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Discovery Magazine 9/1/1992

Riches, Rags, and Regrets

In the book of Luke we read of a story Jesus told about two men (read Luke 16:19-31). One man was very rich, while the other was a poor beggar. Jesus never tells us the rich man's name, but the beggar's name was Lazarus.

The rich man was very wealthy, and he ate wonderful meals. But Lazarus was poor, and very sick. His body was even covered with terrible sores. Lazarus' condition was so bad that the dogs came by and licked the sores on his body. He laid at the gate of the rich man's house in the hope that he might be given some scraps of food from the rich man's meals.

Both men died. Lazarus went to a nice place which Jesus called "Abraham's bosom." The rich man, however, died and went to an awful place of terrible punishment. When the rich man saw where he was, he knew why. During his life he had been greedy. He could have helped people like Lazarus, but he had not done so. He could have shared his wealth, and used it to do good things, but instead he had been stingy. Now he was sorry.

He wanted someone to go back to Earth to tell his brothers about what happened to him; he knew they needed to change the way they lived. He did not want them to come to the place of punishment. But that was not possible. He had his chance to do the right things while he lived. Now it was too late.

Jesus told this story to help us see how important it is to act right, and to do good things. A man may go from "rags to riches," but if he does not use those riches correctly, he will have many regrets when he dies. Let's use what God has given us to help people so that when we die, we can be with Him in heaven forever.



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