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Featured Luke 16: the rich man in hades; the poor man with Abraham

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Alcott, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    Obviously this is a unique passage of scripture; the only one that describes the immediate fate of the dead. Many Christians do not believe it is literal, but they can't give a satisfactory answer as to why Jesus would tell of such a horrible fate for the unrepentant if it is not true as he said. And I can't see any other reason but to install a great fear. But would Jesus install a great fear of something that happens to no one? Maybe you have an attic ladder and can tell your children if they have any ideas about climbing it into the attic that the boogeyman up there will take them, but would it be right to tell them any such thing?

    One thing I definitely don't buy is that, in the times I've heard a speaker preach about this, he has always put up a 'disclaimer' that he doesn't want to preach on it, and usually goes further than that and says he'd rather preach about "anything else" than that subject. It makes for a lot of sermons for one that none wants to preach. But the really hard-to-believe part is they always (as far as I can recall) say they're "not trying to scare anybody." I will put it plain and say I think they're lying. Whether literally true or not, what is the purpose of proclaiming this? One guy said "I'm not trying to scare you-- I'm just trying to let you know you're gonna die and go to one of two places!" What a difference! -- irony meant not between the two places, but between scaring and letting the hearer know.

    Anyway, here are some observations I have developed over the years about this:

    Neither God nor the devil is mentioned.

    The poor man, Lazarus, was said to be taken by the angels; burial is not mentioned.

    The rich man was buried, then lifted his eyes from Hades.

    Abraham gives no reason for their different fates other than one was rich (and implicitly greedy), and one was poor (and implicitly spent his time begging).

    Abraham seemed to be 'in charge' of what happens and what doesn't.

    The rich man has no hope, yet he is concerned about those close to him on earth who are most likely headed to where he is. There is silence as to whether Lazarus had such concern for anyone-- or what he thought about anything.

    The big irony (to me): Abraham was a rich man, or at least he came to be, who had many "good things" in the world, but that is his explanation to the rich man of why he is in torment.

    Questions:
    Can anyone be rich, per se, and expect to enter life? Remember not only the "easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle" precept, but also how "rich" and "poor" are relative, and the average American in the USA is rich compared to a clear majority of the world population.

    Is it valid and acceptable to God for a Christian to put a lot of money into retirement accounts instead of giving all that same money to 'the poor?'

    If we are 'paradise-bound,' will we be carried by angels and comforted by Abraham? Or has he been superseded in that job?

    Is going to paradise literal, is torment in hades literal, or is one or the the other literal?

    Finally, if Luke 16:19-31 is not literal, what is the meaning or it all? Why did Jesus tell such a story?
     
  2. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    The story is a demonstration of what happens at death
     
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  3. Lodic

    Lodic Active Member

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    Being rich is not bad per se. This does not teach that we cannot enter Heaven if we are wealthy. Neither does this passage teach that we should not set aside money for retirement, vacations, etc. The reason it's hard for a rich man to enter Heaven is because he places greater value in his riches than in following Christ.

    Before the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus, the faithful went to Abraham's bosom. Now we go to Heaven when we die.
     
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  4. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    “Abraham’s bosom” is is a Jewish expression for heaven.

    Concerning the “parable”:
    1. It is the only parable Jesus told where a person’s name is used.
    2. Jesus was friends with a man named Lazarus that died and was brought back to life.
    3. There is a “gulf” between the rich man in hades and heaven which cannot be passed, though the rich man could apparently “see” heaven and communicate with Abraham.

    Peace to you
     
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  5. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    But what rich 'Christian' is not convinced he does not do that? How many would give all their wealth to the poor if Jesus told them they had to? As the one on whom that was required did not, what reason is there to think anyone today would? Do you know for sure that you would?

    I'm not saying necessarily that you're wrong, but please cite scripture.
     
  6. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    In this passage, is it verified as being real, or is the euphamism just extended, as in a morality play, where various human attributes are personified?

