I was talking to my mum who is a committed Christian and goes to a Methodist Church in Kuching. She was telling me about an incident that struck me.
Someone tried to persuade her younger sister who doesn’t believe in Christ to put her faith in Christ, but her reply is that her diseased husband is a Buddhist or sort, fearing that she will be separated with her husband in the next life, she opted to stay away from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Part of the reason, I believe, is she doesn’t know that the God of the universe who created her, and incarnated into this world as Jesus, loves her more than her deceased husband did. And Jesus is offering an eternal life offer, that no husbands or wives can offer to his or her spouse. This story haunts and hinders many people with the Taoist, Buddhist or other faith background from opening up to Christ, a truly sad story, because this decision could ruin you for life.
This real story reminds me of a passage of a parable told by Jesus in the Bible, and I must share it.
The poor man and the rich man
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
Both died, poor man went to father Abraham in heaven & rich man went to hell
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
The rich man was being tormented in hell fire. Folks, hell is real. Just in case, if you doubt its existence, then your doubt can’t justify the justice of God, and also the righteousness of God. The fact God had to send his own only begotten Son to the cross to die to pay for the price of sins, to say that there is no hell, is an insult to the Almighty God. If there were no hell, why in the world would God send his Son to die?
Rich man cried out to Abraham for some water
24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’
Rich man was in anguish, and he cried to Abraham for mercy. Remember Abraham was used in this parable by Jesus because Abraham is the common father of all Israel, he is the most prominent guy apart from Moses. The rich man thinks he has claim or relational connection or tribal connection to Abraham and hoping that he would consent to help him. This may be a warning to our Jewish friends, in Christianity, there is no distinction on Jewish or Gentiles, for all have sinned and strayed away from God, not even one. Romans 3
Romans 3 9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
Abraham rejected rich man’s call
25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
Two reasons Abraham gave for refusing to help the rich man in his anguish in burning hell fire. First, he said the rich man had all the good things in life, while the poor man Lazarus had bad things; but now the rich is in anguish while the poor man is comforted. What he is saying he had all the riches in the world while alive in this world, but showed no pity sympathy to the poor, and now he is in anguish. Secondly, there is a great chasm between Abraham and the rich man, and no one can cross over. This is saying that God had put a chasm between anyone in hell, and the one in heaven, That will be the reality when we face judgement day. Folks don’t miss the only opportunity in this world to try out Jesus. You got nothing to lose. The the fact of the matter is you got nothing to lose. Are you sure you want to be with your spouse for ever if he is in hell?
Rich man begged Abraham to send the poor from death to warn his brothers
27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”
The response is too late! Not only that, Abraham said that even if someone goes from the dead to warn them, they would not be convinced. They are that hardened in heart. What a difficult time to fathom all that’s said by Jesus here. I guess God is looking for real conviction, real repentance, not some repentance because of fear of hell, but human hearts being so deceitful, will not even open to dead people’s voice. Whatever it is, this parable is told by Jesus. What Abraham is saying is that they have the prophets and Moses on earth, that will be the ultimate, that will be even better than someone from the dead. What is Moses and the prophets? That’s the book of Torah, the Old Testament. In other words, if someone rejects the Bible, the scripture, there is no chance they will convert because of someone rose form the dead to warn them. I think I can see that happening.
No marriage in heaven
Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
There is no marriage in heaven. We all will be like angels. Think about that, who would want to consent to the wishes of the dead? The entire ancestral worship has to be debunked by modern man, and no amount of earthly intimate good loving relationship can override the word of God in his glory as revealed in the Bible by the Son of God himself, Jesus. Think hard!