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WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU DIE? IS THERE ANY EVIEDENCE? (PT 4)
We see a person die, but what actually happens? Regarding his body, we know it no longer functions, and we know that very soon it will decay. So, we put the body in the grave to “return to dust.” But what about the spirit of man?
When the body “gives up the ghost,” the spirit and soul is drawn away from the body, and it travels to the eternal spiritual realm. The Bible divides the spiritual realm into two spheres - heaven and hell.
If we turn to the Scriptures, we read in Luke 16 of the two places very clearly. The story here, is not a parable. It’s an account of two men who lived and died. One was a rich man who was lost, and the other, a poor man who was saved.
THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS
“Now there was a certain rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and lived merrily and in luxury every day. And there was a certain destitute man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who was laid at his gate, and who was longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table. And even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.
Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died and was buried. And in Hades (Hell) he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out 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 in agony in this flame.’
But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’
And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house - for I have five brothers - that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them listen to them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’
But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded even if someone should rise from the dead’. Luke 16:19-31
The rich man, while on earth, was clothed in beautiful garments. He had plenty to eat. He had everything that money could buy; but one thing he didn't have was a place in heaven. All his money could not buy that! And when he died, that rich man went to hell.
The poor man, Lazarus, on the other hand was a despised man. He must have been a beggar. He was covered with sores. You would shun even to look at him. He also died, but his soul went to heaven. Isn’t that strange? How did he get to heaven? What did that beggar have? He didn't have two coins to bless himself, or to feed himself. How did he get a ticket to heaven?
Good question! He certainly didn’t buy the ticket to heaven! He got a free ticket - the cost was paid by the Master Yahshua Messiah (Christ). Salvation is YAHWEH’S free gift to all who will receive it!
Now the Master Yahshua Messiah (Christ) is not telling this story to teach that all rich people go to hell and all poor people to heaven. It doesn’t work like that. Some rich people do go to heaven! (But the Master warned that it is difficult for rich people to go to heaven - because money is so often their god). Tragically, many poor people go to hell; but many go to heaven. It all depends on one’s relationship with YAHWEH the Almghty Living Elohim (God).
You can tell that this rich man had no time for Elohim (God). He did not use his riches for Elohim. He didn’t care to help the beggar at his door. He lived for himself.
The poor man, of course, didn’t have much to live for, but he must have had faith in the Almighty Living Elohim. He must have trusted in the Almighty, and because of this simple faith, the Heavenly Master took him home!
We see these two men - their different lives and their different destinations. But some people ask, “Can we believe this story?”
Most certainly! Who is telling the story? Is this some tramp on the street telling the story? Is this some false prophet telling the story? No! These are the words of the Master from Heaven - Yahshua Messiah (Christ) Himself. And when it comes to heaven and hell, it is Yahshua, who tells more about these places than anyone else. And of course, He should know, because He came from Heaven. He’s the One who created heaven. He’s the One who created this world. He also prepared hell.
“All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:3
So Yahshua the Messiah should know!
And now you are eager to ask, “Why did YAHWEH Elohim make hell?” The Bible says:
“The eternal fire ... has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41
In 2 Peter 2:4, we read also, that …
“Elohim did not spare angels who sinned, but cast them down to the deepest pits of gloom - in hell - and committed them to chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.”
The Almighty Living Elohim prepared hell primarily as a place for demons - a place of punishment, a place of containment. All rebellion against YAHWEH and His order, will eventually be contained in that place.
YAHWEH did not make hell for people - or people for hell. But, if people are companions of Satan, they will go to be with Satan. If they belong to YAHWEH, they will go to be with YAHWEH.
Now I want to answer a few other questions, for I know these questions keep coming up in many minds. First, a very frequent question ... Purgatory. . .NEXT