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Parables - The Rich Man and Lazarus

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The Rich Man and Lazarus

Text:  Luke 16:19-31

Thesis:  To prove that one must be the proper steward of his blessings in order to inherit

              life everlasting.


1.      Some claim that this is a parable (e.g., Jehovah’s Witness who deny life after death for the wicked).

  1. It seems to be a literal account because of real names used.
  2. If it were a parable, then it would still teach truth because the figurative is based upon the literal.

2.      This account follows the parable of the unjust steward, which taught that one must learn how to use his money wisely; thus, this seems to further iterate the thought that one must be a proper steward of his money/blessings given to him by God.

3.      Each parable teaches one main point while many incidental lessons may be also learned from the study of it.

  1. The main point of this parable is that one need to be the proper steward of what God has given him.
  2. Incidental lessons may include learning about life after death and the All-Sufficiency of the Word of God, and these lessons and more will be noted at the end.

4.      We will examine the parable in 3 main points:

  1. The rich man’s and Lazarus life upon earth.
  2. Their life after death.
  3. Incidental lessons that are learned.


I.                   Their Life Upon Earth.

A.    The Rich Man’s Life –

1.      He faired sumptuously everyday; thus, he had need of nothing.

a.       In times like that, many people tend to forget God.

b.      We in America are in the top 5-10% of the world in terms of income.

2.      He was clothed in purple and fine linen; i.e., royal apparel (Esther 8:15; Dan. 5:7).

3.      Nothing bad is said of this man’s character and he is not condemned for having money.

4.      He is selfish and that is what led to his downfall.

a.       We are to help those who are in need (Eph. 4:28).

b.      It is of no profit if we merely wish for their well being (Jms. 2:14-18).

B.     Lazarus’ Life –

1.      He was a beggar who sat at the gate of the rich man everyday.

2.      He didn’t despise the rich man and he wasn’t asking for anything outrageous.

3.      All that he wanted was the crumbs; i.e., what was leftover.

4.      Also, this man had sores on him and dogs would come and lick his sores, which was his only comfort and also further disgrace.

II.                Their Life After Death

A.    Lazarus was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom (i.e., the Hebrew way of saying Paradise).

B.     The Bible merely says that the rich man died and was buried (vs. 22).

1.      What an understatement by way of contrast.

2.      He was honored in life, but not in death.

3.      He lifted up his eyes in torment (vs. 23).

a.       He and Lazarus were both in the Hadean Realm, which is the waiting place of those who die before Christ comes back.

(1)    Hades – Unseen Realm

(2)    Found 11 times in the scriptures

(3)    It has 2 parts, Paradise and Tartarus/Torment, that are divided by an impassable gulf.

b.      He sees Lazarus (text doesn’t say Lazarus saw him) and he is asking Abraham to send Lazarus to him with water.

(1)    He now is concerned about Lazarus.

(2)    He now is begging for the crumbs.

c.       He now becomes concerned about his brethren and asks for one to go back from the dead to them so that they may believe.

(1)    Note that he doesn’t want them at the place where he is.

(2)    He started to care about his responsibilities when it was too late.]

III.             Incidental Lessons Learned:

A.    A man’s worldly condition is no test of his state in the sight of God.

1.      One may be rich, but not rich toward God (Lk. 12:21).

2.      One may be poor, but rich in the faith (Jms. 2:5).

B.     Death is the common end to which all classes of mankind must come.

C.     Hell is a reality.

D.    The Word of God is All-Sufficient (II Tim. 3:17).

1.      Refutes D.O. of the Holy Spirit.

2.      There are no miraculous conversions.

E.      Men are conscious after death.

F.      There will be recognition.

G.    This account refutes the Catholic teaching of purgatory.

H.    It also refutes spiritualism; i.e., the claim to talk to the dead spirits.


1.  Are you a good steward with the blessings that are given to you by God?         

2.  If not, then you need to realize your condition and begin caring now before it is

     everlasting to late.

3.  Would you adhere to God’s Word today?

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