This page offers concise answers to some frequently asked questions concerning the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus and the nature of life after death.
As with all other comments from this site, this section is presented with the understanding that no interpretation is a substitue for the pure word of God. Every question on this page contains room for futher study.
Do the dead remember their lives?
According to several passages they do. The most notable are Luke 16:19-31 and Matthew 7:22-23
In Luke, Abraham said to the Rich Man, "Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things." To this the Rich Man said, "Then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my father's house - for I have 5 brothers - that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment."
The Rich Man was not without compassion toward his own family. He remembered Lazarus, his brothers, and his own life.
In Matthew's record of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'"
Those who plead with the Lord on the day of Judgment will remember their lives.
Will I recognize my friends and family in the afterlife?
Yes you will. The Rich Man recognized Lazarus. He also remembered his brothers and his father's house.
Are there marriages in Heaven?
Jesus addressed this question when he answered the Sadducees in Matthew 22:23-33. The Sadducees were religious leaders who did not believe there was a resurrection. They presented Jesus with a scenario where seven brothers shared one wife. Each brother was married to her, then died. Their question was, "In the resurrection therefore, whose wife of the seven shall she be? For they all had her?" (Matthew 22:28).
Jesus responded by saying that, "In the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" (Matthew 22:30).
Will the dead receive a second chance?
Not according to Hebrews 9:27, which states "it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment."
Will my pets go to Heaven?
Scripture is silent concerning this matter.