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Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by John Wells, Jul 21, 2003.
Do you believe in the literalness of hell (Luke 16:19–31) and the reality of Satan and demons?
Thanks for that well thought out, in depth response, Diane!
Well John, I've never doubted the existence of satan so I just figured that said it all.
I believe these verses are an actual happening. Lazarus wasn't buried. His body was carted out of town and thrown on the burning garbage heap like other beggars. The rich man was buried in a big ceremony. Can you just imagine this rich man in hades, looking into heaven and recognizing Lazarus in his new, fully whole and healthy heavenly body....... and knowing that his family was going to follow him into that pit!
Luke 16: 19 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 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.' 25 But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.' 27 Then he said, 'I beg 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, lest they also come to this place of torment.' 29 Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, 'No, Father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' "
Yes, I believe in an actual hell. I believe in an actual Satan and his demonic helpers.
Not necessarily. I suspect Jesus is using figurative terms as an accomodation to human understanding. In any case, the picture that He paints is so negative I would not want anyone to suffer that fate.
But I don't think any of them run around in red pajamas with pitchforks.
Why did Lazarus go to heaven?
Did he accept Jesus? Or does God let in all poor beggars?
Why did the rich man go to hell?
Because he was rich?
The story seems to indicate that those that have it really bad on earth get an instant reprieve from damnation and go straight to the arms of Abraham.
As Luke 16 conflicts with the necessities of christian salvation as I know them, I'd be hesitant to take literal meaning from this account of heaven and hell.
That and the idea of people in heaven chatting to people in hell, most likely people they knew on earth and watching them wail and scream with no pity for them kinda creeps me out.
Do you really believe that you will watch your non-christian loved ones burning in pain for eternity, even being able to talk to them and hear them gibber in agony and have no problem with that?
Doesn't sound like heaven to me.
Neither do I. They usually appear attractive until a person finds out they are bound in their chains, i.e. drug addiction, alcohol addiction, pornography, etc. And yes, I'm stating those addictions are connected with spiritual demons.
Booze - they call it "spirits" don't they?
If the Bible says it, why not believe it?
Yes, there is a literal hell. Jesus taught on it several times (where the worm dieth not, and the fire is never quenched). If it were not a reality, Jesus would have made that fact clear in the telling of it.
Hell was not made for man. It was created for Satan and the angels that followed him. When man sinned in the Garden, man became deserving of an eternity in torment to pay for his sin against God (but even eternity cound not pay for it).
Hell is not eternal. When the unsaved are raised at the end of time, death, hell, and the sea give up those who are in them, and death and hell are cast into the lake of fire along with the Beast and his prophet, Satan, and his angels (devils).
Man was made to live forever when God created him. As to where we will live (be it heaven or hell), is up to us. By not accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through faith, a person condemns himself to hell and the lake of fire. God does not send anyone to hell, He just honors our choice, and is too much a gentleman to force Himself on anyone.
Both went where they went based on the condition of their hearts (love) toward God, just like everyone else.
This is one of Jesus' parables!
No, this parable was custom designed for the Pharisee's hearts (that Jesus knew perfectly). The mention of table scraps, sores, and dogs all made this poor man appear odious in the eyes of the Pharisees. They were inclined to see all such things as proof of divine disfavor. They would have viewed such a person as not only unclean, but also despised by God. The rich man was to point out that the money, power, and prestige of the Pharisees means nothing in God's eyes.
Again, this is a parable and you are right that the real heaven will be nowhere in the sight of hell! The imagery Jesus used fit the erroneous common rabbinical idea that Sheol had two parts, one for the souls of the righteous and the other for the souls of the wicked—separated by an impassable gulf. But there is no reason to suppose, as some do, that “Abraham’s bosom” spoke of a temporary prison for the souls of OT saints, who were brought to heaven only after He had actually atoned for their sins. Scripture consistently teaches that the spirits of the righteous dead go immediately into the presence of God.
Of course, no parable of Jesus (or others in rabinnic tradition) used people's names. Hence my acceptance of this very sad story as literal.
There is a hell (hades, sheol will be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death) for all eternity. Literal punishment. Literal burning without being consumed. God did it with a Bush, remember.
There are literal demons and fall angelic beings, including the unholy trinity of satan, the beast (antichrist) and false prophet. They will be in the LOF for all eternity, as will all unregenerate.
Amen Dr. Bob. Does anyone here actually doubt there is a literal hell?
I would go a step further, does anyone actually believe another alternative exists?
I know some subscribe to annihilationism (which is another gospel).
It seems as though one has to go out of his way to not believe in it.
The following refer to this story as a parable:
Thru The Bible - J. Vernon McGee
The Bible Reader's Companion
MacArthur Study Bible
New Geneva Study Bible
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary
The Bible Knowledge Commentary
Matthew Henry's Commentary (Unabridged)
Yes, it is the only parable to contain a real name, which is unique, but a weak point to rule out its being a parable, given Jesus' use of the erroneous common rabbinical idea that Sheol had two parts, along with the characterization of the Pharisees (rich man) and Lazarus being the antithesis of the type person the Pharisees would admit was going to heaven. I think it is a parable custom worded to shoot an arrow straight through the Pharisee's hearts.
Originally posted by John Wells:
Do you believe in the literalness of hell (Luke 16:19–31) and the reality of Satan and demons?
As to the first part, as has been pointed out, The Lord Jesus, when He walked this earth, had more to say about it than He did about heaven. It is not a pleasant subject at all. A lot of things in God's word is not pleasant because of sin and God's utter abhorance of it. If sin is not put upon the cross of Christ, it (and God's wrath against it) abides apon the individual. God cannot tolerate sin, so the person that does not have their sin placed upon the cross of Christ must be separated from Him. Now, as to why that means that the individual must suffer eternally for it; that is in the mind of God. But I think that it should be pointed out that these individuals, in their lives, have not wanted anything to do with God, so they are getting what they want for eternity.
As for the second part. Satan has been mentioned throughout the Bible from the beginning to the end, and the Lord Jesus, not only spoke of him, but did have that encounter there in the dessert.
As for the demons, it would seem as though these are other angels that joined him in rebelliun against God. As to what their primary work is, I must differ with SheEagle in that I don't feel as though he is concerned, primarily, with drunks, dopers and the like. But to explain what I feel Satan's work entails would be to long for this post.
Wrong button, double post-sorry!
Parables *are* true. That's what distinguishes them from fables.
Literal Hell - Yes
Literal Heaven - Yes
Literal Satan - Yes
Literal Demons - Yes
Millions and billions and trillions of years of torment just boggles my mind. I cannot even remotely concieve of the extent of torture and pain. I remember when I was a little boy and heard about Hell, that I asked God what that could be like. A short time later I was watching some trash burn and a piece of burning debris came floating past me and I absentmindedly swatted at it, thinkin it was just some ash. Well, I soon found out that what I didn't know, due to my poor vision, that it was still burning and not only that but it was sticky and stuck to my hand. I remember running into the house and going to the bathroom and running cold water over it and crying. It was at this point that I realized that this was the answer to my prayer. I learned to just accept what God said.
A parable "illustrates a moral or religious truth" but its details are not based on real people/events. A fable can be either true, false, a lie, or simply a tale.
[ July 22, 2003, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: John Wells ]
Yes and yes.