THE RICH FOOL

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    [Luke:12:1-34].

    Lesson No.: 
    44
    Class: 
    Junior
    Memory Verse: 

    "Be content with such things as ye have (Hebrews 13:5).

    Notes: 

    The Length of Eternity
    Jesus came to earth to teach men how to live, but He emphasized the fact that their life here was only to prepare them for Heaven. After this brief life is over we shall spend eternity somewhere, either with the Lord in Glory, or with the devil in torment. People who are not ready to meet Jesus do not like to think about what will happen after they die, but their reward for the way they have lived will come to them just as surely and as quickly as to those who have made preparation.

    Eternity is a long time, longer than we can comprehend. It will go on forever and ever, without beginning or end. Just as we say that no one made God, but that He always was, so is eternity -- it always was and always will be. "The whole space between the creation of the world, and the dissolution of it, would not make a day in eternity, yea, so many years as there be days in that space, would not fill up an hour in eternity." How important it is that we prepare to meet God in peace so we shall not have to suffer torment throughout the endless ages!

    Briefness of Life
    And how long is a man's life on earth? David said, "Our days on the earth are as a shadow" (I Chronicles:29:15). A shadow is here one instant and is gone the next. That is how long our life on earth is when compared with eternity. James had the same thought in mind when he said, "Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James:4:14).

    No Time for God
    Jesus told the people a parable about a rich man whose land brought forth great crops. He should have thanked God for his abundance, and because he had more than he needed for himself, he should have tried to help the poor. But so many times when people begin to gather wealth about themselves they forget the poor. They think only of how much more they can get. This rich man decided that if his present barns were not large enough to hold his crops, he would tear them down and build greater ones.

    When the rich man felt that he was at the height of his glory, when he thought he would never have to work again but could just enjoy the rest of his life in ease, God spoke to him. He had forgotten all about God, but the Lord was watching him. God did not remind him that he must sometime die, but He sent swift and sudden judgment upon him. God said, "This night thy soul shall be required of thee."

    The Sinner's Reward
    God has given every man a soul, and it is our duty to prepare it for eternal life. What would happen if God should ask for our soul before we had prepared it for Heaven? Jesus said that such should be cast out "into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew:22:13). Again, He said, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal" (Matthew:25:46).

    Covetousness
    Jesus called the rich man a fool because he had had every opportunity to seek God, but he had been so interested in laying up riches for himself that he had neglected his salvation. Sometimes people will admit they are not doing the right thing in neglecting God, and they promise they will sometime give God their heart, but for the moment they love their riches so much that they cannot let go of them, even if it does cost their soul's salvation.

    Some of the servicemen who were in the South Pacific during the war told of the manner by which some of the boys captured monkeys. They would cut a hole in the end of a cocoanut, fasten it so it could not be carried away, and then put some candy in it as bait. The monkeys would put in a hand to get the candy, but the closed fist would be too big to withdraw. Rather than let go of the candy and escape, the monkeys would submit to capture. Just so will Satan capture the soul of the man who refuses to consecrate his worldly goods to the will of the Lord.

    The Lord's Providence
    Our life on earth consists of much more than our daily routine of working, eating, sleeping, playing, and studying. The sinners spend all their time and interest on those things, but Jesus has said that He knows what we have need of, and He will provide. He made us in the beginning, and if we trust Him and try to do His will, He will surely give us all we require.

    Jesus told the people to consider the lilies of the field. They do not worry about their living, or about how they look, yet "Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." You know Solomon was very rich and could have anything he wanted. But some of the fine purple cloth he wore, which signified royalty, has been found, and when it was placed under a microscope one could see the unevenness in colouring, the coarseness of the weave. But if one takes a wild purple iris and places a bit of one of its petals under the microscope, it will appear even more beautiful than it does to the natural eye. God made the lily, and its colouring is perfect; its veining is according to a pattern. Why should we worry about what to wear when the great Designer is our Father? Jesus said, "How much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?"

    Jesus calls His people His "little flock," which is helpless if it tries to get along by itself; but when led by the great Shepherd, the flock goes by the "still waters" and lies down in "green pastures." It is His pleasure to give His children the heavenly Kingdom, if that is where their treasure is.

    A Home in Heaven
    A wealthy man was about to die, but his little daughter did not know what death meant. Her mother explained that he was going away. The little girl came to her father and asked, "Daddy, have you a home in that land where you are going?" That man had spent all his life laying up treasures on earth, and when his time came to die he had no home in Heaven. Let us be sure that we are laying up our treasures in Heaven, so that when this brief life is over we will have a mansion prepared for us above.

    Questions: 

    1. Why did God call the rich man in our lesson a fool?
    2. To what is our life on earth sometimes compared, as to length of time?
    3. Do we need to worry about what we shall eat or wear? Who will provide for us?
    4. How long is eternity?
    5. Where do you want to spend eternity?