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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
December 17, 2017
The Destiny of the Unrighteous
A Message from Hell
As we come to our passage for study in Luke 16 this morning, we find that Jesus is still talking to the great multitude that has gathered to hear Him somewhere in Galilee (Luke 13). The crowd consists of His disciples, tax-gatherers, sinners, Pharisees and scribes (Luke 14:25, 15:1-2). Jesus has addressed different lessons in His teaching to particular groups within the multitude. His three parables in Luke 15 about the joy in heaven over a sinner that repents was a rebuke directed to the Pharisees and scribes because they did not rejoice over the repentant. They were like the older son that refused to join his father’s celebration over his younger, prodigal brother who had repented and returned home. (See: Rejoicing Over the Repentant)
Last week we examined the parable of the unrighteous steward in Luke 16. While the point of the parable was good advice for everyone listening, it was told specifically for the disciples because only they were capable fulfilling the lesson. It is one that still applies to all of Jesus’ disciples today. You are a steward of the worldly wealth that God entrusts to you, so start using it for eternal purposes instead of just temporal ones. Jesus specifically says to use the mammon of unrighteousness, your material riches, to make friends. Why? For the purpose of evangelism so that those friends might be saved and also be destined for heaven. (See: Prudent Stewardship)
Jesus then quickly added to this a related lesson on faithfulness. The principle is simple. What you do with things that are relatively unimportant is what you will do with that which is important for that reveals your character. Those who are faithful in a very little thing such as worldly possessions can be entrusted with that which is more important such as the lives of people. The reverse is also true. Those who are not faithful in what is of little importance in God’s eyes will not be given what is important and may even have what little has been given to them taken away (Luke 19:12-27).
Jesus concluded this lesson with a warning that no one can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and mammon because they are opposite of each other. How you use your worldly goods will reveal what you love and the identity of your master. If you love God, then your perspective on what this world has to offer will change to the point that you don’t care about what it offers and you will find its bent to sinful pleasure and pride to be repulsive. Your life will increase in personal holiness as you cling to God and become more dependent upon Him. If you love mammon, then you will find God’s commands to be increasingly restrictive to your desires to the point you will reject them or pervert them so that you can do what you want. You will also eventually find yourself blaspheming God by either rejecting Him or claiming He is something that He is not. Your life will become increasingly sinful whether that is blatant evil or religious self-righteousness as you strive to become more independent of Him. You cannot serve both God and mammon.
The Reaction of the Pharisees – Luke 16:14
Again, Jesus told the parable of the unrighteous steward in order to teach His disciples lessons in righteousness, but the Pharisees were also listening and they did not like what they heard. “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things, and they were scoffing at Him.”
Luke tells exactly the origin of the Pharisees’ reaction. They were lovers of money. The word here (filavrguroV / philaguros) literally means fond of silver and referred to anyone that was avaricious, greedy of gain, a hoarder of riches. These Pharisees were exactly what Jesus described negatively in His lesson on the use of unrighteous mammon. They wanted the wealth of unrighteousness to fulfill their own personal desires. They sought the short term gain that would benefit them in this life instead of looking beyond that to eternity. Their religious piety was a facade for their true master was mammon. It is for his reason they were scoffing at Jesus.
The term scoffing (ejkmukthrivzw / ekmukt ridz ) is variously also translated as deride (NKJV), ridicule (ESV) and sneer (NIV). It refers to “turning up one’s nose” and hence the idea of treating with scorn and contempt. They viewed themselves as superior to Jesus and more understanding of the law and so scoffed at what they considered to be naive pronouncements. Were they not proof that you could love both God and the good life? Some of their homes located to the west of the Temple Mount on what my professor referred to as “snob hill” have been excavated. They were opulent with lavish tile work often patterned or in mosaics. They used finely crafted stone pitchers and bowls and decorated the house with art work and wore expensive jewelry. They were wealthy and they did not hesitate to show it off as well as their piety by having private mikvahs, ceremonial baths, so that they would be ceremonially clean before eating or going up to the Temple. They would not have to use the ones located near the Temple entrances used by the public.
Jesus responded by exposing the self-righteous hypocrisy of their hearts. They claimed to be the protectors and teachers of the law, but they did not keep it. Jesus then told another parable giving them the strongest of warnings about the destiny that awaited them if they did not repent.
