1- Luke 16:20-31 contains the parable of the rich man and the poor Lazarus. This was only a parable used to emphasize a point*. Many facts make it clear that this is a parable. A few are as follows:
- Abraham’s bosom is not heaven (Hebrews 11:8-10, 16).
- People in hell can’t talk to those in heaven (Isaiah 65:17).
- The dead are in their graves (Job 17:13; John 5:28, 29). The rich man was in bodily form with eyes, a tongue, etc., yet we know that the body does not go to hell at death. It is very obvious that the body remains in the grave, as the Bible says.
- Men are rewarded at Christ’s second coming, not at death (Revelation 22:11, 12).
- The lost are punished in hell at the end of the world, not when they die (Matthew 13:40-42).
*The point of the story is found in verse 31 of Luke 16 “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
Parables cannot be taken literally. If we took parables literally, then we must believe that trees talk! (See this parable in Judges 9:8-15.)
2-John 11:43-44 contains an important episode, in which Jesus visited the sisters, Mary and Martha, and resurrected their dead brother, Lazarus. Jesus wanted to help the Jews to believe in Him and show all that He has power over the grave. Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).
The Bible teaches that death is a state of unawareness. Jesus Himself said that Lazarus is asleep “Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” All the prophets in the Bible taught that death is a state of unconsciousness. This is an another reason why the parable of Lazarus in Luke 16:20-31 could not be a true story. For Bible proof on unconscious state of death, check the following link: The Intermediate State
In His service,