Colossians 3:1-3 Williams So if you have been raised to life in fellowship with Christ, keep on seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (2) Practice occupying your minds with the things above, not with the things on earth; (3) for you have died, and your life is now hidden in God through your fellowship with Christ.
We need to practice thinking about what Jesus did for us legally, vitally, and operationally.
The Bible does shed some light on eternal things that we can be aware of here in the earth.
Luke 16:19-31 NKJV “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.
Jesus notes that the rich man wore “fine linen”, which notes that he did not labor as much of the general population did.
Purple was extremely rare and someone who likely wore purple worked very little with his hands and outside.
(20) But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, (21) desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
In this life, justice is incomplete. Justice can only be complete in eternity, in the next life.
(22) So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. (23) And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Lazarus did not avoid hell because he was poor.
We see he was a believer since he ended up in Abraham’s bosom.
Remember, we talked in Part 1 about Abraham’s bosom or Paradise and how the Old Testament believers were held there until Jesus’ resurrection.
The rich man did not go to hell because he was rich.
The rich man went to hell because he did not follow the teaching of Scripture.
Matthew 22:37-39 NKJV Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like it: ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
The rich man, who was a Jew, had no place for God in his life. The rich man did not feel like he needed God or anyone else because he was probably self-made.
(24) “Then 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 in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. (26) And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ (27) “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, (28) for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ (29) Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ (30) And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ (31) But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
What About Believers in Heaven?
- Don’t think of loved ones in Heaven as though they don’t exist anymore.
2 Corinthians 5:8 NKJV We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
- People over in eternity still possess all their personality traits there that they had here.
Luke 16:24 NKJV “Then 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.’
- People in Heaven know no tormenting regrets, nor are they experiencing any sadness.
Revelation 21:4 NKJV And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The rich man’s greatest tormentor was his own memory because he could have done some things differently and changed his eternal destiny. He is thinking back on the regrets of his life.
Neglected opportunities bring great regrets!
Luke 16:27-28 NKJV “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, (28) for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
We all have regrets from life, but can you imagine what it would be like to be in hell with regrets and be with that for eternity?
The rich man had five brothers that he did not want to make the same decisions that he did and was hoping someone from returning from the dead would convince them to change.
- People in Heaven are no longer are conscious of time as we know it.
2 Peter 3:8 NKJV But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Revelation 21:23-25 NKJV The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. (24) And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. (25) Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).
Our bodies here in the earth are tuned to the circadian clock inside us which is triggered by the rhythm of the sun and daylight and night. This is to help us know when to rest.
- People in Heaven are more alive than when they were in the earth.
1 Corinthians 15:54 NKJV So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.”
- People in Heaven are aware of what is happening here spiritually and are cheering us on in our race.
Hebrews 12:1 NKJV Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
They simply are enjoying the Presence of the Lord and looking forward to the time when we all are together, which to them will not seem like a few moments.
- Death for the believer is very easy and seamless.
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 NKJV I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. (3) And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— (4) how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NKJV “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?” (56) The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 2:14-15 AMP (14) Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death–that is, the devil– (15) And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives.
- As a believer in Jesus Christ, you do not have to fear death!