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The Bible says in John 6:39: “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”
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It is important to note that the story in Luke 16:19-31 is not a parable, but the record of a specific experience. Characters in parables are not given definite names but are identified as “a certain man,” “a man,” “a householder,” and so on. This story includes names — Abraham and Lazarus — as Jesus relates the factual record of two men who lived and died (possibly just prior to the telling of the story). They both went to Hades, but not to the same part.
It appears from this passage that Hades is comprised of three compartments: Abraham’s bosom, the great gulf fixed, and the place of torment. The most desirable compartment in Hades, picturesquely called Abraham’s bosom or paradise, is a place of comfort. In Luke 16:25 Abraham says of Lazarus, “Now he is comforted.” This would be the paradise of the Old Testament, to which the souls of the righteous dead went immediately after death. We can rightly assume that, like Lazarus, they were carried by angels to this place of comfort. It is also a place of companionship for Lazarus, since he has the joy of fellowship with Abraham. Even though he was a poor and rejected man on earth, he now holds an enviable position by the side of Abraham. This, of course, tells us of the wonderful possibility of fellowship with all the other saints of God who have gone on before: Elijah, Moses, David, and many others.
Very few details are given about the second compartment, the great gulf fixed, but we know that it is an impassable gulf over which men may look and converse but not cross. God designed it “so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.” Evidently this is a chasm that separates the believers and unbelievers in the next life. Once a person dies, he is confined to one side or the other — comfort or torment. (Some Bible teachers also believe that this great gulf has no bottom to it, and that it could well be the bottomless pit of Revelation 20:3 into which the devil is cast at the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ.)
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