The Truth about Hell and How to Avoid Going to Hell  0

We are going to revisit one of the subjects that many claim, makes Christianity a turn-off for them. Many Christians also misunderstand this subject as they only have a vague knowledge of it. Because many claim, not to be able to reconcile their own idea of a loving God with unending punishment, they claim there is nothing like hell.


If a person does not understand the ways of God, should God thereby be cast in their image or whatever caricature of God they want?


In fact, many people today, including many Christians put themselves in the place of God and have put God in the place of man. Hence, such people decide what can be, and cannot be, according to their own desire. Many amongst those who claim to believe in God even say and behave like God is there to obey them. God is there only to do whatever they demand otherwise, God will not be God. These are deceived because their faith or lack of it does not change God and God’s plans for His creation.


The so-called turn-off topic is hell. Some even refer to it as a controversial and divisive topic! The reality is that hell is real, and you should know the truth about hell. Every believer should know the truth about it and be able to share the whole word of God. The unbelievers too should know the truth about hell, and through hearing the truth of the word of God, the possibility of their salvation is then made known to them.


For, the believer should be,

“in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2Tim 2:25-26).


The Holy Bible is our ultimate authority on hell and there we shall go for first-hand knowledge of the topic. Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke about hell on many occasions. We shall therefore use his parable as the learning platform on hell. There can be no better or higher authority on this subject than the Son of God Himself who gave His life as a ransom for many that they may not have to go to hell.


The Lord’s parable is found in the book of Luke. I shall be quoting from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.


The Text in: Luke 16:19-31:

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20 and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

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;

23 and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 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.

25 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.

26 And besides 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.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

28 for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”


The Background to this parable being told

This is a parable told by our Lord Jesus Christ. It followed one of His numerous encounters with the Pharisees. The Lord had taught that no one can serve two masters for he will either hate one or the other. And that one cannot serve God and mammon.


The Pharisees had derided Him after they heard His teachings. The Pharisees were known to be covetous. They were comfortable and enjoyed their position of privilege within Israeli society. Hence, anything, including the teachings of the Lord, that negatively impacts their integrity will not only not be welcomed, but will be opposed with all their might. Their reaction is thus to be expected as they would likely not want to hear the truth n matter who by.


But the Lord would not, and cannot be silenced. He went ahead and told this story to teach some truth. A parable is a story told to teach truth.


Who were the Pharisees?

The Pharisees constitute a distinct party in Judaism of the late Second Temple, with their own vision of what Israel’s standing as God’s covenant people entailed. They adhered to a body of traditional material handed down “from the fathers,” which defined correct behaviour in a number of ways and which represented both an interpretation of and a supplement to Pentateuchal Law.


Further, the members voluntarily took upon themselves a strict regimen of laws pertaining to purity, sabbath observance, prayer, and tithing. The Pharisees restricted their dealings with the “people of the land,” whom the Pharisees considered lax in observance of the law. Many of the Pharisees were scribes also, though most were not. This accounts for the NT reference to two groups, scribes and Pharisees, along with occasional mention of “scribes of the Pharisees” (Mark 2:16; Acts 23:9). A Pharisee was usually a layman without scribal education, whereas a scribe was trained in rabbinic law and had official status.


The Pharisees apparently saw themselves as the custodians of the Law and of Jewish tradition. They were hypocritical in their practice of the law, and in the display of their piety. Their spiritual leadership appeared corrupt too. It is therefore not surprising they oftentimes were critical of the Lord, and openly opposed Him.


This parable is the story of:

  • Two men: In this life, one man was extremely rich, the other was extremely poor;
  • Two deaths: In this world, one death was unnoticed, the other noticed and much advertised;
  • Two destinations/destinies: In the world to come/the other side of God’s creation, one went to heaven as his destination and destiny, the other one went to hell, as his destination and destiny.
  • This story demonstrates to us for all time:

The existence of hell and heaven as two different places;

The crucial importance of the decisions made while living in this world;

The terribly great reversal that death brings for many:

Many who are rich and famous in this life will end up in eternal torment in the life to come;

While many who are nobodies, poor and beggarly in this life will be ushered into eternal bliss in the life to come.


