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Hope of Life After Death Part 08 – The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)


The Rich Man and Lazarus
Luke 16:19-31

(This study is in the process of being moved to:

It is evident from the whole setting of this passage that it is a parable. Otherwise the logical lesson to be drawn from it is that unless we are poor beggars, full of sores, we will never enter eternal bliss; and that future torment will be our portion if we happen to wear fine linen and purple and fare sumptuously every day. And, if taken literally, those who are poor are taken, not to heaven, but into the grave where the fleshly body of Abraham is buried and are physically put into the bosom of Abraham’s dead and buried body.

However, the context of this passage shows that Christ in this parable was teaching a great dispensational truth, namely, the change of favor from the Mosaic Law Covenant to the Covenant of faith. (Luke 16:16-18; Galatians 3:6-29) If you read carefully the 32nd chapter of Deuteronomy, you will see that Jesus was merely repeating in vivid pictorial language what Moses had already said. See particularly verses 20 to 29; and also Paul’s quotation of the 21st verse in Romans 10:19, where he shows that Moses’ prophecy referred to the overthrow of Israel consequent upon Jesus’ rejection of that nation.

Jesus was evidently drawing upon something that was in the real world of his day, the apostate Jewish belief which blended the Grecian mythologies into the Bible. Not all the Jewish leaders believe in these mythologies, but many did. Nevertheless, the Pharisees, whom Jesus was speaking to, knew of these beliefs. He distorted their own Jewish fable (Titus 1:14) as a parody, not to condone their apostate mythology, but to illustrate the change he had just spoken of: “The law and the prophets were until John.” (Luke 16:16) Jesus’ parody of this fable, therefore, served to deride the Pharisees to whom was speaking, to not condone the Jewish fable.

Some other reasons that this story should be viewed as a parable:

To think that Jesus was supporting the idea of eternal roasting after death by use of this parable is contrary to God’s justice, for justice demanded the forfeiture of man’s life for sin (Genesis 2:17), for “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and of God it is said (Psalm 145:20): “all the wicked will he destroy.” Therefore, it would be an infraction of God’s justice for him to preserve the wicked for eternity in order to see them suffer for eternity without end.

Additionally, such a conclusion violates God’s wisdom, for wisdom devises plans which useful ends are attained. There is surely no useful purpose in keeping the rich man eternally in a place of conscious torture, as man’s self-appointed orthodoxy would have the parable to say.

Of course, the parable says nothing about the rich man remaining in hades for eternity, but as Revelation 20:13 shows, all in hades will be brought back for the judgment day, and then hades will be destroyed in the lake of fire. — Revelation 20:14; See also Hosea 13:14.

If the rich man were in literal flames in hades, this could contradict the entire testimony of the rest of the Bible, which shows that sheol/hades is nothingness, oblivion, silence, destruction. — Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 6:5; 115:17; 146:3,4; Isaiah 38:18; 63:16; Job 14:21; etc. This has been showned throughout this series of studies. See also Hell in the Bible

Additionally, it would contradict God’s stated purpose to bless all the heathen in the age to come. — Genesis 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; Psalm 72:11; 82:8; 86:9; 102:15; Isaiah 2:2; 25:7; 52:10; Galatians 3:8; Revelation 15:4; 22:2 — See: Restoration of All Things.

Furthermore, to think that Jesus was preaching eternal suffering in this parable would contradict the ransom, which is clearly taught, for example, in 1 Corinthians 15:3,21,22, Hebrews 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:6, which scriptures teach that Christ died (not suffered eternal torment) for our sins according to the Hebrew scriptures. The prophecy of Isaiah 53:4-12 shows that our Lord would bear our penalty (which is death — Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23 — not eternal torment), pouring out his soul to death. The effect of this ransom is to be the salvation of all men, not the eternal suffering of the vast majority. (1 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:2) See The Ransom for All.

How, then, is this parable to be explained in harmony with what Jesus was speaking of, and in harmony with the rest of the Bible? We should compare spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing rather than to jump to conclusions that would, in effect, say that the Hellenistic-Jewish fable is true. What can we find in the scriptures that can help us to know what Jesus meant?

