BELOW, IS ONE “CLASSIC EXAMPLE” OF A CHRISTIAN PASTOR-FAIL
A TRULY “WORLD CLASS” PASTOR . . .
IN, JUST A “MOMENT OF ERROR.”
As a short introduction, this author has a webpage here on this website entitled “Lazarus.” Each reader should read that page, just a bit, in order to appreciate some important truths placed upon the page you are now reading. As a synopsis, this author’s “Lazarus” webpage shows how Christ’s parable of Lazarus and the rich man “just might not” be a parable at all. There is a fairly significant chance that it was a true historical event. The earliest church leaders believed it to be a true story. (References are given below.) And honestly, it really does not matter if this parable was a fictional lesson taught by Christ, or an actual historical event. But there are, in increasing numbers, researchers who put forth the same theory that the parable of Lazarus might just have been a true story. Many pastors, today, have very strong feelings against this possibility and below, you will find a classic modern-day “religious-fail” that illustrates just how ALL religious leaders, from time to time, present some incredibly false truths in order to make their personal religious vanities and/or beliefs seem accurate to others, but even more so, to make these same personal vanities and beliefs seem accurate to their selves! Please do remember that the lesson below has nothing to do with Lazarus: rather it only addresses an increasingly common pastor-vanity that is increasingly failing the many Christians living today. All of this meaning these “end-times” as described in Scripture. And this vanity does appear to be growing, at least to this author.
This letter is intended to demonstrate a classic pastor-fail: using a moment when a question was presented to a pastor and that pastor then failed to draw any of his several answers from a single known Scripture of God: and quite honestly, this was because there are no Christian Scriptures addressing the caller’s question. So, this pastor, feeling that he owed the caller some “sort of answer,” was then required to draw from only his personal vanities, beliefs, and especially the personal expectations that he has regarding God. It was wrong for him to do this and he failed God’s Scriptures in multiple ways, but before this letter is complete, hopefully each reader shall see how WE HAVE ALL FAILED EXACTLY in this SAME FASHION! (Oh, this author surely has done this more than he cares to admit!) Below, please find a detailed examination of how pastors might fail God from time to time.
Some pastors cannot accept that the parable of Lazarus just might have been a true story. And please understand that the truth of Lazarus matters not. While this author developed a strong case for Lazarus, the beggar, being a real person and an actual historical event, this author is only about 95% certain of this truth. All of the pieces of God’s puzzle come together perfectly, in His Scriptures, regarding Lazarus (the beggar) being the same person as the Lazarus who was raised from the dead. However, just because one finishes a certain puzzle, does not mean that the picture on that puzzle presents a factual story. Once completed, it might just show a cartoon caricature from a Disney production! This author humbly acknowledges this possibility.
Any actual connections regarding the two Lazarus’ stories in the Bible are, honestly, of no consequence today. Because neither side of this connection will get any person to Heaven; nor will this connection preclude any person from Heaven. Now the actual story of Lazarus, as Christ taught, could indeed help a great many people get to Heaven someday: more on this below. This author presented this story only as a potential “faith-builder” for any person needing a gentle shove toward God and toward His truly Majestic Ways (and Wisdom placed) upon His little Earth. This author (and most others who have written on this topic) truly loves both stories of the two men named Lazarus in the Bible. But if it did turn out that both of these two men, who carried the same name, were actually the same person, then this now-longer and more-complete story of Lazarus would reveal an even greater Glory of God about how He continually works His magnificent Works (to perfection) upon this tiny world of ours. Indeed, it truly gives this world just a tiny glimpse of God’s unimaginable Glory! (Similar to God/Christ giving Moses the smallest glimpse of His body as He passed by a crack in the rocks.)
But there is a certain pastor (“held in the highest esteem” by this author: and this is the sole reason for this author presenting this “particular example”) who has some disagreements with any possibility of the parable of Lazarus being an actual historical event. Please understand now, that if THIS pastor can fail, then they all can! And they all do. The purpose of this letter is NOT to show that “the strong man fell,” but rather to show every reader that if the strong man can fall, then so can we all. And we will. And we do. In this, maybe each reader can find a higher level of success when grappling with Scriptures they might not yet understand. Oh, it is so easy for our vanities and erroneous personal beliefs to kick-in when our knowledge of Scripture fails us briefly. We are all guilty of this.
During a call-in radio or TV show, this pastor exhibited a classic fail that all religious leaders commit on a regular basis. One result of this common Pastor-fail is that there are currently a great many people who believe many WRONG things about God, our Father. Why? The answer is simple. When there is no Scriptural evidence to support either side of an issue or question, most pastors are only left with drawing from their own personal vanities, beliefs, and especially, their own “personal expectations” of God. This, EXACTLY, is where they should stop and say, “I don’t know.” Again, WE ARE ALL GUILTY of this, to some degree or another: every one of us! This author has thrown away more writings than he has actually published: after this author’s vanity-check failed during his final Scriptural fact-check. Every pastor must absolutely guard this flaw which is found in every person. Any personal expectations that we all might have regarding God only come from our own personal vanities and experiences. These might include Western vanities, Christian vanities, big-city vanities, country-living vanities, Black, White, Asian, or any other sort of cultural vanities. Teachers’ vanities, police officers’ vanities, political vanities, homeless folks’ vanities: this list could go on for days.
The ultimate lesson of this letter (and of this wonderful pastor’s mistake) is that none of us, meaning not-one-single-person, can ever fully understand those vanities which we carry throughout our lifetime! This is why we all fail: on our own! Stop blaming Adam and Eve and start blaming yourself! Adam and Eve are long gone now! But every living and breathing person today is required to learn, that we must all eventually, in one way or another, come to place our full trust (regarding both our Earthly life and our eternal life) in His Scriptures (meaning His Ways and Laws that He has forever taught to this entire world)!
Oh, but it is not allowed for this to be done in a selfish way! Indeed, this is a very hard lesson! For God requires that we apply this truth to all others first, or He will not accept this lesson from us, “as learned.” God is not easily fooled. Go to your Bible and learn the full lesson about the thief-on-the-cross and why Jesus immediately loved that particular sinner, in that sinner’s eleventh-hour. Learn what was in that thief’s heart and try not to shed a tear when you understand that lesson and understand exactly why Christ placed that lesson in His Scriptures. Never mind that they were both thieves: we all are, to some sort of degree (sinners, that is). But both of these thieves spoke different thoughts, there upon the two other crosses. Mankind has never learned Christ’s lesson about the “two other crosses.”
You see, God’s Scriptures, here in this world, are KNOWN and they are FLAWLESS. Yes, they are routinely bent, twisted, and perverted according to mankind’s whims, vanities, and societal changes throughout the ages: but this is our fault, not God’s fault.
Now below, please listen to a caller asking a pastor about the parable of Lazarus possibly being a true story. It is a short audio clip: less than 4 minutes in length. (The link will open in a new window so you can leave it open and, if necessary, switch back-and-forth here or rewind it when needed.)
In this audio clip above, the pastor presents 5 MAJOR POINTS: they will be detailed below. But please notice that not one verse of God’s Bible Scripture is ever presented by the pastor here. (This is because none exists.) Without Scriptures, every teacher is left only with their various personal beliefs and/or vanities: which are typically built upon their own “life-historical” events which later (and rather strongly) direct their “RELIGIOUS” beliefs and/or vanities. God’s Scriptures will never cause this to happen. But this sequence of events will indeed happen every time that no Scripture exists, for one’s support. This author has been guilty of this more times than he can remember. This author has thrown away more words than he has published. Sometimes it takes a while to realize that, “you can’t prove any of these words you just wrote!” This is a hard lesson; and it does not get easier with time.
Now, let us examine just the first minute and and-a-half of the audio link provided above.
MAJOR POINT #1 (0:20 second mark)
This pastor refuses to believe any possibility that this story might be an actual historical event. And how did he come to this conclusion? He presented no Scriptures for us! The earliest church fathers, shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem, absolutely considered Lazarus to be a factual story: (Click on the blue links below. They will open in new windows.)
But never mind that for now: it is not very important, honestly, and is definitely not the point of this letter. This pastor next states that we can never interpret a parable literally, or we will get into all kinds of trouble . . .
