Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
This was one perhaps not what the world would consider great, but well to do, and many may admire and respect. The fine linen and purple signified royalty; and the air of dignity. He had a table laden with the best food that could be obtained, every enjoyment of life was represented here. He wanted for nothing.
This is what the prosperity teachers in many large ministries are promoting today. As it tells us in 1Tim ch. 6, they portray “gain as godliness”.
I also find it interesting that you will almost never find a bible teacher who will teach the book of James in depth; because it contradicts their doctrines of prosperity, and reveals the truth of their false teachings. Check it out for yourself. Back to the story….
Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Here, laid at this rich man’s gait, lays a man in abject poverty, full of sores, unable to help himself, or even stop the dogs as they lick his sores. The most wretched image comes to mind as we read this; and yet the worst truth of this is that the rich man did nothing to help this man. He ignored him. Many are as this rich man.
When I was working in nursing homes, and senior care residences; grown kids would bring their frail mother or father in, drop one or two suitcases on the bed of the room we prepared for them, give a short farewell to them; and often we would never see them again. I thought of this parable at these times.
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom:
Now, the soul of this poor destitute man, without a friend in the world, and no one to bury him, was carried by angels to heaven. Rapture awaited him, endless joy, never to know sorrow or pain again.
Isn’t it amazing what God considers valuable? He takes what the world would consider worthless, and highly esteems this poor wretched man; and renews him to what God always intended him to be; a son of God.
the rich man also died, and was buried;
In contrast, the rich man dies, and is buried. We can assume he was placed in a costly tomb. But, where was he?
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Here we see the evidence that there is life beyond the grave. When we die, we do not cease to exist. We find ourselves in one of two places, heaven or hell. The rich man now raises his eyes in torment, and realizes his fate for eternity. His wealth is useless to him here, everything he enjoyed is out of his reach; forever. He made his choices while living on earth, now he was reaping the consequences of those choices.
He was able to look up, and see the one he had ignored, and despised, now enjoying the pleasures of bliss in heaven as he writhed in torment.
When you die, you will not be facing Buddha, Allah, Mohammed, or any other false god. You will be standing before Jesus Christ, and it is He who you will give an answer to for the things done in your body.
If you think doing yoga meditation is going to get you into some plane of bliss; you will be sadly mistaken less than a minute after you die. The word of God declares:
Act 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Act 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
In Colossians Christ's deity is revealed:
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Now, getting back to the story;
Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Now, in his agony he pleads for the smallest favor; but still trying to place Lazarus in a place of servitude; by requesting his to come and dip his finger in water to serve this now dead rich man. But his fate is sealed, hell knows no mercy of any form.
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Now he is given his just answer. He had enjoyed everything the world had to offer, and obtained all he desired. But he had lost his own soul; which he knew now was priceless.
Now, too late he knew the truth spoken by Jesus; “What will it profit you if you gain the whole world, and lose your soul.”
Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
The gulf between them is fixed, and impassable. There is no bridge over the abyss. He decided his destiny while he lived in the world; his abode is now permanent.
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
He has now abandoned hope for himself, but pleads for those he loves still on earth, that a warning would be sent to them that they would repent and not come to the loathsome place he found himself in.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
The rich man is again refused, because they have the word of God, and the prophets, if they do not heed them, they would not even listen if a ghost came back and told them. Their unbelief seals their own fate, as it did the rich man’s; which comes from a rebellious heart and skepticism. It’s in this state that man refuses to repent, which opens the door to eternal life in Christ.
2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
It is a somber story for the one who lives as this rich man, until the day of his death, to find him/herself in hell. Jesus taught more about hell than he did heaven while he was on earth, we should pay attention to his words now while we have the ability.
It is my hope and prayer that you will contemplate this story, and look within yourself. Then, look at Jesus, and what he did for you when he died on the cross and rose again. Eternal life in heaven is available for you, if you turn to the Lord, repent of your sins, and ask him to help you live for Him. Let the sad story of the rich man, not be yours.