not a theology of the afterlife


devotional post #2014

Luke 16:24-31

Luk 16:24 So he yelled out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things and Lazarus likewise bad things, but now he is being comforted here and you are in agony.
Luk 16:26 Besides all this, a great gap has been placed between us, so that those who want to cross over from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’
Luk 16:27 So the rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, father — send Lazarus to my father’s house
Luk 16:28 (because I have five brothers) to warn them so that they don’t come into this place of torment.’
Luk 16:29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they must listen to them.’
Luk 16:30 Then the rich man said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone risen from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Luk 16:31 He replied to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'”

not a theology of the afterlife

Before we rush to assume that Jesus is teaching us what happens at death in this passage, we should keep in mind the fact that the audience was the Pharisees, the story likely was woven around their theology, not Christ’s.

When Jesus taught his disciples about death, he called it sleep. When Jesus taught his disciples about judgment, he said it would happen at his return, not at death. When Jesus taught his disciples about what hell would be like, he said it would destroy the person cast into it, not torment him.

The purpose of this parable is to convince those who think that they are saved because they are rich that it ain’t necessarily so. Other than that, we should be careful not to make this parable walk on “all fours.” It is not a theology of the afterlife.

LORD, give us wisdom to treat your word with respect, and avoid making it something it is not.


About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a former Christian missionary.
This entry was posted in Bible, destruction in hell, discernment, sleep of death and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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