Luke 16:14-31
What Matters Most Is Eternity

Intro: We saw in our study last time where Jesus gave a teaching on Stewardship / on Preparing for our Future in Eternity by INVESTING in the KINGDOM OF GOD.

  1. We looked at some benefits that Jesus described about investing in the Kingdom of Heaven.
  1. REWARDS YOU IN ETERNITY - Can't take it w/ you but you can send it ahead.
  1. RELEASES YOU IN MINISTRY - If you can be trusted in that which is least - you can be entrusted w/ TRUE RICHES - MINISTRY

  3. RESHAPES YOU INTERNALLY - Giving is not God's way of raising funds - it is his way of raising kids
  1. If you missed last weeks study - I would encourage you to get the tape important teaching Jesus gave on our being FAITHFUL STEWARDS

D) JESUS FINISHES - IN V. 13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.


When He finishes we are told in v. 14 the reaction of the Pharisees And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

A) deride = to turn up the nose/ It was a facial gesture

They began to CONTORT their faces / Squirm /

1) Picture this - all these Pharisees in unison - contorting / squirming


What about us - what is our REACTION TO this subject of Giving & Stewardship - DERIDE like the Pharisees - UNCOMFORTABLE

OR DELIGHT - Be like our Lord who was a giver -

B) Now The REASON for this REACTION was BECAUSE they loved


C) Now these guys who were supposed to be "serving God"

But in reality they were "serving Mammon"

D) The Pharisees were supposed to be the models of spiritual things

1) They were so fanatical about the Law and about their traditions

E) Yet they IGNORED the Law which said: Ex 20:17 Thou shalt not covet

And in living for "mammon" (the god of material possessions)

  1. they broke the Law which said: Ex 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods

before me.

F) They were to be the MODEL of having God as the MASTER PASSION

of their lives

1) But they were being mastered by possessions

15 And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

  1. Now the Pharisees were Wealthy & very materialistic / some of them
  2. were MILLIONARIES by the Standards in those days

  3. Yet they justified their wealth by saying it was the Result of their Spirituality / Holy men (Rigidly followed law & traditions)
  1. Their wealth was a sign of God's Blessing because of their Holiness

C) Sound Familiar ? They were the First Prosperity Teachers

  1. JESUS SAID "You are those who justify yourselves before men,-
  1. You JUSTIFY your Covetous Hearts by Linking it w/ SPIRITUALIY &HOLINESS - But God Knows Your Hearts !!!!!!

We can fool those around us - but we can't fool the Lord - Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the Heart

  1. Interesting that when Jesus was writing to the Churches in Revelation that He SPOKE of their outward Appearance - Works / Reputation
  2. But WROTE to Challenge the Condition of their Hearts :

EPHESUS : 2 "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. OUTWARDLY LOOKED GOOD


  1. "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

SARDIS "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive/ Their REPUTATION said one thing -

But JESUS KNEW OTHER WISE - but you are dead. "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.

LAODECIA : 17 "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing';,

Their PERCEPTION was one of feeling they had it together / but JESUS saw what no one else did - including the Laodecians themselves

15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot/ LUKE WARM -You think you have so much but in REALITY YOU are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.


A) The TRAGEDY for the Pharisees is that they were MORE concerned about what men thought of them than what God KNEW about them

  1. Jesus continues God knows your hearts./ BUT WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IS what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

The World Esteems Riches /Position / Highly - The Who's Who in the World are so often the ONES WITH THE BIG BUCKS

A) Baseball Players - 13 million or 14 million a season - They don't need

that - no diff. Between 13& 14 except one makes me the highest paid

  1. Pres. Clinton / Boris Yeltsin / Bill Gates - meeting God shows up /

Going to Destroy the World in One year

  1. Each one Races back to his Group - Yeltsin - Parliament - BAD NEWS - There is a God - Destroy the world in 1 week

C) Clinton - Congress INTERESTING NEWS - God is REAL - And He is

going to destroy the World in 1 year

  1. Gates - Leaders at Microsoft - GREAT NEWS - First I am one of the 3 most influential people in the World / 2nd don't need to worry about y2k

Jesus says that which the World esteems Highly that type of STANDARD is an ABOMINATION - to GOD !!!

A) The CARNAL man esteems position BUT God esteems CHARACTER

B) What would happen if God were to turn us INSIDE OUT - So that where

we are really at - would be seen - SCARY

C) CHRISTIAN that is what matters in ETERNITY - For 80 yrs or so

people place so much emphasis on the outside appearance

  1. But the true test of our Spirituality is what is on the inside
  1. That is what matters - Character / Motives / Not seeking to please or Impress men / But God !!!!

But these Pharisees didn't think that way - they were Justifying their COVETOUSNESS & their MATERIALISM as an outward sign of their SPIRITUALITY in keeping the LAW & TRADITIONS

  1. But just so they didn't Misunderstand - that Jesus was not putting down the Law - but their MISCONCEPTION of the LAW'S PURPOSE
  1. HE SAYS IN V. 16

16 "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.