The two men alive, before death

We are told the history of the two men when they lived in this world (Luke 16:19-21)

First, the rich man: v.19:

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day.”


His anonymity:

The man is not named but identified by his apparent wealth. Perhaps if he lived in our day he would have bought his anonymity, or seek a gagging order from the courts to prevent any of his outrageous activities from being made public, his treatment of this beggar for example. Does that ring a bell?


His dressing:

The purple dye was a special dye extracted from a type of snail. It was thus very expensive. Only royalty and the very rich could afford clothes made with it.


Fine linen was another very expensive material that only the very rich could afford. The kings of Midian wore purple raiment, Mordecai was clothed with a garment of fine linen and purple (Jud. 8:26; Est. 8:15).


Hence, this rich man wore very expensive clothes, the type that only kings and the very rich could afford and wore. He would have led a very ostentatious lifestyle displaying his wealth for all to see, admire, and envy.


His food/feast, that is, his everyday habit:

He had the best food money could buy, in abundance and regularly. His mealtime was feast time. It was a time to indulge the appetite to all his heart desired. He ate and drank with abandon. This was an everyday affair – a life of opulence. He fared extravagantly, lavishly and luxuriously. His was the lifestyle of the truly super rich.


An outcome of such feasting would have been the tons of food wasted and that would have ended in land fill. He was truly a worldly man in the ilk of those we are told:

“Their eyes stand out with fatness: They have more than heart could wish” (Ps 73:7).


Indeed, he fits the picture of one of those described in Scripture as,

“having lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter” (Jam 5:5).

One could only imagine the splendor of the mansion he must have lived in.


This rich man is similar in many respects, to another rich man spoken of by our Lord (Luke 12:16-21). His ground brought forth plentifully. But God called that rich man a fool. Why a fool? Because he “layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God” (Luke 12:21).


Next, the poor man (vv.20-21):

Though not specifically referred to as poor, the portrayal of his condition shows that he was extremely poor. Though, some beggars in our day are well-to-do, yes, I have seen beggars who ride posh cars, and live in nice houses. They fare much better than those who work very hard. However, this beggar here is the real deal, one who was surely unwell-and-ill-to-do!!!


“20 and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.”


His is named, no anonymity

He was begging for a living. He truly depended upon the generosity of passersby. The beggar is named. If he lived in our day, and wanted to remain unknown. He would not be able to. He is too poor to buy anonymity or seek a gagging order from the courts not to publicize his wretched condition! His name is Lazarus, which means, “God is my help” This was a different Lazarus from the Lazarus of Bethany, the brother of Mary and Martha whom the Lord raised from the dead (John 11:1-2, 14, 43-44).


The beggar that was lame from the womb was similarly laid daily at the gate of the temple called Beautiful, so he could receive alms from those going in, and coming out of the temple (Acts 3:2). This poor beggar, Lazarus was set down at the gate of the rich man. This was so he could be seen and perhaps be helped by this rich man.


In many major cities of the developing world, beggars in various stages of human degradation and suffering are seen in places with heavy human traffic: places of worship of the various faiths, sports venues, city centres and such other places where they and their minders think they are likely to be seen and helped with whatever the affluent passing by would deem they deserve.


He was diseased

This beggar was diseased in his body. He was full of sores. He was not only very poor, but also very sick. He desired to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.

Crumbs: that is, small pieces of food that drop off to the table and floor during eating, and other food remnants that are useless to the rich man and would otherwise be thrown away.


Food: hungry but no food

Though diseased, he had appetite to eat, but no food. He was hungry. He was hoping to be given what the rich man would consider useless, and the same things that the rich man’s dogs would have being eating.


It was normal for the dogs to eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table (Mat 15:27). Even those crumbs fit only for the rich man’s dogs, the poor beggar was deemed unworthy to have. The beggar was considered so low in the pecking order, that he was not worthy of the crumbs falling from the rich man’s table that his dogs ate.


