By TIMOTHY L. MELTON, PASTOR
(Transcribed by Myra D. Colgate)
Cherokee Pentecostal Holiness Church
Read Luke 16:19-31; 1 Corinthians 3:11-16
Pastor Melton’s Prayer: “Father, I pray You’d give me the Unction of the Holy Ghost. Father, pour Your Word inside of me that I may pour it out, so all hearers hear. I pray, God, You would cause revelation to break forth out of this pulpit today changing lives and behaviors of those whom You have called and whom You Love. Father, I thank You, there are some are listening to this message causing them to awaken from their slumber by realizing Heaven is real, hell is real, and God is real. Lord, thank You for calling them even as I speak. We thank You for this amazing day You have made. Father, we praise You and Love You, in the Name of Jesus, the Name above every name. Amen.”
As a young boy, I had a friend whose father was extremely wealthy. They had a gate at the front of their property. One would talk to a servant on the inside before they would open the gate. The maid would cook meals and clean the house and in fact, the house was so big you could literally get lost in it. Several times, I was invited to come to my friend’s house who lived on one side of the house and had the entire side of the house to himself. He had computers before we even really knew what they were.
I remember one time; his daddy went out of town, and he just got a ‘wild hair’ and bought a brand-new car out of his allowance. To this day I’ve never seen anybody else able to do as he did. I realized that I didn’t want to live in poverty all the days of my life and wanted, not millions of dollars, but I did want not to have to check my wallet before going out to eat on a Sunday afternoon. I came to the realization that poverty is not the condition of your wallet or of your bank account, but poverty is a mentality and a mindset.
So, as I looked into this historical account, I began to see some things. It’s a mindset, if you will, and I want to share these with you today.
We see this story as one of a rich man and a poor man. We see two distinct people going through life at the same place, but each in a different set of circumstances. I see a rich man who lived in a fine house, a house with a gate. I see a rich man who wore the finest of clothing, even wearing purple, meaning rich indeed. I see a man with plenty of food on his table. So much so, that when there was a poor man, Lazarus, sitting outside hoping some abundance would roll down off his table, cross the floor, out the door and into the sore hand of the poor man.
It’s needful for you to really understand it’s the ‘poor’ man Lazarus, who was sitting at the table and it’s the ‘rich’ man who was settled at the gate. Those who are ‘rich’ in this earth aren’t those who have money in their pocket and money in the bank, but only those who really have the Lord in their heart are ‘rich’.
I also see that there was a short period of time where the circumstances of the one we call ‘poor’ was miserable. He lived with sores over his body, the dogs came and licked him to clean him up, while the ‘rich’ man sat at his table. It was the ‘poor’ man, who in this lifetime, which the Bible calls a “Vapor” which usually means “here today and gone tomorrow.” He said, life is like a blade of grass that comes up in spring and is burned up before the summer is over. He declares, “the life of a man born of woman is short and full of trouble.” I’m here to tell you the same thing, but adding, “eternity is forever. Eternity is forever.”
What I see now is the ‘rich’ man, according to the standards of the world, and the ‘poor’ man, according to the standards of the world. However, now in reversal, when one looks through the eyes of God, through the Spirit of God, I can see a very ‘rich’ man Lazarus now sitting at the table and a very, ‘poor’ man now sitting at the gate.