Essay about The Story of Lazarus and the Rich Man

Essay about The Story of Lazarus and the Rich Man

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The story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31 is perhaps the most vivid description of Hell mentioned in the Bible. Many unbelievers today, however, as well as many believers, erroneously believe that this story was merely a parable and not to be taken as a literal story of an actual event that had taken place. There are many theories and opinions as to what the purpose of this story was and what it was supposed to illustrate. This essay will cover a verse by verse analysis of the story in an attempt to determine the message that Jesus was trying to relay. This essay will also determine whether or not this should be considered a story of an actual event or simply another parable used as method of teaching that was common in this time period.
In Luke 16:19, Jesus immediately describes the first person of the story in the following way, “There was a rich man.” The story does not attribute the rich man’s wealth to his ultimate demise and his condemnation to Hades, but it does place emphasis on his extravagant lifestyle and appetite for luxury. The rich man is said to have had a consistent manner of dress, which was to dress in purple and fine linens. Although this may very well describe any rich person, it would make more sense if we presumed, based on verse 14 that the Lord was speaking to the Pharisses of his day, or rather those religious people that thought they could serve both God and mammon and could get to heaven through their own twisted interpretation of the Bible. This specific verse exemplifies many of the rich televangelists of today that own their own private jets, live in mansions and have the same appetite for luxury as the rich man.
In verse 20, the Lord proceeds to describe the second person a...


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...top. His cry for mercy was simply to have his tongue cooled and nothing else. He did not make excuses for being there, and he appeared to have accepted his fate. Perhaps that is why he did not ask permission to cross over into Abraham’s bosom. Perhaps even though he was being scorched by extreme heat, he still did not want to repent of his sins and turn to God and give him Glory (Rev. 16:9).
The rich man’s plan of sending Lazarus to tell his brother about Hades would most likely have back fired on him, as this would have to be a genuine repentance and not one made out of fear of punishment. There would have to be a Godly sorrow to produce a true repentance, as a worldly sorrow would only serve to produce death (2 Cor. 7:10). A true love of God and others would also be required of the brothers, not one born out of fear of punishment alone (1 John 4:18).

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