This poor beggar was so sick and helpless that dogs were licking his wounds, possibly the dogs were not chased away because the beggar was too weak to do so.


Unclean under Mosaic law

By reason of his discharging sores, the beggar was unclean under mosaic law and whatever he touched became unclean too. So, he might have been abandoned by friends and acquaintances to avoid becoming unclean as well.


Dogs at the time were considered unclean animals and scavengers that had potential to transmit infections. And there would have been swarms of flies feeding on the sores and competing with the dogs in the hot climate of the region.


Think of the condition of this beggar again:

Poor, hungry, diseased, with packs of howling dogs competing with swarms of flies for his petrifying sores, ceremonially unclean, and ostracized by loved ones and society, His condition was terrible indeed!!!


No two men could be so totally different in life as these two. They were to say the least, two extremes. Ordinarily many would have envied the rich man, desiring and ever willing to swap places with him, or at least, be close to him enough to share in his largesse. On the other hand, no one would have wished, not to talk of desiring, to be in the position of the poor man.


And to think that a little help from the rich man could have gone a long way in ameliorating the terrible condition of this beggar. Yet, despite what the law of Moses says, this rich man just couldn’t be bothered!


The physical state and circumstances of both men are described in some detail. Much information is given about the character of the rich man, while other than the meaning of the name of the poor man, nothing else is spoken of his character.


Those that are rich in this world are neither to be high-minded or conceited, nor trust in riches that are not certain. Rather, they are to trust in the living God who richly gives us all things to enjoy. They are to do good, be rich in good works, be readily generous, and be willing to share with others. In this way, they will be storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may lay hold of that which is life indeed: eternal life (1Tim 6:17-19).

Such charge or admonition must have sounded weird if not out-rightly crazy to these and many other rich people then and in our day. What with so many claiming to have become rich by themselves!


Do you envy the rich?

Do you despise the poor?

Are there people you could help, but are ignoring because they would not be able to pay you back?

Or because the publicity that you crave will not be there?

Or you are deriving some psychological satisfaction from seeing them suffer?


The two men at death (vv.22)

Death, the end of all men in this world inevitably came to the two men, and both died. When the time came to leave, neither could postpone it. When God said the lease upon their lives in this world had expired, neither could extend it. Neither the rich nor the poor had the means even if God gave them the chance.


“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.”


First, we are told of the death of the beggar

Eventually, the beggar like any other person died. Truly all men die only once (Heb. 9:27). Though nothing was said about his burial, we are informed of the mode of his transition to the next world: The dead beggar was carried by angels into the bosom of Abraham. This is perhaps one of the ways the angels, “minster to them who shall be heirs of Salvation?” (Heb. 1:14 cf. Heb. 1:7).

Bosom of Abraham is euphemism for paradise or the place where the souls of believers go after they die. It also shows that in some way, angels are involved in the movement of the soul of a believer.


Next, the death of the rich man

Like other men, he died and was buried. Nothing was said about the beggar being buried. Possibly he might have been such a burden to his family that his death was considered a great relief. And since there was no money, he would have been buried quietly like any other poor person, without any ceremony. Perhaps people close to him would have felt great relief at been released from the daily social stigma of their association with him, not to talk of the burden of the daily care of him by those who stayed loyal to him till the end.


But the rich man, not so.

But the rich man had wealth and prestige in society. He was a mover and a shaker of society, a veritable philanthropist wherever his huge ego was likely to be massaged. So, he might have been buried with great fanfare and the services of professional mourners employed. And as in those days, he might have been buried with much material things for his use in the afterlife as was the practice amongst the unbelievers of the time.


Drawing from our day, there would have been repeated announcements and special programs quickly put together by major Television networks to celebrate his life. Celebrates of all shades and hues of character, politicians, leaders of industry, faith leaders and groups will try to outdo one another as they eulogize this “gift of mother nature whose loss will be irreplaceable.”


Meaningless terms like, devastated, heartbroken, “the world is mourning a great loss” will gain new currency. There would be special gatherings, vigils, and other events organised to honour him. Even those who knew how wicked and vengeful he was, and those who were his sworn enemies will come out to praise him for, “his service and generosity to humanity.” All of this might then be considered and reckoned to him as his reward in this world, but none in the next world.


