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Hell Is A Real Place

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SEPTEMBER 18, 2022 STUDY NOTES LUKE 16: 19-31 BIBLE TEACHER: CLIFTON JONES HELL IS A REAL PLACE INTRODUCTION This is a very familiar passage of Scripture that has been preached many times in day’s past But in modern preaching and teaching the subject of “Hell” is not a popular subject Many modern and liberal theologians do not believe that “Hell is a Real Place” Many people today do not want to believe that there is a “Real Place” known as “Hell” But the truth of “Hell” must be preached today, the “lost” must hear what Hell is going to be like The saved must know that their lost friends and loved ones are going to spend an eternity in Hell WHAT IS THE TRUTH OF HELL? Hell is the name of a real place where real people go People who reject Jesus and are spiritually lost will go to Hell and spend an eternity there People who go to Hell will be tormented forever (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9) No human experience in this world will come close to comparing to the experience of Hell Most of the Biblical teaching about Hell comes from the lips of Jesus We must pay close attention to what Jesus says in this passage of Scripture It is not a parable, it is the true story of the life, death, and eternity of two different men Men who lived different lives, died different deaths, and are spending eternity in different places This story tells us the truth about life upon the earth and the truth about life after death If it is a parable, the same truths of life, death, and eternity are presented A MAN OF MEANS--Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: A man who had anything and everything that he wanted, he was worldly rich and spiritually poor He was “clothed in purple and fine linen” the most expensive clothes that money could buy Most of us have a big choice of clothes to wear and more than enough food to eat each day Most of us have more leisure time than we really need and do what we want to do He lived a bright and colorful life in the upper level of the social status, daily life was a party for him In many ways, he is no different than the average American of today and their life of self-pleasure Many people spend more time in pleasure than they do working Many today are like the rich man, living their own life and doing their own thing Without any thought toward the spiritual life and having little or no desire for God The rich man was too concerned about himself to be concerned about God or others He “fared sumptuously every day,” he lived in leisure and luxury (America’s desired lifestyle) But his earthly life was an eternal loss, Mar 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matthew 16:26; Luke 9:25; Jeremiah 9:23-24) Jesus called another rich man a fool because of his earthly desires, Luk 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. Luk 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Earthly decisions must be mindful of the eternal state) Page 1 of 7 A MAN OF NO MEANS--Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, Lazarus is presented in contrast to the rich man, in many ways they are different Lazarus is a poor beggar, living in the depths of poverty, but he was spiritually rich He is hungry, without proper clothing, and diseased, but he was spiritually healthy He is in the gutter of man’s social status and there is no earthly place for him (John 14:1-3) It is interesting to discover that his name means, “God has helped,” (Eternal significance) I am sure that because of his physical condition he was being mocked by many because of his name Natural man, those who are unsaved, cannot see the truth that is revealed in his name (Spirituality) Only those who have a spiritual insight can look at Lazarus and understand “God’s help” Jesus is presenting to us the true values of earthly life and the truth of eternal life The natural man would ask, “How has God helped this poor beggar?” They would say, “Look at him, he has no home, no food, no clothes” Look at him, he begs from the street and his body is diseased, God must despise him Yet, Lazarus had a joy that man may not see, he had hope that man did not understand Lazarus could say, “Praise the Lord,” and that would blow the mind of the mockers What lessons do we need to learn from this story of Lazarus? When do we think that “God has helped” and we can say, “Praise the Lord?” Is it only when we have plenty of food, good clothes, enough money, and good health? Is that the only time that we want to “Praise the Lord?” Is your “Praise for God” centered only upon the things of this world? Is your “Praise for God” focused upon the circumstances of this earthly life? Where is our “Praise for God” when the circumstance of life, are not what we ordered? When the storm destroys our earthly belongings, or disease begins to destroy the body? Do we still believe that “God has helped?” Do we still believe Romans 8:28? Because of his circumstances, do you think Lazarus wanted to change his name? As Christians, we must learn that the “help of God” is more than the food we eat It is finer than the clothes we wear and