Well, let us briefly consider the parable of the “sower of seeds” who cast his seeds into various types of soil, rocks, and briar patch. It would seem to this author that this parable should absolutely be interpreted literally. Farmers take this parable literally every spring when they plant. Ranchers take this parable literally every fall when they plant their winter feed. And yes, getting back to Christ’s intended lesson in this parable: every Christian understands that they cannot “force” (coming from Christ’s meaning of “plant”) a heroin addict, on the street, to come to God right now: if that person is not ready to come to God just yet. Clearly, many Christians too, take this parable literally every single day: if they are on the street, that is. Indeed, there are a great many Christian Missions (on the urban streets of Western cities) who KNOWINGLY cast their seeds into the urban briar patches of nearly every major city in the West. These fine folks absolutely take Christ’s parable literally, knowing that they are only going to transplant a few successful “seedlings” that manage to sprout up. And in the meantime, they keep watering those dry seeds that did land on hard rocks: hoping. Ever working and eternally hoping.
Let us also consider the parable of the prodigal son. After squandering everything that was given to him, he returned to his father, a truly humbled person. Again, it would seem to this author that this parable should absolutely be interpreted literally and that every person should behave as that father did: should anything even resembling these circumstances arise in their own life.
Please consider the parable of the master and his “indebted servant.” A master requested past-due payment from one of his servants. So, the servant, quite harshly, pressed “his own” debtors for their payments, and in fact, had one thrown into debtor’s prison (for failure to pay). The master learned of this only after he forgave his own servant’s debts in this matter. So, he had the “indebted servant” cast into debtor’s prison; just as that servant had his own debtor cast into prison. Now, what kind of troubles can we possibly get into if we take this parable literally?
Now, let us examine these parables from Christ’s side-of-life. One major failure of Christian leaders is that they fail to realize that it was Christ who actually created this entire universe, Christ who created this world, and Christ who created mankind and then instructed mankind, from the beginning. You see, it was Christ who spoke to Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and all of the many prophets. Do these Christian leaders think that in the past 6,000 years, that Christ has not observed “just a few things” in mankind’s history? This is a big world! With billions and trillions of events having occurred, since Christ created this world. It is quite possible (and one should always remember this!) that ALL of the parables of Jesus might have actually happened at some time during mankind’s history. This author is not stating this as a fact and would never try to prove this, but every person should consider the history of Christ here on this Earth. And all of the things Christ has seen here. And the events He has witnessed by those who He loved very much (Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and a great many others).
My friend, in the absence of any Scriptures teaching otherwise, please consider, momentarily, just the possibility of the parable of Lazarus being a true and historical event. (And not because the story of Lazarus is important, but because the modern-day lesson presented in this letter is important for these end-times!) Several very common “religious vanities” shall shortly be revealed by the pastor in the above audio clip. None of these are a one-off! They are common everyday occurrences! This author only presents the above audio because it is TYPICAL! It happens thousands of times every day! Near the end of this letter, “supporting Scriptures” shall be presented to each reader here. Despite what you read, these supporting Scriptures will have nothing to do with Lazarus, but these Scriptures presented will entirely reveal how MANY religious teachers fail our God, by continually presenting their personal vanities as being “equal to God’s Scriptures!” Again, the facts of this Lazarus-matter are insignificant. Whether this story of Lazarus was ever an actual event is of no importance to any person’s life. But the lessons taught here are of major consequence. Please do consider the “all kinds of trouble” mentioned by the pastor above, because there are some great lessons to be found in these troubles. Troubles that pastors must guard against!
MAJOR POINT #2 (0:35 second mark)
This pastor cannot believe that people in Heaven and Hell might possibly be able to communicate with each other. He even declares, for all of us, words to the effect: “Let’s all hope . . . that this is not true.”
Is there any Scriptural reference given for the above statement or his next few words? The simple answer is no! He then asserts that any possibility of people in Heaven and Hell communicating with each other is “hideous and grotesque.” These are strong words! Especially if they are not supported by Scriptures. This pastor fails to present even one verse of God’s Scriptures here, so he is clearly speaking only from his own personal vanities and/or beliefs. How does this author know this? Because in the absence of Scriptures, this is all that any of us have in this world: including this author. Especially, this author! “Yes, I count myself guilty here, many times over.”
Returning to our pastor here, he has no authority to teach these words because he has not been to Hell; and neither has he ever been to Heaven. But, feeling that he owed the caller “some sort of answer,” he was forced to draw from his own personal beliefs and/or vanities (gained by way of his own personal life and earthly knowledge). Using these, he then spoke words, about God’s Heaven, that have never been taught by God! Again, this is quite understandable. This is normal. We all (every one of us!) try to fill in the gaps of what we were not taught or might not understand. But . . . we are all wrong when we do this.
We shall present (below) Scriptures of God that DO SHOW people in Heaven communicating with people in hell. We cannot address the hideous and grotesque concept of these Scriptures because honestly, when one reads these Scriptures below, one can only take God at His Word: and then remember that God knows best for us all. Because Christ spoke these words, we must take them at their true value. True value? Yes, that means they are now “Scripture!” One of the primary goals that Christ has given to every person who ever drew a breath, is that every person upon this Earth is expected to somehow come to “rest comfortably” upon God’s Grace, God’s Mercy, and God’s Judgment. The timing is not a problem for Christ at all. Some come early and some come later. But Christ’s lesson here is that this relieves us all of so much that we might not understand.
MAJOR POINT #3 (0:55 second mark)
This pastor next discusses the concept of a person in hell finding any possible relief from a few drops of water that might be given to them. Notice, again, that there is no Scriptural basis given for this pastor’s statements. This fact demonstrates that his statements are mere “opinion:” solely because his personal expectations of God “cannot conceive” of this ever being true. Please understand that no person is qualified to dispute the Truth of any words that Christ spoke here on this Earth (in this case, the Gospel of Luke): parable or not! There are a great many things that we just do not understand about Heaven or hell because God never taught us these things in our Bible. It is better to leave-a-thing with, “I don’t know:” than to teach this world that a certain Truth of God is wrong, or false.
We shall present (below) Scriptures of God that DO SHOW people in hell requesting a bit of water from those people who are in Heaven. We cannot address the hideous and grotesque concept here because again, when one reads these Scriptures, one can only take God at His Word: and fully realize that God knows best for us all.
MAJOR POINT #4 (1:00 minute mark)
This pastor next addresses the prospects of a beggar ending up in the bosom of Abraham and correctly states that there are no other Scriptures that teach of all the other saved, going to the bosom of Abraham. (This is true, but due to the fact that Christ, Himself spoke these words and our lack of further supporting Bible Scriptures, this caller should have been told, “I don’t know.”) This pastor continues with his wondering about all of the other “saved” who might have never had the opportunity to rest their head on Abraham’s bosom: as if God has possibly cheated all of the other “saved.” According to this logic, any Biblical reports of Jesus speaking to Moses and Elijah must also be false because there are no other instances of this ever happening before.
Again, if a person has never been to Heaven or hell, they should not claim to understand any events that might just happen there. If God had given the spirit of Abraham a temporary assignment regarding Lazarus, the rich man, and the creation of a magnificent “one-off lesson” regarding the Glory of God shortly before mankind’s “one-off historical event” of Christ/God being killed by mankind, do you think Abraham would have refused God? Might this possibly explain why no others rested on the bosom of Abraham? We will never know until we get to Heaven someday. God is in control of everything that we do not understand! We, in our little tiny world here understand NOTHING about Heaven or hell. The fact that Christ personally taught this lesson to our world, while He was using the body of Jesus, should be enough for us! We have no right to question God’s decisions or “allowed events” in Heaven because, quite honestly, this is the same as us . . . judging God! Using this pastor’s same logic, many could claim that the resurrection and ascension of Jesus was false because we have no other instances of this ever happening in Scripture. As an example of Heavenly events allowed by God, there is a story in Revelation that every Christian should consider as actually being FAR BETTER than laying one’s head on Abraham’s bosom! This author does not understand the lesson, below, at all. But this author knows that God has a reason for allowing everything that happens in Heaven. And God has a reason for revealing this very Truth of God to John, in Revelation. And apparently, this is a modern-day reason:
Revelation 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Revelation 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”
Revelation 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Ask this author to explain any of this story and I pray that my answer shall be, “I don’t know.” Because I do know, for certain, that I possess many more vanities than the pastor who spoke in the audio clip above. But this story from Revelation 6 clearly shows just one event in Heaven that far exceeds resting one’s head on Abraham’s bosom. Perhaps one day, we will understand this story of God that Christ taught to John. Personally, this author used to firmly believe that when we are dead, we are dead: meaning the deepest possible sleep. And whenever Christ (or one of His angels) calls out our name, we will be resurrected that day: to whatever God intends for us. Possibly to help Him rule this world for a thousand-years, or possibly later, to awaken and face God on His Judgment Day. Possibly to receive a second chance, or whatever else God has waiting for us. But Revelation 6, above, teaches this author that there are many things about Heaven that I will never understand: unless I am fortunate enough to get there someday (by sneaking in behind a few large good folks). Oh, it would be so easy for this author to just “fill in the gaps” from what I do understand. But this would be wrong, and I have made this very mistake so many times before.
