The Rich Man and Lazarus

Luke 16.19-31

Our circumstances in this life do not determine our circumstances in the next. Being poor does not save us any more than being rich. The rich man is excluded from the kingdom and confined to Hades, not because he was rich, but because he disregarded God’s Word and rejected Jesus. He did not love his neighbor, refusing to show mercy to those in need around him, and so failed to love God. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t think that would land him in hell, but it did. Lazarus is in the kingdom, not because he’s poor, but because he believed God’s Word and trusted in Jesus. Our circumstances don’t determine our future, but our faith or lack thereof does.

This parable is a reminder of God’s love for the older brother…Jesus keeps pursuing the Pharisees, like the Father urging them to come in and join the celebration. He wants them to be a part of the kingdom. Otherwise, Jesus would simply say nothing and leave the Pharisees to face the rich man’s fate.

God has entrusted each one of us with a certain level of riches…that may sound weird to some of us…you may not see yourself as rich, but it’s all relative. Anyway, we’ve each been entrusted with a certain amount. And each of us is responsible for how we use those riches. The way we use our stuff is a good indication of our spiritual health. Are we faithful and generous stewards who use the resources entrusted to us for kingdom purposes, or are we like the rich man, sumptuously spending on ourselves? John says it this way, “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3.17) James says, “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” (James 2.15-16)

Faithfulness and generosity don’t save you, but those who have experienced the faithfulness and generosity of God should show the same to others. Faithfulness and generosity are marks of kingdom citizens. Those who have experienced God’s mercy show that same mercy to others.

This parable is a warning to the five brothers…repent while there is still time. Recognize your need to be rescued, believe that Jesus can rescue you and trust Him to do so. Then you too will be ushered into the kingdom. But don’t wait. The rich man realized too late that he had pursued the wrong path. Don’t be like him. Trust in Jesus today.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on a sermon from our series in the book of Luke. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

August 22 – OT Reading

1 Kings 10-11

 

1 Kings 10

The Queen of Sheba

10 Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with difficult questions. So she came to Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels carrying spices and very much gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from the king which he did not explain to her. When the queen of Sheba perceived all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his waiters and their attire, his cupbearers, and his stairway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her. Then she said to the king, “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. Nevertheless I did not believe the reports, until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard. How blessed are your men, how blessed are these your servants who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom. Blessed be the Lord your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the Lord loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.” 10 She gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and a very great amount of spices and precious stones. Never again did such abundance of spices come in as that which the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon.

11 Also the ships of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir a very great number of almug trees and precious stones. 12 The king made of the almug trees supports for the house of the Lord and for the king’s house, also lyres and harps for the singers; such almug trees have not come in again nor have they been seen to this day.

13 King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire which she requested, besides what he gave her according to his royal bounty. Then she turned and went to her own land together with her servants.

Wealth, Splendor and Wisdom

14 Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 15 besides that from the traders and the wares of the merchants and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the country. 16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold, using 600 shekels of gold on each large shield. 17 He made 300 shields of beaten gold, using three minas of gold on each shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. 18 Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with refined gold. 19 There were six steps to the throne and a round top to the throne at its rear, and arms on each side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the arms. 20 Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps on the one side and on the other; nothing like it was made for any other kingdom. 21 All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. None was of silver; it was not considered valuable in the days of Solomon. 22 For the king had at sea the ships of Tarshish with the ships of Hiram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.

23 So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 24 All the earth was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart. 25 They brought every man his gift, articles of silver and gold, garments, weapons, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year.

26 Now Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; and he had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, and he stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamore trees that are in the lowland. 28 Also Solomon’s import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king’s merchants procured them from Kue for a price. 29 A chariot was imported from Egypt for 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150; and by the same means they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of the Arameans.

1 Kings 11

Solomon Turns from God

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

Now the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”

God Raises Adversaries

14 Then the Lord raised up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was of the royal line in Edom. 15 For it came about, when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army had gone up to bury the slain, and had struck down every male in Edom 16 (for Joab and all Israel stayed there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom), 17 that Hadad fled to Egypt, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him, while Hadad was a young boy. 18 They arose from Midian and came to Paran; and they took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house and assigned him food and gave him land. 19 Now Hadad found great favor before Pharaoh, so that he gave him in marriage the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. 20 The sister of Tahpenes bore his son Genubath, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house; and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s house among the sons of Pharaoh. 21 But when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Send me away, that I may go to my own country.” 22 Then Pharaoh said to him, “But what have you lacked with me, that behold, you are seeking to go to your own country?” And he answered, “Nothing; nevertheless you must surely let me go.”