greater than the home we live in God’s help goes far beyond the life that we now live upon this earth Our joy is in Jesus and our hope is in God and not in the circumstances of daily life Therefore, nothing can take away the “Joy of Jesus” that is within the heart (Philippians 4:7) “God’s help” is beyond anything that will happen to us upon this earth Lazarus had no earthly possessions, but he was spiritually rich and possessed Heaven HE WAS LAID AT THE GATE OF THE RICH MAN Evidently someone would carry Lazarus and place him at the gate of the rich man daily Probably thinking that the only hope of help that Lazarus had was from the rich man They thought if anyone in town could help Lazarus, it would be the rich man (A worldly mind) But in the plan of God, this may have been more than an opportunity for the rich man The rich man could see a man that he could physically help But he could also see a man that could spiritually help him, a witness before his very eyes I am sure that Lazarus would pray daily, and the rich man would hear him praying The rich man could listen to Lazarus and learn about Jesus (A God-given opportunity) But the rich man was not looking for God, he was not listening for God to speak to him The rich man missed the opportunity that God had placed before him Opportunity knocked upon the door of the rich man, but he refused to open the door How often do we walk out of our door and in a few steps of life we face a God-given opportunity? An opportunity to represent Christ and serve others, to meet their needs of life, Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Page 2 of 7 As Christians, we are the servants of Christ and must go out to witness and minister unto others The dogs helped Lazarus when the rich man refused to help A LESSON FROM THE DOGS--Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The dogs had more compassion for Lazarus than the rich man did “The dogs came and licked his sores,” that is what dogs do, it is their God-given nature Dogs lick their own wounds as a means of medication and healing Dogs care for one another by licking one another’s wounds The dogs would lick the body of Lazarus as they would their own body Their soft tongues would help to ease the pain of Lazarus The rich man could have learned from God’s creation if he had been interested But he was only interested in self and could not take his eyes off-of himself Therefore, he could not see the truth of earthly life, but he soon saw the truth of the future life LIFE AFTER DEATH--Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; Lazarus died physically, his human life in his diseased body ceased to exist But physical death is not the end of life, it is the beginning of an eternal existence There was no funeral service on earth for Lazarus at death Most likely man carried his dead body to the garbage dump to be burned (Known as “Gehenna”) But immediately at the time of death, Angels carried his spirit into “Abraham’s bosom” This is the only place that the expression “Abraham’s bosom” is found in Scripture Abraham is known as the “Father of Faith,” representing all who have trusted God There is a place for those who have trusted in God when they die physically The place for the righteous dead was also known as “Paradise” Paradise was a place of peace and comfort for God’s people Before the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, Paradise was in Hades (Luke 23:43) When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He delivered Paradise unto the Father (Eph 4:8-10) Jesus transferred Paradise from Hades to the “Third Heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:1-4) Jesus now has full authority over Hades (Rev 1:18; Mt 16:18) The believer now goes to the “Third Heaven Paradise” at the time of physical death (Acts 7:55-60; Philippians 1:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14) The lost continue to go to “Torment in Hades” at the time of physical death Hades is the place of the dead, the abode of the dead The rich man also died and went to Hades, but he did not enter-into Hades/Paradise The wealth of the rich man could not pay off the debt of sin and death, Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: His earthly riches could not purchase Paradise or buy for him a mansion in Heaven But his money provided for him the finest funeral that man could have His body “was buried,” but his soul entered-into the torments of Hell TORMENTS IN HELL--Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. The word “Hell” is translated from the Greek word “Hades,” the unseen world, the world beyond death “Hades” is the temporary realm of the dead where the lost await their final judgment The place where the lost go after death to await the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15) Following the “Great White Throne” judgment they will be delivered into the “Lake of Fire” Page 3 of 7 “Eternal Hell,” as we talk of, is actually known as, the “Lake of Fire” The Lake of Fire is the eternal or permanent place of punishment for the lost Before the cross of Jesus, there was a division in Hades that separated the saved from the lost Those in Hades are conscious of their existence of life after