So, there it remains . . . in the back of my head: still unknown. And I will not forget. I will patiently wait for my answer to come from Scriptures, some day in my future. Most likely from Ezekiel, but I have been wrong about that before, also! (You see, Ezekiel is the Old Testament “version” of John’s New Testament Book of Revelation. And no, the first “version” was never wrong, because it was from Christ/God! Christ merely “added a bit” to His earlier “version.” And there are “some bits” that were not repeated in Revelation. Please do know that Ezekiel is not for the faint-of-heart. Indeed, it will make the blood in your veins run cold!)
MAJOR POINT #5 (1:20 minute mark)
Next, this pastor states that people incorrectly try to use this parable to show the state of people who are in hell. He continues with words to the effect of: “these people are wrong because they miss all of the symbols God has placed in this parable/story.”
SIDE NOTE BY JPW: You will find, all through this website, this author proving (by way of God’s Scriptures!) that nearly every time a religious teacher says “something” is symbolic, or spiritual-in-nature, that this religious teacher is unable to find any other Scriptures that might support those personal vanities they are attempting to explain. So, using this symbolic or spiritual-in-nature concept, they are now free to allow their personal vanities/beliefs to take complete control of a lengthy discussion that follows.
This pastor further states that the rich man is a symbol of God’s people who have “the truth” but do not share this truth (food) with the poor (meaning those who are lost without the Gospel; this author supposes). Well, quite honestly, this author cannot defeat a symbol or “spiritual thing” with any logic, any Scripture, nor any Truth of God placed upon this Earth. Symbols just kind of “float around” in the air; and shooting at vapors is a waste of time. However, this author can provide a Scripture nearly identical to this story of Lazarus. But, sadly, it is another parable, so it most likely has another symbol or “spiritual thing” floating around in the air somewhere.
Each reader, here, can decide this on their own:
Luke 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Luke 10:31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
Luke 10:34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
Luke 10:35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Luke 10:36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
Luke 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Small history lesson here: the road from Jerusalem to Jericho is 15 miles long and in Jesus’ day, this road was notorious for the thieves and robbers who operated in the very rugged hills, on the north side of the road. This road, historically, connected the tribe of Judah with the tribe of Benjamin, so there would be ample reason for religious leaders traveling to-and-from the religious leadership, schools, and training center located in Jerusalem. Jesus used this route (in his story) for a reason: it was a completely believable scenario on a well-known and dangerous route. Logic would dictate that all of the “various parts” of this parable probably happened at “separate times” every few years.
It would seem, according to this pastor’s logic in the audio link above, that it would be better for us to preach the Gospel to this half-dead man (on the side of that road) because he was merely a “symbol” of several proud Jewish leaders who crossed over to the far side of the road, thereby failing to show him the true way-to-God: meaning the Gospel. Now yes, this was just a parable: and using this pastor’s logic here, we cannot use this parable for any real or useful lessons in life. For you see, this pastor taught:
“Keep in mind . . . this is a parable. If we try to take this parable literally, then we get into all kinds of trouble!”
So, does this mean Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan never happened in the past; and that it never will happen in real life again? Was the Good Samaritan just a symbolic lesson? If this was a true story, will we get into “all kinds of trouble” for attempting to follow that Good Samaritan’s ancient example in our life? Quite honestly, after researching the notorious history of the Jericho road, this author now wonders if this was an actual historical event also! Today, this road to Jericho is in Palestine: on the West Bank. There is a hotel at one site commemorating this Biblical story (near the rugged hills on the north side of the road). It is called the Good Samaritan Inn: built, owned, and operated by Palestinian owners.
So, returning to the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, this pastor has made one large oversight regarding both “the actual state of people in hell” and a major teaching of Christ which was never a parable:
Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
(Note by jpw: there shall be more about this camel, below. Westerners, you ought not miss this one: because there were no symbolic words spoken by Christ above! And this was no part of a parable!)
Christ is quite clear in His words, here on this Earth. Since the days that Christ created this universe, this world, and Adam and Eve, Christ has always been crystal clear in His words. Oh, go ahead and assign symbolic meanings to His words, if that is your desire. But we, mankind, MUST ALWAYS take Christ at His actual spoken Word of God. Any symbolic meanings might be fine, and entertaining to teach, but they must take a FAR, FAR SECOND PLACE to the actual words that Christ has taught this world! Christ knows mankind and Christ understands every word that He has spoken to mankind. Mankind’s symbols that have been attached to Christ’s Word might or might not be true: but Christ’s Spoken Word is absolutely True! Every time!
My dearest friends, regarding this last MAJOR POINT #5, the pastor above could not be further from the Truth of God, regarding his statements here in #5. This teaching of Christ, whether it is true or only a parable, is ALL ABOUT the state of the dead in hell. And continuing with the pastor’s statements, this story of Lazarus was NOTHING ABOUT the Gospel because the Gospel was not even close to being started when Christ spoke these words! In the year which Christ taught this lesson, the Gospel was at least 20-years from even being started! Then another 20-years from being “added-to” by Paul’s friends (Luke and/or Mark), and still then, a further 20-years, from being finished by way of John’s hand (written while John was in his 90’s). Please do realize that there was not even a seed of any Gospel while Jesus was living, breathing, and teaching this world in that day! So clearly, there was no Gospel for that rich man to teach to poor Lazarus during those years which Lazarus laid at that rich man’s gate! The Gospel was finished generations later!
The truth of this entire matter is that God has always wanted us to consider the consequences of our actions, here in this world. If that means by way of a few Scriptures, by Christ, that do indeed show the state of the people who are in hell, then so be it! These Scriptures shall be presented, shortly, that teach this very Truth of Christ! Once we learn “just a bit of truth” about what might await us after our life is finished here, this truly can wake-up “some folks.” Not all folks, but some folks! Then again, other folks might be truly offended by this lesson that God has taught TWICE in His Scriptures. God teaches this world using many different ways and means. Maybe some people truly require a glimpse of their future (in hell) in order to make a change in their lives, today. This author does not know why God placed this story in His Scriptures. This author cannot prove if this parable was actually an historical event, or not. And this author does not care if this parable was an actual historical event. But this author does believe that the odds are sufficient (between a 75 and 90 percent level of confidence) that there are a few certain folks who might give careful study to this story of Lazarus and the rich man, as if it were real, should their life’s details match any events (or people) explained in this story.
The difference between this author and a great many Christian pastors is that this author tries to not teach from within those vanities that he possesses. In just a few more paragraphs, this author will present a great many Scriptures from God that teach everything stated here. And they do so quite clearly. We are nearly ready for those Scriptures, but one more issue remains.
