The Rich Man and Lazarus
Topic: Salvation Object: An Alarm Clock
Scripture: Luke 16:19-24 – NIV
New International Version (NVI)
The Rich Man and Lazarus
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.’
Do you use an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning? Many alarm clocks cone with a “snooze” button. When the alarm goes off, you can hit this button and go back to sleep. Ten minutes later, the alarm will go off again. You can keep doing this and continue sleeping.
Even though it might be nice to have those few extra minutes of sleep, there are two problems with the snooze button. The first problem is that if you continue hitting it you can be late or completely miss something. The second problem is that when you continue to hit the button, eventually you will get used to its sound and you will not notice it when it goes off.
Did you know that God also has an alarm to wake up our lives? He speaks directly to our hearts and says: “It’s time to wake up and follow me.” Many people decide to hit the snooze button and say: “Not now, Lord, wake me up later.” Many hit the snooze button so often that they no longer hear God’s voice. Then when they finally decide to wake up, they will realize that it is too late. This is what happened in this story.
Jesus tells the story of a rich man who wore the best clothes and lived a luxurious life. A beggar, named Lazarus, would sit at the door of the house where the rich man lived. Lazarus suffered hunger and his body was covered with sores. He would wait to see if the rich man would have compassion and that he would satisfy his hunger with the crumbs that fell from his table. However, the rich man would walk right past him on a daily basis without even noticing that he was there.
The bible tells us that Lazarus died and went to heaven. The rich man also dies, but he went to hell. From hell he saw Lazarus in heaven with Abraham. The rich man asked Abraham to let Lazarus dip his finger in water and touch his tongue, but Abraham said no. Abraham then reminded the rich man how he had enjoyed his life on earth with great things, while Lazarus had nothing.
The rich man then asked Abraham to allow Lazarus to return to life so that he could warn his brothers so that they would not end up in hell with him. Once again, Abraham said no. The rich man had finally decided to wake up, but it was too late.
God continues to sound his alarm so that all people can wakeup. Pray that they will hear the alarm, that they may hear His voice and that they may follow Him before it is too late.
Ask God today that when He sounds the alarm to wake us up and to follow Him, that we do not hit the snooze button and say: “Later, Lord.” Instead, pray that we may get up and follow him. Amen!