And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Lazarus and the rich man died, but the story continues. Death is not an end, but a transition. Our physical death on Earth simply ushers us into eternity, either to the torments of hell or to the comfort of God’s prepared place. If we view death as an ultimate end, as if there is nothing to come after, we will live our lives differently than if we live with an understanding that there is something else to come.
The rich man lived as if nothing else but this life mattered. He accumulated as much wealth as he could and had the best things in life, and yet he gave nothing and showed no compassion to a beggar full of sores right on his doorstep. He had ignored God in his life. He had not obeyed God. And so when death comes to this rich man, he is far from the good things the life after this one has to offer.
But Lazarus had faith in God, as evidenced by his position after death. On Earth, he may have been a beggar. He may have suffered much. He might have experienced many difficult and painful things. But perhaps he endured all of that with the knowledge that something so much better than worldly riches awaited him if he would only trust God. He hadn’t had the best in life, but when that part of it is over, it’s over. What followed after that was surely better than whatever he may have missed out on during his short stay on Earth.
What do we believe happens to us after we die? The answer to that question determines a lot about how we live our lives. Are we seeking to get the most and the best we can from this life? Do we consider God at all in the way we conduct our lives? Or are we willing to endure through the ups and downs of life confident that these trials and pains are only temporary and something glorious awaits us when we have the proper priorities in life? Without Jesus, we’ll join the rich man in a place of torment forever. But if we’ve trusted Jesus as our Savior, we can live with hope for a better tomorrow.