This author has long taught that some people need only a gentle nudge to find a place for God in their lives. And yes, some people need nothing. But then there are some folks who require a swift kick-in-the-pants! It is a sad (and obvious) fact of this world that some folks need to hit rock-bottom before they can turn their lives around. It is a “sadder fact” that some folks never seem to find rock-bottom! It is entirely possible that Christ placed this parable and/or story in His Scriptures just for those who have found rock-bottom. If they ever realize that they are just days away from a probable death, maybe they do need a picture of the state-of-the-dead in hell in order to take that first step up. Maybe they do need to see that poor Lazarus did get to Heaven, so it is still possible for them too: as long as they are still breathing and if they just try a bit harder to do a few things that are right regarding other nearby folks, there on the street. It is entirely possible that Christ placed this parable and/or story in His Scriptures just so that a few folks who cannot find rock-bottom can actually see Christ’s ROCK-BOTTOM! We can never question Christ’s logic regarding any of His Truths or any of His parables. It is entirely possible that Christ taught this parable and/or story for just one single person in all of history. And then this one single person possibly accomplished great deeds for Christ, just as Paul (a murderer) did, so long ago. The point here is that mankind must never attempt to judge (or even second-guess!) God’s decisions, God’s Word, or God’s Scriptures sent down to this world.
The pastor, above, “second guessed” God . . . at least five-times in his response to that caller.
Now, this author has been particularly harsh regarding the aforementioned pastor’s words upon this Earth, here in this letter. Most readers, here, might not realize that the words of this pastor truly do travel to all four corners of this Earth (due to the wonderful works of himself and his particular church). His words truly reach the wealthiest of nations and the poorest of nations, at the same time. It is quite fitting that Christ’s story of Lazarus carries one message for the wealthiest of God’s people and, actually, two messages for the poorest of God’s people.
My heart desires to make a sincere apology to this man knowing that every person must stand upon his/her own words. This author has cheated this very truth over, and over again, for some thirty-years now! This is because this author has always been able to take back his written words, solely because nobody had yet read them; but no person has ever been able to take back a spoken word. The pastor involved here is a world class pastor who has no current equal: in this author’s opinion. This author cannot count his own written mistakes that were taken back only because nobody had yet read them. Well, actually, I can guess! Nearly half! So, this author feels compelled to make a few statements here.
I shall not name the pastor in the audio link provided above because I have no right in doing so. But know now, that this pastor is probably the finest, and most knowledgeable Christian teacher this world has seen in well-over 200-years. Yes, I say again: 200-years! This author is no teacher: I can only present the truths of this world because that is all that God has given to me. This author is quite like Moses: very slow to thought and very slow to speech (taking a long time to find the right words). If this author was to do just one radio call-in show, the entire world would laugh at my answers. Quite seriously!
Regarding the pastor referenced above, this author firmly believes that this pastor has been given the gift of teaching at, or near, the historic levels of God’s gifts to Albert Einstein, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This might appear to be an incredible statement, but it only goes about 200-years back. This is not really a long time! 200-years does not even get us back to George Washington and his folks. And yes, there are undoubtedly, similar and possibly equal Scriptural teachers, alive today, who are contemporaries of this pastor. But they are unknown to this author. This author does pray that there are a great many pastors equal to the man referenced above: for this world truly needs them all at this point of Biblical history.
This author made several promises above, regarding Scriptures of God.
Please find, below, some very special Scriptures that Christians still do not understand in these latter days: when they are actually needed the most! (Christ’s Apostles did not need these Truths, the Hebrews of that day did not need these Truths, and the early Christian churches of those years did not need these Truths! Think about that. Because this is significant!) Christ presented a few incredible Truths in His Gospel of John that not one single Christian church, of today, teaches. Not one! Not even the church of the pastor, above! Please read the verses, below, and walk through them very slowly: because this is not necessarily a Christians lesson that Christ is teaching to Christians! This is a lesson for our entire world. For the sheep you are about to learn of: are not just His Christian “fold!” Every Christian must somehow come to understand that the words spoken below, by Christ, were actually spoken by that part of God who created this world and this universe! Christ! (This was not just Jesus speaking here: and yes, this can be a bit difficult to understand, at first.)
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
John 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
John 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
John 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
John 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
John 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
John 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
NOTE BY JPW: Please understand that this was Christ speaking. The Christ who made this world and made mankind; the Christ who spoke to Abraham and made many promises to Abraham. This is not just Jesus speaking. Jesus was not an eternal being: Christ was, is, and shall always be eternal. Christ, here in these verses, is actually the God of this Earth speaking through the body of Jesus (who was here, with us, for a little while, and we knew him not.)
John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Now, returning to the tenth chapter of John:
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
John 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are NOT OF THIS FOLD: them also I MUST BRING, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Wait . . . what? Christ MUST? Did Christ just state that He had His own requirements to fulfill, from His Father, here upon this Earth?
Christ was talking to Christians here, so to speak: meaning His Apostles. But Christ was not talking about Christians here! Christ was describing all of the folds of His sheep (plural), which He created upon this world. (Not just our Christian-world, but the ENTIRE WORLD which Christ created, so long ago. Every reader here must come to realize that Christ does not love only His Christian children here, but Christ loves all of the children that He created upon His Earth.) Later, after He would leave this world (upon the death of Jesus) and return to Heaven, where He came from, Christ just stated that He had to continue all of this work for His Father’s sake!
For you see . . . when Christ created this world, by way of His Father’s Permission (which was given in Psalm 22:25), Christ became responsible for delivering ALL of His sheep (Christian and otherwise!) to His Father on Judgment Day, there in Heaven! Indeed, His Father in Heaven “required” Christ to deliver ALL OF MANKIND to Him: Christ stated this quite clearly in John 10:16 above, in the red letters. For you see . . . John 10:16 is about the most unselfish Christian Scripture you will ever find upon this Earth that Christ created. And quite sadly, it is only we, very selfish Christians, who claim sole ownership of Christ, and His teachings! And we do so, in error!
No . . . you say to this? Every Christian needs to learn Psalm 22, for this truly is the Psalm of Jesus: meaning this is the Psalm of Christ, while He was in this world for a little while, using the body of Jesus. Psalm 22:25 is Christ teaching King David about Himself:
Psalm 22:25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
This is well-beyond the scope of this letter and is a lesson taught elsewhere upon this website, but apparently, Christ made some sort of vow to His Father (our LORD) before He was allowed to create this Earth! Christ revealed this vow to David: and Christ confirmed this same vow in John 10:16 above.
Please understand now, by way of Scripture, that . . . the truth of this entire matter is that Christ made His vow to His Father (our LORD!) fully knowing that His Father (our LORD!) required that Christ was to die for the children that He was to create upon this Earth. This was all arranged before it ever happened. No, you say? Below is Christ speaking:
John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
This author (jpw) strongly encourages every Christian, Jew, and Muslim to read the last several paragraphs just one more time. And then go to bed, tonight, with these words ringing in your ears.
For these are the word (sent down to this world, by God) that prove: we all . . . worship the same GOD! And quite sadly, we all . . . do get a bit selfish in this regard, from time to time.
Now, this author has (throughout this letter) been promising to address the pastor’s mistakes by way of God’s Scriptures. Some will cry foul here, but many will not!
Hopefully, most people reading this letter have read one or two other webpages on this site where this author proves that it was Christ who made this universe, Christ who made this world, Christ who made Adam and Eve, and Christ who has spoken to mankind since the foundation of this world. This would include Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob (Israel), and all of the Hebrew prophets found in the Bible.
Christ then closed His entire Old Testament with words sent to Malachi:
Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not . . .
Near the end of His life here, while using the body of Jesus, Christ stated that He now had work to do elsewhere in this world:
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Well, like it or not, Christ’s next Scripture delivered to this world was His Qur’an. There was nearly 500-years between the book of Malachi and the book of Matthew. And there was nearly 500-years between the Gospel of John and when the angel Gabriel started bringing the Word of God to the prophet Muhammad.
Christians absolutely have the right to hate all Muslims, to hate all Arabs and Persians, and to hate the entire Muslim faith. God has given all of us this freedom. But please understand that Christ taught that Christians would definitely fare much better (on Earth and in Heaven, some day) if they did manage to depart from any/all hatreds. Please also understand that Christ taught that Muslims would similarly fare much better (on Earth and in Heaven, some day) if they also managed to depart from any/all hatreds. So, Christians have their problems regarding God’s Judgment and Muslims have their problems regarding God’s Judgment! So yes, God truly has given every single person the freedom to hate whatever they will, in this world.