By comparing spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing, we conclude that the rich man of the parable represented the proud and self-righteous of the Jewish nation in our Savior’s time, who were seeking self-justification by means of the Law Covenant. (Galatians 2:21; Philippians 3:9; Romans 9:31,32) The Pharisees seem to be particularly represented by the Rich Man. (Luke 16:14,15) The scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses seat’ (Matthew 23:2) as the religious leaders and representatives in Israel. (Matthew 23:5-7) The rich man’s clothing of purple and fine linen represented the honors and privileges accorded to the scribes and Pharisees. (Matthew 23:5-7) The fine linen represented the self-righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, which they claimed by the Law. (John 9:40,41) The purple clothing represented royalty — not only was purple the royal color in our Savior’s day, but we still speak of royal purple. (Judges 8:26; John 19:2,3; Mark 15:17,18) The scribes and Pharisees were sitting in Moses’ seat, therefore they had the purple in the sense that to it belonged the honor of being the typical Kingdom of God, and the promises respecting the future dominion of God as the Kingdom of God. The abundance of food upon the rich man’s table represented the abundance of divine promises and blessings and instructions given to the scribes and Pharisees. (Romans 9:4,5) It was this table of divine favors that the apostle referred to saying: “What advantage does the Jew have? Much in every way, chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:1-3) This was the table respecting which the prophet and the apostle spoke concerning Israel: “Let their table become a trap and a snare to them.” (Romans 11:9) In other words, the very bounties and blessings of God’s revelations or oracles tended to make them not humble, but proud, and ultimately assisted in their stumbling and rejection of the Savior due to their insistence of their righteousness by works of the Law. — Romans 9:30-32.

The self-righteous scribes and Pharisees would not so much as eat with any they considered as sinners. (Matthew 9:11) They viewed those Jews whom they judged to be sinners the same as if they were Gentiles, without law. Those who accepted the Messiah’s teachings were of this lowly Jewish class, who recognized their sinful condition. Matthew, one of Jesus’ apostles, was a tax collector, others were common fishermen. (Matthew 10:3; Mark 1:16,19) None of them were recognized by the religious aristocracy of the time. They were looked down upon, declared not to be heirs with the holy self-justified Pharisees and educated Scribes and Doctors of the Law. The Pharisees even determined that Jesus himself was not only a friend of publicans and sinners but an injurious person who must not be allowed to live. (Matthew 12:14) From the Jewish leaders’ standpoint Jesus and his followers were all outside the gates, excluded from the special privileges and blessings of God through the “righteousness” the Jewish leaders were claiming for themselves through the Law. It was from mostly amongst these Jews that were looked down upon by the Jewish leadership that those of faith were found in the first century, and such came to be represented in the parable by Lazarus.

The Lazarus class of faith also later included those Gentiles of humble heart who accepted Jesus, thus becoming Jews inwardly and participants in the Abrahamic promises. (Colossians 3:11; Galatians 3:28,29; Romans 2:28,29; 10:12) As an illustration of how these fed on the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table let us remember Jesus’ words to the Syrophenician woman, a Gentile who came to him entreating for the healing of her daughter. Our Master, to illustrate the relative position of the Jews and Gentiles from God’s standpoint, said to her: “It is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” (Matthew 15:26, World English) In other words, Jesus was saying: It would not be proper for me to devote my time and energies to the blessing of yourself and daughter, who are Gentiles, because the Jewish nation is by covenant in the favored place with God. Any special blessings and favors that God has to give must be given to them first of all. Non-Jews are not to expect to get the favors I was sent to give to Israel.’ We remember his words to the disciples also: “Don’t go among the Gentiles.” (Matthew 10:5, World English) Likewise, he explained: “I wasn’t sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” — Matthew 15:24, World English

The message and blessings and opportunities could not go to the Gentiles until first the message had been offered to the Jewish table (occupied by the rich man) and had been rejected by all except a remnant that became the Jewish Lazarus class who would seek righteousness by faith. (John 1:11,12; Romans 1:15; 2:9,10; 11:5; Matthew 22:3-10) But mark that as Lazarus in the parable got some of the “crumbs,” so did the Syrophenician woman. She exclaimed: “True, Lord. Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” (Matthew 15:27; Mark 7:28) Jesus answered her: “‘O woman, your faith is great. Let it be to you even as thou desire.’ And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:28) Due to her faith, Jesus gave her the crumb from the children’s table — the table being occupied by the rich man.

The Death of Lazarus

In the context of this parable Jesus said the following: “The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached.” (Luke 16:16, World English) The added phrase, “and everyone is forcing [or, pressing] his way into it”, does not appear in older manuscripts, and thus we find it doubtful that Jesus added this phrase to the sentence.) To those who view this parable as teaching eternal suffering after death, this statement would seem to be dealing with a completely different subject. Yet Jesus gave the parable as an illustration of this very statement. Jesus made a similar statement as recorded in Matthew 11:12,13: “From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully [vigorously] advancing, and forceful [vigorous] people have been seizing it. All the Prophets and Moses’ Teachings prophesied up to the time of John. ” (God’s Word Translation) “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” — Matthew 11:15, World English.

