Published On: Tue, Dec 6th, 2016

Is there a hell and what is it like: Jesus reveals the truth with the Rich man and Lazarus

One of the first questions we ask of ourselves is if we truly believe there is an afterlife or not and then, what is it’s nature? The cartoonish version of Heaven, full of harps and obese angels floating on clouds, is contrasted with the juvenile depiction of Hell run by a red devil with a tail and horns.

As true commitment to Jesus Christ grew and I analyzed the afterlife, I was struck by one scripture which offers some shocking realities of Heaven and Hell: Jesus’ parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16: 19-31). Full scripture listed on next page.

The Rich Man’s nature is quickly contrasted with other wealthy figures in the Bible as he ignored the beggar at his gate, Lazarus. In death each are judged and placed in an eternal existence: the beggar now at Abraham’s side and the Rich Man separated from God, suffering physically and emotionally.

Lazarus the beggar 1886 painting by Fedor Bronnikov

Lazarus the beggar 1886 painting by Fedor Bronnikov

Here are the some truths from this parable:

There is a judgment of our existence, which results in an eternal placement.

There is something. If there is a “good place” then common sense dictates there is a “bad place.” The account gives us a stark look at this “bad place” by focusing on the Rich Man’s suffering after ignoring a lame man covered in sores.

There is a torment by fire for the Rich Man

Not only is there a fiery damnation, there is no relief from this torture. There is a “great gulf” or barrier between Heaven and this place of torment, aka Hell and Abraham is constrained by the rules.

There is pain in the separation from Heaven

The immediate response from the Rich Man is selfish, seeking relief from his pain and punishment. That is quickly followed by a desire to warn others, his brothers living out a similar selfish life.

There will be denial of Moses and the scriptures

‘Let them hear…’ is a powerful and painful reality. No matter how hard one believes in Christ, the eternal existence of each soul or the judgment from God, you cannot make another believe. Our free will is the true test of our LOVE FOR GOD.

If God lifted away the pain and suffering, both in the world and in the afterlife, then there is NOTHING for Jesus to save you from. There would be no salvation. There would be no difference with the atheist who believes in nothing because everything would be morally equal.

Rob Bell and the Mars Hill Bible Church perpetuated the Love Wins motto and subsequent book, sending out the notion that there is no HELL, no damnation and paved the way for the COEXIST movement.

“I affirm the truth anywhere in any religious system, in any worldview. If it’s true, it belongs to God,” Bell is quoted as saying.

Richard Dawkins demeans God in The God Delusion: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

The compassionate Christian always hopes and wishes that God will save all humankind, but God tells His children that He cannot.

Somewhere between Bell and Dawkins is the one true God who must deal with the Rich Man and the beggar. Maybe it shouldn’t be called HELL and maybe we should give God more latitude for forgiveness, but we can only use God’s word.

There is something after death and one of the two options does NOT sound appealing at all. Dawkins’ ignorance of Christ and the New Covenant is revolting yet Bell’s avoidance of consequences puts believers at risk of ending up next to the Rich Man.

Pray, have hope and share the love of Christ each and every day. If there was salvation for the thief on the cross next to Jesus at Calvary, then NO ONE is beyond repentance.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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