But . . . AND THIS IS IMPORTANT to all Jews and Christians! No Christian or Jew has any right to hate, or even deny, any of our LORD’S SCRIPTURES: in this case, meaning His Qur’an. Especially if they have not read Christ’s Qur’an all the way through. How can one speak poorly of Christ’s Words placed in His Qur’an if they have not read even one word of Christ’s Qur’an? Yet Christians do this every day!
And if you do . . . decide to hate this Scripture of God, then please say it loudly, so that God can hear you. And yes, even a blind man can see that the Muslim faith of today truly has enormous problems: indeed, it has a cancer that this author might describe as “near-terminal.” But this is not the fault of Christ and this is not the fault of Christ’s Scriptures sent down to His “other sheep.”
As a side note to Muslims, please do remember what God/Christ/Allah teaches about the Sabians in the Scriptures that He sent down to you. The Sabians possessed the very same cancer that your faith is fighting today. They did not hold-fast to what God had given them! They lost that fight (not against God, but against their own cancer!) and God utterly destroyed the Sabians. God placed this story in His Qur’an for all Muslims to learn. He never taught this lesson to His Children of the Book (meaning the Bible).
As a side note to Christians, please do realize that the Sabeans (spelled “Sabians” in the Qur’an) are found in your Bible too. In the Qur’an, God teaches how He turned them into stones. But God only revealed this lesson about the Sabeans to the Muslims. Perhaps, God saw this cancer coming to the Muslims? Perhaps, or perhaps not? And Christians, while we are on this side note, you really ought to be helping the Muslim faith destroy this cancer. Your faith beat this cancer several hundred years ago. Just talk to them: teach them about your Spanish Inquisition and your witch-hunts from long ago. Teach them that good Muslims need to stand against bad Muslims. And oh, Christians, there is just one more important note here. In His Qur’an, God gives the “main reason” that He destroyed the Sabeans (that are found in your Bible). They failed regarding His Sabbath! And they did so with arrogance. Apparently, God is quite serious about all Ten of His Commandments given to Moses.
But this author apologizes for digressing!
Now, before any Christian makes any false claims against their own Christ (and His Scriptures elsewhere in this world), that Christian would be strongly advised to actually READ (just once) God’s Qur’an (cover-to-cover). Only then, might a Christian put forth an educated word regarding God’s work elsewhere in this world. (Honestly, this author says this tongue-in-cheek here, only because this author knows it will never happen . . . regarding normal God-believing, God-loving, and God-fearing people.)
There are many translations of the Qur’an available in English. This author, having studied them all, can say that only one was translated properly and without religious prejudice. That would be the author MAS Abdel Haleem.
To show how simple this is, you can find his outstanding translation (sometimes for as little as $2.00) by clicking HERE.
So once again, if any Christian wishes to condemn Christ’s Words in His Qur’an without even reading His Qur’an, then do look up, toward Christ, and shout your condemnations loudly, so He can hear you. While you have His attention, also explain to Him why you feel that His Words might not be worth $2.00 to you. A very old Christian is making this request to you.
Finally, returning to God’s Scriptures (regarding that caller’s question):
There is a book, placed in the Qur’an, by Christ, Himself and it is called The Heights. (Actually, all of the books found in the Qur’an were delivered and placed-in-His-specified-order by Christ Himself: this author was merely “emphasizing this point” for Christians.) In The Heights, God describes a piece of Heaven which is, apparently, right next to hell. It appears as though this is the very place in Heaven where our Judgment Day takes place. The Heights describes certain events that take place on Judgement Day. Some of these events take place in Heaven and others take place in Hell. There is a great barrier between these two; and apparently, no person may cross this great barrier between the two Heights which exist on each side of this great barrier.
So now that all Christians have been shocked by this author, please do collect yourself, and remember that we have been discussing the pastor’s radio show and the caller asking about Lazarus (in Heaven) and the rich man (in Hades/Hell).
The Heights 7:40 The gates of Heaven shall not be open to those who rejected Our revelations and arrogantly spurned them; even if a camel were to pass through the eye of a needle, they would not enter Heaven. This is how We punish the guilty.
NOTE BY JPW: Where have we Christians seen this camel and needle before? Oh, and just so each reader understands here: the angel Gabriel is speaking these words which Christ gave to him. You know this Gabriel; he is the angel that spoke to the virgin Mary, and many others in Christ’s Bible.
The Heights 7:44 The people of the Garden (Heaven) will cry out to the people of the Fire, “We have found what our Lord promised us to be true. Have you found what your Lord promised you to be true? And they will answer, “yes.”
The Heights 7:46 A barrier divides the two groups with men on its heights recognizing each group by their marks . . .
NOTE BY JPW: Did the pastor, above, imply that God was hideous and grotesque for allowing this? And are there really marks to be found? Marks on both sides (meaning the good and evil)? More on this, shortly.
The Heights 7:47 When the people of the Garden (Heaven) look upon the people of the Fire, they will say, “Oh Lord, do not let us join the evildoers.” And the people of the Heights will call out to certain men they recognized by their marks, “What use were your great numbers and your false pride?” Are these people, beside us, the people you swore God would never bless?
NOTE BY JPW: Did the pastor, above, say an event, such as this, could never happen? And also, please compare this Truth of God to Christ’s Sermon on the Mount! It would seem, to this author at least, that this is the conclusion to Christ’s Sermon on the Mount! Indeed, Christ’s perfect conclusion.
JUST A SIDE NOTE: When you see the phrase “great numbers” in the verse above, it means wealth! For in God’s Eyes, this is all that wealth is: it is just a silly number created by mankind. And apparently, it comes with (or at least causes) a false pride.
TWO SIDE QUESTIONS: Does the beast of Revelation carry with it, a great number? Does the beast of Revelation also bring a mark to this world?
The Heights 7:50 The people of the Fire will call to the people of Heaven, “Give us some water, or any of the sustenance God has granted you!” And the people of Heaven will reply, “God has forbidden both to the disbelievers: those who took their religion for distraction, a mere game, and were deluded by worldly life.
NOTE BY JPW: Where have we seen this before, regarding the above pastor?
JUST A SIDE NOTE: When you see the phrase “worldly life” in the verse above, it means Mammon! (Or Earthly pursuits.)
A SIDE QUESTION: Did Jesus teach lessons about Mammon?
Now, in the Torah, God marks/seals His good folks (who keep His Laws, His Commandments, and His Ways). In Revelation, God marks/seals His good folks (His 144,000 most beloved, called His Elect). And He then describes the mark of the beast issued against the bad, who are not His. Christ also teaches that He has been doing this since the foundation of this world (Rev 13:8 and Rev 17:8). It is quite important to note that Satan cannot mark any person! Satan has never been able to decide who goes to Heaven or Hell. And Satan has zero-part in God’s Judgment of any person that ever lived. Only God can place any mark upon a person. There are multiple Scriptures all through the Bible which teach that all judgement belongs to God/Christ. But actually, the ultimate truth here is that each person, according to their actions, deeds, desires, and pursuits in their life here, actually determines what mark might be placed upon them: so to speak. The Torah teaches this, Revelation teaches this, and the Qur’an teaches this even more so. As a side note: the Qur’an even teaches us how to find this bad mark (meaning the mark of the beast) on folks, here today! It truly does! (Is this knowledge, from Christ, worth $2.00 to any person reading this webpage? Sorry for digressing: I do this a lot. And I ought not.)
So please consider, once again, a verse you just read above:
The Heights 7:46 A barrier divides the two groups with men on its heights recognizing each group by their marks . . .
None of this is hideous and none of this is grotesque, as the pastor above declares. Indeed, this is a magnificent (and very revealing) lesson for the LIVING! Scripture teaches that our God (meaning the God of this entire world) is a God-of-the-living! Not of the dead! It would seem as though He could care less about those who have found themselves in hell. But He does care, very much about those “living” who still have a glimmer-of-hope of finding their way into His Heaven, and then someday later, also find their way into His Kingdom!
