Good Reason for Fear
19) "Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. 20) A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was taken to his gate, full of sores, 21) and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22) The beggar died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. 23) In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. 24) He cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.'
25) "But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But here he is now comforted, and you are in anguish. 26) Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that no one may cross over from there to us.'
27) "He said, 'I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house; 28) for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won't also come into this place of torment.'
29) "But Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.'
30) "He said, 'No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
31) "He said to him, 'If they don't listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.' "Luke 16:19-31 (WEB)
Some find comfort by simply not reading these verses. Others find comfort by believing that this is a parable. Why not find comfort through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ to avoid the fate of this rich man who burns in Hell?
Good Reason for Fanaticism
11) I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. There was found no place for them. 12) I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13) The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works. 14) Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15) If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.Revelation 20:11-15 (WEB)
Say what? Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire empty, giving up every soul! The rich man above will be plucked out of Hades to stand before the Great White Throne Judgment and his final fate (as ours) is penned in the pages of the Book of Life. I grew up sensibly on the farm where black was black and white was white, men were men and women were women, Hell was Hell and Heaven was Heaven. However, fanaticism for God’s saving grace to all mankind should ignite through a little study of Greek and the revelation that Hell and the Lake of Fire are not the same place. For now we ask what is the final fate of the rich man who burns in Hell, is his name in the Book of Life, or will he also burn in the Lake of Fire?
Good Reason for Faith
4) For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5) For Moses writes about the righteousness of the law, "The one who does them will live by them." 6) But the righteousness which is of faith says this, "Don't say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down); 7) or, 'Who will descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.)" 8) But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart;" that is, the word of faith which we preach: 9) that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10) For with the heart, one believes resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made resulting in salvation. 11) For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.Romans 10:4-11 (WEB)
Can we know the rich man’s fate? Well, can we know if our own name is in the Book of Life? Some imagine they wrote their own name in the book by believing, but we cannot ascend to Heaven with a pen. Others imagine they erased their unbelief by doing good works. However, we cannot descend into the abyss with an eraser to undo our crimes against Christ.
Why not instead repent, believe, and know that Jesus wrote our names in the book before the world began? Why not rejoice that his blood paid for the sins of all mankind? Jesus has chosen to forgive the sins of every single human being from the almost perfect to the heinous whether Hitler or Mother Teresa, the unborn or the dead, the Jew or the Arab, or me or you.
The Rich man's sins are paid and forgiven...
just as are yours...
by the blood of Christ!