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The Parables #118

The rich man and Lazarus, Pt3. 

Scripture: Luke 16:19-31.

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The circumstances of men in this world differ greatly. One may have an abundance of this world’s goods while another is bereft of such luxuries! Yet if you were to measure these two men by such things how wrong you would be! The one surrounded by earth’s bounty went to hell while the poor beggar went to heaven!

We must not measure a man’s true condition by outward appearances! Consider how Paul the apostle was viewed by men. “We are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:13. Paul says that the world considers him as something akin to that which you would ‘scrape off your shoe’! Yet he was one of God’s great men, a prince of the Kingdom of God! His influence and witness have pointed millions to the unsearchable riches of salvation!

Men need to be taught about the deceitfulness of riches! 

“He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch,” Proverbs 11:28.

“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven,” Proverbs 23:5. “And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,” Mark 10:23-25.

RICHES are a great deceiver and many spend their life seeking them and miss heaven and find themselves eternally in hell as a consequence. Remember the parable of the ‘Sower’ in Luke 8! “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection,” verse 14. The Saviour warns of the ‘choking’ power of riches. They can ‘choke off’ the precious influences of the Gospel and rob a man of heaven! That is the theme of this parable.

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy,” 1 Timothy 6:17

A right understanding of the true value of this world’s riches will have eternal benefits.

“And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,” Rev 18:16-17.

Here is true riches and how they may be obtained. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich,” 2 Corinthians 8:9. If we receive the crucified Saviour we are rich indeed!


The Parables #117

The rich man and Lazarus, Pt2. 

Scripture: Luke 16:19-31.

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I believe that, strictly speaking, this well known portion of God’s Word most likely is not a parable but an actual event! It does not have the common preface of a parable: “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying . . . . ,” or “For the kingdom of heaven is as . . . . ”

However, not every parable had such an introduction as this. The last parable that we studied, the sheep and the goats, was not identified as a parable but it undoubtedly was. Indeed, this chapter starts off with very similar words to those at the beginning of our study today, verse 1. So we cannot be dogmatic, nevertheless, I am inclined to believe that this is an account of actual events known to the Saviour.

This passage in Luke speaks of that which is literal and is not figurative! That is important for us to remember. The passage opens: “There was a certain rich man . . . ” Since it’s commonly considered one of the parables of the Saviour we will include in our study of the parables.

What vital truths it teaches us and that most vividly!

The context in which this narrative appears is set for us in the opening verses of the chapter. The Saviour is speaking of the deceitful and treacherous nature of riches.

The Parables #115

The sheep and the goats, Pt12.

Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46

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“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:  but the righteous into life eternal,” verses 45-46.

These verses bring the parable to a close. What a solemn word we have here!

The Lord will answer the questions posed by sinners! How often the Lord has been challenged and questioned throughout the ages! I read just yesterday where there are those who wish to change the Law so that they can ‘blaspheme’ without fear of prosecution!
God’s Truth has been questioned as have His Justice, His Love, His very Existence!! All will be answered one day.

The very heart of man’s rebellion against God is seen in his attitude toward Christians! Sin against a Christian is deemed a sin against Christ! Please remember that when you feel like hurting or annoying a Christian. Some time ago I mentioned Galatians 5:14. “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” If you love your neighbour then you love God and the reverse is true. If you hate and abuse your neighbour you hate God!

The dreadful price of sin and rebellion! “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels,” verse 41. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment,” verse 46.

Please note some words.

1. ‘Depart from me’. No place in Christ’s company or in Heaven.

2. ‘Ye cursed’. They refused the Saviour and remain cursed! “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” Only the Lord Jesus can deliver us from under the curse that our sins bring upon us!

3. ‘Everlasting fire’. Hell is where “The fire . . . never shall be quenched,” Mark 9:43.

4. ‘Prepared for the devil and his angels’.

5. ‘Everlasting punishment’. Or ‘torment’!

Please note the great difference of the eternity of the sheep and the goats. ‘Everlasting punishment’ – ‘life eternal’. Please consider this today! As our study of parable has come to an end so too will life and we will all face eternity!

The Parables #114

The sheep and the goats, Pt11. 

Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46

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“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels,” verse 41.

The sheep and the goats are separated for the first time. They were part of the flock of the professing or the ‘Visible Church’ but the Lord has now separated His sheep from the goats, those who were not saved.

Part of the judgement of the wicked is their hearing the righteous rewarded and honoured. The wicked have been listening to what the Saviour said to His flock and they must have become aware that what He said to them would be different from what He would say to them, since they were separated from the righteousness.

* If you are not one of Christ’s flock, you cannot expect to be dealt with in the same way as they are dealt with and blessed!

* Hell is made all the worse by a knowledge of the heaven that your unbelief and disobedience robbed you of!
What a dreadful contrast between what the Saviour said to the sheep and that which He says to the goats!
“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”

* There is a great difference between the Saved and the Lost but it will be never so plain and obvious as on this day!

* Its is obvious from what the wicked say that they considered there to be no difference between them and the saved! They have never understood the difference that is pointed out in God’s Word. Just like Nicodemus, John 39. “Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?”
* Even here they argue and show their IGNORANCE! See what Paul said: “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” That is why they are still puzzled and arguing!
They were sent to hell because they did not love Christ and this was seen in how they treated Christians.

Note how the ungodly dare to challenge Christ. “They answered Him, when . . .” This is not the humble response of the righteous, verse 37. No this is a disputing and arguing with Christ and daring to suggest He is wrong and unjust!.

This how men react to the gospel! Matt 15:8-12. Rejecters of the gospel remain in darkness and ignorance. The purpose of the gospel in bring sinners into the light. “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me,” Acts 26:18.