The Rebuke by Jesus – Luke 16:15-18
Exposing Wicked Hearts: Jesus begins His rebuke by directly exposing the wretched condition of their hearts. “15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.”
They were not only self-righteous, but they were of the type that did it for outward show. Jesus had rebuked them for this on several occasions. One of the strongest was in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6 when Jesus specifically pointed out how their practices of prayer, almsgiving and fasting were designed to attract the attention of others with their show of supposed piety. The acclaim of men would be their full reward for they would receive nothing from God.
The sad truth is that the heart of man is deceitful and desperately sick so that he does not even understand it himself, but God knows the heart of man for He searches it and tests the mind (Jeremiah 17:9-10). That is why the self-righteous are often so blind to their own sin. They, like the Pharisees, believe they are living holy lives and are righteous before God, but as Jesus points out here, it is self-justification and an abomination before God. Man esteems fame, wealth and positions of importance, but God finds such pride in men to be detestable, abhorrent, disgusting, loathsome. Proverbs 16:5 states, “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” Proverbs 3:34 adds that God “scoffs at the scoffers” and Isaiah 2:11 that “the proud look of a man will be abased And the loftiness of man will be humbled, And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” No man will be proud when they stand to be judged by their holy Creator.
Affirming the Law – Luke 16:16-17. Jesus’ rebuke continues by His affirmation of the law. Because Jesus did not keep the traditions of the Pharisees such as Sabbath restrictions and ceremonial washings, they viewed Him as a law breaker. But here Jesus validates the entire law to its smallest detail and contrasts that with their rejection of the gospel.
16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17 “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.”
The phrase, “the Law and the Prophets,” refers to the books of Moses and all the other books in the Hebrew scriptures and so to everything in the Old Testament. That was the dispensation, the prevailing system of God’s administration of righteousness, until the coming of John the Baptist who brought in a new dispensation, that of the gospel of the kingdom of God. John preached repentance of the heart that would result in righteousness in preparation for the arrival of the kingdom of God. Jesus proclaimed the same thing and often taught about the good news of God’s kingdom. God was in the process of fulfilling Jeremiah’s prophecy of a new covenant in which the law would be written on the heart and there would be a baptism by the spirit of God. Those that would believe in Jesus, the Messiah, would be saved.
The next phrase about “everyone is forcing his way into it” is difficult to translate and is debated, but its meaning becomes clear in this context. The Pharisees were trusting in their ability to keep the Law of Moses and were blind to the coming of a new dispensation with the arrival of John the Baptist. His preaching of the gospel resulted in multitudes of sinners repenting and doing whatever they could to get into the kingdom of God – they were “pressing, forcing their way in.” That was a cause of rejoicing to anyone that was actually righteous, but the Pharisees did not rejoice and neither did they heed John’s message for they did not believe it applied to them for they thought themselves to already be just.
The coming of Jesus, the Messiah, confirmed that a new dispensation had arrived, but contrary to the Pharisees accusations against Jesus, this was a fulfillment of the Law and not an abolishment of it. As Jesus stated it, it would be “easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.” If they had actually understood the law, that should have struck fear into their hearts since the law was given to bring about the knowledge and conviction of sin (Romans 7:7) and a tutor to bring people to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Jesus removes the ignorance by applying the law directly to them.
Applying the Law – Luke 16:18
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.”
This is a general statement given in a specific context in charging the Pharisees for violating what the Mosaic law states concerning divorce, and specifically what is said in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 which was used by them for justifying their practices of divorce and remarriage. There are additional Scriptures in the Old Testament and the New Testament that must be studied to gain a full understanding of God’s will concerning divorce and remarriage (Lev. 21; Deut. 22; Jer. 3; Mal. 2; Matt. 5, 19; Mark 10; 1 Cor. 7), but this passage is a rebuke to these Pharisees.
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 can be summarized that a man could divorce his wife if “it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her.” He must write her a certificate of divorce and send her away, but if she then marries another, and then the second husband dies or divorces her, then the first husband cannot remarry her for that would be “an abomination before the Lord.” Jesus stated in Matthew 19:8 that Moses permitted divorce only because of the hardness of their hearts. The question then revolved around what it meant that she found “no favor” in his eyes because “he found some indecency in her.”