The unfortunate thing is that while all these were going on, the object of their hypocritical and self-serving activities will be burning in hell! How tragic indeed!!! He spent his days in wealth, and in a moment, went down to the grave (Job 21:13).


Remember, though you may trust in your wealth, and boast yourself in the multitude of your riches, you cannot by any means redeem your brother, nor give to God a ransom for him (Ps 49:6-7).


The ever pertinent and rocket of a question the Lord asked, of which the answer should be obvious to the discerning is,

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37).


All will die and exit this world at some point. This will continue until Christ comes again. And do remember, once you leave this world for the next one, nothing done on earth can affect or influence your status in the next world:

  • Candlelight vigils;
  • Mountains of flowers and other paraphernalia at your residence and other places you were known to frequent in your lifetime,
  • Numerous books of condolences open in your remembrance,
  • Services of songs,
  • Prayers for the dead, and other such other things people do are of no consequence to you.


Whatever expensive and valuable things you are buried with will be eaten by the same worms and other pests that will consume your dead body. That is, if the grave robbers do not get there first!

To put it mildly, you came into the world naked, and you leave with nothing except your record of your life on earth. Once you are gone, you are gone!!!


The two men after death (Luke 16:23-26)


“23 and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 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.

25 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.”


The rich man was now in hell. But the people he left behind on earth would not know he went to hell.



he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom:

As seen here:

  • There is consciousness in hell. The rich man was conscious, and able to recognise Abraham and Lazarus in his bosom.
  • Those there can move, see and hear. The rich man lifted up his eyes. He saw Abraham afar off.
  • They can and do carry out reasonable conversation with the ability to reason and make deductions demonstrated in this scenario by both Abraham and the rich man who spoke.
  • There is personal, individual recognition
    • Abraham, the rich man and the beggar, Lazarus were individually recognised persons.
  • Those in hell have their emotions intact and functioning
    • Could feel and expressed such feelings as pain and thirst, weeping and crying. The rich man was in torments. Torments, severe pain associated with torture and severe suffering.


As the bible tells us: “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). After death is judgement. Hell is a real place. It was prepared for Satan and his angels (Mat 25:41). But human beings in certain categories have now been included amongst the inhabitants of hell.


The ungodly ends up in hell, many of the categories of such ungodly are listed as we are informed:

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1Cor 6:9-10).


And also:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev 21:8).


It is true that, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps 9:17).


 “24 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.”


There is fire in hell, real, hot fire (Mat 5:22; 18:9). The fire in hell is everlasting (Mat 25:41). The worm and fire in hell never die (Mark 9:48). Yes, hell is a place of perpetually burning fire and must therefore be quite hot. This rich man was being “tormented in this flame.”


Have you ever accidentally put your hand in fire? Or touched a hot stove? Then imagine your whole body burning in fire with intense heat but with no part of you being consumed by the fire.


You are on and in fire, but are not turning into ashes like a piece of wood. Rather, you remain intact like a piece of iron being heated, though read-hot, you remain intact. And you conscious and alert have lost all the capacity to become unconscious, or go into a coma!


Observe that, this person in hell had all his senses intact like a normal human being on earth.


In hell, he apparently had need for certain of the things needed on earth. But he lacked those things that make for comfortable living or that could remove pain or satisfy appetites like thirst for water, need for relief from pain.


Hence, in death, there is consciousness, and there is no soul sleep, and there is no annihilation as some teach.


The rich man made a specific request in his agony: water to cool his tongue, not even to drink. This also shows that while on earth the rich man knew Lazarus. This implies that his not helping Lazarus was a deliberate act. This then would make it a braking of the mosaic law which commanded that the poor should be looked after by the rich. This was thus a sin. Since he that offended in one, offended in all (Jam 2:10), he broke the whole of the mosaic law.


In vv.23-24, there is an apparent demonstration of what the Lord said:

“There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” (Luke 13:28).

