The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
Concerning people who love wealth and do not help the needy, Jesus Christ told this parable.
“There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple (garments made from expensive red material) and linen (fine white garments), and who feasted sumptuously every day. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, who was covered with sores. He desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom (the place of blessedness of the righteous, Paradise). The rich man also died and was buried. And in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom, and he called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.”
But Abraham said to him, “Son, remember that you in your lifetime received good things, but Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now, he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.”
And then the formerly rich man said to Abraham, “Then, I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”
But Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets (their Holy Scripture); let them hear them.”
And he said, “No, Father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.”
Then, Abraham said to him, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”
In this parable, the Lord clearly indicates that if a rich man wastes his wealth only on his pleasure and does not help the needy, does not think about his soul and its eternal fate, then he will be judged and will not receive blessedness in the future life. At the same time, he, who patiently, humbly, without grumbling endures suffering, will receive eternal, blessed life in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Note: See the Gospel of Luke 16:19-31.(from: The Law of God by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy)