Thursday, February 14, 2019

Does God Reject The Rich While He Chooses To Take The Poor To Heaven?

How Can A Beggar Like Lazarus Go To Heaven Directly?

Question: I have a doubt, how Lazarus, a Beggar, it seems, went to Heaven. Kindly reply me.

Answer: Greetings in Jesus wonderful name!

This whole story of Lazarus and a rich man was told by Jesus to bring out a important truth of God to all people.

Here is what Jesus actually said,
"19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ 27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”" (Luke 16:19-31).

Let us look to find the truth that Jesus wanted to convey to us.

First of all the story was not a fictitious one, but rather a real story of life and death, and the reality of the life after death that Jesus shared because only in this short story Jesus reveals the name of the person named Lazarus who is used as a positive example of faith, through whom he wanted to convey the heavenly truth of how faith is more important than how we live this earthly life to inherit the heavenly life after our physical death.

This story is set on the earthly living condition of the times of Jesus in which a rich man whose name is not worthy to be mentioned, was splendidly clothed and lived each day in laughter through amusement and luxury.

A beggar named Lazarus whose name was found to be worthy in the eyes of God because of his faith in God, lived just outside this rich man's house at a distance where food eaten by the rich man whose leftover food would be collected and disposed everyday. Lazarus had faith but no money in the world to treat even his body which was full of sores, that friendly dogs used to come and lick those sores to give comfort to this poorest of the poor man. Next he had no food except that which was thrown out of the rich man's house to be disposed. In short, Lazarus was so poor even the poorest will call him poor because he had no food to fill his stomach or no money at all to medicate his wounds and bring healing.

How do we know that the poor man Lazarus had faith?

Because only those saved and rich in faith are know by name to be mentioned by God as his dear children
(James 2:5; Isa 43:1-5; John 1:12). One important thing to note here is, there is no piety, divine-ness or special holiness in being poor or in practicing asceticism, but still God chosen the poor of this world to become the heir of the Kingdom of God because they are the one who are easily inclined in their desperation to call upon God to provide them, serve justice, give them relief from suffering and inequality that exists on earth because of sin and fallen nature of all humans that rebels to break the beautiful laws of God given to bring equality to all humans (Luke 18:1-8).

In other words, the rich man who lived at that time never cared to share what he had with the poor men like Lazarus who lived in desperate poverty before his very eyes. Generally, a rich man always has his trust not in God but in the things he owns on earth. He becomes arrogant and proud to trust in his money and not in the God who gives all good things to share and enjoy our life to thank and praise God for this good life
(1 Tim 6:17; Jam 5:1-6).

Being rich in itself cannot be wrong, because many children of God like Abraham, David, Solomon, Job, etc...were very rich but their trust was not in their wealth but in God who has blessed them to live a life of godliness with contentment before others around them who were eager and mad to get rich quick and spend their lives in riches
(1 Tim 6:6-9; Matt 6:31-32). Though these men were godly and rich, they considered themselves to be strangers and pilgrims in this earth and sought for the home land of heaven to live with God for eternity ahead in friendship and peace with God (Heb 11:13-16). Jesus himself expressed plainly that it is easier for a huge size camel to go through a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God because the rich trust his riches and never in God to sit with pride in his heart of how he has with all wisdom of the earth has amassed earthly riches, and chooses to think foolishly that he needs no help of God or anyone in this world as long as he lives or even after his death he needs none of God (Luke 12:13-21; Matt 19:24; Job 2:9-10). God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble who seeks God in his life to solve the unsolvable question about his future life of eternity that is ahead of him or her (James 4:7).

From reading the story of the rich man and Lazarus, we come to know one thing, the poor man was suffering yet had rich faith towards God, the rich man was enjoying his earthly life in opulence yet we come to see that he had no real saving faith in God because he was full of pride and religiosity.

In death the story of the after life starts from day one, as the word of God says,
" is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." (Heb 9:27). The day any human dies whether rich or poor all come under the sovereign jurisdiction of God (Matt 10:28), the way God passes his judgment will decide whether that human soul immediately and in the future with body will go to hell fire or heaven.

