“There 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.
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 sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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 receives 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 there.
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that you would 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 said unto him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ He said, ‘Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead they will repent.’ Abraham said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”(Luke 16:19–31)
Around the world, we are not sure what to believe about heaven or hell; holding on to faith, we are divided over its reality, many of us taking a stand to believe in heaven rather than in hell. Although this is true, our opinion doesn’t negate the fact that scripture is filled with all sorts of visions concerning hell, which we are ignoring both in the church and the world. In the church, we have heard preached the message and wonderful story concerning Christ’s grace and mercy, and preachers are failing to show the other side of the coin, the other side of the sacrifice of the Lamb and of the cross; and for those of us in the world having no claim to religion, these truths revealed to us are but tales the ancients once held true. On the grounds of opinion, we claim they believed in God because they had no idea of how the universe works, but to the contrary, the ancients believed in God because of the overwhelming evidence they had received.
Having a close relationship to the past, our forefathers had a devoted understanding concerning the state of man; they knew there was a need for us to be redeemed from the power of death on account of Adam. In their minds, the events of the past were a fresh experience. “They were created inhibitors of the earth, but on account of one man death took rule over the earth a spirit of banishment from which we need to be saved”(Gen.1:26–28).
Our forefathers did not see death as the end of life as we believe it to be; to our forefathers, death was seen as banishment, the beginning of a new life, cut off from the land of the living and presence of God. The languages they spoke seem to have been lost among us, and it is on account of this truth and loss that we are ignorant to the reality of death and hell. For this reason, we withdraw from the truth of the Bible. Its language is a strange one to understand, to the point where even the most educated are at war, trying to understand it all. But whether we choose to believe the Bible or not, spending time getting to learn the language is in our best interest.
According to the evidence left behind by our forefathers, man was created to be an eternal being, dwelling in the presence of the Creator, but on account of Adam, we were banished from the kingdom God had intended for us upon the earth. What came about as result of disobedience was a shadow, a curse that brings nothing but sorrow; however, God, in sending His son to die for the sins of the world, has, according to the Bible, entered into a covenant with us through His blood. This was a demonstration of His love that He might, through His death and resurrection, save us from our sins. Providing us with this great salvation, God commands us to abandon the lust of the flesh that we might follow after the Holy Spirit, that through the spirit of freedom, we might fulfill God’s will for us on earth.