Bible Reading: Luke 16:19-31
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
There were once two brothers, Reginald and Edward, who just could not get along. They fought constantly. The problem was that when they fought it affected other people, as well. Why? Because their grandfather was Edward II, King of England. When their father died (1343 AD), their mother took over control of their estate for a while…then Reginald took control and became Duke of Guelders and Count of Zutphen (1343-1361). Remember I told you that he and Edward fought? Well, they continued to fight and finally, Reginald lost (1361). Edward then had Reginald imprisoned in the castle of Nijenbeek. Some people said that what Edward did to Reginald in the prison was terrible and cruel! But Edward told them that he took good care of his brother…giving him the very best of foods…and lots of it. Oh, I forgot to tell you something important…Reginald’s nickname was “Crassus”. Yeah, that is a word Latin for “fat”. You see, Reginald was a large, extremely large, man. So, his nickname was, “Reginald, the Fat.” When Edward put Reginald in the castle he had a room built around him. Here is the interesting thing…the room had an entrance with no door, no bars, no nothing. You could just walk right through it. At least, normal sized people could. But what was Reginald’s nickname? He was so fat…how fat?…so fat, that he could not fit through the door. When people complained to Edward about his putting Reginald (a member of the royal family) in prison he replied, “My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave whenever he wants.” All Reginald had to do was lose weight and then he would fit through the door. All Reginald had to do was stop eating so much. So much of that delicious, delectable, yummy, scrumptious, lip smacking, appetizing food! And there was lots, and lots, and lots, of it. That’s all…stop eating so much. But, instead of losing weight…Reginald got bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Reginald stayed in that room for 10 years…eating, and eating, and eating. Finally, Edward died from wounds that he received in a battle (1371). At last, Reginald was released. They had to tear the walls of the room down for him to get out. Once again, he was made Duke. Sadly though, because he was so overweight, his health had become so bad that he died within one year.
I read that story and thought, “It couldn’t be any worse than that!” But did you know that there is an even worse punishment? And, it is self-imposed, as well.
Jesus once told a parable about two men who knew each other. They died at about the same time. One went to Heaven and the other went to Hell. The one in Heaven was doing wonderful. It was a beautiful place and everything that he needed was there. He loved it. But the man in Hell was doing terrible. It was an awful place. Worse than any prison on earth. He called it a place of “torment” and “agony”. In fact, he said that it was so hot there that it was on fire. And here is another terrible thing about Hell. Somehow, he could see into Heaven and could even see the people that were there. One day, he saw the man that he had known when they lived on earth and he pleaded that the man be sent over to him with just one small drop of water. He was so thirsty in that heat! But he was told that there was a great separation between Heaven and Hell…and that no one could cross over, either way…and that it was permanent, forever, eternal.
From this parable, we learn several things…
- Heaven and Hell are both real places.
- Heaven is a place where God is…Hell is a place far away from God.
- Heaven is a place of comfort and reward…Hell is a place of torment and punishment.
- When you die…you immediately go to either Heaven, or Hell.
- In both places we will be aware of who we are and our condition.
- In both places we will recognize other people and their condition.
- Heaven and Hell are permanent…once you go there, you stay there for all of eternity…there will never be any change.
Now, here is a very important thing to know. You choose. You choose where you will go…when you die…Heaven, or Hell. The man in Hell knew how terrible it was and didn’t want any more of his family to go there. So, he asked for the man that he knew in Heaven to be sent to his brothers to warn them. They knew the man as well, and he thought that if he came back from the dead to warn them…then they would surely believe him and choose to go to Heaven. But he was told that all his brothers needed (in order to believe and to choose to go to Heaven) was already found in the Bible. It wouldn’t make any difference if some dead man showed up and tried to scare them out of Hell and into Heaven.
Duke Reginald had a choice about being in prison. And he was the only one who could make it. You and I have a choice about Heaven and Hell. And I am the only one who can make the choice for me…and you are the only one who can make the choice for you. Me…I’m choosing Heaven. I pray for you constantly…that you will choose Heaven, as well. I believe that you will.
But, I’m not going to stop, there. I’m going to tell as many people as I can what the Bible says about Heaven…in hopes that they will choose it, as well. Help me out. Let’s go tell everyone about Heaven.
And one day…I’ll see you in Heaven. I promise. I can’t wait to look up, see you standing there and hear you say, “Hey Granddaddy, I chose Heaven. And this is my friend that also chose Heaven!”
Love you more than bunches and bunches,