Key Passage: Matthew 13:11 “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you.”
Big Picture Question: What is heaven? Heaven is the place where God is.
Christ Connection: People who know and trust in Jesus love Him more than anything else. Going to heaven is not about who you know, what kind of clothes you wear, or what you do. People who trust in Jesus, God’s Son, will be with Him forever.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. In Luke 16, Jesus taught His disciples about money. The Pharisees listened, and they did not like what they heard. The Pharisees loved money. (See Luke 16:14.) Then Jesus told them a parable about two men. The first man was rich, wearing expensive clothes and feasting daily. The second man, whose name was Lazarus, was poor and sick. He sat outside the rich man’s gate. Lazarus suffered greatly, and he died. Then the rich man died too.
Nothing the rich man had on earth helped him in eternity. The parable reveals that the rich man went to Hades. Hades is a Greek word that translates to “hell,” the place of the dead. Luke says that the rich man was in torment there. (Luke 16:23) He looked up and saw Abraham, the father of the Jewish faith. At Abraham’s side was the poor man, Lazarus.
Lazarus was comforted in heaven while the rich man suffered in hell. There is a great chasm between heaven and hell, and no one can cross it. No one can change his mind and trust in Jesus after he has died. Lazarus was saved by faith, but the rich man was consumed by his wealth. He devoted his life to living in luxury, and he did not love God or other people. In his suffering, he asked Abraham to warn his brothers.
Abraham refused. Sending Lazarus would not help. The rich man’s brothers had access to God’s Word, and Scripture is clear about salvation. Even a miracle would not convince the brothers, as Jesus raised His friend Lazarus from the dead and the religious leaders still plotted to kill Him. (See John 11:43-53.)
Those who receive salvation from Jesus have changed hearts; they treasure Jesus above any earthly treasure. Getting into heaven has nothing to do with who you know, what you wear, or what you do. Entering into heaven requires faith in Jesus, the Son of God.
Family Activity: Allow kids to retell the Bible story. Talk about the rich man’s love for himself and his money. Challenge kids to list thing they would be willing to give up for Jesus. Prompt them to consider their favorite toys, their allowance, or even friendships. Encourage kids by explaining that these things are good gifts from God but emphasize that Jesus is greater than anything we have on earth.