The rich man saw Abraham, but he himself had been thrust out. Hence, he must have been weeping and gnashing his teeth. The rich man is experiencing this in living practice! This is way, way more than ordinary regret. He was being tormented in the flame. There was no relief of any sort, no redress possible. It was too late for any type of remedy.


  • Will you be any better than this rich man if God is to demand for your life right now?
  • What if hell is true?
  • What do you have to loose?
  • If you believe there is hell and repent and be reconciled to God, and it turns out there is no hell, you would not have lost much.
  • But if you believe there is no hell, you refuse to be reconciled to God, and it turns out that hell is true, you have all to loose, and a whole life of torment in the flame to live endlessly with no respite to gain!




25 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.


25 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:


Memory is preserved in hell

He is told, “Son, remember” If he could not remember, he would not have been told to remember. Memory is preserved in hell. You will remember how you lived on earth. An individual will be able to remember things though to what extent we are not told. Here the rich man was reminded of his lifestyle while he was on earth.


He received his good things while here on earth. And many do receive their best on earth, and while their worst awaits them in hell. It seems like he might have listened to some of the prosperity preachers of his day. In our day, they seem to be everywhere. They dominate the air waves. They thunder out, “You can have your best life in the here and now!” Sounds familiar?


Yes, you may have your best life now, only it will neither be from, nor approved by God. And as prove that that “your best life in the here and now” is from a source other than God, you then end up with your worst life in hell! Think again of this rich man. Again, the Lord’s question comes to mind,

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37).


What shall it profit a man? Nothing more nor less than eternity in hell.


Just imagine, burning alive with a most hot flame of fire, yet remaining consciously alive, and not being consumed! Can you imagine anything worse than that! It is a situation of the worst type of daymare and nightmare all roll into one as there will be no sleeping in hell. Those in hell will be supernaturally sustained not to become unconscious or go into coma. They will be wide awake, and acutely aware of their environment with all their senses primed to the highest degree of sensitivity all of the time!!!!!


The rich man was also reminded of the lifestyle of Lazarus. So, he knew Lazarus while they both lived on earth. There is therefore no denying the fact that though he was in a position to help Lazarus, the rich man did not. Other than this, we are not told of the specifics of the sin of the rich man.


How are you deploying the resources God has placed in your custody?  

You are steward of such resources, and one day you are going to render an account of them to God.

What will your balance sheet look like on that day of reckoning?


Neither poverty nor riches are evidence of God’s approval

And neither poverty nor riches are evidence of God’s disapproval. Here wealth or having the good things of life is not condemned, rather it is considered good things. Poverty, disease and depravity of necessities of life on the other hand are considered as evil or bad things. Hence, poverty is not a sign of piety or holiness, neither is wealth a sign of evil. Rather either could be dangerous to a person’s belief in, and walk with God.


The rich person may erroneously see his wealth as a sign of God’s approval while he is not known of God. Or he could see it as a reason why there is no God: that he made his wealth by himself. The poor person on the other hand could see his poverty as:

  • Punishment form God for his sins, Or
  • A sign that he is holy, Or
  • A reason to claim that God exists only if his poverty is taken away Or
  • A reason to say God does not exist.


Thus, wealthy and poverty could be erroneously made to mean different things they do not mean. Permitting wealth to take ownership of its owner to the extent that God is not honoured, and fellow human beings are not help is sinful before God.


He addressed Abraham as “Father Abraham” and Abraham out of courtesy addressed him affectionately as “son.” Yet, there was nothing Abraham could do to help his situation. He was of the seed of Abraham, but of the group that rested upon their lineage while persisting in their sin and rejection of God.


But the Lord Jesus Christ told those of His day that lineage was not enough to make one approved of God, “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39). And to his eternal shame and damnation, the rich man discovered the truth that lineage was not enough. The individual must walk the walk of faith in God.


  • Are you also hiding under some trump-up criteria as to why you are going to, and deserve to go to heaven?
  • Are you the child of a pastor like the sons of Eli?
  • Are you the spouse of a Christian, like Lot’s wife?
  • Do you associate with the church, are very comfortable attending fellowship, but do not believe, and are not reconciled to God, and others even mistake you for a Christian?
  • Are you a titled person in church, and well known as a generous do-gooder in church and community?
  • Are you displaying your wealth as a trophy of approval by God while continuing in ungodliness like many of the Pharisees of the Lord’s day?