The more conservative Rabbis restricted this to sexual immorality such as anything listed in Leviticus 18. The moderate and liberal Rabbis would allow divorce for other sins or even excuses. Some went so far as allowing for divorce if she did not cook to the husband’s satisfaction or even if he found someone who was better looking to him. Though the Pharisees were so strict on other areas of the law and often went far beyond the law in their restrictions, in this area it was to their personal advantage to be more loose in their interpretation and application of the law. The result was not only serial adultery for themselves, but adultery also forced upon others as the divorced woman would find someone else to marry in order to live. Jesus points out that their self-righteous practices not only violated the Mosaic Law but also caused sin to multiply.
Frankly, the same wicked ideas still float around within modern Christianity in which professing Christians divorce for all sorts of unbiblical reasons and still try to justify themselves. They are either ignorant of or blinded to the purpose of marriage in being a picture of Christ and the Church to the world (Eph. 5) and that forgiveness is to be a hallmark of Jesus’ followers (Ephesians 4:32). Or perhaps more often the truth is that they, like the Pharisees, are not true lovers of God. They have false beliefs about Christ and salvation and are still in their sins destined for judgment.
Jesus was not yet done rebuking the Pharisees. He now tells a most frightening story concerning the future of the unrighteous.
The Rich Man and Lazarus – Luke 16:19-31
First, this is not an allegory and there is nothing even remotely within the text to suggest that. Commentators that treat this as an allegory do so because that is simply their method of interpretation of Scripture. Such interpretation, even when well intentioned, obscures the actual meaning of the text and introduce ideas that are foreign to it. This becomes a wide open door for fanciful human ideas and musings that may even be contrary to God’s revelation. It is a very dangerous practice for both the commentator whom God will hold accountable and for the reader or listener who is lead astray by it.
Second, there is much debate about whether this is a parable or special revelation. I find that debate to be absolutely irrelevant. Those who insist that this is a parable do so because that enables them to diminish the importance of the details in the story or even deny they are applicable. As I explained last week, a parable is a story that is true to life whether it is fictional or the recounting of an actual event. (See: Prudent Stewardship) The details are given because they are important in enhancing the point of the parable and they are always within the realm of possibility even if it is a fictional tale. In other words, whether Jesus is telling this story as a fictional parable or a revelation of an actual event that He would know about since He is God, every detail within it is within the realm of something that is true or could be true. Jesus is not giving any false information. For those reasons, Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus not only gives a strong warning to the Pharisees about their future destiny if they do not repent, but it also gives us revelation about human existence after physical death.
Their Condition in Life: Luke 16:19-21. The story begins with a description of the manner of life of a rich man that is not named and a poor man named Lazarus. If this is a parable, it is the only one in which Jesus gives a character a specific name. The name in Hebrew is Eleazar and means, “God has helped.”
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.”
The rich man is very rich as demonstrated by his ability to consistently wear clothes dyed purple and those made of fine linen, both of which are very expensive. It takes a lot of work to process the fibers of the flax plant into fine linen cloth, and even more to extract enough dye from the Murex spp. mollusks to color cloth. Pliny notes that a pound of purple dyed cloth was worth 100 denarii, a hundred days wages for a common laborer. His wealth and manner of life is described in the ESV as “feasted sumptuously every day.” This was a man that loved the “good life.”
By contrast, Lazarus was impoverished. He was crippled in someway and had to be brought to and laid at the gate of the rich man where he could beg. He strongly desired to receive as food even whatever might fall off the rich man’s table. His condition was made worse by having many sores, ulcers of some sort, over his body. The dogs licking those sores is a graphic description of his inability to do anything for himself. He could not even shoo away the dogs. At the same time, the dogs showed more compassion than the rich man. They at least paid attention to Lazarus even if only to lick his wounds and not bite him.
Those whose eyes are fixed on this life would conclude that the rich man was blessed and Lazarus was cursed. From that worldly perspective it would even be easy to conclude that Lazarus’ name was a joke since it did not appear he received much help, and certainly not from God who could have healed him so he could have provided for himself. But that is the difference between a worldly perspective that is self-centered and can only see the present, and the godly that recognize that God has a purpose for every life including those with crippling debilitations and physical suffering in this life (John 9), and that the eternal state can be radically different.
Their Condition after Death: Luke 16:22-24. The conditions of the rich man and Lazarus are radically reversed after death. 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.’”
