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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Luke 16:22

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;

For further study - Luke 16:19-31

In the devotional passage found in the Gospel of Luke that we are reading for today, I chose verse 22 as our key verse because of the great truth it reveals for those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ, Christians.

Notice, at death, what happens to us as believers. God dispatches “angels” to come gather us up and take us into the presence of the Lord. We don't die “alone”, angels are there to comfort us for the journey into His presence.

What a blessed thought for us as we face that time, that time we will all face unless the Rapture should come first. I must be honest, I would much rather the Rapture happen first, and may it happen today.

The rest of our reading for today details the characteristics of the eternal hell, the "lake of fire" that has been prepared for the devil and his angels, Matthew 25:41. I know this passage is referring to "hades" which is the place of departed human spirits between death and resurrection.

It is now the place for all lost ones until the Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:11-15. However, "hades", hell, has the same conditions as the "lake of fire".

Verse 23 says it’s a place of "torment", "where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched", Mark 9:44. It's also a place of "thirst", verse 24. One single drop of water, not a gallon jug, tea glass or spoonful, just one tiny drop of water would "cool the tongue".

Verse 25 reveals that there will be "thinking" in the eternal "lake of fire." Those who make the choice to reject Jesus Christ and follow the lie of Satan will "think" forever, of every sermon, song and solicitation of the gospel he or she has ever heard. The "thinking" will last forever.

Those are the "conditions" for "hades" and also the eternal "lake of fire." The "constraint" of this place is that all who end up going there will only be released to appear before Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:13, only to be cast into the "lake of fire," forever, Revelation 20:15.

Finally, notice the "compassion" of the rich man in "hades." He wanted to return to life, so that he could tell his brothers of the "judgment" to come if they rejected Jesus Christ. We need to understand the realities of hell and its eternal judgments, then we would have the compassion that we need for our loved ones, friends and the lost people of this world.

The times we live in today seem to indicate the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This urgency should motivate us to go forth to win the lost to Jesus so that they escape the “eternal fires” of hell.

Prayer Thot: Dear Lord, give me the compassion of the rich man in "hades", a compassion for the lost, as I come to better understand the conditions and constraints of the "lake of fire".