None of these, and a million other things that people do amounts to anything when it comes to your spiritual life and relationship with God.


God demands you first before any material thing.

  • Whom does your heart belong to?



“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).

There is no other way, you must be born again. As the Lord Jesus Christ Himself says,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).


“26 And besides 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.”


An unbridgeable gulf between heaven and hell

There is a great gulf fixed between heaven and hell. It is unbridgeable.  Even, if the will was there to help, the capacity to do so has been removed. There is no way a person in heaven will be able to go and help someone in hell no matter the level of their love or compassion. For there is a chasm or great gulf fixed between the two places.


Your destination in the next world is determined while you are still alive in this world. Once you transition to the next world, you cannot relocate away from your destination previously set while you were in the world. You cannot buy your way or bribe anyone. No matter your relationship with someone already in heaven, that person cannot help you if you are heading to hell.


Choose now, choose well please!!!


Once you die, you cannot help anyone still living on earth

“27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

28 for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”


“send him to my father’s house….”

He wanted Lazarus resurrected to go testify to his five brothers still alive! This rich man was conscious and had the memory of his life on earth. So, he remembered his five siblings still living on earth. He thought he still had the same clout and authority he enjoyed while on earth. He therefore did not think twice before ordering that Lazarus be resurrected to carry out his wish: to go testify to them! He apparently still cared about their welfare and still desire their good. This also showed the possible reason he was in hell: He heard the law, the testimony of God and rejected it.


His siblings still on earth are continuing in his footsteps. He was now aware that such way of life: rejecting God and His word leads to hell. He did not want his siblings to go to hell. While in hell, he still had love for his brethren still living on earth, and his desire to do whatever he could despite his own torments, was strong. Hence, his attempt to sway Abraham by strong but worthless argument.


But now that he was dead, though aware of their imminent doom if they continued unrepentant, try what he may, he could do nothing to influence them on earth.

This again demonstrated what the bible teaches:

  • We can only do something about ourselves and others while alive.
  • Once a person is dead, he cannot affect others still living, neither can he change the choices he had made while living on earth.
  • Hence, praying for the dead or doing things on their behalf, while it may seem nice, does not change their status as to hell or heaven.


“29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.”


People on earth have all they need to be saved

They have Moses and the prophets: Moses and the prophets are here put for their writings (Luke 24:27; John 5:45-47). This refers to the Hebrew Bible, that is referred to as the Old Testament (Ex 24:4; Deut. 31:9). It was the Bible the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles had, read, and preached from (Mat 12:1-8; Luke 24:27; John 5:39-45; Acts 17:11; 26:22; 28:23). It was read in the temple and synagogues on the Sabbath (Acts 15:21).


With the advent of the New Testament church, we have the addition of the writings of the apostles and what those closely associated with them had written down for the church, and referred to as the New Testament. These (OT and NT) constitute the Holy Bible, which is the final authority for the Christian in all matters of faith and life.


In other words, his siblings, and by extension, others living on earth have all that they need to believe in and obey God if they wanted. Nothing additional is necessary or required nor will be provided.


Miracles do not always lead to salvation

“30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.”


And he said, Nay, father Abraham…..”

Then, the argument begins.

“but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent”:

Rising from the dead will be a spectacular miracle. His logic is that a spectacular miracle would convince his five brothers to repent. Even in hell, his mindset had not changed: the spectacular will show presence of God and make people to believe. Yet, he himself never believed.


No father Abraham, you didn’t get it. Like the Pharisees and others of Jesus’ day said to Him: “we would see a sign” (Mat 12:38; cf. 16:1), that is, show us a sign that you are the Son of God, the Messiah. Though the Lord performed numerous miracles, they refused to believe in Him.


Similarly, this rich man in his lifetime apparently waited for some miracle to take place before he could believe. His brothers back on earth are still waiting for some spectacular miracle too.



