Is "Soul Sleep" Biblical???

AV Jn 11:11-14 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

Jesus stated that Lazarus sleep was a death.

Are you willing to accuse Jesus of lying ???

Yours in Christ, Michael
 

Wrenage

New member
I think the key to the soul sleep discussion is to correctly identify the terms. "Sleep" is a euphanism. I believe what Seventh Day Adventism teaches is that the soul ceases to exist at death. The person then only exists in God's memory until they are recreated at Judgment Day.

Sleep is not non-existence. When I sleep, I still exist. When my computer sleeps, it still exists. Etc.

So instead of "soul sleep," it should be called the belief of a "person ceasing to exist at death other than in God's memory."
 

Buzzard

Member
Job 14:7
For there is hope of a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.

8 Though the root thereof wax old in the earth,
and the stock thereof die in the ground;

9 Yet through the scent of water it will bud,
and bring forth boughs like a plant.

10 But man dieth, and wasteth away:
yea, man giveth up the ghost,
and where is he?

11 As the waters fail from the sea,
and the flood decayeth and drieth up:

12 So man lieth down, and riseth not:
till the heavens be no more,
they shall not awake,
nor be raised out of their sleep.

13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave,
that thou wouldest keep me secret,
until thy wrath be past,
that thou wouldest appoint me a set time,
and remember me!

14 If a man die, shall he live again?
all the days of my appointed time will I wait,
till my change come.

15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee:

thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
.........

and now Speaks Ole Eliphaz the Temanite
you know; one of the ones God rebuked for espousing falsehood and deception;
but he is going to; ahhh, correct Job

and said,

Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,
2 Should a wise man utter vain knowledge,
and fill his belly with the east wind?

who was it that was
just blowing hot air ?????????

Job or Eliphaz,
and those today that Parrot the words of Eliphaz the Temanite, ???
 
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I think the key to the soul sleep discussion is to correctly identify the terms. "Sleep" is a euphanism. I believe what Seventh Day Adventism teaches is that the soul ceases to exist at death. The person then only exists in God's memory until they are recreated at Judgment Day. {Additional Emphasis by SDAchristian}
AV Ac 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
AV Ac 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
AV Hb 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

And you would be wrong, or challenging scriptures as a lie, so what is your choice then ???

Yours in Christ, Michael
 

Buzzard

Member
Wrenage said:
I think the key to the soul sleep discussion is to correctly identify the terms. "Sleep" is a euphanism. I believe what Seventh Day Adventism teaches is that the soul ceases to exist at death. The person then only exists in God's memory until they are recreated at Judgment Day. {Additional Emphasis by SDAchristian}
AV Ac 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
AV Ac 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
AV Hb 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

And you would be wrong, or challenging scriptures as a lie, so what is your choice then ???

Yours in Christ, Michael
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I am not sure what Michael is trying to say here,
I believe what Seventh Day Adventism teaches is that the soul ceases to exist at death. The person then only exists in God's memory until they are recreated at Judgment Day.

so I will wait for Michael to answer; I too have read different SDA's post different opinions
so maybe Mich can straighten it out for us
 

Wrenage

New member
AV Ac 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
AV Ac 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
AV Hb 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

And you would be wrong, or challenging scriptures as a lie, so what is your choice then ???

Yours in Christ, Michael

I think the main reason Seventh Day Adventists hold to the soul sleep doctrine is they need it to maintain their Investigative Judgment doctrine, which is an integral part of their identity. If they didn't have the Investigative Judgment, they wouldn't have ever adapted soul sleep.

For example, it is a lot of work to bend and shape the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus into something compatible with soul sleep. I genuinely pity theologians tasked with white-washing Jesus's words in that section.
 
AV Ac 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
AV Ac 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
AV Hb 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

And you would be wrong, or challenging scriptures as a lie, so what is your choice then ???
I am not sure what Michael is trying to say here,
I believe what Seventh Day Adventism teaches is that the soul ceases to exist at death. The person then only exists in God's memory until they are recreated at Judgment Day.
so I will wait for Michael to answer; I too have read different SDA's post different opinions
so maybe Mich can straighten it out for us
AV Jn 11:11-14 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

I will be blunt.

