The Rich Man and the Beggar

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Not everybody could afford to buy a purple suit, but this rich man wore purple, because everybody knew that it was the most expensive color you could buy. And his meals were extra good too, not just for a treat now and then, but every day. And even though he spent lots of money on clothes and food, he still had lots of money left for whatever he wanted. He was a very rich man.
His house had a gate, perhaps because he wanted to be sure that thieves didn’t get in. Outside his gate were stray dogs running loose on the street. And there was one more thing outside his gate; you’ll never guess what it was. It was a beggar.
The beggar’s name was Lazarus, and he lay there often. The dogs came and licked his sores. He probably was very thin, and when dinnertime came, all he could do was wish for something — anything — to eat.
Lazarus died, and the angels carried him up to Abraham’s arms in heaven. He was no stranger there, because he knew all about Abraham. Do you know about him? Abraham was an old man when God promised that he and Sarah would have a son, and Sarah was very old too. But Abraham believed God.
Do you believe God? Do you know that He has a promise for you if you will believe Him? He has promised forgiveness for your sins through the precious blood of Christ. Even though you have never seen Jesus, will you just simply believe this because God says so? Abraham did. And the beggar felt at home in the arms of Abraham because he believed God too.
The rich man also died and was buried, probably with an expensive funeral. But after he died, he wasn’t rich anymore; all his riches were left behind. He went into eternity with nothing.
The Bible tells us that the rich man was very unhappy where he was; in fact, he was in torment. God allowed him to see the beggar Lazarus in heaven in Abraham’s arms, and oh, how the rich man begged for a drop of water, just one drop! He cried, Father Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus to bring me a drop of water to cool my tongue. I am tormented in this flame!
But Abraham said, No. You had good things in your lifetime and he only had troubles. Now he is comforted and you are tormented.
You see, both men had gone beyond this life, and now there was a great separation between them — one was in heaven and one was in hell — and by the law of God, this separation would be forever. Nobody — nobody — can ever cross over. No boats or planes or anything else can cross that separation.
But you are alive, and that separation is not yet settled for you. Jesus is willing to save you today, and after that He will give you the power to live for Him.
After his death, the rich man pleaded that his five brothers should be told about the awfulness of the torment of hell, but it was too late. If they don’t believe God’s Word now, they won’t believe even if someone comes back from the dead to tell them.
Did someone rise from the dead? YES! Jesus rose, and it is Jesus Himself who invites you to trust Him now. He never told a lie. His home in heaven is ready for all sinners who believe, and the door is still open!
That great, endless separation between believers and unbelievers is as real as Jesus said it is, and there is no changing it after death. Will you make your decision right now?
“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:2323For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)).
Think About God’s Word!
1. Where did Lazarus go after he died?
2. Was Lazarus accepted into heaven just because he was poor?
Project: What does this story tell us that hell is like? What other details does Scripture give us about hell?