THE RICH MAN AND THE BEGGAR

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    [Luke:16:10-31].

    Lesson No.: 
    95
    Class: 
    Elementary
    Memory Verse: 

    “God  knoweth  your  hearts”  (Luke 16:15).

    Notes: 

    Rich but Unsaved
    There are many people in this world who want to be rich. God does not say that it is a sin to have money, a beautiful home, and plenty of good food; but He does say it is a sin to love that money, that home, and the things we have, more than we love Him. He tells us that He wants us to love Him more than anything or anybody. And we should love Him more than anything or anybody because He is better, kinder, more loving than anyone else could possibly be. Jesus loved us so much that He died on the cruel cross to save us.

    In the Bible we read that God had been very kind to a rich man. God had sent the sunshine and the rain that helped this man’s crops to grow. Perhaps the man made much money buying and selling cows or pigs, corn, wheat, or many other things, but without God’s help he would have had none of these things. Without the rain and the sunshine, no grass would have grown; there would have been no green pasture for the cattle. He would not have had grass, hay, or corn to feed them. God had helped him to get everything he had. The Bible tells us that he was a rich man, with very good food to eat, but it does not tell us that he loved God. Perhaps he loved his money so much that he forgot that it was God who had given it to him. We know he did not love God, because, when he died, he did not go to be with Jesus.

    Poor but Saved
    The Bible tells us about another man, named Lazarus, who was very poor and was sick. He was laid at this rich man’s gate. Perhaps he was laid there so that the rich man or his rich friends might give him some money as they passed by. He was hoping that he could eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Perhaps many rich people passed right by this poor man who was covered with sores, and give him nothing.

    One day something happened. This poor beggar died, and the angels carried him up to Heaven to be with God. He was with Abraham and all those who loved God. Now he had no more sores; he was perfectly well. Lazarus was not a beggar now; he was given heavenly clothes to wear. He no longer wished for the crumbs from the rich man’s table; he had heavenly food that God gave him. He did not have to lie at a rich man’s gate; he lived in a beautiful home in Heaven.

    The Rich Man’s Death
    The wicked rich man died, too, and was buried. We are not told that the angels carried him to Heaven as they had carried the poor beggar. This rich man did not like the place he was in. He looked far over into Heaven and there he saw Lazarus, who was once a poor beggar but was now happy with Abraham, far away. We wonder how the rich man could know him when he was so changed. He did not look like the poor, sick beggar who had lain at the gate. Then the man who had been rich called: “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue” [Luke:16:24]). He was very unhappy in that place. He could not even have a cool drink of water there. He was being punished because he had not loved and served God in his lifetime.

    Then Abraham told the rich man to remember that when he was alive on earth he had had many good things. He perhaps might have said to him, “Don’t you remember how very kind God was to you when you lived on the earth, but you either forgot, or did not want to thank God and love Him for all His goodness to you? You remember that Lazarus had very little; that he was covered with sores; but he loved God and was thankful for even the little bit that he did have. Now you are sorry that you are in such a bad place and you know the reason, too; but Lazarus has all the good things and is very happy in Heaven with God and Jesus and the angels. He will always be there and always be happy.”

    Abraham said that it was impossible for anyone to go from Heaven to hell, and from hell to Heaven [Luke:16:26]). Then the man who had been rich on earth asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s house and to his five brothers. He, no doubt, wanted Lazarus to tell them not to forget to obey God, and not to forget to thank God for everything. He wanted them to be saved. He did not want his brothers to come to that bad place, too. Abraham told him that it would do no good to send someone to talk to his brothers, because they would not believe what was told them. He said that they had the Book that Moses and the other good men had written; and if they read that, believed it, and obeyed it, they would not have to come to that bad place.

    How thankful we should be to God that we have the Bible, which tells us that Jesus died for us so that we could believe on Him, and obey Him, and go to a beautiful Heaven and there be happy forever with God and with Jesus. If we love Jesus and do the good things He tells us to do, we shall someday be in that same lovely place where Lazarus is. Think how wonderful it will be to have such a beautiful Home in which to live, where there is nothing to make us sick, nothing to cause us to cry, nothing to take our Christian father and mother away from us. There we shall hear the music of the angels, sing the lovely songs of Heaven, and thank God forever for all His goodness to us. Let us not forget to be thankful every day that we live.

    Questions: 

    1. Where was the beggar taken when he died? [Luke:16:22].
    2. Who had many good things on earth, the rich man or Lazarus? [Luke:16:25].
    3. Which one had the better part after death? [Luke:16:25].
    4. What did the rich man want Lazarus to do for his brothers? [Luke:16:27-28].
    5. Is it hard for a rich man to go to Heaven? [Matthew:19:24-26].