This section begins to reveal some specific aspects about human existence after death that can be quite disturbing. That is one reason many are desperate to say this is just a parable so that they do not have to accept these details as realities. Another reason for this is that this is the only passage that reveals some of these details about the afterlife so there is hesitancy to accept them as clear truth. I am of the strong opinion that while doctrine is certainly better affirmed if it is repeated in multiple Scripture passages, yet Jesus only has to say it once for it to be true. The difficulty will be in making sure that I correctly understand what He has said.
We first note that Lazarus dies and is carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The text does not state that the body of Lazarus is carried away, but only that Lazarus is carried away. Since we know from other passages such as 1 Thessalonians 4 and Revelation 20 that the resurrection of the physical body does not happen until a later time, we must conclude that this is referring to his soul, and that angels assist in the transfer of the soul from this dimension and location to a spiritual dimension in another place. Note as well that Lazarus goes to a place of comfort, and specifically for him, he is with Abraham.
Next we see the terrible fate of the rich man who dies and is buried. No angels are mentioned as being involved, but his soul is in Hades, the common New Testament reference for the Hebrew Sheol, the holding place of the dead. This is not final Hell, Gehenna, for according to Revelation 20 that does not occur until the end of the Millennium. This area of Hades is marked by the torment the rich man is in, and especially the heat of the flame that is causing him to be in agony. This agony of desiring even a drop of water to cool his tongue and the reference to his lifting up his eyes speaks of a physical suffering, yet there is no physical body. That was buried will not be resurrected until the Great White Throne judgment in Revelation 20. His agony is apparently made worse by being able to see that Lazarus is with Abraham and comforted while he is in torment. His request demonstrates that his selfish and proud nature has not changed. He who showed no mercy to Lazarus in life cries out to Abraham for mercy, but he still shows no thoughtfulness to Lazarus. It is understandable that he is desperate to receive even a moment of relief, but he is still utterly selfish for his request would require Lazarus to come to that place of flame and agony. What might Lazarus suffer?
The Finality of Eternity – Luke 16:25-26. Abraham’s answer to his request removes all hope of relief and gives more insight into life after physical death. 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.’”
Abraham is tender in calling him child as he explains the reason for what has happened and why the request cannot be fulfilled. The formerly rich man had received his good things in life. That was his full reward for the choices he had made. Lazarus had received many bad things in life, but note they are not “his” as if he was responsible for what he had suffered in life. Now the roles are reversed. The formerly rich man is in agony while Lazarus is comforted.
There is no idea of eastern mysticisms “karma” or “what goes around comes around” here. Jesus is telling this to the Pharisees as a warning of what future awaits them for their self-righteousness and breaking God’s laws if they did not repent. The man was not suffering because he had been rich. He was suffering because he lived for the pleasures of the moment and did nothing about preparing for eternity. He was proud, selfish and without compassion and therefore was being justly punished for his evil.
Though we do not know everything about eternity that we might like, we do know from this the current conditions in Hades and from that may have some idea about eternity. First, there is a chasm between the righteous and the unrighteous so that there cannot be any crossing over between them. Once you are dead, the location you will spend eternity is final. Second, there is some sort of awareness between the two. That would certainly add to the torment of those in agony. Perhaps it is one of the reasons the Lord will wipe away our tears in eternity (Revelation 21:4).
A Plea from Hades – Luke 16:27-31. For the first time the formerly rich man shows some compassion and makes a plea to Abraham. “And he said, ‘Then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my father’s house – for I have five brothers – that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.”
The man’s character remains unchanged since the concern of his plea is for his own family and especially for his five brothers. While it is good that he has some compassion for them, his character remains unchanged for he shows no concern for the rest of humanity, and it would actually be cruel to ask Lazarus to leave the comfort he now has with Abraham and return to life on this cruel earth.
Abraham’s answer is a simple reminder of what God has already provided. 29 “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’” This is even more pointed since Jesus is telling this to the Pharisees and they claimed to be followers of Moses and the Prophets. But they were not listening to them.
The man makes a further desperate plea explaining what he thinks would persuade his brothers. 30 “But he said, ‘No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!” The plea is understandable. If a miracle such as a dead man rising from the dead to preach the gospel took place, then people would listen and repent. Perhaps he may have even thought that he would have repented if he had experienced something like that. There is an underlying accusation that God has not done enough to cause repentance as if only one more miracle would do it.