  1. JESUS is saying here that the Law is not Passing away / said in Matt. 5:18 wouldn't pass away until all was fulfilled.
  2. Now for 400 yrs there was no prophet - John comes on the scene preaching the KINGDOM OF God IS AT HAND
  1. John came to Introduce the New Covenant. That would be established by Jesus
  1. Now in Jesus the Law has been fulfilled - therefore the rituals have passed away / but the Principles & Purpose remain.
  1. The Principles of the law are clearly seen through out the N.T. - one great example is in the sermon on the Mount

E) Although we don't seek to follow them in order to earn God's Love & Acceptance - But Because in Christ we have it already


THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW - Paul explains in

al 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

A) God NEVER intended the Law to be a means to external righteousness

that would bring religious acclaim and position

B) The Law was intended to show us that we are spiritually bankrupt and

in need of mercy

D) The Law RIGHTFULLY used will expose your bankruptcy

1) It will lead you to the cross/ See the Perfect one - JESUS

E) The cross means an end to ALL self-righteousness

1) You can NOT see the Son of God crucified and think that there is anything righteous within you

F) BUT if you MISUSE the Law you can come out looking pretty clean

before man / Which is what the Pharisees did

Now this next verse almost appears to be out of Context -

v. 18 "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; & whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.

  1. Now this at first seems really out of Context - big CURVE BALL Divorce - Why does He bring this up ?
  2. CONSIDER THE CONTEXT - Jesus is talking about their Covetous hearts - Covetous is wanting more of what you already have
  1. Or it is wanting what someone else has / Never being SATISFIED
  1. These guys were Covetous & they were using the Law & their attention to the man even the details of it - to Project a Psuedo SPIRITUALITY
  2. That False or Psuedo Spirituality was the means of Justifying their Covetousness & Material Wealth
  1. That Psuedo spirituality was also the means by which they satisfied the COVETOUS condition of their Hearts toward Marriage

GREAT RABBINACAL DEBATE / O.T. (except for Uncleanness)

  1. In Israel there were two schools of thought amongst the Rabbis concerning Divorce - (Debate was over the interpretation of Uncleanness
  2. On the Conservative side was - Rabbi Shamma - ADULTERY -Period
  1. On the LIBERAL side was Hilliel - Uncleanness could mean anything from - Over salting your Food / seeing a woman "Cleaner" than wife
  1. Most of these guys - adhered to the Hillel side - it was another indication of their CARNALITY that was masked by - PSUEDO SPIRITUALITY
  2. But Jesus makes it clear that - the issue is adultery/ - another place - Because is the hardness of the heart.
  1. Gets back to Jesus saying - God knows your hearts !!!!!
  1. Always the case in Divorce - Hardness of the Heart on the part of one or both of those involved to not allow Jesus to be Lord in the Home
  1. Not Submit together to His plan / His practice

F) Further - study - tapes on Marriage Series / 1 Cor. 7 recent study

Perfect sense the placement of this when seen in context of their Covetous hearts - Psuedo Spirituality / Catering to self

  1. Also makes perfect sense to me in the context of stewardship because Divorce is very costly

B) Divorce will BANKRUPT YOU - Emotionally / Financially / relationally


Well after talking about Stewardship / after dealing w/ the Pharisees who were into this Prosperity mentality /

A) To Illustrate His teaching about TRUE RICHES Jesus told a story

V.19-21 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.

B) Purple = was the apparel of kings/ sumptuously = splendidly,

magnificently- We get our word LAMP from this word= fared radiantly

C) It would best be translated in today's language as FLAMBOUYANTLYHe lived a flamboyant lifestyle

1) He had the kings apparel, he had the kings cuisine and he was NOT

ashamed to flaunt it

The second man was quite different from the first man

20 "But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, "desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

  1. Lazarus was living - in total POVERTY & his POVERTY was amplified by HIS MISERY - The dogs came & licked his SORES


  1. Most people probably knew the Rich man- but no one knew Lazarus

(Perhaps saw him but didn't know who he was)

C) OPPOSITE TRUE w/ Jesus/ JESUS names Lazarus - but not the rich man

D) LISTEN Many who are the Who's who in the World will be the Who's

He in the Kingdom

  1. Many who are the Who's He in the World / will be the who's who in the KINGDOM. (THINGS WILL BE REVERSED)

Now Jesus Paints a Picture of Great Contrast Between Lazarus & the Rich man -

A) One man flambouyant in his LUXURY and the other pathetic in his poverty

  1. It is hard to imagine a greater contrast / BUT - There is one thing that is common to both men v. 22 "So it was that the beggar died, & was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
  2. DEATH IS THE GREAT EQUALIZER / We are all brought to the same level when standing before the Lord !!!
  1. Prov.22:2 The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all.

C.S. Lewis wrote in one of his writings of walking through a cemetery & noticing a particular grave marker that READ


Lewis says that he wanted to add / OH HOW HE WISHES THAT WERE SO

B) Heb. 9:27 it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

C) Though we may be separated by MILES in this life - all of us will one

day face DEATH

D) But we don't just die we TRANSFER into an ETERNAL EXISTENCE

  1. All of us are either going to spend ETERNITY in either heaven or Hell

So both of these men die & end up in HADES - (Explain in a Minute v.23-26 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.