AV Re 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

On this subject of death/sleep, many do not hold "the testimony of Jesus Christ", but "to make war" on those who do.

AV Jn 11:34-35 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 35 Jesus wept.
AV Jn 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
A known connected doctrine:
AV 1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Note: Jesus went to the grave, so Lazarus could hear.

AV Jn 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

This study is firmly rooted in the Words of Jesus.

AV Mt 4:3-4 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Any other argument is going to remove Jesus as the highest precedence of Truth to "Man". And most likely make "the tempter" a source of information used by many with an "If thou be the Son of God" implied.

AV Ac 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

AV 1C 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

AV Hb 10:26-27 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

AV Ex 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Blunt Conclusion Warning:
GOD's judgment in this subject, will be just !!! So we have no ignorance any more, just "wilfully" "bear false witness" against Jesus' "testimony".

Yours in Christ, Michael
 
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Wrenage

New member
On this subject of death/sleep, many do not hold "the testimony of Jesus Christ", but "to make war" on those who do.

What I find super interesting is the way soul sleep adherents try to get around the testimony of Jesus when it comes to the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. They say it is just a parable, and that stuff can't really happen, but in doing so, they invent a new way of looking at parables that is not consistent with the other parables of Jesus. Soul sleep adherents say the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus basically teaches the vanity of riches, the value of piety, the certainty that it will all get sorted out in the end, etc. They say the stuff that happens in the parable can't really happen. But if you look at the other parables of Jesus, they are all based on stuff that happens in reality.

New cloth, New wine. Lamp on a stand. Wise & foolish builders.
Moneylender forgives unequal debts. Lamp on a stand (2nd time).
Rich man builds bigger barns. Servants must remain watchful.
Wise and foolish servants. Unfruitful fig tree.
Sower of seeds into four types of soil.
Weeds among good plants. “Kingdom of Heaven”.
Growing seed. Mustard seed. Yeast. “Kingdom of Heaven”.
Hidden treasure. Pearl. Fishing net. Owner of a house. “Kingdom of Heaven”.
Lost sheep. The sheep, gate, and shepherd.
Master and his servant. Unmerciful servant.
Good Samaritan. Friend in need.
Lowest seat at the feast. Invitation to a great banquet.
Cost of discipleship.
Lost sheep (sheep as sinners). Lost coin.
Lost (prodigal) son.
Shrewd manager.
Rich man and Lazarus.
Workers in the vineyard, early and late.
Persistent widow and crooked judge. Praying: Pharisee and tax collector.
King's servants given minas.
Two sons, one obeys, one does not. Wicked tenants.
Invitation to a wedding banquet.
Signs from a fig tree. Wise and foolish servants.
Wise and foolish virgins. Servants must remain watchful.
Three servants given talents.
Sheep and goats will be separated.

Pretty much everything that happens in them is reality based. A guy could build bigger barns. A sower can really sow seeds. Some seed can really fall on different types of ground. A woman really could lose a coin. A guy could hire people to work in a vineyard. Etc.

But when they get to the Rich Man and Lazarus, they say, that stuff can't really happen in reality. It is just a story to illustrate some principles.

Then one also runs into problems because they are saying Jesus is teaching a truth with an untruth. Seventh Day Adventism is consistent in that regard because they do the same thing with the dream Peter has about the unclean meats where God says kill and eat. They say God is using an untruth to teach a truth. God is saying Gentiles are clean...but that meat is still unclean.

But if one takes the verse before the vision into consideration...

Acts 10:9-11...The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth.

Peter was hungry BEFORE the dream. He told people to make him something to eat. God then used Peter's hunger to illustrate a truth to him. God gave Peter the vision and said, here you go, Peter, here is a bunch of food to eat. There is no unclean meat anymore, just like the Gentiles aren't unclean. We're in the New Covenant now.
 