Abraham then explained reality to him. 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.’ ” It would only be a short time later when this would be proven to be true. Those who are hard hearted will not believe regardless of any miracle that takes place. Jesus had already done miracle after miracle and they did not repent and believe. Within a few months he would raise another Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary from the dead, but the Pharisees would immediately start plotting how they could kill both Jesus and him (John 11; 12:9-10). Then shortly after that Jesus Himself would be killed and rise from the dead, but instead of repenting, they only plotted how cover up what they knew was true including bribing the men who guarded Jesus’ tomb to lie (Matthew 28:11-15).
The story of the rich man and Lazarus is Jesus’ warning to the Pharisees the terrible punishment awaiting them because they were self-righteous hypocrites. They claimed to be followers of Moses, but they did not keep the commandments of the Law. They claimed to be lovers of God, but their true love was wealth, pleasure and prestige in the here and now and so they failed to plan for eternity.
I wish this passage only applied to the Pharisees of that time, but it applies to all that live for the present and fail to plan for eternity. The description of the suffering in Hades which occurs before reaching the second death and being cast into actual Hell should frighten any rational person to flee from it and repent. But the reality is that most people will not heed this warning.
Many are like the Pharisees and in their self-righteousness believe they are bound for heaven. If they do not heed Paul’s admonition in 2 Cor. 13:5 to “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” they will spend eternity suffering and in regret of their arrogance.
Many others simply dismiss the whole idea of such suffering as religious myth created to control people with fear. Some reject the idea of both heaven and hell, but most in this camp want heaven while rejecting hell. They ignore the fact that Jesus often warned people about hell, and He also speaks of both in the same passages such as Matthew 25. Heaven is for real, but so is Hell.
Then there are the unrighteous that have grabbed onto the idea that a future in hell would not be that bad since they would be with their friends. They seem to think they will have a party there or something. However, the rich man in this story is reality. He has been in torment for more than 2,000 years and it will only get worse when he goes through the second death and is cast into eternal hell. If you have an unrighteous friend that has died, their message to you is the same as this formerly rich man. His plea was for something to be done to cause his brothers to repent because he did not want them to join him in that place of torment and flame. Like Marly in A Christmas Carol, those suffering in Hades would like to warn you if possible to change your ways before you also die and also experience the torment they are in. But unlike the fictional Marly, they cannot come to warn you, and they cannot send anyone else. But this passage reveals that the message they desire to send you from hell is repent!
Some reject this story saying God is love and He would not do that. Others reject God outright and is not love since He will do that. The truth is that God is love and demonstrates it every moment by His longsuffering patient mercy that allows the unrighteous to exist another day. He has proved the greatness of His love, kindness and grace in Jesus Christ who though God became a man, lived a sinless life, then willingly died as the substitute sacrifice to redeem man from his sin and offer forgiveness and adoption into God’s family for eternity to all that will believe. And He did it for us while we were still sinners full of enmity against Him. There is no greater love.
But God’s holiness and justice are as great as His love, and those that do not obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will receive the full measure of His just retribution and pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).
For those of you who have not repented of your sins to believe and bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ, take heed the warning of the rich man suffering in Hades at this moment. Take heed Jesus’ many warnings about Hell where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9). Repent!
For those of you who do believe and are safe in the arms of Jesus. Thank Him and give Him praise for His mercy and grace and abounding and incomprehensible love that would save you from your sins. Then go out and tell others what He has done for you at Calvary and by His resurrection from the dead, and do not neglect to warn about the destiny of the unrighteous that do not repent. It is the message the unrighteous suffering in Hades would give if only they could.
