Thursday, April 24, 2008

Parable Series 3 - The Value of a Soul

Read Luke 16:19-31

INTRODUCTION

  • MAJOR QUESTIONS
    • Are you afraid to die?
    • How sure are you that if you die today, you will be with God in heaven?
    • Do you know the value of your soul
  • Context of the Story (Luke 16:14-19)
    • The context of this parable is that Jesus was being mocked by the Pharisees, because He was referring to the fact that we cannot serve two masters (God and riches).
    • The story is a parable because of unrealistic claims (i.e. dipping of finger in water)
  • Lessons of the Story
    • We must help the poor and the needy
    • We should not love the riches of this world
    • We should believe the Gospel

TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE ON EARTH

  • FIRST TYPE: PHYSICALLY RICH BUT SPIRITUALLY POOR
    • The RICH MAN represents the physically rich but spiritually poor
    • The rich man wears purple clothing (sign of royalty)
    • Purple dye was extremely expensive, obtained from the shellfish murex. A purple wool mantle was costly. A finely-woven linen tunic was considered the height of luxury.
  • SECOND TYPE: PHYSICALLY POOR BUT SPIRITUALLY RICH
    • LAZARUS (whom God helps) represents the spiritually rich

TWO KINDS OF DEATH

  • HAPPY DEATH (Christians’)
    • Lazarus- Carried by the angels (Glorious)
    • Abraham’s Bosom symbolizes the presence of God in heaven
    • He probably could not afford cost of burial, the grave, and the inscription
  • SAD DEATH (Non-Christians’)
    • Rich Man- Died and Buried. Went to Hades (Sad)
    • Hades is the temporal abode of the dead (place of torment)
    • Revelations 20:13-14 - And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
  • AFTER DEATH, JUDGMENT COMES. No more second chance (Hebrews 9:27)
  • We do not know when death will come. We must always be prepared.

THE SINS OF THE RICH MAN: S.I.N.

· SELFISHNESS

o Thus this parable inveighs against the sin of indifference that fails to share one's abundance with those in need. Lazarus depended on the rich man’s crumbs!

o Foods which fell from the rich man's table are not really CRUMBS but pieces of bread which the guests dipped in the dish, wiped their hands with, and then threw under the table."

o We should not be selfish (1 Corinthians 13:5)

o We should help the poor and the needy (Matthew 25:40)

· TOO MUCH INDULGENCE

o There was once a rich man who dressed in the most expensive clothes and lived in great luxury every day.

o Do not love this world too much (1 John 2:15-17)

o Do not love the riches of this world (1 Timothy 6:10, Hebrews 13:5)

· NOT BELIEVING THE GOSPEL

o Abraham said, 'Your brothers have Moses and the prophets to warn them; your brothers should listen to what they say.' The rich man answered, 'That is not enough, father Abraham! But if someone were to rise from death and go to them, then they would turn from their sins.'

o If we do not believe in the gospel, we will surely perish in Hell

o John 3:18 - He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.

THE VALUE OF A SOUL

  • Our soul is more valuable than the riches of this world
    1. Matthew 16:26 - For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
    2. Mark 8:36 - For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
    3. Luke 12:19-20- And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat drink and be merry. But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul shall be required of you, then whose shall be those things which you have prepared?
  • We must fear God because He can cast are souls to hell
    1. Matthew 10:28 - And do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

DO YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE HEAVEN?

  • Love God above all (Matthew 22:37)
  • God does not want people to perish in hell (2 Peter 3:9)
  • God has provided a way to save man from hell—Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17)
  • If we receive Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we will have eternal life in heaven (John 5:24, John 11:25)
  • 3 As of Salvation
    • APPROACH GOD
      • James 4:8 - Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you
      • John 6:37- All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will in no way cast out.
      • Matthew 11:28-29- Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.
    • ACKNOWLEDGE AND FORSAKE YOUR SINS
      • 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
      • Psalm 66:18 - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.
    • ACCEPT JESUS TO BE THE LORD AND SAVIOR OF YOUR LIFE
      • Acts 2:21 - And it shall be that everyone who shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
      • Revelations 3:20- “Jesus says, ‘Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in ...”

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