Friday, January 27, 2012

Question of the Day

Good morning to each of you. I hope you find yourself right where God wants you!
I would like to bring up some questions and hopefully spur you on to deeper study about heaven. The first question is this, do we go straight to heaven when we die?

The answer to the question depends on what our definition of heaven is. When we go to a funeral and the speaker says our loved one is now in heaven with God we all think of the eternal dwelling place. In fact, there are two distinctly different places. There is the forever dwelling with God and the transition heaven.

When we read about what happens right after death we can go straight to Jesus' teaching with the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19.
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. We learn several things just from this one verse. First Lazarus is not alone. Just rest on that thought for a moment. He doesn't leave this earth alone! The angels come and take him. That should be a comfort to each one of us. The biggest transition of our lives doesn't happen by ourselves. Isn't God good like that? Picture a little child fearfully getting on a plane for the very first time. The child is firmly holding on to Mama and Papas hands for comfort. The second thing we learn is that the angels take the poor man directly to Abraham where he will be comforted till the time God designates for the earth to end. This is the transitioning period. We know that those who go there will be comforted. Now to the rich man...

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. 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.’ 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.’

There are many things we learn from the rich man. When he dies there are no angels to bring him to Abraham for comfort. Why? He already got his rewards on earth. He is taken to Hades where he is tormented. Part of the torment is seeing the poor man from a distance being comforted. The rich man is tormented physically. He is in anguish because of the flames. The rich man remembers his life on earth. He is tormented by the fact that his family is headed for the same place he's at and begs for his family to be rescued and gets a very firm NO!

In each case the outcome is already fixed. There is no praying a person out of Hades. On both sides there is no changing sides. Our fate is sealed at death and there are immediate consequences. For those who did right they are comforted and for those who rejected the Master of the Universe there is torment both physically and mentally.

One last scripture...

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43

Next time we will ask a very tough question emotionally. Does everyone go to heaven?
Enjoy the weekend. I would encourage you to be a blessing to someone.
In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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