Jesus also stated: “Everyone who divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery. He who marries one who is put away from a husband commits adultery.” (Luke 16:18, World English) Again, this seems to be unrelated to the parable. However, it has much to do with the parable as we will see.

The parable tells us: “The beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.” The death of the beggar illustrates the Jew who puts his faith in Jesus as figuratively dying with Jesus. Thus Paul says: “Don’t you know, brothers (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man for as long as he lives? For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband. 3 So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death. But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.” (Romans 7:1-6, World English) Notice how well this parallels Luke 16:18, for like Lazarus, the Jew has to die to the law covenant in order to belong to another, that is, Christ, the seed of Abraham. Not only that, although Paul was not specifically referring to this, the Gentile has likewise to die to the law of his own justification by works in order to be part of the Abrahamic seed of faith.

When Lazarus died, he was taken by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. This signifies the faith-believing Jew becoming part of the true seed of Abraham in Jesus by promise apart from the Law. “For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by promise.” (Galatians 3:18, World English) “When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born to a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4,5, World English) They were being received into the favored position before God. — Romans 4:13,14.

Likewise, the believing Gentile also, being a law unto himself, had to die to the Law of Sin that ruled in his body. (Romans 2:12-15; 3:9-20) Thus both the believing Jew as well as the believing Gentile are represented in Lazarus.

The Death of the Rich Man

John the Baptist warned the Pharisees and Sadducees that even at that time the ax is laid to the root of the trees and that every tree that would not bear good fruit would be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3:10) John the Baptizer was the last prophet under the Law. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the scribes claimed to be the representatives of the Law. (Matthew 12:2; 19:3; 22:34-36; John 7:47-49) As a rich man riding upon the Law as a means to righteousness, they missed the righteousness of God. As the apostle tell us, Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. They being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus. — Romans 9:31,32; 10:3

Did the Jewish nation, seeking righteousness after the law, continue in the favor of God? Or, on the other hand did that nation die to special blessings and mercies of God that they previously so richly enjoyed? Shortly before Jesus died, he wept over Jerusalem and said: “Behold, your house is left to you desolate.” (Matthew 23:38; Luke 13:35, World English) Thus the parable continues: “The rich man also died, and was buried.” With the rejection of the national polity of Jerusalem, the city of the Jews, rich man died, for he no longer had any standing before Jehovah. This was signified by the vail being ripped apart in the temple at Jesus’ death. — Mark 15:38.

The Rich Man in Torments

Then we read that the rich man, in Hades, lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and he saw Abraham in the distance, and Lazarus in his bosom. So much were the Jewish leaders tormented by the change of conditions that they persecuted the followers of Jesus, even to putting them to death. The torment of the Jewish leaders is demonstrated at Acts 5:33 (World English), when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard the things Peter and the other apostles told them: “They, when they heard this, were cut to the heart, and determined to kill them.” They demonstrated a similar torment at the words of Stephen: “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.” (Acts 7:54, World English) The fulfillment of this is also well-illustrated by Saul (before he became Paul the apostle), who was a Pharisee. Paul himself states: “You have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.” (Galatians 1:13, New King James Version) “I most assuredly thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. This I also did in Jerusalem. I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death I gave my vote against them. Punishing them often in all the synagogues, I tried to make them blaspheme. Being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.” (Acts 26:9-11, World English) Their torment of feeling the rejection of God by the preaching of Jesus’ followers led them to try to prove that they had not been rejected. A successful revolt against the Roman yoke would be such a proof.

