SUNDAY STUDY: The Rich Man and Lazarus

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Death is God’s just consequence for sin. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Because of sin, everyone has deserved death – eternal separation from God in hell. Jesus, a sinless man, had to die because He is the only one who can pay the penalty for our sins.

Sheol (Hebrew)/Hades (Greek)/Hell had two compartments in time past. In the Old Testament, those who had faith in God and in the coming Messiah were not able to enter heaven after death because the atoning blood of Jesus Christ had not been shed (Hebrews 10:11-12). Sheol/Hades/Hell is the Old Testament term given to the place where the souls of both believers and unbelievers would go, but they would go into their respective compartments of hell.

Prior to Calvary, “hell” was divided into two regions: (1) “paradise” (or,“Abraham’s bosom”) and (2) “torments” (or, “this flame”).

Lazarus went to paradise because he believed God’s Word (faith)—he did not go to paradise because he was poor. The rich man went to torments, not because he was rich, but because he died in his sins—he had faith in his wealth but not in God’s Word (unbelief).

Jesus Christ makes three basic statements about the subject of life after death:

1. There is an afterlife, Mark 12:26-27; John 14:1-4.
2. When a person dies, there are two different eternities to which they may go, Luke 16:22-23; Heb. 9:27; Matt. 13:42; Matt. 25:46.
3. There is a way to ensure a positive experience after death, John 3:14-18;Matt. 7:13-14.

Please click the blue headline link at top to read more about the afterlife.

Editor