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On this subject of death/sleep, many do not hold "the testimony of Jesus Christ", but "to make war" on those who do.
What I find super interesting is the way soul sleep adherents try to get around the testimony of Jesus when it comes to the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. They say it is just a parable, and that stuff can't really happen, but in doing so, they invent a new way of looking at parables that is not consistent with the other parables of Jesus. Soul sleep adherents say the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus basically teaches the vanity of riches, the value of piety, the certainty that it will all get sorted out in the end, etc. They say the stuff that happens in the parable can't really happen. But if you look at the other parables of Jesus, they are all based on stuff that happens in reality.
Please realize we are all involved in the Spiritual War between Jesus and the Devil. We can choose who we fight for !!!

Warning: Harder questions will follow your answer.
Before we start, is "the Rich Man and Lazarus" literal or parable in your opinion ???

Yours in Christ, Michael
 
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Wrenage

New member
Please realize we are all involved in the Spiritual War between Jesus and the Devil. We can choose who we fight for !!!

Warning: Harder questions will follow your answer.
Before we start, is "the Rich Man and Lazarus" literal or parable in your opinion ???

Yours in Christ, Michael
It doesn't particularly matter if it is literal or a parable. Even if it is a parable, the parable rules apply. All the parables are based on things that happen in reality. And if it is literal, I tend not to push it too far anyway. The Bible doesn't reveal a lot of specific details on the subject, so it is wiser to humbly accept God knows more about it us.

I've read the SDA take on the Rich Man and Lazarus, especially by JN Andrews. It's a lot of hemming and hawing. Again, I think it is mainly because the Investigative Judgment forces them to go with Soul Sleep. I find Soul Sleep adherents mainly stick with the Old Testament, especially poetic stuff like Ecclesiastes and the soliloquys of job. The New Testament sheds much more direct light on the subject, but Soul Sleep folks live mainly in the Old Testament.

Generally speaking...

Souls of believers are enjoying heaven, while the souls of unbelievers are experiencing hell (Luke 16:19-31).

Matthew 22:32 speaks of believers living in heaven. Luke 23:43 states that the penitent thief would be with Jesus in Paradise when he died. I find this one interesting because until a short time ago, I did not realize Seventh Day Adventists were comma-movers, much like Catholics to shoe-horn purgatory into their system. Jesus uses the phrase "I say to you" or a derivative like it numerous times in scripture. Never does he attach a time component to it, except on the cross. In the case of the thief on the cross, Jesus meant what he said. The thief was going to be with him in paradise that day.

1 Peter 3:19-20 has unbelievers in hell who witnessed Jesus’ descent into hell. Revelation 6:9-10 shows believers in heaven conversing with the Lord.

Paul wanted to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. Soul Sleep folks have to say what he meant to say was he wanted to cease to exist and then be recreated by God sometime in the distant future.

In a nutshell, people who have died are aware of their existence in heaven or hell. When death takes place, body and soul separate. Any biblical references to sleep pertain to the body, which is motionless.

Ellen White also further poisons the well for Seventh Day Adventists. She says in the last days sabbath-keeping and spirituality will be the two great deceptions, so then Seventh Day Adventists are forced to double-down even further on their soul sleep position. Ellen White says if they don't, they are basically damning themselves. That lady is trouble.
 
In a nutshell, people who have died are aware of their existence in heaven or hell. When death takes place, body and soul separate. Any biblical references to sleep pertain to the body, which is motionless.
AV Ac 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
AV Ac 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

Your testimony does not match scriptures concerning Jesus soul and flesh("body") in the state of death.

Are you able to reconcile your stated opinion to Jesus' soul and body in death state ???

AV Re 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Still a war of words, when your position is not defensible to the testimony found in Jesus' soul and Jesus' flesh.

Let us work past this first, and discuss more later.

AV Ac 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

You can not claim ignorance of Jesus' soul and Jesus' flesh in the death state.

I hope you do well at the judgment of all.

What will be your answer, when the Holy Spirit is poured out at the latter rain ???

Yours in Christ, Michael
 

Buzzard

Member
What will be your answer, when the Holy Spirit is poured out at the latter rain ???

