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Lazarus and the Rich Man - Luke 16:27-31

Lesson # Lazarus and the Rich Man - Luke 16:27-31
Study Material - Lazarus and the Rich Man - Luke 16:27-31

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Lazarus and the Rich Man
Luke 16:27-31

27 Then [de] he said [epo] , I pray [erotao] thee [se] therefore [oun] , father [pater] , that [hina] thou wouldest send [pempo] him [autos] to [eis] my [mou] father's [pater] house [oikos] :
28 For [gar] I have [echo] five [pente] brethren [adelphos] ; that [hopos] he may testify [diamarturomai] unto them [autos] , lest [hina me] they [autos] also [kai] come [erchomai] into [eis] this [touton] place [topos] of torment [basanos] .
29 Abraham [Abraam] saith [lego] unto him [autos] , They have [echo] Moses [Moseus] and [kai] the prophets [prophetes] ; let them hear [akouo] them [autos] .
30 And [de] he said [epo] , Nay [ouchi] , father [pater] Abraham [Abraam] : but [alla] if [ean] one [tis] went [poreuomai] unto [pros] them [autos] from [apo] the dead [nekros] , they will repent [metanoeo] .
31 And [de] he said [epo] unto him [autos] , If [ei] they hear [akouo] not [ou] Moses [Moseus] and [kai] the prophets [prophetes] , neither [oude] will they be persuaded [peitho] , though [ean] one [tis] rose [anistemi] from [ek] the dead [nekros] . KJV-Interlinear

27 'And he said, 'Then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my father's house - 28 for I have five brothers - that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' 29 'But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them,' 30 'But he said, 'No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!' 31 'But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.'' NASB

As Jesus closes this parable, he leaves the rich man speaking to Abraham representative of a negative person who is stuck on focusing on ancestry, rather than the Law and the Prophets (the scriptures). The scriptures are rejected. The self centered values that the rich man grew up and lived with are clung to relentlessly.

'Send Lazarus back to warn my family. Send someone from the dead back to warn my family.' He continually asks for something which is a departure from the scriptures, where the scriptures have provided all the necessary truth so as to provide more than adequate warning. But for negative people, no matter what the alternate warnings are, they will be ignored just as the scriptures are ignored.

If Lazarus had gone back, his presence would have been regarded as something other than a message from the dead. If anyone had gone back from the dead, their presence would have been rationalized, explained away, given to some other conclusion.

People around the world have many alternate and even contrary explanations regarding the conditions of the next life. Many believe that the universe is simply an extension of a life form and that one day a person will meld with nature or with the universe. Many believe that they have alternate plans for getting into heaven. Some will live in poverty in order to get into heaven. Some will try to just be good in their life in order to get into heaven. Some will kill themselves and others in order to get into heaven. Some simply do not believe in heaven at all.

The world is filled with ideas, and beliefs, and a relentless barrage of propaganda designed to water down, to discredit, to reduce the value of the scriptures. The world is filled with innuendo, with confusion concerning the after life, with very smooth talking folks, with the lure of things of this world which appeal to the five senses of humanity.

The rich man sought out those sensual pleasures. He sought out the approbation of others. He pursued a life of his own definition surrounded by his life style and possessions. He ignored the truth. Now as he suffers he comes up with a line which is really a very subtle complaint, and disguised as great concern for his brothers. 'Send someone back to help my family to not make the mistake that I made.'

And he really is saying, 'If someone had sent someone back from the dead to warn me, then I would have repented, I would have not treated Lazarus as I did. I would not be here now. If only someone had sent someone back to save me.'

And that is the evidence of his continued attack, subtle ridicule, and complaint against God. 'God did not do enough to help me. God forgot something. God made a mistake with regard to me.'

And so evil people will throw out all sorts of subtle criticisms which attack truth, imply overlooked alternatives, and make themselves as though they are the innocent victim, that truth did not consider all the alternatives, but they ignore the fundamental common sense that runs within the consciousness of mankind for decency, moral character, and honor within ones life.

The truth? The rich man was devious, selfish, prejudiced, greedy, insensitive. He led a life - a full life of a never changing life style. He walked right past, day after day, the poor Lazarus, who was laying right at his front gate. How could anyone not notice or withhold mercy or kindness from a person in a position like that. Yet the rich man who clearly had the assets to be able to help, could have sent out a well prepared meal even if only once a day. But he did nothing. Not even the crumbs off his table went to Lazarus. The dogs ate better than Lazarus.

The rich man never mentioned God, nor the Messiah, nor the scriptures, when clearly he grew up in a environment where Moses and the Prophets were a daily reminder for everyone. Where the Levitical Feast celebrations and rituals were an integral part of everyone's life throughout the year. He had no excuse.

His requests were not prayers. He never had the right of prayer as only believers in Christ (and in fellowship) have that right. Abraham does not answer prayers. He has no authority to answer them, nor even grant any request. All prayer is offered to the Father and to the Father only. No prayer is ever authorized to angels, to saints, to ancestors, to eagles, to the moon, to no one nor anything else except God the Father. All prayer is offered and must be offered in the name of Christ. He is the only path to the Father. Thus using Christ restricts the prayer source to believers. And from other studies, we know that one must be 'clean' before approaching the Father. Cleanliness if representative of fellowship.

The rich man was none of these. He considered any conviction which might be convenient, to be better than that which God has established.

His wealth did not condemn him. Neither did the poverty of Lazarus, save Lazarus. Only faith in Christ can save. There is no other means (no bone readings, no tea leaves, no horoscopes, nothing) by which a person can be saved and thus escape the torments of hell.

Shortly, another man by the same name, Lazarus, will be raised from the dead, and none of those who were hard core against Christ changed their minds even in the presence of the greatest miracle and miracle worker of them all.

Isa. 8:19
19 And when they say to you, 'Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,' should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? NASB

The rich man even while he was in Torments, never acknowledged Moses and the Prophets, never acknowledged the Messiah which was an integral part of the Jewish faith, never even acknowledged God, but only wanted to converse with another dead man - Abraham, his ancestor, who could not help him in any way.

And so this parable closes. The way of salvation, and by the way what exactly is salvation? It is escape from eternal separation from God. To be separated means utter chaos for ones existence. No human can bring together his own life in this universe. Only God can hold together ones life. Anyway, the only thing preventing one from going to the Lake of Fire is by believing six little words, 'Father, I believe in Jesus Christ.' Only a fool would refuse to think those six little words.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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