There are some grave implications if indeed this story is not a parable, but a vivid description of conditions as they actually exist for all men immediately after death, as the preachers are determined to proclaim. If this parable is describing conditions actually as they will be in the life to come, then those in heaven will be able to talk to those in hell. Fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives will be able to look across the gulf and see their loved ones in the torment of the fiery regions. Not only will they be able to see them in the lurid flames of hell, but they will hear their piercing cries as they call for a drop of water to cool their tongues. How awful that would be! Could anyone enjoy the bliss (?) of heaven while compelled to listen to the hopeless, screaming pleas of unsaved loved ones and friends just across the narrow gulf. Would not such horrific noise disturb the heavenly choir with its discord? Worse yet, could that satisfy the heart's love of our heavenly Father who went all the way to Golgotha to save us? Suppose a mother from the heavenly regions could look across the fixed gulf and see her son in the torments of hell; suppose she could hear him crying day and night for a drop of water to cool his tongue because of the burning heat of those lower regions. Would not the mother be as much in torment as the son, and in fact, would it not be more a place of hell for the mother than it would actually be for that son? Therefore, it would seem impossible for anyone to believe that in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus Jesus is depicting conditions exactly as they will be in that world to come.