Rich or Poor, We Are All Accountable

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  • Three parts to the story
    • The situation before death – Vs. 19-21
    • The situation in life after death – Vs. 22, 23
    • Comments about that situation – Vs. 24-31
  • The Conditions of the two men
    • Wealth, nice home, fine clothes, independent
    • Poverty, sickness, dependent
      • Lazarus is considered by the rich man to be of lesser importance than his own dogs
  • Death – the great Equalizer
    • In this case, a reverser
      • Lazarus is welcomed into joy and comfort of heaven
      • The rich man finds himself in a place of suffering – far away from Lazarus
    • Lazarus is in…The rich man is out! – The standard outside of this life are different from what we perceive them while on earth
  • Eternal life – the grim Reality
    • The rich man cries out to Abraham
      • “Father” – Jesus was directing this story toward the Pharisees who were very pious about their heritage
    • He begs for compassion
      • What kind of compassion did he show to poor Lazarus every time he walked by him at the gates to his home?
      • People of influence often acquire a sense of “entitlement”
    • Insight into life after death
      • In Hell, the existence of God will be known and His absence will be felt
      • The rich man knew of Lazarus’ existence while he was alive and he remembers after death
      • His attitude about Lazarus has not changed – he still expects Lazarus to submit to his well being
    • Abraham’s eternal reply
      • Earthly rules don’t apply in heaven
      • There is a great “chasm” that separates heaven from hell that cannot be crossed
      • Even though the man has accepted his fate, he tries to intervene for his brothers
        • The answer is already there for them
          • John 1:45
    • The story is not an Endorsement of salvation by works

It describes compassion, hypocrisy and God’s plan for mankind

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