Sunday, October 20, 2019
“Eternity: Smoking or Non-Smonking”
This text is one of over 30 parables Jesus shared in the synoptic Gospels.
A parable is an earthly story with spiritual implications.
This is a very sobering story.
It’s a stark reminder that the body and flesh will die, but the soul lives on forever.
Our eternal existence isn’t a matter of maybe it’s a matter of fact.
We make the choice in this life where we end up in the next.
There are only two places to go to at death. Heaven or Hell.
Will your eternal life be smoking or non-smoking?
In the parable we read. The rich man made a choice to live his life in luxury and reveling in the material things of earth.
He died his body was buried and his soul descended into hell.
He didn’t o to eternal judgement because he was rich. It was because he was an unrepentant sinner who was unrighteous before God.
We learn from this story that Hell is located somewhere in a lower region of the earth.
Verse 23 says “In hell he lifted up his eyes.”
Cast them down to hell.
Go down alive into hell.
Descending to the chambers of death.
Shall descend into it
Descend into the Pit.
Those who go down to the Pit.
Shall go to the lowest parts of the Earth.
Hell in my discernment is in the bowels of the earth.
Hell was not originally created to house and hold the soul’s of the unrighteous.
Jesus said in Matthew 25-41 that was created for the devil and his angels, however murder of Abel by Cain, God made hell also as a place for unrepented souls to be judged after this life.
It’s not what God wants it is what justice demands.
2Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slack concerning his promises as some men count slackness, but he is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Why? Because I believe that it breaks his heart when those created in his image would die and go to eternity in hell. God did not want the rich man to go there, the rich man went there because he rejected God. Hell is a terrible place. It’s a place of suffering and torment. It is eternal separation from God.
The rich man begged that Lazarus be sent to dip his finger in water and drop it on his tongue for a second of relief. It was an unquenchable thirst.
Relief from the heat, fire and flames and smoke. Jesus said it is so terrible the lost will gnash their teeth in agony. It’s a place of everlasting, darkness and sorrow.
Peter said that there are fallen angels already chained in the pit in darkness.
It’s a place of consciousness, the rich man held a conversation with Abraham.
Hell is a place of memory.
The rich man asked that Lazarus be allowed to go and tell his 5 brothers about that terrible place so they wouldn’t go there.
It’s a place where the individual will always remember the choices they made. In this world. They will remember everything, including rejecting Christs Gospel.
Jesus spoke about hell 3 times more than he did heaven.
Jesus does not want anyone to end up there.
Jesus gave his life to give us the chance to avoid hell through him.
If you’re a believer and born again praise the Lord you not going to hell.
If you don’t have Jesus in your heart and your sin are not forgiven, that’s what your eternal destiny is smoking.
Now let me tell you a little bit about the place where Christians will go when we die and where the unsaved can choose to go.
Heaven is the opposite of hell in its locations.
The Old Testament book of Isaiah its said to be in the north it’s, the early church saints were buried facing to the east because they believed that Christ would return to the rising sun in the east.
If so, then perhaps it is in the northeast.
We know that it is above us.
Paul said there are 3 heavens:
The first is where the birds and fowls abide.
The second is where the planets, the Sun, the moon and the stars abide.
The 3rd is where heaven is and where God abides.
There is no night there. Opposite of no light in hell.
There are mansions, streets of gold, the river of life, a sea called crystal
The tree of life, the saints of all the ages, the heavenly host, Jesus and the Father upon his throne.
What a contrast between heaven and hell.
The final point I want to relate is where Lazarus and Abraham were in todays parable.
Before the resurrection of Christ the souls of the righteous did not directly go to heaven like we will do now.
They went to a place called Paradise.
Christs soul descended into Paradise a part of Sheol, Hades to set the captive saints free. This would have included Lazarus and Abraham.
Paradise is now empty and will forever be. Because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
So will your eternity be smoking or non smoking, that’s totally up to you.