Warning against Greed and Selfishness.

Author: Evangelist Daniel Sushanth

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus from the Bible is a chilling reminder of our own mortality and the fleeting nature of material wealth and possessions. In the end, we all share the same final resting place, the burial ground, which serves as a humbling reminder of the temporary nature of our physical bodies and the importance of treating others with compassion and empathy. No matter how successful or rich one may be in this life, we will all ultimately face judgment for our actions and leave everything behind.

Despite this, many people still engage in unethical practices to become wealthy quickly. Nowadays, if you search on Google or YouTube, you will find an abundance of videos offering advice and strategies for achieving financial prosperity.

During my childhood, I was mistreated by a wealthy landlady who would make me sit on the floor and behave rudely towards me whenever I visited her home to watch television. Despite her advanced age and affluent status, she showed no kindness towards me. At that time, owning a television was considered a luxury, but today it has become so common that even vegetable vendors may have one. If the lady had shown some compassion, my perception of rich people may have been different.

If you have wealth, it is important to be aware of the needs of your community and to extend your support to those who are less fortunate. Rather than hoarding your income in bank accounts, consider using your resources to help those in need when they approach you for assistance. It is important to remember that when your time comes, you will not be able to take your bank accounts with you, so it is better to use your wealth to make a positive impact on the lives of others while you can.

Luke 16:19-31 tells the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, highlighting the stark difference between the two. Lazarus, a poor beggar covered in sores, was situated at the gate of the wealthy man’s home, yet he was neglected and left to suffer. The rich man was more concerned with displaying his wealth and status and showed no compassion towards Lazarus. This story emphasizes the importance of showing compassion towards those in need, regardless of their social status or background, and serves as a reminder to not let material possessions blind us to the needs of others.

After they both died, Lazarus went to heaven while the rich man was tormented in Hades. (Hades is a term from Greek mythology that refers to the underworld, which is a place of punishment for the wicked and the dead.) In this passage, Hades is used to describe a place of torment where the rich man was suffering. The rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus to bring him relief from his agony, but Abraham explained that a great chasm separated them and that it was impossible to cross over.

The rich man then asked Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five living brothers about their fate, but Abraham replied that they had the teachings of Moses and the Prophets to guide them.
The rich man insisted that if someone came back from the dead, his brothers would surely repent, but Abraham said that if they did not listen to the teachings they already had, they would not be convinced even if someone returned from the dead.

The story is a warning against greed and selfishness, and a call to live a life of kindness and generosity towards others. It is a reminder that our actions in this life have consequences, both in this world and the next.

Father, we thank you for the many blessings you have given us. Please give us the heart to share our love and resources with our brothers and sisters in need. We pray that you will guide us in our efforts to serve others and make a positive impact on their lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.”

There are many ways you can help your Christian community, here are a few examples-

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Volunteer your time: Find opportunities to volunteer your time and skills at your local church or Christian organization. Offer to help with things like event planning, youth group activities, community outreach, or even cleaning and maintenance tasks.

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Donate to charitable causes: Consider donating money to charitable organizations that align with your Christian values and beliefs. This could include organizations that provide aid to the poor, support for those facing religious persecution, or programs that offer education and training to help people in need.

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Share your talents: If you have a talent or skill that could benefit your community, share it! Whether it’s leading worship, playing an instrument, or providing counseling, offering your talents can be a meaningful way to serve others

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Attend community events: Attend events hosted by your local church or Christian organizations, such as Bible studies, prayer groups, or social gatherings. This can help you connect with others in your community and build meaningful relationships

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Pray for others: Pray for your fellow Christians and those in need in your community. Offer to pray with others and ask for prayer requests to support and encourage those around you.

Bible Verses – The Rich Man and Lazarus – Luke 16:19-31

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

##Living by Faith##

From Listeners to Doers

We should exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our lives, not merely storing up knowledge that remains unused. By taking one step forward in faith, we can make a difference.

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