LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 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; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And 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. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. ~Luke 16:19-31
SO why did the rich man go to hell? Was it because he was rich? Or was it because he had nice things? No. Then what was his crime? As the scripture says Lazarus was so down and begged for the crumbs off the rich man's table. Did the rich man love his neighbor as the scriptures commands? No he didn't. He never helped Lazarus. Or anyone else. We are to use the blessings given to us to bless others. I imagine Lazarus thanked God for what he did have. And when he was given food, I'm sure he shared with others. The greed of this world is a sad thing.
Let us look at another Parable!
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. ~Luke 10:25-37
This is saying the same thing. So many churches and Christians turn a deaf ear to the poor. We are not required to give money but we're required to help others to have what they need. Giving a homeless person food is required of us.
In the parable of the 'Good Samaritan', Jesus was showing us how people that claim to represent Him actually don't. The first one that passed the man by was a priest. The second was a Levite. How do you treat the homeless?
I found a scripture that says how God ignores the ones who turn a deaf ear to the poor. In Proverbs 21:13 it says, "Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard."
This means that when we ignore the cries of the homeless, God does the same to us. We are to heed to this warning and obey Jesus.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. ~Mark 12:31
Jesus was saying.... Love everyone like you love yourself. If we ignore the homeless, are we representing God like we ought?
Beloved! I pray daily that the church wakes up from its slumber because Jesus is on His way SOON! There is not much time left.