Thursday, March 22, 2012

A form changing experience...part 2

What happens when a soul is thrown into hell? 

Hell is like a holding cell where prisoners are kept until they appear before the judge.  Hell is the place of the departed dead.  The Lord explains what happens to a lost man who goes to hell, the place of flames and torment in Luke 16.  His account of Lazarus and the rich man is not a parable!  But, Christ is telling us what happened.  Some try to say that it is, but the Lord doesn’t ever name anyone in his parables.

Luke 16:19-22  
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. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom:

That is exactly what happened.  The angels carried him.  Why did he go to Abraham’s bosom?  Because he desired to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.  He did that according to the law which told the Jews that those who had more were supposed to help their brothers – to be their brothers’ keeper; and Lazarus, based upon faith and knowledge of that word, went to the rich man looking to receive from him.  So obviously Lazarus was a believer because one of the ministries of the angels in Time Past was to carry men’s souls to Abraham’s bosom in the heart of the earth.

Matthew 12:40  
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Luke 16:22-24 
…the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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.

So we can see that he didn’t immediately degenerate into a worm.  His soul still has his human form.  Notice that he lifted up his eyes; he’s in torment; he seeth Abraham afar off.  He can see.  He saw Lazarus in his (Abraham’s bosom.)

Notice again that he hasn’t degenerated into a worm; he has a tongue and he feels tormented in this flame.   So no, the soul that goes to hell does not immediately degenerate into a worm; it has the form of a human body.  Degeneration into a worm doesn’t happen until the lake of fire after the lost person’s soul stands before the Lord at the great white throne judgment.

Revelation 20:11-12  
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

But over the course of time, the soul that is thrown into the Lake of Fire degenerates into a worm, or what we call a maggot.  But it’s not immediate; it’s a process over the course of time.

Whether lost souls are in hell or the Lake of Fire, they still have complete recollection of who they are, and there will be eternal memory and recollection of everything that happened in their life.  It is a horrifying thought.  That is why Christ came to die - to keep us from this.

Regarding the issue of recollection in the afterlife, notice what is says here,

Luke 16:25-31  
But Abraham said, Son, remember [notice, he says to remember!] that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

Again, the rich man knew who Lazarus was even after they had died.  And although he never met Abraham who lived 2,000 years before; he knew him.  Once you’re in the spiritual realm you know everything.  Now watch how he remembers his family…

Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him (Lazarus) to my father's house (so he remembers his father’s house) For I have five brethren (he remembers how many brothers he has); that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets (they have the Bible); let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

So it’s clear that in the afterlife the lost will have recollection of who they are and everything that happened in this life.  In the spiritual realm the lost will know all things - even people they never met.  They’ll remember their family and friends.

We trust by Almighty God’s word and his faithfulness that they received enough testimony in their lifetime to trust the Lord.  We trust that God’s word is true.  It was their responsibility to personally trust in the gospel of the grace of God.

Genesis 18:25
Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

We (the redeemed) will also recognize all the saints (at the rapture if we’re ‘alive and remain’ unto the coming of the Lord (1 Thess. 4:15), and in heaven.  And when we are in heaven, we will also be aware of our loved ones who are not there; but because we have the mind of Christ we will have the understanding that they had the choice to believe on the Lord but they chose not to; so the Lord righteously gave them what they wanted.

Isaiah 66:24 
And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

That is the Lake of Fire.  We can be comforted by knowing that we can trust the Lord.

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!


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