death All-of the senses of the physical body still exist in the life after death The rich man could see, he saw Lazarus with Abraham, he could speak, he cried out and he prayed He could hear, he heard what Abraham said to him, he had feelings, he was in torment He could taste, he said, “cool my tongue with a drop of water” (verse 24) He had a mind, Abraham told him to remember (verse 25) And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, notice that “torments” is plural The torment is more than being in the place we call Hell The fire of torment touches all-of the senses of the soul Part of the pain of Hades was what the rich man could see, his sight tortured him He had seen Lazarus many times in his daily life upon earth and it never bothered him But now for the first time he really paid attention to Lazarus, he knew who he was He knew why Lazarus was in Paradise and that tormented him He knew Lazarus because he had seen him day after day But how did he know who Abraham was? He had never seen Abraham Abraham had lived hundreds of years before the rich man and even before “face-book” But the rich man identified who Abraham was and saw that he was in Paradise I believe that this teaches us that beyond death there is a total revelation of life That after death the truth of life is revealed, the rich man could see the truth of earthly life The life that he had missed while living upon earth, the life that he had refused to live The purpose of earthly life from its beginning will be seen throughout eternity There will be plenty of time to see why we were born and the life that God had for us Those in Hell will see the life they missed and refused, and it will torment them forever PRAYERS OF HELL--Luk 16:24 And 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 tormented in this flame. The rich man called upon “Father Abraham” because he was a Jew He was trusting his future state of eternity to his physical heritage, he was born a Jew But the most orthodox Jew must receive Jesus and be saved, or they will spend eternity in Hell His religious background did not keep him from going to Hell, a religious life is not salvation It is no different for a good and well-mannered Gentile, everyone must be born-again (John 3:3,7) There is only one way of salvation, Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. There was communication in Hades between those in Abraham’s bosom and those tormented Today there is no communication between the saints in Heaven and the souls in Hell No Scripture indicates that such a communication takes places today Listen to the rich man’s prayer, “Have mercy on me,” notice that he did not ask for “Grace” There is a reason why he asked for mercy instead of grace, today is the “Day of Grace” Grace is God bestowing upon us that which we do not deserve (Ephesians 2:8-9) Today God freely offers to us what we do not deserve through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 6:2) “Mercy” is God not bestowing upon us that which we deserve (Ephesians 2:4) The rich man knew that he deserved Hell because he had rejected the Grace of God Those in Hell are tormented because they know they are receiving what they deserve In Hell there is no mercy, no grace, no forgiveness, no more love bestowed But today it can all be yours when you receive Jesus Christ, Joh 1:14 And the Word was made Page 4 of 7 flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. The answer to the “thirst” in Hell is Jesus, Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. What a contrast, the eternal thirst of Hell and the flow of the rivers of living water in Heaven Hear the rich man, there is torment in Hell, “for I am tormented in this flame” The words that the rich man spoke tormented him, he experienced the pain of speech He burned with pain because of what he could see, hear, feel, and remember Are the “flames” of Hell a literal fire? If not, there is nothing on earth that can relate to the torment better than the symbol of fire If not, then Jesus used the most awful symbols known to man to tell us about Hell Abraham told the rich man of the rewards of Heaven and the rewards of Hell REWARDS OF LIFE--Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. What Abraham said to the rich man had to intensify his pain, he said, “remember” This verse reveals the internal torments of Hell, the torment of the mind Throughout eternity those in Hell will have a good memory, a mind that functions well But the things they remember will not be well with them, they will want to forget them Have you ever been unable to sleep at night because of a miserable mind? The thought of failure, something that you didn’t do or something you did wrong The thought of something that you had lost, especially a lost opportunity The lost will be tormented continually because of a miserable mind They will not forget their lifetime on earth, Jesus said, “remember thy lifetime” The rich man chose his earthly way of life, he made his decisions based upon self alone His earthly “good things” were his expensive clothes and his party lifestyle He lived it all for good, but now all-of the good is gone, and now “thou art tormented” The good is over with and it was not so