Yours in Christ, Michael
Miachael;
do you know nothing about Vineyards, farming, or livestock

it's the "Latter Rain" that ripens the crops
Olive Trees as well

It also brings the Tares also
then we have the harvest Christ spake of Matt. ch13
 

Johan

Member
What I find super interesting is the way soul sleep adherents try to get around the testimony of Jesus when it comes to the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. They say it is just a parable, and that stuff can't really happen, but in doing so, they invent a new way of looking at parables that is not consistent with the other parables of Jesus.
Well, there are details in that parable that contradict the interpretation that Jesus is referring to the so-called intermediate state. The rich man is said to experience pain and asks Abraham to tell Lazarus to "dip the tip of his finger in water" and cool his tongue (a very strange request, by the way). No one has a finger or a tongue without having a body, and we are given a new body in the resurrection.
 
Miachael;
do you know nothing about Vineyards, farming, or livestock
it's the "Latter Rain" that ripens the crops
Olive Trees as well
It also brings the Tares also
then we have the harvest Christ spake of Matt. ch13
AV Re 18:3-5 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

I understand that this message is part of the latter rain of the Holy Spirit, and has not happened on a world wide basis yet. IOW, The mass exodus from Sunday churches. This will fuel the hate reaction of the goats towards the remaining sheep.

Yours in Christ, Michael
 
{Video removed by SDAchristian}
AV 2Sa 7:8-12 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: 9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great [men] that [are] in the earth. 10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges [to be] over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

Are you aware of how long the Doctrine of Soul Sleep has been around ???

What does GOD know that you do not ???

Or would you point out GOD's error in Their Words ???

Cut-N-Paste Apologists need to defend the material they post, Right ???

Yours in Christ, Michael
 

Wrenage

New member
Well, there are details in that parable that contradict the interpretation that Jesus is referring to the so-called intermediate state. The rich man is said to experience pain and asks Abraham to tell Lazarus to "dip the tip of his finger in water" and cool his tongue (a very strange request, by the way). No one has a finger or a tongue without having a body, and we are given a new body in the resurrection.

I don't know anything about how souls experience hell.

Jesus knows more about it than me. He is the one who created the place.

As I said, even if the story is literal, it doesn't pay to push the details too far due to our limited earthly understanding.

For example, what gives a Seventh Day Theologian the expertise to say souls can't experience pain in hell because they don't have physical limbs or fingers or tongues? They've never been there to prove the point. They are speaking out of turn.

Even in this earthly realm, such a thing is possible. Google "phantom limb pain" some time. It's a real thing and amputees genuinely suffer from it, even though they no longer possess the limb that is causing them such discomfort.
 

Johan

Member
I don't know anything about how souls experience hell.

Jesus knows more about it than me. He is the one who created the place.

As I said, even if the story is literal, it doesn't pay to push the details too far due to our limited earthly understanding.
You cannot have it both ways. Either the details are to be literally interpreted or the parable is supposed to be understood figuratively. So again, do you believe that the disembodied souls in Hades have fingers and tongues?
 

Beloved Daughter

Active member
It doesn't particularly matter if it is literal or a parable. Even if it is a parable, the parable rules apply. All the parables are based on things that happen in reality. And if it is literal, I tend not to push it too far anyway. The Bible doesn't reveal a lot of specific details on the subject, so it is wiser to humbly accept God knows more about it us.

I've read the SDA take on the Rich Man and Lazarus, especially by JN Andrews. It's a lot of hemming and hawing. Again, I think it is mainly because the Investigative Judgment forces them to go with Soul Sleep. I find Soul Sleep adherents mainly stick with the Old Testament, especially poetic stuff like Ecclesiastes and the soliloquys of job. The New Testament sheds much more direct light on the subject, but Soul Sleep folks live mainly in the Old Testament.

Generally speaking...

Souls of believers are enjoying heaven, while the souls of unbelievers are experiencing hell (Luke 16:19-31).

Matthew 22:32 speaks of believers living in heaven. Luke 23:43 states that the penitent thief would be with Jesus in Paradise when he died. I find this one interesting because until a short time ago, I did not realize Seventh Day Adventists were comma-movers, much like Catholics to shoe-horn purgatory into their system. Jesus uses the phrase "I say to you" or a derivative like it numerous times in scripture. Never does he attach a time component to it, except on the cross. In the case of the thief on the cross, Jesus meant what he said. The thief was going to be with him in paradise that day.