The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus, that he might dip the tip of his finger in water and cool the rich man’s tongue while he is tormented in the flames. (Luke 16:24) The rich nan is not here really wanting to receive help from the Lazarus class. We should note that the rich man speaks, not to Lazarus, but to Abraham, asking for water from Lazarus. Nor does he wish to join with Lazarus, but he seeks something that Lazarus has. Lazarus, being in the favored position of Abraham’s bosom; God’s grace/favor through Jesus is likened to the waters of life. (John 4:10,14; 7:38) Likewise, the Jewish leaders began to realize that something was happening. They did not want to admit that they had missed the Messiah. They wanted Messiah to deliver them, but on their own terms. Seeing those represented by “Lazarus” at a distance, they desired a Messiah, someone to deliver them from the torments they had come into. They did not want to join the Christians so as to become part of the Lazarus class, but they desired the favor of God that was being given to the Lazarus class. Especially were they seeking deliverance from the Roman yoke. In May, 66 CE, the group known as Zealots, with whom were joined Pharisees and Sadducees, openly rebelled against Roman rule. Under the leadership of one Joseph Ben Matthias, a Pharisee (better known as Flavius Josephus), the Jews repulsed the Roman armies for 47 days before surrendering the fortress of Jotapata. By seeking deliverance from another source than through faith in Jesus they in effect were saying to Abraham: “Send Lazarus over to us, that he may cool our tongue.” Returning to the parable, Abraham reminded the rich man how he had the good things during his lifetime, while Lazarus received bad things. The rich man had all the favors — the Law and the Prophets. “To them were committed the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:2) Now matters were reversed: Lazarus was comforted with the knowledge of the Good News and receiving grace by means of faith, while the rich man was in anguish. — Luke 16:25; Acts 9:31; 2 Corinthians 1:3-6.

The Chasm

Then Abraham informs the rich nan that there is a great chasm (canyon, gulf) between the rich man and himself. This chasm represents the difference between faith in Jesus and the seeking of righteousness through the Law. The rich nan, representing those holding to the Law and denying Jesus as the Messiah, could not cross over the chasm to the other side in an endeavor to blend faith in the Messiah with seeking righteousness by Law. Likewise, Lazarus, representing those who are justified by faith in Jesus apart from the works of the Law, could not cross the chasm to the other side so as to blend the two opposing parties. Any individual Jew putting faith in Jesus (apart from the Law) would be represented in the Lazarus class. Any individual Jew who continued in seeking righteousness according to the Law would be represented by the rich man class. The Jew could be represented by one or the other, but not both. One could not accept righteousness through faith in the Messiah and at the same time seek righteousness by Law. Such would be crossing the chasm, that is, trying to bring salvation by works of the Law over to the side of Lazarus, or trying to take salvation by faith in the Messiah over to the side of the rich man, neither of which could be done. — Galatians 2:16,21.

The Rich Man’s Brothers

Next, the rich man, again addressing Abraham, asks for Lazarus to go to his father’s house to warn his five brothers, that they not come into the place of torment he was in. (Luke 16:28) In the years 67-68 CE many Jews were taken prisoners by Vespasian. A knowledge that God was punishing the chosen people was growing amongst many of the Jewish people who had been taken prisoners. Josephus was among these. Another Pharisee, Jochanan ben Zakkai, likewise began to recognize that it was not God’s will for the Jews to be freed from the Romans. These prisoners and others, in effect, were asking Abraham for a Messiah, not to deliver the remaining revolting Jews from the Roman yoke, but to warn their fellow Jews of the tragedy that was to come if they continued in their revolt. In doing this, however, they still did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah nor his followers as the true Lazarus. They wanted a justification, a Lazarus who would come to help their “brothers” under the Law. Abraham replied that they had Moses and the Prophets; they could listen to them. These, we are told, would lead them to the Messiah. (Galatians 3:24) On the other hand, to send the true Lazarus class to the “brothers” of the rich man in the manner requested, would have necessitated the revoking of their death to sin and the law. (Romans 6:2,7,8,11; 7:4) To do so would have meant they would become “twice dead” condemned to death twice by the law of sin. Thus Abraham told the Rich Man that if his brothers would not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither would they listen to one who rose from the dead — those dead with Messiah, who would have to renounce their death in Christ in order to again be alive to the Law. The remaining Jews in Jerusalem, Masada, etc., did not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they continued their rebellion until the city of Jerusalem with its temple was totally destroyed in the year 70 CE. In the year 73 the siege of Masada ended in disastrous results to the “brothers” of the rich man. Jesus does not take the narrative any further.

The number of “brothers” used in the parable is a total of six; the one who dies and the five who remain alive. We believe this number — six — the number of imperfection, is used to represent the unrighteous condition of the six brothers, that is, they had not been justified in the blood of the lamb.

