And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
There is a clear division between saved and unsaved, believer and nonbeliever, those bound for heaven and those bound for hell. This is the only distinction that will matter when all is said and done. There is a dividing line that cannot be crossed once our life on Earth is over. But while we’re still alive, Jesus is the bridge from death to life. His work on the cross is our path to God. It is the Way. It leads us to an eternal life of comfort and out of an eternal life of torment. But once we die, our place is fixed, and those who are unsaved will be separated from God and His people forever.
Once we do accept Jesus as Savior, there should be a great gulf fixed between us and the world. It’s not that we withdraw completely from those around us, but what we are to do is live in such a different way than the world that there is a clear separation. There are things Christians shouldn’t do and places Christians shouldn’t go. There should be a separation in our minds where our thoughts are on eternal things and not focused on worldly pleasures. There should be a wide gap between who we were before Christ and who we are afterwards.
Just as the rich man could not cross over to paradise, so Lazarus could not descend into hell. Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, there is absolutely no chance that we will ever go to hell. There is no undoing of our salvation and there is no way to lose it once it is our precious possession. The gulf is too big to cross. What has been divided by God we cannot join together again. We can rest in the assurance that the gift of salvation is eternally ours.
Once we decide to follow Jesus, He begins a work of sanctification in us. We are to be separated out to be used for His purposes, to bring Him glory and honor. And as we grow in Him, we’ll find ourselves farther and farther from old sins, old habits, old thoughts and attitudes, and closer and closer to God. And when we look back over our lives, we’ll see a wide chasm separating us from our former life of sin, death, and destruction.