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Summary: A sermon about the rich man and Lazarus.

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KILLED BY CRUMBS

TEXT: Luke 16:19-22

Luke 16:19-22 KJV There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: [20] And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, [21] And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. [22] And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

I. INTRODUCTION -- PAT’S RESTAURANT

Pat’s Restaurant was a big deal in Niceville, Florida in the mid ‘70’s. There weren’t very many places to eat in Niceville. There was a Diary Queen and an A&W Root-beer stand where I ate my first pizza and wasn’t terribly overwhelmed by it. But when you really wanted to eat big you went to Pat’s. More than one Sunday after church when Brother Dennis would finish preaching it seemed as if the entire church would get into a mad rush to go to Pat’s.

Pat was a short little lady I thought was old but as time passes I realize how young she really was. They had home-cooked meals that seemed to focus on a couple of specialties. First was the fried chicken and secondly there was the roast beef. Add a choice of about four or five vegetables, some cornbread, and the famous banana pudding and you were in for a real treat. I can’t remember the price, but I think all of it was about $3 or so.

But if the top two choices were the fried chicken and roast beef, it was not long before I discovered something that would become a favorite. The left-over fried chicken would be taken and dumped into a large pan of BBQ sauce and would have an overnight wait before being served the next day. The next day, the whole pan would be heated up and you could enjoy some of the finest eating known to man with this BBQ chicken. In time, it become so that this is all that I wanted to get when I went to Pat’s.

Pat became known for her fried and BBQ chicken as time passed but what is really important was that she found a way to make her leftovers profitable for her business. While we probably applaud her for being a frugal business owner, it is very hard to get most people excited about eating leftovers. In fact most restaurants these days toss the leftovers into the garbage or give it away to homeless shelters in their area.

II. LUKE 16

-Locked up in this story in Luke 16 we find two worlds at odds:

• The soul of a sinner and the soul of a saint.

• The path of a sinner and the path of a saint.

• The dilemma of riches and the hope of something higher.

• The commerce of Hell and the investment of Heaven.

• The greatest loss of all—a man’s soul and the greatest gain of all—Heaven.

Mark 8:36 KJV For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

-This is one of the greatest lessons in life.

• What are you going to give your soul for?

• What pushes you?

• What gets you up every morning to face the day?

• What are the final thoughts in your mind before you sleep?

• What are you trading your soul for?

-The greatest discovery in life that a man can make is to understand that his possessions are not the most crucial thing. It is not the possessions that make the man but rather what possesses that man. Every man whether he is willing to admit it or not. . . something possesses him. What has you by the heart?

-It struck me a few days ago that in this passage that Lazarus died from the leftovers. Although they were probably given out of benevolence the fact remains that as sick as Lazarus was the leftovers could not sustain him.

-Then I began to contemplate the fate of the rich man and came to the conclusion that he too died from his own leftovers. He was killed by his own crumbs.

III. SOME THOUGHTS ON CRUMBS

A. Crumbs of Self-Righteousness Can Kill

-Crumbs have a way of killing those who give as well as those who receive them. The terrible thing about crumbs is that it can give us a faulty sense of righteousness. The deadly dilemma of self-righteousness.

-Men feel good about what they are doing for society. Sometimes they can feel good about what they are doing for the Church. Self-righteousness wears a respectable coat and does not have an evil reputation.

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