  1. '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.'

The Old Testament word for hell was SHEOL (Hebrew) / In the Greek it is the word Hades / It would be translated as GRAVE or as HELL

A) Note a few things here

1st NOTE: According to this story, PRIOR to the death of Jesus Christ, HADES or SHEOL, was divided into TWO compartments

A) This man was in one compartment while Lazarus was in another

B) Lazarus, Verse 22 was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom

The rich man Verse 23 was in torment and saw Lazarus afar off

C) 2nd NOTE: Just As there were VAST CONTRASTS in their lives, there

were VAST CONTRASTS in their after-lives

1) The rich man was in torment.... The beggar was being comforted

3rd NOTE: The FACULTIES that this man still possessed

A) He had the faculty of sight: Verse 23 He lifted up his eyes

B) He had the faculty of speech: Verse 24 He cried out

C) He had the ability to recognize Lazarus: Verse 23 Saw Abraham afar

off, and Lazarus

D) He had the capacity to experience pain: Verse 24 I am tormented in

this flame

E) He had the capacity to experience thirst: Verse 24 that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue

F) He had the capacity to remember his lifetime on earth: V.25 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things;

G) He could also remember his brothers, who unless they changed their

lifestyles, they would end up in torment with him

1) He had concern for their destiny

Now this is INTERESTING TO ME Because These are faculties that we normally associate with our bodies

A) Yet though this mans body was lying in a tomb somewhere outside

of Jerusalem's walls

B) He could SEE..... He could SPEAK.... He could HURT..... He could THIRST... He could REMEMBER...... He could WORRY

C) 4th NOTE: The REAL you is spirit

  1. This body is merely the means to communicate in the context of this physical world / TENT - HOUSES SPIRIT
  1. The Real you is going to Live on / Some people say: "That the Grave will be the end of their suffering"
  1. IF you are a child of God, YES, it will be the end of thehunger, the end of the sores, the end of the dogs licking the sores

E) For Lazarus, the end of his life on earth meant the beginning of comfort1) BUT - For the rich man, it was the beginning of an eternity of sorrow and pain

The STORY (not parable) teaches us that prior to the death of Christ that Hades was divided into TWO compartments and that between those compartments there was a gulf that was fixed

  1. There was the Hell side w/ it's fire & TORMENT / and then there was this great gulf -
  2. And on the other side was a place known as ABRAHAMS BOSOM also known as PARADISE
  1. Thief on the Cross - TODAY ...... That is what he was referring to

Now those who were believers in God who lived for God & sought to follow His ways - went to Abe's Bosom (Righteous Dead)

  1. Those who didn't went to the Hell side filled w/ torment.
  2. The Reason those who Believed in God couldn't go directly into Heaven was Because the Blood of Christ had not yet been Shed
  1. The Sacrifice had not been made
  1. So Abraham's Bosom or PARADISE - was kind of a Waiting room -
  1. Eph. 4:8,9 We are told that Jesus descended into the Lower parts of the earth & Led Captivity Captive
  1. Now Abraham's Bosom side of Hades Doesn't Exist anymore - Paul said that to be Absent from this body is to be present w/ the Lord

Abe's Bosom does not exist today - closed - but the Hell side of Hades still does Exist

A) That is where those who do not believe go in death - place of torment / where they have the capacity to

B) To SEE..... to SPEAK.... to feel PAIN HURT..... Experience THIRST... to REMEMBER...... And to WORRY

  1. Those who die not knowing the Lord will go to Hades until - the Great White Throne Judgement - Rev. 20:11-15

D) Time when those who are in Hades - will be delivered up - those who's

names are not Written in the Lambs book of Life - will be judged

  1. & cast into the Lack of fire -
  1. Place described by Jesus as a Place of Outer darkness /where there is weeping & Gnashing of TEETH
  1. Place that will still be Hot / tormenting / won't see anyone / only hear

Hear Screams / & weeping & Gnashing of Teeth / HORRIBLE

  1. Contrary to some Unbelievers Opinion - HELL IS NOT GOING TO BE A PARTY !!!!!

v.27-31 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.'

  1. "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.'"

Note there was nothing that this Rich man could do to Change his condition - This story KILLS THE CONCEPT OF PURGATORY

  1. Once you are in there is no way out !!! Can't Pray your way out of Hell / can't light Candles / Or people here can't give etc.
  2. 2nd - You have no way to warn those who you have left behind / although you would sure like to !!!!

ANOTHER NOTE : Abe says they will not be Persuaded though one rise from the Dead !!!

  1. Here is what is interesting is about 2 to 3 weeks later one did Rise from the Dead - his name was Lazarus. / Jn. 11 Brother of Mary &Martha
  2. Not the same guy- but interesting none the less - did the Pharisees Believe?
  1. No we are told in Jn. Ch.12 that they sought for a way as to how they might kill him again.
  1. Another has RISEN from the DEAD - JESUS - and those who are lovers of money & themselves - have been seeking for a way to deny it ever sense