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Author Topic: Lazarus question  (Read 2930 times)
Aiki Storm
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« on: June 01, 2004, 01:19:27 PM »

As Lazarus is read about in Luke 16:19-31 and compared to the Lazarus in John 11:1-44, I wonder if these are one in the same or is lazarus in Luke a parable?  If it is a parable I believe it would be the only parable recorded from Jesus in which He used someone's actual name.  
It was my understanding that those who are to spend eternity in hell will do so after Jesus returns and the Father judges them.  If the story in Luke of Lazarus is not a parable then it would answer a lot of questions concerning the rapture(see Luke 11:22) and where our loved ones go to after death.  

What are your thoughts about this?  I think I am leaning more to the story in Luke being a parable at this time.  
« Last Edit: June 01, 2004, 01:20:23 PM by Aiki Storm » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2004, 04:39:10 PM »

I think that we have trouble understanding the afterlife simply because we have trouble comprehending things outside of time and space and three dimensions.  So, one thing that is for sure is that we wont fully understand exactly what happens.  

That said, in Christ we have "Eternal Life."  I think that Eternal life INCLUDES what type of life we have and not just the length the of the life that we have.  I think that because it says that the people going to hell also get to live forever, but they'll be doing that in hell--because they DO NOT HAVE ETERNAL life.  So, the Eternal is a quality and a type of living life, above and beyond just the length of it.  And that Bible some how tells that ANYWHERE apart from God is hell.  So, even though it hasn't been judgement day YET according to our time and space I'm sure that there are many people who when they die have no desire to be with God because they don't know Him.  Their afterlife right now must be a living hell.  And this isn't scriptural, but it makes sense that they feel really guilty after just having their whole life flashed before their eyes, they know everything they've ever done wrong.  And so the person feeling guilty needs  to either remember that Christ died for his or her sins and go with God, or wander around lost.  Whether or not a person remembers that Christ died for their sins must make the difference, or at least a person knows God so well that he seeks Him out immediately after death.  And that's why its so dangerous to be a legalist that adheres to rules and thinks that they will become God's by following rules.  They never really find out about God.  all they know about is rules.  And since they're so focused on rules, Christ's death doesn't mean that much to them.  They might think they know God, but God never knew them.  

One thing that we do know is that after Jesus' death on the cross, He DESCENDED into heaven, and when He arose, he told Mary that He hadn't yet been back to the Father.  So, we know for sure that there are places without the Father.  Then He Assended into heaven to be with the Father.  So, where was He for the 3 Days before He went back to the father?Huh

So, I don't think it's a parable.  I don't know if it's the same Lazurous or not, but I don't think its a parable.

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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2004, 05:55:08 PM »

Hi Aiki:
The two Lazarus' are not the same. The one in John, as noted, was the brother of Mary and Martha, and the indications from the story itself was that they were a reasonably well-to-do family, esp. since they had their own tomb.  Just a side note here, but a few years back an Italian archaeologist uncovered a tomb just outside Bethany, which contained a fairly large number of "bone boxes" such as were in common use during the time of Jesus.  Included among the boxes were some inscribed with a cross, and the names Martha, Lazarus, Anias (Ananias) and some others.

The Luke account, whether parable or not points out several interesting things, and as you note, Jesus used a specific name. One could easily question why He would use a name as if He knew the person, if that person was just a figment of His imagination.

Jesus makes the points, though, that when we die several things become established.
One, our souls go somewhere...either heaven (I know, I know, it says the bosom of Abraham aka Paradise) or to hell (sheol, hades, gehenna, etc.).

This hell is depicted quite clearly as a place of torments, it must be hot since the rich man wanted a taste of water for cooling his lips, those who are there can observe the heavenly scene, but apparently are not observed. That the soul that is there can reason is also shown in the conversation that transpires, but Jesus also makes it clear that there is "a great gulf" separating the two places, and one CANNOT go from one to the other.

Paul later affirms this scenario when he states that "to be absent from the body (physical death) is to be with the Lord", also indicating that when death occurs, the soul goes one way or the other.

In most of Jesus' discourses, when He uses a parable or allegorical format, either the gospel writers state it is so (Jesus said this parable), or Jesus Himself uses phraseology to indicate it is parable in nature, ie: "the Kingdom of Heaven is likend unto....".

Finally, back to the paradise reference. Direct access into heaven at the time of the telling of this story was not a possibility, since Jesus had not yet been crucified, buried and resurrected. Until such time as He ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father, it is "generally" believed by most theologians that "paradise" was the "waiting room" for the OT saints who awaited the fulfillment of redemption/justification/salvation by Christ.  

And there are other interpretations.

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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2004, 12:39:49 AM »

For one thing, the Scripture states clearly that Elijah and Moses came down at what we call the "Transfiguration" and spoke with Jesus. Even though it was an "conjurer" who called out to Samuel for Saul, the Scripture also calls him Samuel, refers to the one and same. Elijah and Enoch "did not see death".

The "angel" that brought John the Revelation told John not to worship him because he was "of thy brethren, the prophets". Maybe he was resurrected along with a lot of O.T. prophets when Jesus was as it describes, maybe he was from before. Why not? This shows they were given ongoing work, no boring clouds!

There Jesus says there was this beggar Lazarus.. No fairy tale there, count on it, it really happened. In fact, unless he gave an obvious indication of something else, just believe it.

And yes, like "Pastor" says, they were two different Lazarus. One was a beggar who lived off the rich man's crumbs, the other had his household with Mary and Martha.
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2004, 12:51:43 PM »

 What is the main message from this story?  I believe it is that outward appearences may not always indicate your righteousness.  Like the Pharisees believed.
 I believe Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees when telling this story.  When they saw someone like the 'rich man' they would think he would be worthy to go to heaven when he would die.  Looking upon the poor and sick, like Lazarus, they would suspect he would be filthy and on his way to hell when he died.  Lazaurs was a poor man that the rich man had to know about but did not lift a finger to help.
 Jesus tells the story in the same fashion as other parables: Not naming the 'rich man'.  By telling the name of the beggar, is was unique in this  parable.  Lazarus means the one God helped.  I believe that is why a specific name was used in this parable.
 He made no mention of how each of them lived their lives and their relationships with God.  Only that the poor had received little in his life and the rich man received much.  And now the situation is quite different with the rich man being in agony in this story.  It is at this time when the rich man finally(apparently) shows compassion by aking Lazarus to be raised from the dead and warn his family about this place of torture.  

« Last Edit: June 11, 2004, 12:52:23 PM by Aiki Storm » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2004, 08:57:38 PM »

More briefly, Aki, I see a couple of points for us:

1. There is a real heaven and hell, and a real "gulf" between them. Jesus said so-and-so happened, matter-of-factly, besides the zillion other times he mentions Hell as well as Heaven. There is no Biblical reason why people would believe in a Celestial Jerusalem without also believing in an egregious and torturous Hell, because they are both described with lots of refernces.

2. Selfish living on this Earth is pointless.

3. Self-righteousness, which frequently goes hand-in-hand with selfishness, will only get you Hell.

- Alan
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