Summary: An inductive use of narrative contrasting the two men and their eternal homes in Luke 16:19-31.

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Text: Luke 16:19 -- 31

Title: The Tale of Two Men

Series: Lent 2001

Topic: Salvation/Evangelism

Theme: Receiving Salvation

Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness calling God’s people in my care to receive the salvation only God can give.

Response: Individuals will come to the altar rail to pray and to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Pattern: An inductive use of narrative contrasting the two men and their eternal homes.

In a few minutes I’m going to ask you to respond to this Tale of Two Men. I want you to decide which one you want to be like. I will invite you to come here to the altar rail to pray and to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Why? I’m glad you asked. Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8). I wan to give you an opportunity to publicly acknowledge Jesus. If you decide to receive Him today please step out when I invite you to the altar rail to pray.

A. Two Men

 One unnamed; a rich man

 One named; Lazarus (means “God is my help”); A poor man

B. Two Lifestyles

 A luxurious home behind a security wall and gate; Wore the finest clothes (some worth 6 times their weight in gold); feasted on the best gourmet foods; wiped his fingers on bread; appears to have lived only for himself and his desires

 A homeless man; begged for food; happy to eat the crumbs swept up from under the rich man’s table, paralyzed and covered with skin sores; dogs licked his sores

C. Two Deaths – both men died

 Buried with a big funeral and dinner

 Probably not buried but thrown on the fires of the city dump; BUT THE ANGELS CAME FOR HIM!

D. Two Outcomes

 The rich man was tormented by fire; away from God

 Lazarus was comforted (same name as the Holy Spirit) at Abraham’s side; with God

E. One Prayer – “Help!”

 Send Lazarus to cool my tongue (still selfish); then he worries about his family

F. One Answer – “No”

 No way to get to you

 Your family won’t listen

G. One Way to Heaven

 Accept the truth of God’s Word; don’t wait for a miracle to convince you


If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 1:8 – 2:2 NIV


1. When and where we live is not the issue.

2. When, where, and how we die is not important.

3. How we live in respect to God’s Word is all that matters. Sincerity and being as good as most isn’t good enough. How we live now will determine how close to God we are when we die.

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