Summary: Death ends all opportunities to serve the Lord. Now is the time to use all what God has placed in your hand to serve Him and build yourself a mansion above. Now is the time to put your treasure where it will last.
"Son, remember, that thou in your life time, receiveth thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented,” meaning that although God does not want any believer to die as a pauper, if you have to die penniless to make heaven, it would be worth it, since eternity is more than money and no matter how long you spend here, there is a place of peace, blessings and glory in eternity for you. No matter how much money you make here on earth, if you lose eternity, the memory of the money will torment you the more in hell fire. Further down, from verses 26-30, the rich man in hell made some requests which were not granted.
There are many lessons we can learn from this story:
1. Praying when it is too late: The rich man prayed late like the foolish virgins. At this juncture, I would like you to take this prayer point: "I will not pray when it is too late, in the name of Jesus."
2. Use your money and opportunities to serve the Lord while you are still alive: Riches are not for self-indulgence. They are not supposed to make you proud or arrogant. They are to enable you serve the Lord, help your neighbours and build a fine mansion for yourself in heaven. A lot of people are putting their money in the desert where it cannot yield any fruit. When you drop your tithe in a church where the pastor has seven wives and expect to be blessed, you will gain nothing. If you expect that God would have mercy on you because you bought a car for a pastor who is trying to commit immorality with you, you have sowed into the desert.
3. Giving to the needy: We must learn to have mercy on the poor, especially the poor amongst us Christians. You will be wasting your time if you use the wealth God has given to you help a person who does not recognize Jesus Christ as Lord. Psalm 41:1-3 says, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive: and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou will not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou will make all his bed in his sickness.”
In some churches, when it is time to take the offering for the needy, people look for the dirtiest notes, their most wretched clothes and things they do not value anymore to give. This is very wrong. We must have pity on the poor. When you see someone who is always wearing the same shirt to church and you have 50, you should give out some to such a person.
4. Rejecting and being indifferent top the things of God: This is dangerous. The rich man in our story must have heard the gospel a number of times before he died, but he wouldn’t listen just as many rich people today who think that the churches are meant for only those who are poor. Anyone who is not ready to accept and heed the word of God as it comes to him or her will be lost. Abraham said they had the laws and the prophets, let them hear them.