“But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’” (Luke 16:25-26)
The parable concerns the vanity of trusting in riches for security. Those who had wealth were deemed to be righteous and blessed by God, definitely members of God’s kingdom even despite their mistreatment of and disdain for the poor and needy. The poor and those who endured physical suffering were considered cursed and sinful, especially someone like poor Lazarus. This is still true in our society, even in the modern Christian church. Prosperity, wealth and fame, are all considered signs of God’s blessing and favor. Many believers and even some churches often neglect the needs of the poor and downtrodden in favor of building an earthly kingdom.
Yet in God’s economy, the reverse is true. In our parable, the rich man died and was in hell and still did not realize the truth. He was still filled with pride for he gave orders to Abraham to have Lazarus do his bidding. It was too late though, for while he was alive the rich man had every opportunity to do God’s work with the resources he had, to help the poor and needy. Money cannot help us get to heaven but it can be used to build God’s kingdom by leading others to that kingdom as they see the generosity and love of God in His servants. Since we cannot take money into the next life with us, we must use it to spread the gospel of truth.