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Stories Jesus Told

Rich and Poor

God's law said not to have desire for another person's property. Jesus gave teaching to do what this law said. Some people who heard Jesus said unkind things. They had desire for other people's property. They did not have desire to change. Jesus gave this story to give understanding about being selfish.

There were two men. One was rich. The other was poor. The rich man had very good food. He had many nice things. He did not care about God. He did not care about Heaven. He only had thoughts about himself and this life.

The poor man did not have enough food. He did not have money for the things he had need of. He had to be by the road. He had to say, “Please give me money,” to people. He also had broken skin. No one gave him medicine. The dogs put their tongues in the holes in his skin. He was not healthy.

One day the poor man came to death. Angels came. They took him to the home God made for him. A great man who had been dead many years was there too. His name was Abraham. Abraham was happy to see him. The poor man was happy now. He was not ill any more. He did not have holes in his skin. He had everything he needed. He had been faithful to God on earth. Now God was helping him after death.

The rich man also came to death. He did not have faith in God. He went to Hell. Hell was full of fire. The rich man was no longer rich. He was feeling much pain. He looked to God's home. He saw the poor man being cared for by Abraham. He said to Abraham, “Please send the poor man to give me only a little drop of water. I am without comfort in this flame.”

Abraham said, “I am sorry. I am not able to send him. You had desire for good things. You had good things. You did not have desire for God. The poor man had love for God even when he did not have good things. It is your turn to have trouble. We are not able to help you anyway. There is a great hole between you and us. We are not able to come to each other.”

The rich man was sad. He said, “I have five brothers still living. Please send the poor man to them. Say for them not to make a choice for things in place of God. Say for them not to come where I am.”

Abraham said, “They have God's book. They have knowledge about God.”

No,” said the rich man. “They do not hear God's book. They need someone to come back from the dead.”

Abraham said, “They do not care about God's book. They will not hear someone who comes back from the dead.”

Jesus did not say poor people go to God's home and rich people go to Hell. He said not to love things so much that we do not give our selves to God. The people Jesus said this story to did not have respect for it. They said for the government to put him to death. They did not have belief when Jesus came back from being dead. They cared too much about the things of this life. The story of the rich man and the poor man came true for them.

Click here to learn about how to go to God's home when you die: Jesus and You

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