Sermon Notes – 12/17/2017
The Destiny of the Unrighteous – Luke 16:14-31
Jesus has been teaching a great _______________made of a mix of His disciples, sinners and Pharisees
Jesus’ parable of the unrighteous steward taught His disciples _______________ and the wise use of wealth
You will serve the master you _____________, but you cannot serve both God and mammon
The Reaction of the Pharisees – Luke 16:14
The Pharisees listening to Jesus were “fond of __________” – avaricious, greedy of gain, hoarders of riches
They scoffed (turned up their nose) believing they were __________to Jesus – and proof you could love both
Jesus responded by ______________and rebuking their self-righteous hypocrisy – Luke 16:15-18
Exposing Wicked Hearts – Luke 16:15
They were self-righteous and of the type that did it for outward show to __________________, not God
The heart of man is deceitful, and so the self-righteous are often ______to their own abominable sin of pride
Affirming the Law – Luke 16:16-17
All the Hebrew Scriptures were proclaimed until John brought the new ________________of the Gospel
Jesus began the process of fulfilling Jeremiah’s ______________of the new covenant
The Pharisees trusted their self-righteousness, but sinners were repenting & _________to enter the kingdom
Jesus affirmed and fulfilled the ___________, He was not abolishing it
Applying the Law – Luke 16:18
This is a general statement in a specific context of charging the Pharisees for ____________the Mosaic Law
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 allowed for divorce due to the ____________of men’s hearts (Matt. 19:8)
Conservative Rabbis ____________divorce to sexual immorality as listed in Leviticus 18
Moderate & Liberal Rabbis _____________for divorce for diverse and selfish reasons
The Pharisees’ practice of divorce and remarriage resulted in the multiplication of ______________
The same wicked ideas are common in “Christianity” because people love _____________, not Christ
The Rich Man and Lazarus – Luke 16:19-31
It is irrelevant if this is a fictional parable or special revelation since ______that Jesus teaches is _______
Jesus does not give false information in the _________, therefore this does give insight into life after death
Their Condition in Life: Luke 16:19-21
The rich man was very wealthy and lived for the “________________”
Lazarus was __________________, crippled, and unable to take care of himself
The world would consider the rich man to be ___________and Lazarus cursed, but that is not God’s view
Their Condition after Death: Luke 16:22-24
The details are disturbing, so people want to eliminate or _______________ them.
Some of the details about the afterlife are only found here, so there is hesitancy to hold them as __________
Lazarus is carried by Angles to Abraham’s bosom – there is no mention of Lazarus’ ___________
The rich man dies and his body is buried, but he is in _____________in a place torment & agony in flames
The unrighteous suffer though the ___________body is not resurrected until Rev. 20 and then cast into Hell
He was without mercy in life, but now wants mercy, yet is still _________and without no regard for Lazarus
The Finality of Eternity – Luke 16:25-26
Abraham is tender, but explains the reasons for what has happened and why the request _______be fulfilled
This is not “karma,” but a specific ____________to Pharisees who face punishment for their multiple sins
There is a ___________that separates the righteous from the unrighteous and prevents any crossover
A Plea from Hades – Luke 16:28
His plea is only for his own family, especially his brothers, _____________concern for others – or Lazarus
They already had Moses and the Prophets – but they were ________listening to them
The underlying accusation is that God has not done _______- including miracles – to bring about repentance
The resurrection of Lazarus and Jesus proved the truth of verse 31 – for they ____________both
The description of suffering should frighten any rational person to ________ from it and repent
The self-righteous believe they are bound for heaven – they need to ____________themselves – 2 Cor. 13:5
Dismissing this as religious myth does not change the ___________ of what Jesus has revealed
It is a place of suffering, and the message of your friends that are there is ________! Don’t join them there
God’s love is proved in His ___________in letting sinners live and grace in Jesus Christ providing salvation
God’s holiness and justice are as great as His love, so those that do not repent will receive _____punishment
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the “Pharisees” are mentioned. 2) Discuss with your parents the meaning of repentance and how to be sure you will go to heaven.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is the context for Luke 16:14-31? Who is present to hear Jesus? Who is Jesus specifically addressing? What is the significance that the Pharisees were “lovers of money”? Why were they scoffing at Jesus’ teaching? How did the Pharisees try to justify themselves before men? What did they esteem that God found detestable? What is the “Law & the Prophets”? What is the prophetic significance of the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom by John and Jesus? Why does Jesus affirm the continuance of the Law? Who was pressing into the kingdom? Were the Pharisees doing that? Why does Jesus bring up the subject of divorce and remarriage? How did the Pharisees treat divorce? How do people still violate God’s will concerning marriage, divorce and remarriage? Is it important whether the story of the rich man and Lazarus is a parable or not? Does Jesus tell stories that include falsehoods? What was life like for the rich man? For Lazarus? What was the condition of each after death? Why was Lazarus comforted? Why was the rich man in torment? Why can’t the those who have died change their location? What do the learn about human existence after physical death? Did the rich man have any change of character after death? Why won’t miracles cause people to repent? What was the reaction of the Pharisees to the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11, 12)? Of Jesus (Matthew 28)? What message would the unrighteous suffering in Hades want to give to their friends that are still alive? How do we know that heaven is real? How do we know that Hell is real? Do you know for certain that you are going to heaven? If so, why? If not, why not?
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