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Man and Lazarus
*** In the
parable of the rich man and Lazarus, what is said to have become of
“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by
the angels into Abraham’s bosom.” Luke 16:22.
befell the rich man?
“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.” Luke 16:22, 23.
request did the rich man make of Abraham?
“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.” Luke 16:24.
making the request for Lazarus to be sent to his father’s house to warn
his brethren, what did Abraham reply?
“Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let
them hear them.” Luke 16:29.
earnest appeal did the rich man then make?
“And he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went unto
them from the dead, they will repent.” Luke 16:30.
NOTE. It seems that
the rich man is represented in the parable as understanding that Lazarus
was dead, and not in heaven, Said he: “If one went unto them from the
dead;” as much as to say, that such a miracle would certainly cause
them to repent.
*** But had
Lazarus gone on such a mission, what must have taken place?
“And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:31.
NOTE. This is a
plain statement that Lazarus was dead, and in the grave. Before he could
warn others, he must rise from the dead.
*** When are
the wicked punished?
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and
to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” 2 Peter 2:9.
*** When will
the judgment take place?
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the lord Jesus Christ, who
shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.”
2 Tim. 4:1.
NOTE. If the wicked
are reserved to the day of judgment for their punishment, and the judgment
takes place only in connection with the coming of Christ, it follows that
the wicked do not enter upon their punishment at death.
*** When are
the righteous to be recompensed?
“And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou
shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:14.
*** When do
the angels gather the elect to Christ?
“And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great
sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the
four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matt. 24:30, 31.
NOTE. Thus far it
has been seen that the narrative under consideration deals with physical
men altogether. Nothing is said about their souls or spirits. The parable
also states emphatically that Lazarus would have to rise from the dead in
order to carry out the request of the rich man. Now as we have also seen
that the wicked do not go to their punishment till after the judgment, and
that the righteous do not go to their reward till the coming of Christ
with the angels, we are forced to the conclusion that the Saviour used in
this parable a figure of rhetoric known as personification, a figure in
which an inanimate being is represented as animated, or endued with
personality. By this form of speech Christ could forcibly teach what would
occur in the future, by representing it as already taking place.
*** Does God
in other places speak of things that do not exist, as though they did
“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations)
before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and
calleth those things which be not as though they were.”
*** Name some
instances given in the Old Testament which show that the figure of
personification is a common mode of expression.
“For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the
timber shall answer it.” Hab. 2:11 (2 Kings 14:9) (Judges 9:7-15)
*** Does the
New Testament sometimes use the same method?
“Behold the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your
fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth.” James 5:4.
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