In Luke 16, Jesus Christ gives a frightening picture of hell: Quoting: HIGHWAY TO HELL 271187
If this were a literal account of afterlife, the most obvious question is why is the Rich Man having a conversation instead of screaming uncontrollably? He's on fire. Secondly, why does he request a mere fingertip of water? And for his tongue? If his tongue is the first thing he wants extinguished, how is he even speaking? How does he even have a tongue? If he's dead, his inanimate body is lying motionless in some kind of grave.
What were his sins? Jesus never tells us, so it doesn't make for a very legitimate warning. He merely says the guy was well-dressed and well-fed, criteria which actually apply to most American christians.
Our rich guy here is Judah, with five brothers. The whole chapter is about stewardship - the accountability of the priesthood for what they did with what they were given. They failed severely, setting themselves up a nice little racket instead of blessing the people.
Meanwhile, some say that the Lazarus of the story is actually a reference to Abraham's steward Eliezar, who faithfully worked himself out of Abe's inheritance by obtaining a bride for Isaac. He chose obedience to his master over personal gain - a major contrast with the Pharisees.
But, if it were somehow the same Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead, why does the story show him as a beggar? His sister was apparently rich. . .she's the one who anointed Jesus with the ointment that cost something like a year's wages. Was she holding out on him? And their sister Martha owned a home, where she hosted Jesus at least once.
This story is a *parable*. Matthew 13 and Mark 4 both tell us that Jesus didn't teach without parables