SON: Mom, your chart's messed up.
MOTHER: Why's that, hun?
SON: You're telling people they're dead.
MOTHER: I'm just trying to make a point that the decision of whether they want to go to Heaven or Hell is theirs to make right now.
SON: Not everyone's going to die today, Mom.
MOTHER: Some will, and if they don't know where they are going, they will end up somewhere they don't want to be.
SON: I know, I know…only people who believe in Jesus and His dying and rising for our sins get to go to heaven. That's harsh, Mom. Like I said, your chart's messed up.
Ten years later…
MOTHER: Son! You're here! Why didn't you tell me you accepted Jesus?
SON: My friend was saying the same stuff about Him that you had always said. I started to think you might be right. We were driving home to tell you the good news the night our car went over the bridge. The other kid in the car with us thought I was nuts when I came to believe in Jesus as my Savior. Mom, he's not here! I wouldn't be either had you not nagged me all my life to believe. Heaven's awesome, Mom! Oh, and mom...thanks.
• • •
In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells us a much more descriptive story of our eternal decision. It is the story of the rich man and Lazarus. (This is a different Lazarus than the one He raised from the dead.) Lazarus went to heaven, and the rich man went to hell. The rich man begged to be released, even just to warn others of the torment of hell, but could not. Jesus then emphasizes that the gap between heaven and hell is so great that it is uncrossable and permanent.
Oh I do wish there was a 'grace period' after death that would give us one last chance to repent. If there was, instead of sitting here at my computer trying to spread the Good News of the Gospel, outing myself as the Jesus freak that I am, I would be sitting on a beach somewhere, blissfully contemplating whether to have a margarita or a pina colada.
Luke 16:19-31There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried 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 tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Please remember, BIBLE BAIT is written by a novice Bible study student, not a Bible scholar. If something doesn't look quite right to you, dig into God's word. The one thing I promise you is that you won't get bored! Many thanks to my Bible study friend Renee Driscoll, who helps me keep Bible Bait Biblically correct.