Eternal Life: Heaven or Hell?

by | Jun 25, 2023 | Reason for God, Sermon

Many people struggle with the idea that in Christianity God is both a God of love and of justice. They believe that a loving and forgiving God who accepts people into heaven can’t also be a judging and sometimes angry God who sends others to hell. In the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man, Jesus emphasizes that there is eternal life after death either in heaven or in hell. The rich man isn’t “sent” to hell by God. Instead, his chosen earthly trajectory of living a self-absorbed, self-centered life extends into an eternal life of torment. What can we learn from the rich man that will help us to move along a heaven-bound trajectory?


Read Luke 16:19-31. Have you ever neglected to use your gifts, talents, and/or resources to help others? Identify the behaviors or temptations that may have caused this to happen? Consider ways you can prevent this from happening in the future.

How has this parable helped you to better understand eternal life in heaven or hell? What details of the story made the biggest impact?

The rich man in the parable went to hell even though he wasn’t described as one who had committed a heinous crime or lived an evil lifestyle. In fact, he lived what many would describe as a good life. How does that make you feel? How might this influence your lifestyle and behaviors going forward?

In The Reason for God, Tim Keller writes, “the Rich Man, unlike Lazarus, is never given a personal name. He is only called a Rich Man, strongly hinting that since he had built his identity on his wealth rather than on God, once he lost his wealth he lost any sense of self. Have you been tempted to build your identity on anything rather than on God? How have you resisted doing so? How can you encourage others to do the same?

Read verses 27-31 and consider/discuss what Jesus is teaching us about the importance of reading and obeying God’s Word.

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