Many are familiar with the story told by Jesus, as recorded in Luke 16, about the rich man and Lazarus.
Many have preached this text, highlighting what it says about hell. It is a powerful message and should be preached in our day. The rich man went to hell and suffered there.
He did not go to hell because he was rich or because he refused to help poor, suffering Lazarus. He went to hell because he was lost. All lost people go to hell and it is the grave responsibility of followers of Christ to warn people about hell. Those of us who preach need to preach about hell lest Chris- tians forget that hell will be the final, eternal destination of those who reject Christ and His free offer of forgiveness of sin.
Recently, I noticed in this text that just as the rich man had Lazarus at his gate, God has also placed people in my path who may need my assistance.
Some need financial help, others need encouragement and some just need a listening ear. Many of those with whom I come in contact need, above all else, the gospel.
The other day after talking to my wife, Connie, over breakfast about this story from Luke 16, and the fact of Lazarus being placed daily at the rich man’s gate, we prayed about those who would be placed in our path that day. I thought nothing more of that prayer and headed off to work at the Baptist building on Eastpoint Centre Drive in Louisville. When I was about to go through the door, I noticed there was a young man sleeping at the back entrance of our building. This is a rare occurrence. In fact, this was the first time in my eight years with KBC that I had seen someone sleeping at the back door of the Baptist building.
Sometimes I am a little slow to figure things out, but it didn’t take much for the Holy Spirit to remind me that I had prayed less than an hour earlier about the “Lazarus at my door” and here was a young man, literally at my door.
By God’s grace I was able to share the good news of Christ with the young man and urge him to give his life to Christ. I also rounded up some snacks to give to him as he seemed to be hungry. He was not ready to surrender to Jesus that day, but there was no doubt that God led him to the Baptist building so he could hear the good news of Christ.
Who is the “Lazarus at your door?” Who has God placed in your path that has a real need for what you have readily available? Would you pray today and ask God to make you sensitive to those He places in your path and then see who God puts in front of you?
The person, or persons, you encounter may need food, clothing, shelter, a friend or a listening ear. They may, above all else, need to hear the good news that God loves them, they have sinned, their sin separates them from God, Jesus paid the price for their sin and if they will repent and believe the gospel, they will be saved.
May the Lord give every Kentucky Baptist eyes to see those around us who need to hear the gospel, and may He also give us the boldness we need to share Jesus with those who are far from Him.
Todd Gray is executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.