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The Rich Man and Lazarus.

Title: The Rich Man and Lazarus: Unveiling the Realities of Hell and Paradise


Scripture: Luke 16:19-31 (NIV)


Introduction:


Good morning, everyone. Today, we embark on an explorative journey through one of the most chilling and instructive stories Jesus told: The Rich Man and Lazarus. The parable lays bare the grim reality of Hell and the bliss of Paradise, and it beckons us to ponder our choices here on Earth.


Exposition:


1. **The Terrifying Reality of Hell**

- **Luke 16:23-24**: "In Hades, where he was in torment..."

- Greek: *basanos* (βάσανος)

- The word *basanos* describes more than just physical pain; it encapsulates emotional and spiritual torment. Hell is depicted as a place devoid of God's presence, a reality we should dread and avoid at all costs.


2. **The Bliss of Paradise**

- **Luke 16:22**: "The angels carried him to Abraham’s side..."

- Greek: *kolpos* (κόλπος)

- Lazarus is carried to the *kolpos* of Abraham, which symbolizes intimate fellowship. This is a picture of Paradise, a temporary place of comfort and peace for the righteous as they await the Resurrection.


3. **Paradise vs. Heaven**

- In Christian theology, Paradise is distinct from Heaven. Paradise is where the Old Testament saints waited for Christ's redemptive work on the cross. On the other hand, Heaven is the final abode of the Saved, where they will live eternally in God's presence.


4. **The Chasm Fixed**

- **Luke 16:26**: "A great chasm has been set in place..."

- Greek: *chasma* (χάσμα)

- The chasm signifies the irreversible nature of our choices in life. We choose the narrow path to Heaven or the wide road that leads to destruction.


5. **The Power of Scripture**

- **Luke 16:31**: "They will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead."

- Greek: *peithō* (πείθω)

- This underscores the sufficiency of Scripture to lead us to Salvation. If we disregard God's Word, no miracle will suffice to convince us.


Conclusion:


The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus serves as both a cautionary tale and a beacon of hope. It urges us to repent and trust in Christ that we might escape the horrors of Hell and bask in the joy and glory of Heaven.


Altar Call:


Today, if you're feeling the weight of the eternal choices before you, I urge you to come to the altar. Choose life. Choose Christ. Choose eternal joy over everlasting torment.


Prayer:


Lord, we thank You for the clarity Your Word provides on matters of Eternal significance. May we heed the dire warnings and glorious promises contained in these verses. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Sinner's Prayer:


If you haven't accepted Christ as your Savior, pray with me: "Lord Jesus, I am a sinner deserving of Hell, but I believe You died and rose again to offer me Heaven. Be my Lord and Savior. Amen."



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