The Great Escape
“And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. Then 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.’” - Luke 16:23, 24.
Jesus tells how both the poor beggar died and was carried by angels to a place of comfort and the rich man died and went to a place of torment.
Jesus makes it very clear that life goes on after death. The rich man did not go to the place of torment because of his riches but because his life was so taken up with materialism that is meaningless. He never bothered about the things of God and had no relationship with Him.
He died and was buried but he could still see, because he saw Abraham and Lazarus. Further, he could speak and was conscious of where he was and the torment that he was suffering. It was all very real. He had passed from an earthly life into eternity.
Yes! Hell is a real place, and not the figment of someone’s imagination. Being a spirit being and living in a human body we express ourselves through the body.
At death the believer, like Lazarus, is carried by angels into the presence of the Lord - that was why Paul, the apostle, says, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. For the unbeliever, according to Jesus, to be absent from the body is to be separated from the Lord and in torment.
The choice for your eternal destination is made now while you are still alive on this earth. There is no second chance after death.
But the good news, which is the gospel, is that God has made a way of escape for everyone and anyone who will accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. That’s why he died on the cross so that we would never have to suffer in hell for our sins. He paid that debt to set us free.
Dear Father in heaven, You are merciful and gracious, not willing that any should perish but that all may come to the knowledge of the truth. You have provided a way through the Lord Jesus and His precious blood so that I can be reconciled and have fellowship with You for eternity.