    Is it more or less of a parable, then?

    Is there a connection? That Lazarus does not seem to have been one to stand at a rich man's gate, hoping to be tossed his chicken bones, as the L in Luke 16.

    Nicaraguans make it to the U.S. by going around a great Gulf. But that doesn't appear to be possible in the passage.
     
  7. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    The Rich Young Ruler that you are referring to did not follow the command of Jesus to give all his wealth to the poor (a secondary point of command) and follow Jesus (the primary point of command).

    The response of Jesus and the disciples in the dialog that follows demonstrates all things are possible with God and specifically in context, salvation is a work of God.

    I do not believe the command of Jesus was for every believer to take vows of poverty.

    peace to you
     
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  8. Lodic

    Lodic Active Member

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    Luke 23:43 - Jesus assured the Pentenient Thief that he would see him in Paradise. Jesus was going to Heaven, so Paradise is another name for Heaven.
    2 Corinthians 5:8 - To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Again, Jesus is in Heaven, so that is where we go.
    Acts 7:56-59 - When Stephen was stoned to death, he saw the heavens opened up, and Jesus at God's right hand. He cried out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit".
     
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  9. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Whether the story is real or a parable has been long debated. The truths it reveals are very real.

    Heaven and hell are real places; peace in the one, torment in the other. Once you are dead, there is no passing from one place to the other. Most important, people will refuse to believe the truth, even if someone (Jesus) rose from the dead.

    peace to you
     
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  10. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    I didn't say it t was. But is that required of nobody? For that matter, Jesus said to make no vows. But I have great concerns about hording wealth, and how easy that is to do, unless one is stupid or lazy or loves things. Did he really require that of one man only? And even him-- some say he only had to show he was willing to give up all his wealth, and if he did, it would have been like Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac-- test passed, so he can keep all his junk. But I don't accept that. Giving away wealth is not in the same class as sacrificing one's son...and that means a lot in this.
     
  11. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    I believe the basic lesson is that whatever you have that comes between you and God will keep you from having that right relationship with God. For some, that’s wealth. For others, pursuing a career. For some, a spouse or children or other family member.

    Jesus said all things (concerning salvation in context) are possible with God.

    As far as having “great concerns” about what other people are doing with their wealth, I literally do not care. That is between them and God.

    I’ve got enough to concern me with my own spiritual walk.

    peace to you
     
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  12. Silverhair

    Silverhair Active Member

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    I have know people of great wealth that had a heart for God, and used their wealth to further the kingdom. I have also known men who had a modest amount but would do nothing to help their fellow man.
    It is not the amount of money or anything else that matters, it is your relationship to Christ Jesus. If you have put something before that then you should look at your priorities.
    I was asked once in a job interview to list my priorities. I told them they were My God, my Family, my Job in that order. When asked why I told them that without the first one the others did not matter. I was told I would not fit into the management of that organization.
    That is what I think we should take from Lazarus & the rich man. Know your priorities.
     
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  13. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    Alright, it's possible this passage is only a parable; also possible it ain't.

    OK, but the NT writers couldn't have said that about themselves.
     
  14. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. John 13:23 Does that imply a very close relationship?

    What is the Hebrew name for Lazarus? Who had so close of a relationship with one of that name, that he was willing to make the one of that name, his heir?

    Is the story relative to the gospel of the kingdom? If yes, when and what state will the kingdom be inherited?

    Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 1 Cor 15:50

    If dead, from whence does this inheritance take place? Verse 55 “O Death, where is your sting?[fn]
    O Hades, where is your victory?”[fn
     
  15. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    John refers to himself, in his gospel, as the “disciple that Jesus lived”. I don’t believe that means Jesus loved John more than others, but rather that John, even in his old age, was amazed that he was loved by Jesus, God Himself.

    Does it refer to a close relationship? Yes, of course. It is a relationship that every believer should have with our Lord.