1 Peter 3:19-20 has unbelievers in hell who witnessed Jesus’ descent into hell. Revelation 6:9-10 shows believers in heaven conversing with the Lord.

Paul wanted to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. Soul Sleep folks have to say what he meant to say was he wanted to cease to exist and then be recreated by God sometime in the distant future.

In a nutshell, people who have died are aware of their existence in heaven or hell. When death takes place, body and soul separate. Any biblical references to sleep pertain to the body, which is motionless.

Ellen White also further poisons the well for Seventh Day Adventists. She says in the last days sabbath-keeping and spirituality will be the two great deceptions, so then Seventh Day Adventists are forced to double-down even further on their soul sleep position. Ellen White says if they don't, they are basically damning themselves. That lady is trouble.
Blue bolding mine.

Beautifully written and biblical. Cults tend to have places where they literally 'make things up'. It's usually to prop up some other dubious beliefs.
 

Wrenage

New member
You cannot have it both ways. Either the details are to be literally interpreted or the parable is supposed to be understood figuratively. So again, do you believe that the disembodied souls in Hades have fingers and tongues?
Yes, I can have it both ways. I don't have to harmonize Ellen White, Soul Sleep or the Investigative Judgment with the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus. I am free to ponder the possibilities and leave what I don't understand at the feet of Jesus because he is smarter than me.

Seventh Day Adventists have no choice but to add and take away to make the story fit their system. They do it to stay in harmony with the writings of Ellen White, who is widely regarded as a false prophet, even by members within the SDA, to prop up their Investigative Judgment doctrine, which is regarded as false by the entirety of Christianity, even by members within the SDA, and to maintain the integrity of the Soul Sleep doctrine, which is a fringe belief that finds its next strongest supporter in the Jehovah Witness church. In my opinion Ellen White, the Investigative Judgment and Soul Sleep, especially in light of their controversial history of reliability, should bow to the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus, not the other way around.

Seigbert Becker also wrote well on the subject of your question. Bolded sections for emphasis...

And thus, whether we say the story is a parable or actual history, we may say that the account of the rich man and Lazarus gives us an insight into actual conditions in the next world. When men die, they either go to heaven or to hell. Lazarus died and went to heaven, and there he found refuge in the bosom of Abraham, who was also there. The rich man died and went to hell. And surely, in the light of our present inexperience and ignorance of the conditions that apply in the life after death, we will not want to criticize the picture that Jesus presents to us here.

It may be easy to find all sorts of things here that are easy to make ridiculous.
But none of us ought to have much patience with the smart aleck who knows exactly what things will be like in the next world. The Lord Jesus has been there and we have not. The picture he presents to us in this account may not wholly agree with the picture that we have drawn for ourselves, but we are poor judges since all this is beyond the scope of our experience, and the most ridiculous thing of all would be for us to correct the omniscient God with our ignorance.

If someone should, therefore, object that this story cannot be true to actual fact, because the people in heaven and hell will not be able to see each other, we will only ask, “Are you sure?”

The devils are in hell, are they not? And the angels are in heaven. Yet I suppose that there are both devils and angels in this room, and I have no doubt that they are able to see each other. At least we are told in Scripture that they dispute with one another.

And if the critic continues that the story cannot be true to life because it is said that the rich man talked about his brothers and surely we will not remember those whom we have left behind when we die, we might remind him that it is Greek and Roman mythology that lets the dead drink of Lethe. And we might just ask him again, “Are you sure?”

And if he should say that it would never be possible for us to be happy in heaven if we would know that there is a hell or if we could see the people in hell, we might ask him how much he is doing for the people who are without Christ and without the Gospel now. Instead of worrying about how he will feel about their damnation then, when he will no longer be able to do anything about it, he might do a little more worrying about them now, when he is still able to pluck the brand from the burning.

And if he should ask how the rich man could desire a drop of water for his tongue, when his tongue was buried in Palestine with his body and only his soul was in hell, we may not know what to say, but we might remember that many things happen which we cannot fully explain. It may be possible, for all we know, for the soul to feel such things.

But, aside from all such questions, this picture of Abraham and Lazarus in heaven and the rich man in hell is in harmony with the passages of Scripture that speak of souls after death.
 
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