Death is a huge money industry for both the secular and church community. Both have one thing in common which is to keep their bank accounts loaded. With the secular world taking advantage of people in mourning because of a death. While the church community, often uses scare tactics about death to keep their church pews full and the money coming in. Empty pews equals lost revenues. Doing so by often telling parishioners that the fires of hell is the final destiny for those outside the Christ believing community. Leaving both industries cash rich, more often than not.
In that this short series is mostly about a falsehood perpetuated by the church community. Lets take a quick look at one sales pitch used to keep people coming to church. It’s a sales pitch of what its like to be in hell. All because one failed to renounce their personal sins, and embrace Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
It’s a favorite fable found in Luke 16:19-31. The story goes as follows. Two men one rich and the poor and sick. His name was Lazarus. And, he was often found at the rich man’s gate begging to be fed, from what appears would become garbage. This poor soul was in such miserable health that the dogs would come to the gate and lick his sores.
Now in the course of time both men died. With the angels carrying Lazarus into Abraham’s bosom. Alive, or dead, we don’t know. But the rich man, upon his death was buried.
But the poor fellow, though dead, was conscious because he was able to see Lazarus with Abraham in some far away place. The story continues with him begging Abraham to send Lazarus. To dip his finger in water, and place the water upon his tongue. Complaining that he was being tormented by the flames. Hoping that even the smallest amount of water would cool his tortured body.
Now Abraham responds byÂ asking him to recall the good life he lived while Lazarus only experienced suffering. Telling the man that while he is being tormented. Lazarus is enjoying comfort.
Abraham proceeds by telling the man that help isn’t available. Because of a great gulf that separates them, making travel between them impossible. He begs Abraham to send someone to warn his family. But Abraham tells him that his family has Moses and the prophets to turn to for help. The rich man concludes his argument by telling Abraham they’ll respond if someone from the dead goes to them. Asserting that then his family would repent. With Abraham telling him it wouldn’t make any difference even if someone raised from among the dead was sent.
What are we to conclude from such a story? Some would argue, as they do, that there is immediate life after death. And that the behavior, and circumstances between the two men are incidental. To the reality that two conditions exist after death with one being that of comfort and the other being torment. With the point to be made is found in verse 30 where repentance determines ones existence after death. Made possible through Jesus Christ, who is the one, who returned from the dead to make all the difference how one experiences existence after death.
Such story telling makes for good fear mongering with different applications to keep the pews full and the cash register ringing. For now a thought from Jesus, for your consideration. “And no person has ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man who is in heaven,” John 3:13.
The journey about death will continue because the dead do have a future. And rest assured, there is a hell for certain well defined characters.