Animal Padre's
Christians Against All Animal Abuse
"Christ’s redemption is for the whole of creation!"

From Summer 2006 Issue

A Most Relevant Gospel Passage To Ponder

The last Church service I officiated at, and preached in was Holy Trinity Parish Church, Greenfield. By pure coincidence the gospel reading appointed concerned two differing personalities, and the appalling punishment that confronted one of them. It was not that he was damned because of what he did but rather for what he failed to do; and the moral behind this should concern all of us. Consequently, what follows on – and we are a Christian animal group! – was the appointed gospel passage worthy of consideration by all of us.

There was a certain rich man who dressed habitually in wealthiest attire and who feasted in affluence each day. Meanwhile a poor fellow called Lazarus was brought and placed within the entrance of his residence who was full of sores and desirous to satisfy his hunger from bread that fell from the rich person’s table. Indeed, the dogs used to come along and lick this poor man’s sores. However, the time arrived when this beggar died and angels cane and carried him away to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and he was buried! But in hell where he was in torment, he saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus at his side. . So he cried out: “Father Abraham have pity on me and send Lazarus to tip his finger in cool water and come and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this fire”. Abraham replied: “ Son, remember that you in your lifetime received good things and Lazarus bad; but now he is comforted while you are being tormented. Yes, and above all this a great chasm is placed whereby those who would go to you from here, or from you to here, simply cannot”.

Well, obviously, this figurative tale told by Jesus is not referred to as a parable. And however we wish to interpret it, certain implications are worthy of note. There is no hint of unconsciousness when we leave this present life. The doctrine of ‘soul sleep’ as well as the non-existence of a hell, cannot by any stretch of imagination be equated with the New Testament. Consequently, sects such as those of the Jehovah Witnesses, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Christadelphians, and some others, is shown to be clearly off beam. Indeed, the implication is also that once in Hell one cannot ultimately arrive in Heaven, for there is an unsurpassable gap between the two.

Such a passage has, undoubtedly, been used to promulgate hell as a place of literal hell fire; and it becomes far too easy with scripture to take allegorical language as literal. However, the moral of this passage is clear: the sin of the rich man, traditionally referred to as Dives - Latin for Rich! - was not one of commission but rather of omission. He had not turned the beggar away from his entrance. He’d merely chosen to ignore Lazarus’s plight. Indeed, the very sores that the street dogs noticed - and were probably led by compassion to lick! - the rich man chose to completely ignore. And, as a consequence Dives ultimately ended up tormented in hell. Indeed, worse than any physical burns must surely be the mental torture of an awakened conscience which one has stifled throughout one’s earthly life until it reawakens after death!

Go on to Tormented In Hell Because, Seeing Need, He Refused To Act!
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