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The Rich Man and Lazarus

I've nothing for you!

Application:

If we believe anjd trust Jesus, this will bridge the gulf that sin brings between us and God.

Bible Text:

Luke 16:19-31.

 

The Rich Man:

Jesus told a story of a rich man who lived in a huge house and had every luxury you could imagine.  At his gate lay a beggar named Lazarus, who was covered with sores.  He longed to eat some scraps from the rich man's table, but the rich man was too stingy and ignored him.   Lazarus lay there and the dogs would came and lick his sores, until the time came when the he died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side.

The rich man also died but went to hell where he was in pain and torment all the time.  He looked up from hell and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus at his side.  So he called to him, "Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to me.  He can dip the tip of his finger into water and cool my tongue, because I'm in agony in this fire."

But Abraham replied, "Son, in your lifetime you received all your good things, while Lazarus received bad things.  But now he is comforted here and you are in agony, but besides this, there is a great gulf between us and you, so that nobody can cross over it."

The Penalty for Sin:

The story of Lazarus and the rich man shows us that the penalty for sin is eternal separation from God.  And that there is no way that we can get to Heaven by our own efforts.  Each of us has sinned and deep down in our hearts we all know this.  But, often we don't want to admit this and so we try to cover up our sins.  But, Romans 6:23 says:

"For the wages of sin is death."

Can we measure up to God's standards?  (Let the children respond).  No, this verse shows us that no matter how good we are, we will never measure up to God's standard.  But many people think they can cover up their sins by doing good.  Can we do this?  (Let the children respond).

No, the problem is with us, because if we try to build a life by doing good, we can never please God.  The Bible says that our good works are like filthy rags to God (Isaiah 6:45).  And so no matter how hard we try, eventually the bad things in our hearts will come out.  Luke 6:45 says:

"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart,
and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart."

A Permanent Solution!

Trying to please God by doing your best to be good is not going to save you.  God knew before the creation of the world that people would sin and that no one would ever be able to match up to His standard or be able to come into His presence and live.  So, what can we do about it?

The Old Testament solution for your sins was to offer a lamb as a sacrifice.  The lamb had to die in your place to pay the penalty for your sin.  God needed a better solution than that.  He needed one that would work once and for all.  Romans 6:23b tells us:

"The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

And so Jesus volunteered and said, "Father, I will go and become one of them, so that I can die on a cross and take the punishment for their sins."   And so the only way we can get to Heaven is by asking Jesus to forgive our sins and come into our hearts as our Saviour.

Bridging the Gulf to Heaven:

The Cross of Jesus takes us across the gulf of sin to eternal life and forgiveness in Heaven.  This means that we are no longer separated from God by our sins.  We are now God's children, and God is our loving Father who cares for us, and leads and guides us.  We can talk to God and Jesus at any time and tell Them all our cares and worries, and then thank Them for listening and answering our prayers.

Are you willing to ask Jesus to forgive all your sins and let Him come into your life as your Saviour?  John 14:6 says:

"I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."

If you accept Jesus as your Saviour and ask Him to forgive your sins, then His blood will make you clean in God's sight.  And God will grant you eternal life so that you will be able to live in Heaven for ever.

God bless!

 

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