Sunday School Material 1-26-14: Showing Compassion to the Poor

(Luke 16:19-31; 1/26/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is being saved is much more important than having the riches of this world. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to make sure we are saved and helping to get saved more than focusing on the riches of this world.

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Read Luke 16:19-21

I. Rich and Poor. In our Sunday School material a rich man is said to live in luxury everyday. A sore covered beggar, by the name of Lazarus, was laid at the rich man’s gate. Lazarus wanted some of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.

Applications -

- Being rich. Notice in vss. 19-21 that the rich man’s sin was not that he was rich. His sin was that he had no compassion for the poor. In like manner, there is no sin in being rich today. The sin is when we are rich without compassion.

To whom much is given, much is required. Let’s work on being rich in both finances and compassion. More rich tithing Christians would lead to more ministry filled church houses.

Read Luke 16:22-26

II. Paradise and Torment. In our Sunday School material both Lazarus and the rich man died. Lazarus is at Abraham’s side, while Lazarus is in Hades. The rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus to minister to him, but Abraham said no.

The roles of “having” and “not having” have reversed, and there is a chasm that prevents moving from Hades to Abraham’s side.

Applications -

- Death. Notice in vs. 22 that the rich and poor man died. In like manner, all of us have an unbreakable date with death. This being the case, we should live our lives to their fullest. And we should make preparations for our date with death.

Our preparations should include life insurance, wills, living wills, and gifts to the church. But the most important preparation is to make sure we have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith. Let’s live our lives to their fullest and make preparations for our death.

- Hades and the side of Abraham. Notice in vss. 23-26 of our Sunday School material that we see the mention of Hades and the side of Abraham.

There are many fuzzy details around this text. For example, does the Bible teach that people in Hell can see the people in Heaven? Or is Abraham the supervisor of Heaven?

In spite of the fuzzy details, we clearly see that there is a great place to go after we die and a terrible place to go after we die.

The key for us to go to the great place is to make sure we have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith. It is also crucial that we do what we can to help others do the same.

That is why each of us need to know how to lead someone to Christ (i.e., the plan of salvation and Jn. 3:16). Let’s make sure we have our business fixed to go to the right place, after we die.

- Our priorities. Notice in vs. 25 that Lazarus spent his temporary earthy life in poverty but eternity with all kinds of blessings. The rich man spent his temporary earthly life with great wealth but spent eternity in torment.

When we look at it like that, we should conclude that an eternity in Heaven is better situation for us than an eternity in Hell. Thus, accepting Jesus as savior by faith and then living a life of loving God and others, as we love ourselves, should be at the core of our life values.

Let’s live like we believe that eternal Heaven is our focus.

Read Luke 16:27-31

III. Return and Rescue. In our Sunday School material The rich man wanted Lazarus to go and minister to his living brothers. But Abraham said “no” to this as well. The brothers are to listen to Moses and the Prophets, or they will suffer the same fate.

Applications -

- Evangelism. Notice in vss. 27-20 that the rich man had a concern for his family’s salvation. However, it was too little, too late. We should strive to make sure the same is not said about us.

We should make sure we are saved and do all that we can to help others get saved, now. Things we can do to help others get saved is to share the plan of salvation and live a Spirit controlled life in front of them.

A Spirit controlled life is known for loving others and obeying the rest of God’s word, while experiencing joy and peace. Let’s work on helping our loved ones get saved.

- Hearing God. Notice in vss. 27-30 of our Sunday School material that God doesn’t always cater to special requests. Today, we have the Bible, the finished work of Jesus Christ, and people like Pastors and others to challenge us to hear and obey the word of God.

If we fail to comply with God’s will, as it is presented to us today, we are the ones who will suffer. Let’s make sure we hear and obey God’s word, by whatever means He sends it.

Conclusion: Let’s work on making sure we are saved and helping others get saved more than focusing on the riches of this world. God has much for those who obey His will.

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