And by extension, there be many in our day demanding or seeking miracles before they can believe. They seek signs and wonders, and miracles as evidence of the presence of God. The written word is not enough for them.


And so,

“deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ”,

who are actually ministers of Satan following in the footsteps of their master,

“Satan who himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2Cor 11:13-15),

pretending to be agents of righteousness have come forth with lying wonders to deceive such sign seekers, and others that are either gullible or willfully ignoring the word of God.


Are you waiting for some earth-shaking event or miracle before you believe and commit to Christ?

Please, stop waiting and act NOW! Believe in the Word and confess Christ NOW!!!


“31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”



“If they will not hear Moses and the prophets…..”

If the testimony of the written word of God will not be listened to, miracles including people rising from the dead will not persuade this rich man’s brothers, and others like them in our day to believe.


This shows that the Holy Scripture contains such truth that it gives greater conviction than any that miracles can give. Little wonder then that we are instructed:


“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: And in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Ps 19:7-11),



“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Tim 3:16-17).


It could not be otherwise as,

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).


And we know that the God of the Holy Scripture created all, and every creature is seen by Him, and none is hidden from, of can hide from Him,

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Heb. 4:13).


This has been the truth throughout the history of mankind. Miracles had never been an automatic ticket to faith. This is amply demonstrated on the pages of the Holy Bible:


  • The Israelites in the wilderness experienced many miracles of God but they were still destroyed because of unbelief.
  • The Lord Jesus Christ did many miracles including raising people from the dead, many still did not believe.
    • When the Lord raised Lazarus from the dead, rather than believing in Christ, the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus to death also (John 12:10).
    • Their unbelief eventually led them to crucify the Lord.
  • The high priests and the elders knew Jesus Christ resurrected. But they were not thereby converted.
    • Rather, when they were informed of it by the soldiers on watch at the tomb, they gave the soldiers large sums of money to lie about it (Mat 28:11-15).
  • His apostles experience similar attitude from the people they ministered to.
  • Peter and John were ill-treated by the council (Acts 3:1-10; 4:1-21).


Do not be dismissive

You might have read this passage of the Holy Scripture and dismissed it as a myth or just a parable that has no relationship with reality. You might have heard or even participated is intellectual or academic debate as to the historicity of the events narrated in this passage. You might have, for whatever reason you are capable of mustering, dismissed the story as impossible.


But please note:

The one who related the story is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He told this story as a follow-up to His teachings of the truth that, a person cannot serve two masters equally,

“for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luke 16:13).


And concerning a prominent section of His audience, we are then told,

“And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.” (Luke 16:14).


And so, the Lord pointedly spoke to them,

“as he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed amongst men is abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15).


Again, the Pharisees

The Pharisees saw themselves as righteous, and not sinners like the rest of the people. They kept away from the people they considered as sinners. They prided themselves in their position of privilege, and wealth within society. They saw their wealth and influence as evidence that they pleased God. They trusted in themselves and despised others (Luke 18:9-12). They loved to be greeted in the market places, and love the position of honour at feasts and events. As we are told concerning the scribes and the Pharisees,


“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” (Mat 23:4-7).


  • Are you a person with some wealth, and in a position of authority?
  • Are you justifying yourself as more righteous than others?
  • Do you see your wealth and position as reward for your righteousness before God?
  • Do you despise others because you have the good things of this life?
  • The rich man in this story seems to be a figure or representation of the Pharisees.
    • Are you also?
  • Are you pointing to your wealth and “good life” as the reason to reject God and His word?




  • Are you in lack, or are suffering much deprivation?
  • Do you think God has forgotten or abandoned you?
    • Lazarus might have thought similarly.
  • Are you using your poverty and deprivation as an excuse to reject God, His Son and His Word?


But neither wealth nor poverty and suffering are an accurate barometer of one’s relationship with God. Further, neither wealth nor poverty are enough reasons to reject God and all His overtures to reconcile you to Himself. Our feelings and experiences are not the yardstick by which to measure our relationship with God.