And yes, the facts presented here, solely by way of God’s Scriptures, teach that there really is just a bit for people to learn about the condition of folks in hell (Hades). For some folks, here on this Earth, this author can imagine many sad cases (some, being dear friends of this author) who might just find a GREAT TRUTH in these teachings of God. You know: those “few” who just cannot seem to find rock-bottom here in this life. Neither this author, nor any reader here, can FORCE these precious “few” to find God and the path that He has placed before them. Oh, it is there: free for the taking! They just cannot see it. One can talk to them forever, but it never really works. (A hard lesson to learn: on both sides of this lesson.) It seems as though God has designed this life, in His world, to work only if each person makes Christ’s required decisions on their own! And quite honestly, this author could be wrong here! But this author has failed every time he tried to push, pull, or even nudge one of these “few” folks toward any sort of path that might lead to God.
Note by jpw: there is an old IT joke and/or expression known in the IT Departments of many companies. It goes something like this: “I can explain it to you, but I cannot understand it for you.” This was the point of the last paragraph; and is more descriptive than this author can ever present himself.
A further note by jpw: some homeless folks have taught this author, “don’t ever give money to a homeless person.” A few have shouted it quite loudly and with a bit of anger. They said, “give food, work, jacket, a rain cover, shoes, a McDonald’s food card, or whatever! But NEVER GIVE MONEY.” Because the money will always be spent on alcohol or drugs: 100% of the time, they say! This author believes them fully, but this author does not understand. Even though this author has seen every dollar of his money turned into drugs, this author still does not understand this. Maybe because this author can clearly see God’s path sitting in front of them? But they cannot? So, this author is forced to believe them, but this author does not understand their logic at all.
Maybe . . . just maybe . . . when a person who cannot find rock-bottom can finally see what God’s “rock-bottom” looks like (by way of that rich man’s hell, which the pastor, above, denied!), then they might be able to find their own foot-hold for that first baby-step out of “their own hell,” as they see it. Maybe there are some folks who cannot accept help from others until they have actually found that first step on their own. This author knows a few of them: they were the same few who taught this author to “never give money to a homeless person.” Some of them said this with a caring hint of anger in their voice. Maybe this is not a pride on their part, but rather is a moral desire to not waste any sort of “gifted help?” Quite honestly, this author does not understand this!
This author can see, in the audio clip referenced above, that the pastor had some great emotions involved with the caller’s question regarding the hell which God created and the hell (hades) which Christ describes in His Gospel. It appears as though this question caused the pastor to dig way back, into his past. But know this now, for a certainty! The pastor in the audio clip above made no mistake! He just did not know the full Truth of God here in this world . . . yet. There is an incredible reason that there were no Christian Scriptures for this Christian pastor to draw from in his answer to the caller. That reason is because . . . no such Christian Scripture exists!
This . . . and this alone . . . is the very reason that the caller should have heard the words, “I don’t know.” For when there are no Scriptures to either support, or deny, a particular Truth of God, then these become very good words! Because this is the only way a teacher/pastor can prevent their personal vanities from controlling their conversation.
This old Christian author (jpw) used to curse at God, long ago. Yes, I honestly did, but quite gently, and with a great fear, because of things I could not understand (or especially, find) in the Bible. Whenever this happened, I knew it was me who was wrong (every time), so I set everything aside, patiently, until I might better understand. The way God’s Bible works, is that there are a great many things that we do not quickly understand.
As an example, one might have a misunderstood issue with some statement that Christ made in one of His Gospels. Ok, just let it go for now. Keep reading. Learn about God and keep those issues in the back of your head: your brain will remember them and trigger them when you come across your answer. And yes, once in a while, definitely ask Christ for a little help, during your other prayers. NOW, someday in your future when you pick up your Bible, you “might” find some silly story in the Old Testament (perhaps, in the Book of Ruth – because not too many Christians care about the story of Ruth or even know who Naomi is) regarding how God rewards folks who maintain their faith even when life has completely failed them. (Oh, this is the very special story of a very strong woman, named Naomi, found in the Book of Ruth. And who was Ruth? She was the grandmother of King David: just an average Hebrew woman that Christ decided to write an entire book about . . . in His Bible! So, she was nobody special, really.)
Now, this Book of Ruth might just cause you to recall the Truth of God (that you did not understand earlier in the Gospel of Matthew) and when you return to Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (in Matthew 5:1) and you finally see how a person (who has lost everything in their life: such as Naomi) can still show God of their true value in His Kingdom of Heaven. You see, a person who has lost everything here in this world (INCLUDING GOD!), might still possess many of the traits that Christ taught (in His Sermon on the Mount, and all through His teachings to Moses and Abraham) regarding what it takes to get into God’s Kingdom! Being meek. Being humble. Being a peacemaker. Showing mercy and seeking righteousness. You know the Sermon!
Well . . . every Christian mother should have the story of Naomi, from the Book of Ruth, held near and dear to their heart. And to all other Christians, regarding Christ’s Sermon on the Mount: did you find Christ describing even one tiny religious requirement for our admission into His Father’s Kingdom? No, you did not. So apparently, ANYONE CAN ACHIEVE THIS . . . if they have the desire: and also possess the works and deeds that come with this desire; as described in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. And before any impatient Christian objects to this logic of Christ, please understand the following. Christ’s Father permits Him to allow this because Christ’s Father fully understands that the various traits mentioned in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount can only lead to one place, eventually. And that place is God! Oh, how God understands patience, but mankind does not!
And for those extra stubborn Christians who still object to the paragraph above, please remember John 1:9 where Christ teaches that He places His laws in every single person’s heart: around the time when they might take their first breath! This would be way, WAY, WAY before that person ever decides which faith (of mankind) that they might follow in this world! (By way of their birth or by way of their own choosing.)
John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
So, Christians! Jews! Muslims! Did you just read a single word about any person being required, BY OUR LORD, that every person must follow any of these three faiths?
So now, let us try to understand God’s patience here!
Please return to our example of homeless folks above . . . and allow them to deliver God’s lesson of patience: here, for the “rest of us.” So, returning to our homeless folks, that we Westerners prefer to ignore:
Even if they can’t find God??? Even if Joe, who has never found rock-bottom, can help his friend Mike, who also has not quite found rock-bottom? Once Joe helps Mike to actually begin his journey towards God’s Path, but Mike finds a terrible end, due to street-violence, how shall God judge Joe? God shall judge Joe exactly as He laid-out in His Sermon on the Mount! Poor Joe did just fine! It is only we more-wealthy Westerners who judge Joe poorly, according to our personal, and especially religious vanities, when we pass by him, occasionally, here on Christ’s streets today.
No, you say? Do you remember Christ’s teachings regarding the thief on the cross? Well, his name could easily have been Joseph. It is quite plausible that he found rock-bottom right there on that cross of his! That thief on the cross most likely never found religion, but he clearly found that “true Light” which was placed in his heart at birth. That “very Light” which Christ has placed in every one of us!
There are millions of folks, upon this earth who are aimlessly seeking God. They go over here for a while and they go over there for a while. Perhaps, just perhaps, a person seeking some sort of starting direction toward finding God, should consider that thief on the cross as the perfect starting place. Because that thief on the cross left this world successfully! That thief made it to Heaven! Christ said so! Study what that good thief did, and said, and especially felt (and thought), while he was next to Christ, on his own cross.
Now, returning to our Christian Scriptures (and the radio call-in show) referenced above, there are a few remaining Scriptures not yet addressed. Quite sadly, the outstanding pastor in that audio clip did fail, just a bit, regarding his Christian Scriptures. But do remember, that the caller’s question was instantaneous and unexpected. The outstanding pastor had all of about eight seconds to develop a full answer. This author would have failed also. Eight seconds is not very long.
Quite honestly, the lesson below is more a lesson for ALL OTHER CHRISTIAN PASTORS, than it is for this particular pastor.
Never, ever, sell God short . . . because of the words He used!
Near the end of this audio, the pastor teaches that this story of Luke 16 can ONLY be a parable because in Christ’s parable, Jesus used the word, Hades, to describe the location of the rich man. This word (Hades) comes from Greek mythology. After getting past Alice in Wonderland (at the 2:50 minute mark), our pastor teaches that this story can ONLY be a parable because a false Greek god (named Pluto) ruled Hades. And, according to our pastor here, Jesus would never, ever use a location ruled by a “false god” in real life! So . . . this story cannot be true! It can only be a parable.
