Rich or Poor?
Topic: AM Service Passage: Luke 16:19–16:31
“Follow my investment system and you will beat the market and be rich!” “Live in the lap of luxury!” “You deserve a luxury car!” – The promises go on and on from society about how the best, smartest, and most valuable people deserve and obtain riches. But is that the pinnacle of what we were meant for? Is it really the most important thing in life to be in the best stocks when the market goes up, and to have the nicest homes, vacations, and things? The sad thing is that so many people today have fallen into the trap of riches and an end in themselves, and this leads all too often to misery when (as they inevitably do) things break, are lost, or are taken away from us. God does not condemn the ownership of (even fine) things, but His Word is quick (and vigorous!) to remind us that our purpose is not found in things. The first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism captures this well: “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” Perhaps no passage in the Bible more clearly and directly brings home that truth than the story of the rich man and Lazarus. We must remember that this world is not our home and that you truly “can’t take it with you.” Today is the day to ask yourself by which standard are you “Rich or Poor?” (Luke 16:19-31).
I. Story of Two Men (v.19-23)
A. Rich Man
B. Poor Man
II. Warning About the Finality of Judgment (v.23-26)
A. A Change of Heart?
B. Paid in Full
III. Warning About the Imperative of Faith (v.27-31)
A. Speaking for God
B. Listen to God
Questions for consideration: (1) In what ways are you tempted to judge your standing with God by external, observable things? How can you practically fight against this? (2) What does this parable tell us about the Lord’s justice? His mercy? (3) How can this parable affect your daily routines and habits? Your interactions with others? Your view of God?