by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Hell-The Great Alternative (7 of 10)
Series: Eternal Matters
Roger Thomas
Luke 16:19-31

Introduction: This is a story of contrasts. Two men. Two lives. Two deaths. Two funerals. Two burials. And two different destinies. This story is unlike any other Jesus told. Most of his parables were earthly stories with heavenly meanings. This is a heavenly story (at least part of it is) with an earthly meaning. That's what I want to explore today.

Context always counts in the Bible. This is no exception. Earlier in this chapter, Jesus had told his disciples about the importance of the proper use of one's wealth. "No one can serve two masters," he warned, "Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money" (16:13). Clear enough.

Not everyone was impressed. Some who heard Jesus took exception. Verse 14 picks up the story, "The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight." A couple of paragraphs later, Jesus offers this parable.

I suspect Jesus didn't intend this story as a complete explanation of eternity. The fact is we don't know a lot of specifics about the life to come. Much is left shrouded in mystery. Paul says it best, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him--" (1 Cor 2:9). I suspect the Lord likes to surprise us. None the less, in the way he tells the story he does shed some light on the future. Here in this strange little story we find outlined three facts of the life to come.

Fact Number 1: Physical death is not the end. The two men in Jesus' story couldn't have been more different in life. Jesus paints a graphic picture. Every detail in the story spotlights the contrast. One was rich ...

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