Soon after the death of Lazarus, he was carried by angels to a place called as Abraham's bosom where he was found to be sitting literally in Father Abraham's bosom and was comforted by the Presence of God. The rich man also died and was buried, he found himself being in the torments of Hades which is a short-stay prison of torment of the soul before bring discarded in to hell fire with their condemned bodies after the White Throne Judgment. What a contrast between those who have true faith and false religiosity.

We see that the rich man's religion never went deeper in to his heart, because from the Parable of Jesus we can understand that he had seen the beggar Lazarus and knew him to be the man who was laid at the gate of his earthly house when he was alive on earth, the same man desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table, which reveals to us that the rich man had religion without compassionate action to feed the poor man like Lazarus or give at least some medication to give relief from the sores of the suffering Lazarus which was making his life miserable. So it proves that this rich man's faith was without works which proves to us that he had no genuine faith but a bogus one which trusted in money and not the God who gives it all to enjoy and share
(2 Cor 9:8, 9; Jam 2:14-18).

We see that the "torments in Hades" increases more and more, as a person lifts up his eyes there to heaven to see the saved afar off living in peace with God and enjoying the goodness of his Presence, as they were the one neglected and suffered on earth but had faith in God like Lazarus who ended up in heaven to receive great honor and comfort from God for the rest of his eternity. In short, the greatest torment in hell fire will be thinking about the wasted opportunities on earth to get saved and the inability of the unsaved to get saved anymore even for eternity ahead.

The unsaved will come to know only in the torment of Hades and hell fire that all the riches of the earth are nothing compared to
"like precious faith" (1 Pet 1:1) which is the most precious commodity on earth even for eternity to continue (Mark 8:37). So that their concern for others of their family who are living in neglect of this rich faith towards God, will cause even greater torment after their death because they will come to know its value only after they enter Hades and hell fire.

But God's answer to all people on earth is hidden and revealed through his written Word
"Moses and the Prophets" which He repeatedly points through his servants as the instruction given to all humans to avoid hell fire and embrace heaven by getting saved from sin and death of separation from God. It is no use to religiously hear the Word of God, but all are expected by God to hear and do the word of God by faith in the God who really saved the sinful human being to make them become a saint and take them to heaven where God lives in friendship with all saved humans forever and ever even for eternity ahead (Jam 1:21-27).

Every saved person on earth according to God, will act according to his will to seek it sincerely and fulfill it in gratefulness and thankfulness for their salvation given freely to them by God
(Jam 2:22).

The biggest truth God reveals through Jesus about faith in the above parable of Lazarus and the rich man is at the end, where He says that, if someone to whom God has given his Word does not care and value it enough to hear the law and exhortation of prophets and do it by faith, neither will he be able to believe in the Words of Jesus and get saved by hearing about the good-news of the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus to enter the Kingdom of God for eternity to be in heaven after their physical death and live with God for the rest of their lives
(John 8:24; 7:17; 5:46; Luke 7:28, 29-30; 1 Cor 15:3-4).

So the bottom line is, it is not whether we are rich or poor on earth that matters to God because he has made them all
(Prov 22:2), it is how rich we are towards God while we are alive that matters in the end in our after-life after our death (Luke 12:21). But we have seen from the above parable, that poor are advantaged to receive faith more easily than the rich, but being poor does not automatically qualify them for heaven except through believing in Jesus Christ who rose from the dead. In short, God has set equality in this unequal world of difference between rich and the poor by making the rich to find it hard to enter the eternal riches of God, but making it easy for the poor of this world to grasp the saving faith and become rich towards God.

In short, poor with God becomes rich on earth and ever after though he might not have realized it on earth like Lazarus, the rich without God is the poorest man on earth even though he might not have realized it within his heart because of self-conceit.

The rich man can enter the Kingdom of God if he chooses to let go of his trust in his uncertain riches and trust the certain riches of God to become his desire for the rest of his life to make them perfect and make themselves be prepared for heaven's life
(Matt 19:21). Heaven is for prepared place for prepared people, God chooses simple people who have learned to trust Him and His word on earth to prepare themselves for heaven through following the basic instruction of the Bible before leaving the earth physically.

Let us learn to trust God through the Word of God and do it in our personal lives whether we are rich or poor in this world now, so that we can be rich towards God for eternity ahead!

Much Blessings...


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