In the book of Luke, Jesus tells this story:
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Today I was able to spend a lot of time with my dad at the hospice house. While he enjoyed a nice upswing in his health over the last couple of weeks, it looks like he is now declining again. And while we still can't be sure how long it will be, my mother is feeling again like it could be any day now. This may sound unfeeling to many of you, but I'm not worried about my dad. Today while I was with him, I felt happy for him and strangely bored. It seems a lot like I am at the airport waiting for him to take a flight. I'm super sad to say goodbye but I'm also stoked for him because I know that he is going to a paradise, and some day I'm going to join him there.
For all of my friends that haven't given their lives to Christ, I really want you to understand that I totally and utterly believe in heaven and hell, and I believe that Jesus Christ is the way and the truth and the life just like he said. There are many Christians out there who don't want to face the idea of hell, but in the story above I don't think that Jesus was speaking figuratively really. The story may have been a parable but I think Jesus was talking about real places. Hades was a place Jesus obviously believed in and he spoke of hell all the time. "Agony" is certainly a word that catches my attention.
Right now we don't know which day will be my father's last day. But the fact is, none of us know that on any day. And every single day is a day we can decide to worship Jesus as God and follow him... or not. Today I did cry in the car but believe it or not, I wasn't crying about my dad. I was crying for all my non-Christian friends who might face their last day, and face without Jesus. If you are not trusting Christ with your life, well, I prayed for you today. I prayed that you would give Jesus your life. He can do a much better job with it than you can anyway.