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What the rich man didn’t say

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by samwise gamgee, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. samwise gamgee

    samwise gamgee Member Supporter

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    Jesus once told about two men. One was rich and the other was a beggar.

    There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
    Luke 16:19-21 ESV
    The two men died and their fates were very different.

    The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.The rich man also died and was buried,and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
    Luke 16:22,23 ESV
    The rich man made two requests of Abraham.

    And he called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.”

    But Abraham said, “Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.”

    And he said, “Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” Luke 16:24-28 ESV

    He asked for relief from his suffering and he asked that his brothers be warned so they would not suffer what he did. It seems to me that these are reasonable requests for someone in his situation, but recently it occurred to me that there is something significant about what he did not say. He never asked why he was suffering or complained that he was being punished unjustly.

    It seems strange that he didn’t say anything about this. No doubt he knew that his suffering was going to last eternally. Most people seem to think that an eternity of punishment is too much for the sins we commit in this life and while he was alive his conduct seems to say that he didn’t consider himself a sinner at all.

    Something must have happened to bring about a massive change in his attitude. An incident in the life of Isaiah tells us what it might have been.

    In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

    “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
    the whole earth is full of his glory!”

    And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
    Isaiah 6:1-5 ESV
    When Isaiah had this vision he was already a prophet of God and had made the prophecies found in the first five chapters of his book. The sight of God’s holiness showed him that the was really a sinner who didn’t deserve any good from God.

    Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
    Isaiah 6:6,7 ESV​

    It was only after God took away his guilt that he was able to continue serving God.

    None of us realizes how guilty we really are because we lack any standard against which we can measure our sin. We often see that there are others who seem worse than we are so we find it hard to believe that we deserve eternal punishment. It is only when we get some idea of the holiness of God that our guilt becomes real to us. Sometimes the Bible helps us to understand this. I have heard people say that reading the Bible makes them feel guilty. They are being exposed to the light of God’s holiness so that they will see their need of forgiveness.

    Today, if you aren’t saved you can receive eternal life by submitting to Jesus. If you fail to do this you will still submit to him but it will be too late for this submission to result in salvation.

    Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    Philippians 2:9-11 ESV​
     
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  2. RaymondG

    RaymondG Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a reason why one would serve God and submit to Jesus, that doesn't include the realization of how bad we are and avoiding eternal damnation? Something that sounds a little more like Good news?
     
  3. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    The story told was a parable, not a literal account of actual people. When Jesus or anyone else uses this kind of analogy, it is to make some particular point, not to discuss everything that we might imagine concerning the lives of the people who are put into the story.
     
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  4. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think Jesus' point is that the man had not had compassion on Lazarus. It was not just that he had not given him food, but in his heart he did not have compassion. So, his state was the real issue, not only what he did or did not do.

    And how he was had a lot to do with where he went. It was a measure needed, since he was unfit for Heaven - - - not compatible with our Groom Jesus, by not being all-loving and gentle and humble. So, it is not only a punishment; but how he had become had a lot to do with it. I see how he is mainly concerned only about himself and his own brothers > Jesus says >

    "if you love those who love you, what reward have you?" in Matthew 5:46.

    So, it is not only a punishment, but how he only cared about certain other people. He was not an all-loving person so he could share in Heaven. So, there has to be another place, for selfishly loving people. It is being practical, then, as well as it is a punishment.

    Yes, but why do they feel guilty? Are they feeling guilty because of what they have done . . . or because they see how Jesus is and loves and they have not become like Jesus?

    When Job repented, it was because He saw Jesus who is so marvelously wonderful. Job did not feel any need of repentance about what he had done or not done, though :)
     
  5. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I seriously doubt that Abraham and the rich man had such a brief encounter. It seems more likely to me that Luke 16:19-31 is only a fraction of their discussions that Jesus could've shared with his disciples but was directed by his master not to.

    John 6:38 . . I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.

    John 8:28 . . I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught me.

    John 12:49 . . I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

    John 14:24 . .The word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me.
    _
     
  6. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fiction can be defined as stories about people, places, and events that, though untrue; are plausible; viz: realistic.

    Fantasy can be defined as stories about people, places, and events that are not only untrue; but implausible; viz: unrealistic.

    For example: a story about a wooden boy like Pinocchio is unrealistic; while a story about a boy with autism is realistic. The difference between Pinocchio and the autistic boy is that the one is compatible with normal reality; while the other is far removed from normal reality.

    I have yet to read even one of Jesus Christ's parables that could not possibly be a real-life story. They're all actually quite believable-- banquets, stewards, weddings, farmers sowing seed, pearls, lost sheep, fish nets, women losing coins, sons leaving home, wineskins bursting, tares among the wheat, leavened bread, barren fig trees, the blind leading the blind, et al.

