by James Merritt

I Have Just Died - Now What?
James Merritt
Luke 16:19-31


1. One of the most fascinating works of poetry that I have ever come across is a poem entitled "Five Minutes After I Die"

Loved ones will weep o'er my silent face,
Dear ones will clasp me in sad embrace,
Shadows and darkness will fill the place,
Five minutes after I die.

Faces that sorrow I will not see,
Voices that murmur will not reach me,
But where, oh where, will my soul be,
Five minutes after I die?

Never to repair the good I lack,
Fixed to the goal of my chosen track,
No room to repent; no turning back,
Five minutes after I die.

Mated forever with my chosen prong,
Long is eternity, Oh so long,
Then woe is me if my soul be wrong,
Five minutes after I die.

2. Jesus, in this story, took a snapshot of the other side of the grave; and He gives us a picture of the first five minutes after death. He pulls back the curtains of eternity and gives us a look at the unseen world and He shows us the immediate fate of two men who died; one who died with God, the other who died without God.

3. Now there are some who call this a parable, but I believe we have before us a true story. First of all, Jesus does not introduce it as a parable, but furthermore, He does something He never does in any other parable, He mentions specific names. In other parables, names were never mentioned. But here we have two historical figures for certain named, Abraham and Moses, and then the name Lazarus. I believe that this was an actual true-to-life account of what happened to two men five minutes after they died.

4. Now the only thing these two men had in common was the fact that God made both of them. "The rich and the poor have this in common, the Lord is the maker of them all." (PR 22:2). But other than that, they were as different as night and day.

5. They were different in their position. One was a prince the other was a pauper. They were different in their posse ...

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