Real with Consequences vs False with None
Written by John Carson
In Matthew 13, Jesus’ disciples asked Him:
“Why do You speak to them in parables?”
He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries
of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.”
“Truly, I say to you,
many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (verses 10-11, 17)
Heaven is beyond our comprehension, and yet Jesus told parables to reveal heavenly truths of which prophets and righteous people longed to hear. So if we want to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, Jesus’ words provide us with those truths about what heaven is like.
The revealing of those mysteries meant that every word of every parable had the utmost significance of meaning. This brings us to ask a few questions about the parable Jesus told in Luke 16:19-31:
- When Jesus told the parable of two men that had died, Lazarus and the Rich Man, was there really a great chasm between them?
- Does that parable show people exist after they
- Is “Lazarus” in a place of joy, and the “Rich Man” in torment?
Jehovah’s Witnesses will want you to believe none of those
are true. To them, a chasm does not exist, as they do not believe people continue to consciously exist while their bodies lie dead in the graves.
But how are we to view Jesus’ parables? Were they based upon real-life scenarios, or were they not true to reality?
For example, if you read the parable of “The speck and the log” in Matthew 7:1-6, you will notice
it is a story that is true to reality. We all know what specks, logs, and eyes are, by the fact that they really do exist.
The telling of a parable based upon what is not real, would be the last thing we would
expect Jesus to tell. Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil, including his lies.
Compare the parables Jesus taught below. I listed all 50 of them. You can click on the references to read each one. You will
notice all the parables Jesus taught that are widely accepted as real-life scenarios, are marked with an R.
You will notice I did not place an R beside number 37. I left it blank purposefully for you to make up your own mind on how
you ought to read it. The only parable questioned by the Watchtower (based upon a scenario that is considered by them as unreal), is this story Jesus told, where there is a great chasm between Lazarus and the Rich Man after they had both died (Luke 16:19-31).
Why would this one parable alone be questioned by Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Consider these questions:
Why should we believe virtually every other parable Jesus told
were based upon reality, except for this one? If that chasm does not exist, wouldn’t Jesus telling of this parable mislead those listening to Him, into believing that it does exist? This would be very confusing indeed to His listeners (and those reading
And, if Satan (who is the teller of lies) wanted to point to this parable to mislead people into believing something that is not true, then how would he have accomplished this? Were Jesus’ words
somehow twisted by Satan? Not at all. A plain reading of those verses reveals heavenly truths Jesus wanted to communicate.
If the teaching that conscious existence continues after a person dies, is an actual lie
from Satan (that the Rich Man experiencing torment, and Lazarus experiencing wonderful peacefulness, is not true), why then did it come from the lips of Jesus?
Does the great chasm in Luke 16 actually exist? If
we are to read all the parables CONSISTENTLY, then what would be the basis for believing that what Jesus described in that parable was false?
There is no honest basis for disbelieving what Jesus taught, which
means we should take what Jesus said to be ALL true. The chasm is real, and there is conscious existence after death.
Which side of the chasm will you be on when you die? Do you know if you will experience
everlasting joy in Jesus’ Holy Presence because of His wonderful grace, or torment because you rejected Jesus Christ and His finished work? To learn more, go to our page: The Gospel
For more information on conscious existence after death, see also: Beyond The Grave