Well, there is a small problem with this personal vanity/belief . . . God’s Scriptures.
For a radio show named “Bible Questions,” this caller received a very un-Biblical answer. Please learn what the Bible really says about this.
Yes, the Greek word Jesus used for the place the rich man went to in Luke 16 was Hades. Strong’s Concordance lists this word as G86 (hades). Click HERE. (Link opens in a new window.)
Christ also used this word in Matthew 11:23, Matthew 16:18, and particularly, later in Revelation 1:18. This is Christ speaking:
Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hades and of death. (NOTE for all pastors here: hades = hell = Strongs G86!)
(When you get to the Lexicon at the link provided above, scroll down just a bit, and see all eleven instances where this Greek word appears in the New Testament verses.)
This word was also used by John in Revelation 6:8, Revelation 20:13, and Revelation 20:14. Oh, it is found in many more places of the New Testament, but we shall only use Revelation for our illustration here. In Revelation 20:14, we find God throwing death and “hades” (G86) into the lake of fire. This is the second death. It means the final destruction of death and hell. The term “final destruction” implies that no person shall ever burn in hell (G86) forever. This is another manmade concept (Christian mostly) that has no Scriptural foundation. The term “final destruction” implies that those folks in Heaven will not “eternally” be speaking to those in hell, as this pastor stated. Truly, God shall punish those who He chooses, and then they shall find the second death when everything “bad” is cast into the lake of fire. How long will folks be in this temporary “hades” (G86)? The Bible does not say: indeed, no Scripture teaches this. So, all we can do is to trust in God: knowing that He is a “just” God and a merciful God. Even more so, we have absolutely no right to judge God anyway.
The lesson here is that apparently, there really is a Hades somewhere; and apparently, the Greeks got at least part of this concept right! Much to the consternation of some religious folks, the word and term “hades” truly is an accurate description of God’s temporary Hell and Christ used it more than once in the His New Testament.
THIS AUTHOR’S CONCLUSION . . . for what it is worth:
My dearest friend, every person who is seeking God has questions about what they find in the Bible: this author included. Even pastors have questions about what they find in the Bible. Sometimes they call their old mentors/teachers and sometimes they call their friends who are also ministers, preachers, or pastors elsewhere. Sometimes they call their old school friends. The point here is that it is just fine to ask a pastor Biblical questions because they have spent most of their life studying the Bible. And there is hardly a question that you can present that they have not encountered before. Their life’s work has been to study God’s Word!
The first major reason for this author presenting this letter to this world is to show how pastors might get things horribly wrong sometimes. We are all human, but we forget that those who we hold in high places are also human! If you ask a question about Scriptures, then you should always expect an answer from similar or alternate Scriptures that you either have forgotten or might not be familiar with. This is the greatest strength that pastors possess and also one of the primary strengths that people look for in their pastors: their Scriptural strength! If you ask a question about everyday life, then you should expect an answer from a highly educated (and yes, Godly!) person who might have never experienced your exact situation. For example, what could the average pastor possibly understand about having two parents (in two states, far apart) both being diagnosed with cancer just months apart? Or what could the majority of pastors possibly understand about an innocent child being diagnosed with a severe illness: of which they might not survive? Oh, you will definitely receive an answer because you asked them as a friend. But that does not make their every-day-life-answer your optimal answer. Pastors are not Super-Heroes! Pastors have a certain strength. Always remember what the strengths of your pastor are.
Now, when you do receive Biblical answers to any of your Biblical questions, then do some further research for yourself, later that day or later next week. This can actually be quite enjoyable. Make absolutely sure that you were given Scriptures to fall back on. And study these other Scriptures! Know that your pastor cannot give nearly as great an answer as God has provided though Scripture: and every pastor will gladly acknowledge this. Your pastor’s answer is your “direct guidance” as to where you might study God’s Word further so that you can learn about the entire conversation God was having with mankind (in that Scripture your pastor gave you). You see, there are very, very few verses of God’s Scriptures that stand alone. The vast majority of God’s Scriptures actually come as a conversation (lesson) He is delivering to “somebody.” It could be His beloved Moses who was to shepherd His Chosen people to the Promise Land. Then again, it could be Moses after Moses made a huge mistake, such as breaking Christ’s stones that carried the Ten Commandments. God’s conversation (in His Scriptures) is oh so important! Maybe God is talking to His beloved tribes of Israel when they did something right. Then again, maybe God is talking to the tribes of Israel after they completely failed him. Nearly all of God’s lessons in this world come as part of a greater conversation. This is important! Your pastor will not quote God’s entire conversations to you, but he can send you to many wonderful Scriptures for you to study later. So do study them later while you are alone or with your family. Find the beginning of God’s conversation and then throw out all of the silly verse numbers and just read His conversation He is speaking. Only then, can you fully understand the few verses that your pastor might have presented to you. Oh, how God’s conversations with mankind are so important (in His Scriptures).
Your pastor is a great source of knowledge and a great compass for finding answers when they provide Scriptural answers delivered from God.
But the greatest part of your lesson here . . . is that while your pastor can truly explain God’s Scriptures and verses to you, your pastor cannot understand these verses for you!
(Always remember! Your pastor cannot get you to Heaven all by himself/herself.)
God designed this life for YOU!
YOU bear the greater part of this responsibility: and this is by God’s Design! So once in a while, just turn off that TV for a few hours and study the verses that your pastor taught you about. About 99% of the time, your pastor’s Scriptural references will be spot-on, but you must then learn these Scriptures in your own way. Why? Because nobody knows your mind better than you!
Now, a further (and more personal) note from this author.
If you ever ask your pastor a New Testament question, and then receive an Old Testament answer, you should give that answer (and that pastor!) a double portion of your attention! For you have found a pastor who understands that the Old Testament was sent down by Christ and that in the closing words of His Old Testament (Malachi 3:6, below), this world’s “Old Testament God” (meaning Christ) stated that He was our LORD and he would never change!
Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not . . .
But there are oh, so many Christian pastors who teach this world that “everything changed” when Christ came to this world, as Jesus. Well sorry, but that is not exactly what Christ taught taught this world through His Word, spoken to His prophet Malachi in Malachi 3:6. And quite honestly, these pastors cannot produce a single Scripture from God’s Old Testament Scripture that teaches of this event (or change) ever happening! These are the very same pastors who teach lying words to the effect of, “All of God’s Laws were hung on the cross with Jesus.” These are also the same pastors who teach: “Just ‘believe’ in the name of Jesus and you are saved.” And then we come to the grand-daddy of them all, “Once saved, always saved.” Well, sorry, but Christ created the entire Old Testament and revealed a great many future prophesies regarding this world: sadly, this “Jesus changing everything” is not found in one single Old Testament prophesy that Christ/God sent down to this world.
Every Christian, today, who truly desires their place in God’s Heaven some day, must understand a very special lesson that Christ taught this world, so very long ago, regarding these tens-of-thousands of pastors described in that last paragraph! This is quite a painful lesson of God, but this very special Scripture was sent down to this world nearly 3,000 years ago! And it fully describes nearly all of Christ’s “churches” today, in these end-times. This lesson of Amos 8:11 & 12, from the Old Testament, is presented near the end of this letter in red letters. Why? Because it was Christ who spoke these very words to Amos. Amos only recorded what Christ spoke to him, so very long ago.
Now the pastor that spoke in the link placed at the beginning of this letter belongs to one of just a few churches (not even a handful) that fully understands the first twelve verses of the Gospel of John: meaning that it was Christ who made this world, and it was Christ who was actually our God of the Old Testament. And this pastor, on a regular basis, gives Old Testament answers to New Testament questions. Also, he especially understands the vice versa of this truth: meaning his Gospel answers to Old Testament questions! This is quite significant and very rare today!
The second major reason for this author presenting this letter to this world is that the caller touched upon a peculiar Truth of God that is rarely addressed by any organized religions of today. Quite sadly, all organized religions of today are ill-equipped to handle such questions. Please understand that there are a great many details regarding Heavenly events that God has obviously chosen not to reveal to mankind. Why? Well, sadly, God has chosen not to answer that question either. Every person has their guesses, but that does not make them correct. This author has some guesses but would never venture to put them in writing without Scriptural support.