23 God also raised up another adversary to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 He gathered men to himself and became leader of a marauding band, after David slew them of Zobah; and they went to Damascus and stayed there, and reigned in Damascus. 25 So he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, along with the evil that Hadad did; and he abhorred Israel and reigned over Aram.

26 Then Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king. 27 Now this was the reason why he rebelled against the king: Solomon built the Millo, and closed up the breach of the city of his father David. 28 Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious, he appointed him over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph. 29 It came about at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah had clothed himself with a new cloak; and both of them were alone in the field. 30 Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak which was on him and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 He said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces; for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give you ten tribes 32 (but he will have one tribe, for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel), 33 because they have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the sons of Ammon; and they have not walked in My ways, doing what is right in My sight and observing My statutes and My ordinances, as his father David did. 34 Nevertheless I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of My servant David whom I chose, who observed My commandments and My statutes; 35 but I will take the kingdom from his son’s hand and give it to you, even ten tribes. 36 But to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name. 37 I will take you, and you shall reign over whatever you desire, and you shall be king over Israel. 38 Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. 39 Thus I will afflict the descendants of David for this, but not always.’” 40 Solomon sought therefore to put Jeroboam to death; but Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt to Shishak king of Egypt, and he was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.

The Death of Solomon

41 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon and whatever he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? 42 Thus the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 43 And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David, and his son Rehoboam reigned in his place.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 7 – OT Reading

Proverbs 19-21

 

Proverbs 19

On Life and Conduct

19 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool. Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries his footsteps errs. The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord. Wealth adds many friends, But a poor man is separated from his friend. A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape. Many will seek the favor of a generous man, And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts. All the brothers of a poor man hate him; How much more do his friends abandon him! He pursues them with words, but they are gone. He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish. 10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool; Much less for a slave to rule over princes. 11 A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. 12 The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass. 13 A foolish son is destruction to his father, And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping. 14 House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord. 15 Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger. 16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of conduct will die. 17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, And He will repay him for his good deed. 18 Discipline your son while there is hope, And do not desire his death. 19 A man of great anger will bear the penalty, For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again. 20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days. 21 Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand. 22 What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it is better to be a poor man than a liar. 23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil. 24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, But will not even bring it back to his mouth. 25 Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd, But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge. 26 He who assaults his father and drives his mother away Is a shameful and disgraceful son. 27 Cease listening, my son, to discipline, And you will stray from the words of knowledge. 28 A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice, And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity. 29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And blows for the back of fools.

 

Proverbs 20

On Life and Conduct

20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise. The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life. Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will quarrel. The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, So he begs during the harvest and has nothing. A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out. Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? A righteous man who walks in his integrity— How blessed are his sons after him. A king who sits on the throne of justice Disperses all evil with his eyes. Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”? 10 Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the Lord. 11 It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself If his conduct is pure and right. 12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The Lord has made both of them. 13 Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food. 14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer, But when he goes his way, then he boasts. 15 There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing. 16 Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger; And for foreigners, hold him in pledge. 17 Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. 18 Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance. 19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip. 20 He who curses his father or his mother, His lamp will go out in time of darkness. 21 An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning Will not be blessed in the end. 22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the Lord, and He will save you. 23 Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord, And a false scale is not good. 24 Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, How then can man understand his way? 25 It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!” And after the vows to make inquiry. 26 A wise king winnows the wicked, And drives the threshing wheel over them. 27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the innermost parts of his being. 28 Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness. 29 The glory of young men is their strength, And the honor of old men is their gray hair. 30 Stripes that wound scour away evil, And strokes reach the innermost parts.

 

Proverbs 21

On Life and Conduct

21 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts. To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin. The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty. The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death. The violence of the wicked will drag them away, Because they refuse to act with justice. The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright. It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. 10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes. 11 When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge. 12 The righteous one considers the house of the wicked, Turning the wicked to ruin. 13 He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered. 14 A gift in secret subdues anger, And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath. 15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity. 16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding Will rest in the assembly of the dead. 17 He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich. 18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, And the treacherous is in the place of the upright. 19 It is better to live in a desert land Than with a contentious and vexing woman. 20 There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up. 21 He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor. 22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty And brings down the stronghold in which they trust. 23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles. 24 “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride. 25 The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work; 26 All day long he is craving, While the righteous gives and does not hold back. 27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much more when he brings it with evil intent! 28 A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever. 29 A wicked man displays a bold face, But as for the upright, he makes his way sure. 30 There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord. 31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the Lord.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)