judge”, it was because our sin has already judged us to eternal death and separation from God. God loves us and Jesus came to redeem us by taking sin’s judgement upon Himself. Jesus came to stand in the way of sin’s judgement.
This is foundational to the understanding of Hell and salvation. God is Holy and He has done everything to love us into eternity with Him. Just as Heaven is the real dwelling place of God so too…
Hell is a Real Place
Verse 23 says, “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.
The rich man saw both Heaven and Hell. Hell is real by what ever name it is called. Here it says Hades. Other versions use, place of the dead, Hell, Sheol or afterlife. Regardless of what word is used it is shown as a real place. It is also shown to be a place of real suffering.
Listen to the words from scripture that describe Hell
- Fire and brimstone
- Furnace of fire
- Judgment by fire
- Fiery oven
- Lake of fire
- Eternal punishment
- Pits of darkness (used at least 5 times in Matthew)
- Flames of fire
- Burning wind
- Unquenchable fire
- Judgment by fire
- Weeping and gnashing of teeth (used at least 6 times in the Gospels)
The truth about Hell is that you can avoid it, but it calls you to surrender to the truth of God’s Word that we are sinners in need of a real Savior, who is Christ Jesus who came to die for us.
Hell is not like a poisonous snake, a rabid dog or a man eating Lion that you don’t need to worry about if you a not around them. Hell can’t be avoided by being afraid of it. We must by faith understand that it is, in fact, where all without Jesus will spend eternity.
Hell is a place for the Judged. It is a real place. It is still more.
Hell is a Place Of Separation From God
Separated from God. We are going to miss our loved ones when they die. One of the toughest things about losing a loved one is the extreme finality of death. We what to see them one more time. To talk to them one more time. But we are separated forever.
Separation from God is a little different. Those who know and love the Lord will never be separated from Him. We will never know what people in Hell are experiencing. While on this earth we know what it feels like to not be sure that God is with us. We know how distant we feel from God during dark times in our lives. The truth is God is always with us. Even though life is tough.
In Hell there is a God vacuum. Nothing of good. No help. No Holy Spirit. Completely separated from God.
In Luke 16:23 it says the rich man, *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. and Luke 13:28 it says, –In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.
We will be separated but we will also be able to see Heaven, it’s glory and maybe the celebration of those who are forever in God’s presence. The reality of separation is equal to fires of Hell.
When Jesus told the story in Matthew 25, those who cared for others and those who didn’t had their futures fixed. Those who cared were welcomed into God’s presence. Those who were judged because they did not care were cast from God’s presence. The rich man found himself looking up toward heaven and out of God’s presence. He was in torment and you know that he had never been in a world where God was not.
As bad as it gets here sometimes God is still active in this world. Hell is not like that. Try to image this. No hope. There is nothing worse in the world that not having any hope. Without God all Hope is gone. Even when we lose a loved one we, at least have hope, that God will carry us through. But in Hell there is nothing.
There is no Hope! Ever!!! Because…
Hell is a Place of No Escape
There is a great chasm between Hell and Heaven. There is no way from Heaven to Hell and no way between Hell to Heaven.
The rich man said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’” The response was this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’
There is no escape after death. That is why people need to hear that Jesus saves now, completely and for all eternity. . That is why we need to encourage people to respond now before it is too late.
All decisions must be made before someone dies. That is why Jesus says in Mark 1:15, “Today is the day. The Kingdom of God is here, repent and believe.”
Lazarus was carried by angels into God’s presence. The rich man woke up in Hell. In Luke 13:38 it says, you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. Many times scripture describes people being cast into Hell but received into Heaven. One is Judgement and the other is grace.
Challenge: People can try to put a good face on Hell but there is no way to do it. It is a place completely devoid of God. It is a place of continual torment. It is a place of eternal realization, that it did not have to be this way.
Heaven is a place of a wide open welcome to receive Jesus and be received into eternal life with God. God sent Jesus to make a way to open Heaven’s door to all who will repent and believe. God sent Jesus to get in the way of sinners who already have the judgement of sin on their life.
Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Today is the day! Don’t miss God’s invitation today. You have Heaven, for all eternity to gain. It can begin today.
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; Matt 25:41
Jesus says that Hell was prepared for Satan and the angels who followed him. It is an eternal fire.
Matt 8:12 – Hell is a place of “darkness and “weeping and gnashing of teeth”
Matt 13:42 – Hell is a place of “blazing fire” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth”
Matt 13:50 – Hell is a place of “blazing fire” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth”
Matt 22:13 – Hell is a place of “darkness and “weeping and gnashing of teeth”
Matt 24:51- Hell is a with “hypocrites” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth”
Matt 25:30 – Hell is a place of “outer darkness and “weeping and gnashing of teeth”