The Rich Man and Lazarus
Dear Martin Zender:
So God lied when he said there is Hell (the
tormenting kind)? Let me guess, soul sleep right? So Jesus lied about
The Rich Man and Lazarus, Mt 5:29, 30, Mark 9:43,45,47, plus much more? God is Just, so Jesus Christ must be all Love yet all Justice.
Sorry to hear about your run in with religion,
but calling Jesus Christ Savior, yet liar, will land you in the place you feel
don't exist because man, Satan, and merchandisers have shamefully abused it for
power, deception, and wealth. That in no way makes it go away. Yes we are to
FEAR the Lord, or should we take that word out of God's Word? Sorry Martin, all
men are liars and you are proving it, you are one of the nicest and kindest but
still a liar.
Go ahead, give me your best shot.
This doesn’t require my best shot.
We can eliminate the thought that God lies, because we both will agree that
He doesn’t. The question is, what did He say? Neither God nor Jesus ever said
"hell." They inspired their writers to say Gehenna, tartarus, and
hades. It’s the King James translators (and the NIV people) who have
translated these three different Greek words with the catch-all
"hell." So as soon as you say, "there is a hell," you are
already confusing the subject and demonstrating your weaknesses, which are
imprecision, carelessness, and—I’m sorry—a touch of laziness. I don’t
mind that you’re this way, except when you impinge upon the name and character
of God, at which time you strain both my niceness and kindness.
Luke 16:19-31 (the Rich Man and Lazarus) is a parable. Jesus is in the midst
of teaching five parables, beginning in 15:3 with the parable of the lost sheep.
Following that are the parables of the lost coin, the prodigal son, the unjust
administrator, and the Rich Man and Lazarus. The purpose of these parables is to
teach the Pharisees a lesson about how they treat publicans and sinners. If you
take the Rich Man parable literally (which apparently you do), you have to throw
out everything the rest of the scriptures have to say about death. But not only
Is Lazarus literally sitting on the bosom on Abraham? Why not, if this is
literal? In the parable, the Rich Man is damned because he was rich and wore
fine things. Lazarus is sitting on Abraham’s chest simply because he got bad
things in this life. Think about this, Ross. There is nothing here about the
gospel, nothing about faith. If you’re going to make this parable the criteria
for either being consciously tormented in flame or sitting on Abraham’s chest
for eternity, then you’re going to have to base salvation on wealth, not
faith. Well? What is the criteria for salvation in this context? Physical
disadvantage only; there is nothing about faith here. So lets all wear
grubby clothes and get dogs to lick our cold sores. We’ll be on our way!
I’m curious. Since this is a five-fold parable, beginning in chapter 15,
why don’t you make the Prodigal Son in 15:11-32 literal? At the end of the
parable, the father says, "This, my son, was dead." Why don’t you
take that death literally? Using your system of interpreting parables
literally, you can use the parable of the prodigal son to prove that, after
people die, they go off to a far country, spend all their money on whores and
alcohol, then end up in a pig sty eating indigestible corn. Ross, I don’t
think you want to do this.
As for your verses from Matthew and Mark, Jesus is speaking of Gehenna, not
hell. All you need to discover this for yourself is 1) a concordance, 2) a Bible
dictionary, 3) the Bible itself, and 4) an ounce of common sense. The
concordance will verify for you that Jesus said Gehenna, not hell. The Bible
dictionary will tell you that Gehenna is a valley on the southwest side of
Jerusalem, not some mythological torture chamber. The Bible will inform you
(Isaiah 66:24) that Gehenna is the place of capital punishment in the
thousand-year kingdom, where "all flesh shall come to worship before Me in
Jerusalem, says Yahweh. And they fare forth and see the corpses of the mortals,
the transgressors against Me. For their worm shall not die, and their fire shall
not be quenched, and they become a repulsion to all flesh."
Common sense will tell you that corpses neither writhe nor scream.
Let God be true, though every man a liar.
You won't believe that when you die.