The word of God is the standard by which we are to measure, and judge things, especially our relationship with God.


According to the word of God, are you a sinner saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and living to please God? If you are, please continue to do your utmost to follow and grow in the Lord.




Are you a sinner, who is rejecting, and despising the precious blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on your behalf on the cross, because of your current circumstances (rich or poor)?



Learn from the story of this super-rich man, and the super-poor, super-diseased man. Death is the ultimate game changer, and the supreme leveler that brings everyone down to the ultimate reality immediately after death. None of these two are said to have received their everlasting reward while here on earth.


As far as this world was concerned, these two men died, and were no more. But they were both very much alive in the next world with all their senses intact.


As one human being to another, the greatest way I can demonstrate love for you is to not sugar-coat falsehood and offer it to you as truth out of the fear that you may be offended.


But as the Lord bids all that believe in, and follow Him, I solemnly inform you, encourage you, and warn you that hell is as real as the lines on your palms. This is the time you can make amends and stop rejecting God.


Remember again, hell is for the devil and his angels, and human beings who have rejected God to the end.


  • There is no soul sleep after death.
  • There is no annihilation at or after death. Individual personal identity is preserved and recognizable.
  • No one is able to blend into some faceless crowd.
  • You will give account of your stewardship of the live He gave you to live on earth.
  • There will be no hiding place!


Thank you for coming this far. You have heard. You wish to mend your ways. You wish that you know how to be reconciled to God through Christ. This is the way to go.


So, I encourage you should act fast and NOW: Repent, that is, change your mind about what you think of God, Christ, sin and the purpose in life.


Perhaps you are wondering what to do; thinking “how do I become born again?”

The Scriptures say that:

  1. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

This means that in God’s opinion, we fall short of His standard.


  1. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Our sin has earned a deserved wage which is death or separation from God in Hell.


  1. “But God commendeth His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Even in our sin, God continued to show us His love and demonstrated this love by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us. He thus gave Jesus Christ to the whole world (John 3:16).


  1. There is only One step that must be taken:
  2. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom 10:9-10).


“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).


All that appropriate the sacrifice of Christ are acceptable to Him. For He Himself extended the invitation to all:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mat 11:28-30).


Why don’t you confess the Lord Jesus Christ NOW?


How you ask? Step 5


  1. Arise now and confess with your mouth that the Lord Jesus had come in the flesh and died for your sins, confess that He is now your Saviour and Lord, and, believe in your heart that God had raised Him from the dead. Confess your sins to the Lord now. That is what it means (and for want of a better way to say it), to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour and your Lord.


If you have done that sincerely, then you are now a born-again child of God, follower of Christ. It is not about what or how you feel, but what the word of God says. Still saying you need help as to what to pray?


You may pray like this:

Dear Lord Jesus, I now know, accept, and confess that I am a sinner. I deserve to pay the penalty for my sins, but realize that I don’t have the means to pay. I accept, and confess that You came to the world and died in my place and thus paid for my sins. I believe in my heart that God had raised you from the dead. From this moment, I put my trust in You as my Saviour and my Lord. I will continue to Trust in, Depend on, and Obey You in everything for the rest of my life. Thank you my Saviour and my Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.


That is it!


Again, I repeat: If you have done that sincerely, then you are now a born-again child of God, follower of Christ. It is not about what or how you feel, but what the word of God says. You are now a born-again bona fide child of God.




  • But please understand that becoming born-again is the beginning of a New You in a New Life.
  • It is the beginning of an eternal relationship with the Triune God.
  • It is the beginning of a life-long journey of faith in and with the Lord Jesus Christ, and in company of other believers in Christ.


  1. To continue earnestly on your New journey, and to nurture and grow in your relationship with the Lord, I encourage you to start along with the following:
  • Look for a bible-believing church around you to be attending.                                                 
  • Fellowship with other believers as you have opportunity                                                                   
  • Pray daily for others and for yourself.
  • Read your bible daily asking for the Holy Spirit to explain the word of God to you.                                                                                                                              
  • Witness to others about Jesus Christ

May our God guide and uphold you in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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