    Now; if Christ had told one that alleged the moon was made of green cheese; we would have good reason to believe that at least that one was fantasy; but none of them are like that. No; there's nothing out of the ordinary in his parables. At best; Christ's parables might qualify as fiction; but never fantasy because none of them are so far removed from the normal round of human experience that they have no basis in reality whatsoever.

    Luke 16:19-31 is commonly alleged to be a parable; which of course implies that the story is fiction; and some would even say fantasy. But the parable theory has a fatal flaw. Abraham is not a fictional character: he's a real-life man; the father of the Hebrew people, held in very high esteem by at least three of the world's prominent religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And he's also the friend of God (Isa 41:8). I simply cannot believe that Jesus Christ-- a man famous among normal Christians for his honesty and integrity --would say something untrue about a famous real-life man; especially about one of his Father's buddies.

    And on top of that, the story quotes Abraham a number of times. Well; if the story is fiction, then Jesus Christ is on record testifying that Abraham said things that he didn't really say; which is a clear violation of the commandment that prohibits bearing false witness.

    There is something else to consider.

    The story of the rich man and Lazarus didn't originate with Jesus Christ. No, it originated with his Father. In other words: Jesus Christ was micro-managed.

    John 3:34 . . He is sent by God. He speaks God's words

    John 8:26 . . He that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him.

    John 8:28 . . I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught me.

    John 12:49 . . I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

    John 14:24 . .The word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me.

    So, by alleging that Luke 16:19-31 is fiction/fantasy, the parable theory slanders God by insinuating that He's a person of marginal integrity who can't be trusted to tell the truth about people, not even about His own friends, which is ridiculous seeing as how Titus 1:2 and Heb 6:18 testify that God cannot lie.

    God's impeccable character is what makes that narrative all the more terrifying. Unless somebody can prove, beyond a shadow of sensible doubt, that Christ's Father is a tale-spinner; I pretty much have to assume the narrative was drawn from real-life; and if not drawn from real life, then at least based upon real life.

    In other words: there really is an afterlife place of conscious suffering where people endure unbearable anxiety worrying their loved ones are on a road to where they are and there is no way to warn them; similar to the survivors of the Titanic watching their loved ones go to Davy Jones while utterly helpless to do anything about it.

    People for whom I feel the most pity are parents that brought up their children in a religion whose pot at the end of the rainbow is filled with molten sulfur instead of gold. How do people bear up under something like that on their conscience?
    _
     
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  7. samwise gamgee

    samwise gamgee Member Supporter

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    We are evil so any relationship with God must begin with our acknowledgement of that fact. We must first acknowledge the bad news of our sinfullness before we can understand the good news that God loves us.

    If you think it is a parable I recommend that you read response # 6.
     
  8. nonaeroterraqueous

    nonaeroterraqueous Nonexistent Member

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    I think that every tale Jesus told was a true story. If we think back to the story of creation, we remember that when God speaks his words become reality. We judge our words by how they imitate truth, but with God the matter can be somewhat reversed: truth imitates his words. If the story had been untrue, then it would have become true the moment Jesus spoke the story.

    I think, for a story teller, that's why all of his parables are remarkably plausible. If they hadn't been, then he would have reshaped reality with his words.
     
  9. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    parable (părˈə-bəl)


    • n.
      A simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson.
    Yep, it's a parable.
     
  10. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The definition above is misquoted below. Watch for the revision.

    "An untrue story illustrating a moral or religious lesson."

    Well, it seems rather out of character to me that someone claiming "I am the truth" would represent God as a teller of untrue stories about real people.

    John 3:34 . . He whom God has sent speaks the words of God

    Titus 1:2 . .God cannot lie

    Heb 6:18 . . It is impossible for God to lie
    _
     
  11. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I am not certain what you are saying there, but where is the "lie?"
    An analogy or a metaphor or a parable is not a lie.
     
  12. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The information you seek is located in posts No.6 and No.10
    _
     
  13. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    So there is no lie.
     
  14. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Luke 16:29-31 . . Abraham said; "They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead."

    The man, with whom Abraham spoke, called him "father" and he called the man "son". So it's my guess that the man was related to Abraham.

    The New Testament hadn't been compiled yet when Jesus told their story so it was appropriate at the time that Abraham direct his son to the Old Testament; which even to this day is a valuable evangelistic tool.

    However; my point is: if someone refuses to accept the book of Genesis that the cosmos-- all of its forms of life, matter, and energy --is the product of intelligent design; then it would probably be futile to invite them to church Easter morning to hear a sermon about Jesus Christ's crucified dead body restored to life.
    _
     
  15. samwise gamgee

    samwise gamgee Member Supporter

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    If he was a Jew he was a descendant of Abraham.
     
  16. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    hmmm saying parables are lies, that's so strange.

    Mt 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
    Mt 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

    Originally I thought this thread would be a variation on "what did the fox say?" but no dice.
     
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