One of the most surprising teachings about hell among “spiritual giants” of the last 2,000 years is the idea that those in heaven will delight in the sufferings of those who are writhing in the flames. Tertullian, Thomas Aquinas, Isaac Watts, Jonathan Edwards and many others have promoted this view. J.I. Packer doesn’t go quite that far but said that “love and pity for hell’s occupants will not enter our hearts.” The story of the rich man and Lazarus has been used for centuries as proof of a literal hell where people suffer for eternity. Why would Jesus tell such a detailed story if he didn’t mean to clarify something about life after death?
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