The Unseen Unveiled
by Ed Stevens
"Seeing is believing" is the maxim of the natural man. It takes faith to believe concerning the unseen. "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God", we read in Romans 10:17. That Word tells us, "Hell is naked before Him and destruction hath no covering. The thing that is hid bringeth He forth to light." Job 26:6; 28:11. As recorded in Luke 16: 19-31, the Lord Jesus drew aside the veil of the unseen state of the dead, in merciful warning. "There was a certain rich man" and "there was a certain beggar named Lazarus", both of whom died and are seen in "hell", or "Hades" — Revised Version rendering. Unbelievers say this is a parable, but it is not, because men's names are never given in parables.
The Lord Jesus plainly revealed in this narrative that the dead, though unclothed as to a physical body, can still intelligently talk, see, recognize, remember, feel, etc. The rich man, not because he was rich, but because he had not believed God's "testimony", which he now wanted Lazarus to carry to his "five brethren" (v. 28), found himself "tormented in this flame". He had now become a believer, but TOO LATE! Lazarus was evidently a believer in that he is found to be with Abraham, a saved man of God, and was "comforted". It is thus here revealed that since both men arrived in the same region immediately after death, the doctrine of "Purgatory", invented in 1842 is a false doctrine. Also, the teaching of soul-sleep at death is proved to be unscriptural.
"Then he said, I pray thee, therefore, father, that thou wouldst send him to my father's house, for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them lest they also come into this place of torment." He remembered conditions on earth: "For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything", i.e., anything "done under the sun", or on earth; (see Eccles. 9:5, 6).
"Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead."
The rich man in Hell did not complain as to his fate. He knew he was justly doomed, forever, there being no remedy. To this Proverbs 29:1; 11:7 bares witness: "He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. When a wicked man dieth his expectation shall perish and the hope of unjust men perisheth". With aroused conscience and belated penitence this lost soul pleaded that Lazarus be sent to "testify" to his five brethren whom he knew did not believe God's Word about Hell and how to be saved from going there, just as he also had not believed. Abraham reminded him they had "Moses and the prophets"—the Bible. Yes, therein is this testimony, among many others, that "The wicked shall be turned into Hell and all the nations that forget God" (Psalm 9:17).
"I declare unto you the gospel . . . wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved . . . how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen . . . " "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [that He died for your sins] and thou shalt be saved"!
Let not God's grace be in vain for you. "Behold, now is the accepted time. Behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:1,2). Remember, in Hell all become believers, but forever too late for salvation! "He that believeth not shall be damned"! (I Cor. 15:1-5; Acts 16:31; Mark 16:16). It is God's Word!
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Nonsectarian tracts dealing further with, the above truth, "For the truth's sake" and "In the name of the Lord Jesus."
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