The phrase “Abraham’s bosom” is found in only one passage in Scripture. Let’s read Luke 16:19-23, “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fare sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at the gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to ABRAHAM’S BOSOM. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw ABRAHAM afar off, and Lazarus in HIS BOSOM.”

Some believe the Lord was telling a parable in these verses, but the wording here seems to indicate this really happened. There WAS a certain rich man and there WAS a certain beggar. They both died and their eternal destiny was as different as their life on earth had been. The beggar, who had suffered so much on earth, was now in a place of REST and COMFORT, which is described as “Abraham’s bosom.” The rich man, who had lived in the “lap of luxury” here on earth, was now in a place of CONSCIOUS TORMENT called “Hades.” The “tables had surely turned” for both men!

Besides being used to describe the BLISS that the beggar was now enjoying, many believe that Lazarus “was in paradise in the company of Abraham.” Some believe that Abraham welcomed him there and blessed him with a place by his SIDE (the word “bosom” can be translated “side”). We know from Scripture that Abraham is the “father of the faithful.” Romans 4:11 states, “That he might be the FATHER OF ALL THOSE THAT BELIEVE; that righteousness might be imputed to them also.” Galatians 3:7 puts it this way, “Therefore know that only THOSE WHO ARE OF FAITH ARE SONS OF ABRAHAM.” Lazarus was undoubtedly a true believer and thus he was a “son of Abraham.” How precious it must have been if he was indeed greeted as a son by Abraham when the angels arrived in paradise.

Again, we believe this is a true story and what follows is very interesting. Verses 24-25 say, “Then he (the rich man) cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented’.” Notice how he refers to Abraham as “Father Abraham” and Abraham replies by calling him “Son.” Yet this “relationship” was vastly different than what we saw between Abraham and Lazarus, for theirs was based on FAITH. The only basis for the rich man referring to Abraham as “Father” was a natural one; he was a Jew and thus a “natural son of Abraham.” But he lacked faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and thus he was separated from Abraham and all the “true sons of Abraham.” This separation from Abraham and eternal bliss would never change, as we see in verse 26, “And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from her to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.”

Before I close, I would plead with all reading these lines who have never turned to Christ for salvation. Acts 16:31 declares, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and YOU WILL BE SAVED.” But the Lord warned the unbeliever with these words in John 8:24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THAT I AM HE, YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR SINS.” If you die without faith in Christ, you will join the rich man in eternal torment and your destiny will be FIXED. If you believe on Christ as your Savior, you will join the beggar and every “son of Abraham” in heaven. And even more importantly, you’ll be “with the Lord Himself” (see Luke 23:43; 2nd Corinthians 5:8 and Philippians 1:23). (268.3) (DO)