As we see, the parable is not about life after the Second Coming of Christ, but about the life of the soul between a person's death, when his soul leaves his body, and the Second Coming of Christ. This interval is called the intermediate state of souls. Other words spoken by Christ refer to His Second Coming, when He will come to judge men. Before that, bodily resurrection will take place, when the souls will enter their bodies again, and a person can enjoy the things that he did in his lifetime.
While Lazarus was in Abraham's bosom, the Rich Man was burning in hades. Indeed he would ask Abraham to send Lazarus to cool his tongue, because, as he expressed himself, "I am tormented in this flame".
Here hades, not Hell, is being referred to. For Hell will begin after the Second Coming of Christ and the future judgement, while the souls of sinners experience hades after their departure from the body. According to the teaching of the holy Fathers, hades is an intelligible place, it is the foretaste of Hell, when a person receives the caustic energy of God.
There was a great discussion about these matters at the Council of Ferrara-Florence, and the views of Mark Eugenicus, which were revealing, have been preserved. The fire in which the Rich Man was burning was not what the Latins called the purifying fire, or `purgatory' that all people's souls pass through. It was not a created fire, but uncreated. That is to say, even sinners receive the rays of divine Light, but since they die unrepentant, without being cured, they experience the burning energy of the Light. Thus, according to the degree of their cure or illness, people receive the same grace either as light or as fire.
It should also be observed that the Rich Man saw Abraham with Lazarus in his bosom. He saw the glory of Abraham, but he had no share in this glory. By contrast, Lazarus both saw it and participated in it. This is a very significant point, for it shows that in that other life everyone will see God, but the righteous will have communion, participation, while the sinners will not. A characteristic example is what Christ said about the coming judgement. All will see the Judge, all will converse with Him, but some will enjoy His glory and others will experience the caustic energy of divine grace.