Conclusion 1: Build your afterlife… now!

If we go back to the parable of the rich and the poor Lazarus (Luke 16,19-31) that we already studied, it is interesting to follow the dialogue between the rich and Abraham. There are three parts in it:

First, Lazarus is complaining as he suffers torments. He asks for mercy, this same mercy he did not offer the poor Lazarus during their parallel life on earth. Abraham refuses for two reasons: first it would not be fair and second it is impossible, or irreversible.

Second, at last Lazarus begins to think about someone else than himself! He asks that Abraham performs a necromantic action by sending Lazarus to his family so that they can avoid the same error than him. Abraham refuses saying that scriptures are enough to help someone repent.

Third, Lazarus continues to think about other people than himself and he imagine a new thing: if someone could raise from the dead, it could help people to repent! When Jesus tells this parable, he is planting a seed for later! But it is interesting to note that Jesus is implying that to meet someone who comes back from the dead is not enough to help people repent. Jesus knows that spectacular religion can amaze people, but not help them to go back to God. Moses and the prophets which relates to the spirit of Christ (1Peter 1,11) and especially to his suffering (1Peter 1,12) are necessary too. Obviously Lazarus forgot that during his life! So Abraham refuses again to perform a spectacular action to help Lazarus’s brothers.

At last, it seems that Lazarus repented. His attitude has changed since he left the earthly life. But Abrahams’s successive refusals shows that it is too late. What Jesus tells us through this parable is an essential teaching we need to grasp and proclaim: well understood repentance is one of the main goal of earthly life. In the afterlife, even if it is temporary, it will be too late to repent. The docrine/dogma of "purgatory" is definitly not a teaching from Jesus who said to Martha:

The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.
Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die (
John 11,25-26)

That means that resurrection is something that is somewhat implemented in us before we die, so that when we die (and we will do for sure!) we have in us the resurrection "pre-programmed".

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