Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Pentecost 19(C) - Do you know if you are rich or poor? Look at the poor, rich man. Be like the rich, poor man.


October 11, 2009 --


Luke 16:19-30

INTRO: Are you rich or poor? It all depends doesn’t it? The world looks at wealth and prosperity very, very differently from God’s view. The world wants to have lots of things to enjoy on this earth. The Lord wants us to have everything to enjoy in heaven. The riches of this world perish. Heavenly riches endure forever. The writer in Proverbs presents us with an interesting prayer. "Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, `Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God" (PROVERBS 30:8,9). Believers recognize God’s gifts as daily bread. Too much and one might forget God. Too little and one might be tempted to steal. We can be thankful the Lord provides always and daily.


I. Look at the poor, rich man.

II. Be like the rich, poor man.


A. Verse 19. Purple was a sign of royalty. Fine linen was the most expensive cloth.

1. The rich man lived in luxury every day. He enjoyed the finest things as a normal way of life.

2. The rich man had his heaven on earth. Everything on earth comes to an end, verse 22b.

B. Verse 23. The rich man’s death was not the end. He ended up in hell, apart from God and heaven.

1. The rich man was suffering in torment. Hell is a real place. Hell is a real place of suffering.

2. Verse 24. The rich man sought only a drop of water from the tip of a finger. Such torment.

C. Verses 27,28. The rich man pleads for help for his five brothers still living.

1. Verse 29. The word of God is what will save them. The power of God’s word changes hearts.

2. The rich man insists, verse 30. Verse 31. A ghost will not / cannot change their minds.

D. Much like the rich man all too many today seek out miracles, visions, and dreams as proof that God is God. It is still and always will be the powerful, living word of God alone that changes hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. It is only the word of God that is living and active. It is only the word of God that is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes. "The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands" (PSALM 119:72,73). The believer is rich whenever the word of God is the center of his/her life. Believers are rich in knowing the answers to life’s troubling questions. Many ask, continually wondering: Where do we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? God’s word makes these hard questions simple. God created us to love and serve here and finally, eternally in heaven.

E. In this world we are not exempt from the temptations and sins of this earthly life. We do not always make God’s word the center of our lives. Believers are constantly attacked by the philosophy and teach-ings of this selfish, sinful world. The worldly message is that money is power. Wealth and success and prosperity have become the gods of this age. "The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful" (MARK 4:19). At times we have choked out God’s word in our lives in the pursuit of the good life in this world. Who among us has not worried about having enough or not enough money? “Seek first God’s kingdom and …”

F. Born with a sinful nature mankind naturally wants to look out only for himself. By nature, mankind pursues everything that is pleasing to his sinful desires with very little thought for others. The American dream is to have one’s own heaven here on earth. Yet, the riches of this world offer not one eternal answer that the soul of man deeply desires and truly needs. "People who want to get rich fall into tempta-tion and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction" (1 TIMOTHY 6:9). There is nothing at all wrong with wealth, prosperity, or money. It is the sinful desire to get rich that “plunge men into ruin and destruction”. Please check out 1 TIMOTHY, chapter 6.

ARE YOU RICH OR POOR? Man thinks believers are poor.

Faith makes believers rich toward God!

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