1. PARABLE OF LAZARUS AND THE RICH MAN is the story of a COVETOUS generation, such as we have today, torn between God and Mammon, but “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD and MAMMON” [Luke 16:13] It was addressed chiefly to PHARISEES, the leading religious denomination of His day, “And the PHARISEES also, who were COVETOUS, heard all these things: and they DERIDED HIM. And he said unto them, Ye are they which JUSTIFY YOURSELVES before men; but God KNOWETH YOUR HEARTS: for that which is HIGHLY ESTEEMED AMONG MEN is ABOMINATION in the SIGHT OF GOD” [Luke 16:14-15] The order of PHARISEES evolved through the ages, JUSTIFIED by men and “HIGHLY ESTEMEED” in the Church but God knows His own, therefore, “FEAR NOT, LITTLE FLOCK; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” [Luke 12:32] As with all PARABLES, there is a KEY and the KEY is the ALL-SEEING EYES of God which SEES through every heart, denying the COVETOUS and in every age receives the RIGHTEOUS to Himself “… God is no RESPECTER OF PERSONS: But in every nation he that FEARETH HIM, and WORKETH RIGHTEOUSNESS is ACCEPTED with him” [Acts 10:34-35] 

2.Lazarus, a beggar, destitute of the GOOD THINGS of this world, sat at the gate of the RICH MAN, “… FULL OF SORES, And desiring to be fed with the CRUMBS which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the DOGS came and licked his SORES” [Luke 16:20-21] Lazarus was not accepted of God because he was POOR, but in spite of his POVERTY. Brethren, it is not SIN to be POOR, even as POVERTY is no excuse to relapse into COVETOUSNESS, “… BEWARE OF COVETOUSNESS for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth“ [Luke 12:13] The MESSAGE of the PARABLE, is GODLY CONTENTMENT, a timely rebuke to the PHARISEES of this generation, “… MEN OF CORRUPT MINDS, and destitute of the truth, SUPPOSING THAT GAIN IS GODLINESS: from such withdraw thyself. But GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN” [1 Timothy 6:5] Without controversy, the GOSPEL first preached by Jesus Christ and passed to us by the Apostles is anchored on GODLY CONTENTMENT, “In HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE, which God, that cannot lie, PROMISED before the world began” [Titus 1:2] CONTENTMENT is by no means resignation to PENURY but an INWARD SATISFACTION in Christ, grounded in HOPE of ETERNAL LIFE. Beware, therefore, of latter-day PHARISEES, for “… through COVETOUSNESS shall they with FEIGNED WORDS MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” [2 Peter 2:3]

3. The RICH MAN had all the GOOD THINGS of this world, “… was CLOTHED IN PURPLE and fine linen, and FARED SUMPTUOUSLY every day” [Luke 16:19] The RICH MAN did not end up in “TORMENTS” because he was RICH, but in spite of his possessions. God has nothing against the WEALTHY, but holds the RICH responsible for His riches, “But thou shalt REMEMBER THE LORD thy God: for it is HE THAT GIVETH THEE POWER TO GET WEALTH, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day” [Deuteronomy 8:18] Those who have the riches of this world are indebted to God to share with the POOR, doing do the WORK of God, but some who are RICH are not so inclined but “… the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they REGARD NOT THE WORK OF THE LORD, neither consider the operation of his hand” [Isaiah 5:12] This RICH MAN broke the GOLDEN RULE of religion, neglected the POOR but surrounded himself “DOGS”. Let those who have the riches of this world beware of DOGS in priestly robes, who make pretenses of piety for earthly goods. Like their predecessors, present day PHARISEES eat with the RICH and extort the POOR, LICKING THEIR SORES, “Woe unto you, scribes and PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES! for ye DEVOUR WIDOW’S HOUSES, and for a pretence MAKE LONG PRAYER: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation” [Matthew 23:14]

4. The LESSON of the PARABLE is the certainty of JUDGMENT, “… it is APPOINTED unto men once TO DIE, but after this the JUDGMENT” [Hebrews 9:27] No doubt, Lazarus had his FAITH stretched to breaking point, as many do today, but held on “And it came to pass, that the BEGGAR DIED, and was CARRIED BY ANGELS into Abraham's bosom: the RICH MAN ALSO DIED and was buried. And in HELL he lift up his eyes, being in torments, …” [Luke 16:22-23] Let no man deceive you, as long as we are in this body some will be RICH and others POOR, whether RICH or POOR, Christ in you is the assurance of riches of His GLORY, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the HOPE OF HIS CALLING, and what the RICHES of the GLORYof his inheritance in the saints” [Ephesians 1:18] The RICH will be TRIED with what he has and the POOR by what he has not; beloved, hold firmly to FAITH, “That the TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and GLORY AT THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST” [1 Peter 1:7] His Coming is imminent, let the BRIDE, both RICH and POOR do away with COVETOUSNESS, “For we BROUGHT NOTHING INTO THIS WORLD, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having FOOD and RAIMENT let us be THEREWITH CONTENT” [1 Timothy 6:7-8]

5. If you have not done so, accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, amen

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