Some try to show that Abraham’s bosom in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus represents heaven or paradise. One has written: “The fact that at death Abraham’s soul went to heaven is plainly stated in Scripture (Hebrews 11:10,16; cf. Matthew 8:11)” Yet, neither Hebrews 11:10,16 nor Matthew 8:11 say anything about Abraham’s continuance of life in heaven while in death. Those who refer to the scriptures in this manner desire to read into scripture something which is not there. Matthew 8:10-12 and Luke 13:28-30 depict the end results of the Jewish rejection of their Messiah in the resurrection. The Kingdom was taken from them and given to a nation producing its fruitage. (Matthew 21:43) Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sit in this kingdom because it is this nation that becomes the seed of Abraham. Of course, the language of the parable is pictorial, not to be taken literally. The children of the kingdom, the Jews as a whole, were cast out into outer darkness. There they were weeping and gnashing their teeth. They were cast out when Jesus stated: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem you who killed the prophets, and stoned them that were sent to you how often I would have gathered your children together, as hen gathers her offspring under her wings, but you would not allow it! Look, your house is left to you in desolation. Truly I say to that you will not see until the time comes when you will say: Blessed is he who comes in the name of Jehovah!'” (Luke 13:34,35) In all this there is no reference to a living existence of Abraham going to heaven when he died.

Likewise, Hebrews 11:10,16 refers to the figurative city that will come down from from heaven in the next age. (Revelation 21:1-4) Thus it will be in the time when Abraham will be resurrected, and the time when God himself is spoken of as dwelling with men. Hebrews 11:35 indicates that the resurrection, not an undieable soul, is referred to. Abraham did not receive the promise, we are told, nor was he made perfect before the believers in the Messiah. (Hebrews 11:39,40) Nothing is stated in the scriptures cited nor in the context to the effect that Abraham’s soul went to heaven when he died.

Death and Restoration to Life

When Adam sinned, the sentence of death was passed not only upon him but also upon the whole human race yet unborn. Many deny this, and say that God would not condemn the whole race because of one man’s sin; but we see this law in operation every day. They overlook the fact that through the law of heredity children suffer because of the sins of their fathers. As the prophet expresses it: “The fathers have eaten the sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” (Jeremiah 31:29) It was a dying existence that the dying Adam passed on to the race. The whole basis of our salvation hinges on this fact. If all were not condemned in one, then neither are any of us justified by one. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6) The stream was contaminated at its source. Accordingly, “there is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10, New Kings James) All are guilty before God, and all therefore, have been justly condemned to death. (Romans 2:1; 3:9,19) This is known as the doctrine of man’s original sin. It is exactly what Paul tells us in Romans 5:12: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (King James); also in the 18th verse: “By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” (Romans 5:18, King James) Again in 1 Corinthians 15:22: “In Adam all die.” (King James) There is nothing more plainly taught in the Scriptures than this doctrine of man’s original sin.

Those who are dead in Adam have been condemned to death because of innate sin. God, the righteous Judge, is completely righteous. He hates sin, and could not allow any imperfect sinful being to have eternal life. In this is seen the justice of God; but now, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, King James) He “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever exercises faith in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” — John 3:16, King James.

To believe in Christ does not mean merely that mental form of belief that says: “I believe that there was such a man as Jesus Christ, and that He was put to death by the Romans,” not that kind of belief, but the kind that is a living faith, that trusts in God and says: “I believe that God so loved the world that He gave His Son to be the Savior of mankind, and I believe God’s promise that I am justified by my faith. Because of this faith, I further believe that I must obey the commandments of Jesus in demonstration of my faith.” — James 2:14-26; 1 John 5:1-3.

Those who exercise this living faith in Jesus pass from death unto life. (See John 5:24) Not that they have actual life; but God reckons, imputes, or counts (Greek, logizomai) it to them because his justice has been satisfied by the death of the Messiah, and they have accepted the provision that he has made for them in the Messiah. — Romans 4:23-25.

Not only this, but even those who lived before the Messiah who exercised faith in God’s promises were reckoned with God to be justified by their faith. Therefore they, too, are counted as being alive before God. Abraham is a prime example of this. (Romans 4:2,3,16-22; Matthew 22:31,32) Jehovah God, by calling things that are not as though they are (Romans 7:14), could look at their faith in the promises of the coming Messiah and reckon them justified based on the coming redemption through the Messiah.

In John 8:51, we find these words of Jesus: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” Does this mean that those who believe and obey Jesus are now never to die? No; if that were the case none of the apostles would have died. But having the assurance of the resurrection, these are no longer children of wrath as are others, and therefore they view death as only a sleep from which they will be awakened. And as we have already seen, in God’s sight they remain alive, reckoned so since God counts things that are not (the resurrection of the last day) as though they were. He counts them alive as though they had already been raised in the last day.

Therefore we see that in the death-state, there are two classes: the just and the unjust. And it is these two classes that are to come forth from the dead: “There will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just [justified] and the unjust [those not justified].” — Acts 24:15.

Click Here for Index to Hope of Life After Death

See also:

Matthew 8:10-12; Luke 13:28-30 – Israel’s Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth


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