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The Rich Man and The Humble Begger.
NIV.Luke 16:13-15 "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight."
|The Pharisees were
sneering at Jesus as He talked about people of God cannot not be a servant
to money but can be a servant of money. The Pharisees were known to love
money and were full of pride because of a status of wealth, but the
things of high value are those of God, His Son and of His Holy Spirit,
which last for eternity.
Jesus underlines the importance of consequences regarding judgement and Eternity, by telling a true story of two men, that Jesus may have known. These people had names and they were real.
Luke 16:19-31 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
A certain man, was rich enough to buy the best of food, the finest of clothes. Each day he passed by an ill beggar, needing clothing and food. But did not feed the beggar, nor help provide for his health or clothes, with all the good fortune and wealth he had, he was selfish and wicked, for he did not have God's priorities in his life, nor did he recognize them. The poor man's state was woeful in contrast to the luxury of the rich man.
They both died and the two men find themselves 'spiritually aware' but vastly separated. Angels carried Lasarus to a place of love, peace and comfort. The rich man went to hell, a place that was real, he could hear, feel, remember, thirst and had conscious awareness of right and wrong. The two men, both the saved and the unsaved had disembodied spirits after death. The beggar was in the blessedness of bliss.
The selfish man is in torment but the beggar is at peace in the place reserved for the saints. The rich man was told there was a great gulf which separated those who were in torment and those who were in a place of no sorrow, pain, hunger or death, as is the beggar along with the company of believers. The rich man's sentence to hell was that he failed to realize that he was God's trustee, that he could have helped and benefited many of his fellow men both materially and spiritually.
The rich man did not go to hell because of his wealth and the poor man did not go to paradise because he was poor. The issue is not wealth and poverty. The rich man served money and not God, yet the poor were to be helped and have always been a situation for ministry.
Much might have been done to help others in the
world, but the trust of stewardship had been betrayed and hell was at the
end of a misused life. The selfish rich man who had shown no compassion
for others, now desires help for his thirst during torment of his outcome,
which was because of his wickedness, and unrighteousness.
He desired that his brothers be warned from having the same fate, but was told that even if a man returned from the grave, the selfish man's brothers still would not heed the words of the prophets nor be convinced of the teachings God had given to Moses. The scriptures of God's Word were available to them while they were still alive on earth, and Moses wrote about helping the poor.
Jesus was pointing out that much responsibility comes with wealth. Heaven and Hell are realities, as Moses was real, and the destination of a person is not based on wealth or poverty but based on their relationship with Jesus Christ. Salvation must be received here in this lifetime, for there is no second chance for eternal states.
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