    I don’t know what the name Lazarus means. I generally don’t interpret scripture as allegory unless it’s clearly intended to be interpreted that way. For example, when Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…..” ., this is clearly meant to be an allegory.

    peace to you
     
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  16. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    Would it be fair to say that when we die, we die in the bosom of Christ? That we are joint heirs of God yet of Christ, the heir of all things?

    Hebrews 1:2 YLT in these last days did speak to us in a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He did make the ages; Romans 8:17 YLT and if children, also heirs, heirs, indeed, of God, and heirs together of Christ -- if, indeed, we suffer together, that we may also be glorified together.

    Now, Me thinks the rich man is Judah who had four full brothers and was of Abraham to whom the covenant was given and because of that, Judah thought he was an heir because of nature rather then being an heir because of grace.

    Gal 3:16 and to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed; He doth not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many, but as of one, 'And to thy seed,' which is Christ;
    V 29 and if ye are of Christ then of Abraham ye are seed, and according to promise -- heirs.

    Lazarus in Hebrew is Eliezer and here is what is stated from Wikipedia
    Eliezer of Damascus (Hebrew: דַּמֶּשֶׂק אֱלִיעֶזֶר‎, Modern: Damméseq Eliʿézer, Tiberian: Damméśeq ʾĔlîʿézer) was, according to the Targums, the son of Nimrod.[1] Eliezer was head of the patriarch Abraham's household, as mentioned in the Book of Genesis (15:2).

    Jesus is telling them heirship is by Grace and Lazarus/Eliezer died in the bosom of Abraham and was an heir to the kingdom of God.

    The Jews ie Judah must be heirs through Christ in order to be heirs. Christ is the one raised from the dead through which they must become heirs.

    And Abram said, "My Lord, Hashem/Elohim: What can you give me seeing that I go childless, and the steward of my house is the Damascene Eliezer?" — Lech-Lecha[2]

    To me that is what the story is about.
     
  17. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    If scripture says we die in the bosom of Christ, I don’t recall it.

    The problem with allegory is that you can read all kinds of things into a passage that God never intended to be taught. You are only limited by your imagination.

    For instance, you mentioned John resting his head on Jesus’s “bosom”. From that, you seem to think all Christians that die, rest in Jesus’s bosom. Scripture doesn’t say that, that I have seen, so it’s probably not accurate.

    The same thing applies to how you are interpreting the rich man and Lazarus. I think you are reading into the passage things never intended.

    But we can disagree

    peace to you
     
  18. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Agree.

    19 Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day:
    20 and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores,
    21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man`s table; yea, even the dogs come and licked his sores. Lu 16

    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels:
    42 for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink;
    43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Mt 25
     
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  19. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    Luk 16:23
    And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    Jhn 1:18
    No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

    In context does bosom have basically the same meaning here. That it is a relationship thing.

    Contextually when Paul speaks of us being, "in Christ," is he not saying we have a relationship with Christ as of being in his bosom? As spoken of above of Lazarus to Abraham and as the Son to the Father.

    All Christians that die are dead in Christ.

    From your post above: “Abraham’s bosom” is is a Jewish expression for heaven.

    Is that found anywhere in the word of God? Where is that even remotely implied in the word of God?
     
  20. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    When John speaks of Christ being in the “bosom” of the Father, he is making a statement of equality between the Son and the Father. The first chapter of John is all about establishing the truth that Jesus is God and that God exists as One God but separate persons.

    So, it does not convey the same contextual meaning in Luke and John.

    Being “in” Christ has several meanings, I suppose, in context. mostly to relationship, ownership, subservient to or subject to or benefiting from….,and such. Never equality with Christ.

    Concerning “Abraham’s bosom” referring to heaven. This is a Jewish culture reference. Everyone is Jewish in this passage. How would they understand that phrase. We cannot interpret the passage with a modern, western civilization idea of what “Abraham’s bosom” means.

    peace to you
     
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