But . . . and this IS our second major reason here . . . when a person asks a pastor questions, that pastor feels that they owe that person “some sort of answer.” (Are you, the reader here, any different? Be honest!) The link, at the beginning of this letter, is a classic example of this very mistake. And yes, it is even a “more classic example” of some stupid author acting like a Sunday afternoon “arm-chair-quarterback” and, with the benefit of perfect 20/20 hindsight, revealing this wonderful pastor’s human mistakes. But this author will freely admit that he has committed the very same error more times than he can count. My luxury here, is that all of my mistakes have been in “written form.” This makes it easy for me to correct and in all likelihood, nobody ever knew of the words that I wrote.
Mankind’s spoken words are different though. A spoken word can never be taken back. The purpose of this letter was never to show of that pastor’s understandable mistake.
My friend . . . the entire purpose of this letter is to show mankind that while we all might seek help, here and there: God has designed His Laws, His Ways, and His Judgment so that every single person (who ever drew a breath!) will answer for only for their own lives which they lived here, their own ways which they demonstrated here, and their own mistakes that they made here.
Seek help with your direction regarding God’s Laws in your life: for we can all use this help.
Seek help with your direction towards God’s Ways: for we can all use this help.
But never, ever, seek help regarding the actual decisions that you must make in this life.
For you (and only you!) are responsible for the decisions you made here: when you ever stand before God, on His Judgment Day!
God has no problem forgiving our mistakes here: but regarding the direction we freely chose regarding our life here? And those “things” that we freely chose to pursue, while we were here in this little world, for our little while?
That is another matter! Indeed, this is the sole purpose of God’s Judgment Day!
You have just learned God’s ultimate Wisdom regarding this world that He created for us. And you have found it with time: still on your clock! For hopefully, you are still breathing.
Now, this author can promise you, that every Christian pastor, on the face of this Earth, would love to do all of the “heavy-lifting” for you (and all of the other people they care for). Christian pastors are THAT CARING. (Their Jewish and Muslim counterparts are NO DIFFERENT!) But quite sadly, this has never been God’s Design for this world. God has a decision to make regarding every person He created, here in this world. So God has designed this life so that He will, indeed, be able to “judge” our future value in His Kingdom, someday. While we are on this Earth, we are but mere infants really: compared to His Eternal and Perfect Glory. But God is looking for certain things here; and He knows how to find them in us. Even within that thief on the cross.
Your pastor cannot take your place on God’s Judgment Day. He or she might desire to, but this is never going to happen. They have their own lives to answer for. Twice-over, honestly: once for the lives they lived and again for the Laws and Ways that they taught to Christ’s sheep. So, do seek your pastor’s advice and knowledge regarding those things you desire to learn about God. But do not allow them to make any decisions for you, in your life. Let them give you guidance to where you can actually find God’s Scriptures yourself (meaning God’s Own “Guidance!”) in order to help you in your life, in your ways, and in those laws you hope to keep for God. Your pastor will be the first to tell you that he/she is not giving you a “rest,” at this point of their lesson. Rather they are giving you a “starting point” for you to continue learning about what God expects from us here.
Now, there are a LOT of pastors who give answers that are not from God’s Scriptures. Ignore any teaching that is not directly from God. Remember that you did not approach that pastor for their “feelings” on any certain matter. You asked for Scriptural help. (This means God’s Help from God’s known Word!) Knowing this, each person only has one true problem in front of them. When their pastor teaches that a certain verse here or there is merely “symbolic” or “spiritual” in nature, then ignore this lesson entirely! These are words used by pastors who do not understand a particular Scripture of God. So, listen to your pastor regarding “real lessons” that come from “God’s Scriptures” where God was not trying to be symbolic or spiritual. But remember always, ALWAYS: that Christ never, ever, EVER, (BUT EVER!!!), placed any secrets within His Scriptures that require a pastor’s explanation regarding any sort of symbolic meanings, spiritual meanings, or any other VANITIES that a particular pastor might possess!
This is a different pastor-fail moment for another letter . . . another day.
This letter, to come on another day, will be entirely built upon one single great Truth of God. It was spoken by Christ, Himself, and was only intended for those who are living today, in these end-times, yet it is completely ignored by nearly all Christian teachers of today. WHY? Because it speaks of them!
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Oh, but it gets worse. It gets much worse! For you see, it was Christ who created this world and mankind. It was Christ who spoke to Abraham. It was Christ who sat down to eat with Abraham: and Abraham rejoiced to see His day. It was Christ who told Moses that His name, forever, was to be remembered as I AM! It was Christ who also taught the Torah to Moses, word-by-word, while Moses was in the desert for all of those years. It was Christ who spoke to David, Solomon, and all of the many prophets of the Old Testament! So this author now presents a great Truth of God in red letters below . . . as if it were Jesus speaking these words. Why? Because it TRULY WAS Christ who spoke these words to Amos: just like in all red-lettered Christian Bibles of today!
Amos 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
Did Christ just say that there would come “a day” when no person, anywhere in this world would be able to “hear” the words of the LORD spoken anywhere upon this Earth? Well, apparently, Christ did just teach this very fact in Amos, chapter 8! So, just where do people normally “hear” the words of the LORD, throughout our history? And where, historically, have people always gone “to hear” the words of the LORD? Might this be our Christian churches of today? And did Christ just teach His prophet, Amos (some 2,500 years ago!) that His “Word-thirsty” children, in these end-times, would actually be forced to wander this entire world, in their failed-attempts to find the True Word of God anywhere upon this Earth? Finally, did Christ also teach that these fine people would never, EVER, find the true Word of God, on His Earth, in these latter days?
INTERESTING QUESTIONS . . . ABOVE!
Please do understand that this Truth of God has nothing to do with the pastor described above. Indeed, he is one of the few pastors who has accurately described these very Truths that God has presented to our world today. This pastor does make his mistakes when he has no Scriptures to guide his own vanities/beliefs, but they are insignificant (meaning “harmless” to other folks) when they do arise. And this is because when it comes to this pastor’s incredible knowledge of Christ’s Scriptures, his understanding of Christ’s Scriptures rarely fail him!
No, we are really talking about the other 95% of Christian pastors and teachers from all of the other Christian denominations here. Oh, they will deny this Truth of God that fully describes this world, today, where they teach. Revelation teaches this; and Amos just taught this (by way of Christ’s Old Testament)! But each reader here needs to first: learn what Christ taught to Amos. And then apply Christ’s Truths to their own lives. A great place to start might be to call the pastor mentioned above. This author can recommend no other!
Lest any person believe that this author might be affiliated with the above pastor’s church, know this now! When it comes to explaining any Scriptures from our past, this pastor’s church stands head-and-shoulders above all others. They truly can explain everything that Christ taught this world: by way of His Old Testament and His Gospels. They can do this better than any other church this author has found! But when it comes to explaining any Scriptures regarding our future, or especially, any events of today that might be revealed in His Scriptures of long ago, this church is a complete failure: as Christ so taught Amos some 2,500 years ago. (For you see, no church of today can escape, or deny, the Truths of God that Christ spoke through Amos, so very long ago. Only a good church can accept a harsh Truth of God when it falls upon them.) This is easily recognized through their making everything they do not understand as being, well, just “symbolic” or “spiritual” in meaning. The Word of God (meaning Christ!) has never been sent down in such a manner! This has never been how Christ has worked in this world, which He created! And quite sadly, this church above fully understands this great Truth of God: but they do not follow this Truth of God. Oh, how they should have learned all of this by way of Christ’s Old Testament: which they understand so much more than any other denomination.
The good part of this lesson is that mankind should stop worrying about its future and spend more time learning from God’s lessons taught: in our past! For you see, each person’s lesson here is that understanding our future will gain us nothing on our Judgment Day! God does not mention “extra credits” anywhere in His Scriptures!
Soooooooo many Christians are taught that Judgment Day is all about our future in Heaven! But no! All of Christ’s Scriptures teach that Judgment Day is about our past! For if our “past” fails us, then we might never see our “future!” When we ever stand before God, on Judgment Day, know that His Book of Life only recorded our past. Satan has taught many lessons to the contrary, but God’s Scriptures have long-taught nothing but this!