Will Sinners Burn in Hell Forever?

For centuries religious leaders have used the parable that Jesus told, found in Luke 16:14 – 31 to scare people into becoming Christian converts.  The story of Lazarus and the rich man painted God as revengeful and if you did not obey His ways He would make sure you would burn forever in Hell.

Luke 16:19 – 31 – “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.  “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.  In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’  “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’  “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’  “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’  “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

There is a different interpretation to this parable.  The rich man was the Jewish nation and the poor man was the gentiles.  God had given everything plus His protection to the Jewish nation but they had become prideful and rebellious.  God chose the nation of Israel to spread His message to the world and they looked down on the gentiles and even called them dogs.  As a result, the Jews as a nation would continually be punished and the gentiles would receive and spread God’s message to the world.   The five brothers stand for the first five books of the Old Testament that everyone believed to be true.  Those books told the Jews how God wanted them to live and treat others and that was all they needed.

Ezekiel 2:4 – 6 – “The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’  And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them.  And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.  3:7 – “But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate.”  Throughout history the Jewish nation has suffered just as the rich man in the parable portrayed.  Whereas, the Gentiles have Jesus and the church and it has prospered just as Lazarus was portrayed in the parable.

God sent Christ to the Jews but built His church on all nations and not on one nation.  Christ lived how God wanted us all to live, a very humble life and not as an inclusive body of people.  Yet I have belonged to churches that seemed self-righteous and were not too accepting of those who did not believe and live as they thought they should.  But we will not be tormented forever.

(Or will you?)  Revelation 20:10 – “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 14: 9 – 11 – “A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”

How easily were you persuaded?  There are many false prophets teaching incorrect information and many are being led astray.  This is why it is so important to read and study your Bible.  I listen to Christian broadcast stations and occasionally I hear things that I just do not agree with yet many accept what they hear as truth.  If a non-believer hears that when he dies he will just disappear in a vapor what incentive would it be for him or her to change and accept Christ?  Fear of being tormented in Hell caused me to search out and accept Christ.  After reading and studying, I no longer fear life after death.

For those whose names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life, will go to Heaven and will live forever in a Paradise beyond description. For me, this has never been a hard choice.  My purpose on earth is to live, preparing for the future in Paradise, according to the teachings of Christ.   I am to love God with all my heart and strength and love others as myself.  As all believers are, I am to be a minister for Christ and share the gospel so others can have eternal happiness as well.  I would like your reaction, please comment.