good after all, and the price was high In his brief earthly life, he experienced all-of the good that he will ever know Abraham compared the earthly life and the eternal state of the rich man and Lazarus In the lifetime of Lazarus, he received “evil things,” referring to his troubles and afflictions “But now he is comforted,” the things that were not good on earth are now over with Lazarus will never remember a life of pain and sorrow because he is eternally “comforted” All tears have been wiped away, all sorrow is gone, there is no more pain for Lazarus (Rev 21:4) NO SECOND CHANCE--Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. In Hades, there was a great separation between the rich man and Lazarus The realization of that separation is another mental torment for those in Hell Those in Hell know that they are eternally separated from their saved family and friends The most miserable mental pain is knowing that they are eternally separated from God At the time of physical death eternal destiny is fixed, there will be, no second chance There will be no presentations of the Gospel in Hell, no more opportunities of salvation There will be no invitations given in Hell to receive Christ as Savior Today there is no great gulf fixed between us and the lost, today is the day to witness to the lost Today is the day to speak to those loved ones who are lost and without Christ Page 5 of 7 HELL IS MISSION MINDED--Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: The rich man could not do what we now have the-opportunity to do, warn the lost about Hell Hell may be more interested in the lost than the average church of today Those is Heaven cannot go to the lost, those in Hell cannot speak to their family on earth That is why they are crying out for us to go, we can go today, we must go today PREVENTION OF HELL--Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. The rich man knew that his life had been an influence upon his brothers They wanted to be like him, but now he doesn’t want them to be like him No one in Hell wants you to come to Hell, they are praying that you will not come to Hell They are praying that someone will witness to you and tell you about Jesus Every time someone enters Hell, there is a greater degree of torture for those in Hell If Heaven rejoices over every soul that enters Heaven (Luke 15:10) Then Hell torments over every soul that enters Hell, those in Hell do not want you there HEED GOD’S WORD--Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. Here again is something to be considered, how did Abraham know about Moses? Moses was born about 600 years after the life of Abraham How did Abraham know about Moses and the prophets who followed him? Once you enter-into eternity there is a revelation of the past, you learn the truth of life Abraham knew that the Scriptures had been written and man must hear and obey them People today are accountable for their opportunities to hear God’s Word REPENT TODAY--Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. The rich man knew that his brothers must “repent,” change their mind about God and salvation There must be a “Repentance unto Salvation” in-order to be delivered from Hell’s punishment No one will ever enter-into the presence of God apart from “Repentance unto Salvation” Repentance is turning from sin and unbelief and turning unto God through Jesus Paul’s preaching of the gospel included repentance and faith toward Jesus (Acts 20:21) Faith without repentance is not scriptural faith, saving faith involves real repentance The rich man knew that he was in Hell because he did not repent and receive Jesus Christ THE GOSPEL TRUTH--Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. The “Gospel Truth” is found only in the Word of God, Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The power of salvation is in the “Gospel,” Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. You must hear and believe, Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. You must hear Jesus, Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. CONCLUSION In this passage we are given an earthly comparison of the saved and the lost Page 6 of 7 Earthly things that our mind can picture, experiences that we can relate too The purpose is to direct our attention to our present life upon earth, regardless of what it is We are given the truth of life after death, the eternal state, Heaven, and Hell are real places We must realize that our eternal state is determined before we die, the choice is ours today The rich man did not go to Hell because he was rich or refused to minister to Lazarus He did not go to Hell because of his live-it up lifestyle, he went to Hell because He rejected Jesus The rich man gives us a testimony from Hell, pay attention to it, believe it Hear him say, those in Hell don’t want anyone else to enter Hell’s torment Listen to the Bible, Jesus is the Savior, He is the Redeemer, He saves from Hell Eternity with God begins with receiving Jesus as your Savior, Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. If there was any other way to be saved and enter Heaven, John 3:16 would not be in the Bible Page 7 of 7
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