The Story Of The Rich Man In Heaven
There is the story of a rich man who died and went to heaven. He was met at the entrance of the City’s gates by his guide.
Welcome to heaven the guide greeted the rich man
Thank you the rich man replied.
I am your guide and I will show you where you will be living.
The rich man got excited. Surely he was going to be living in the best of mansions on the biggest of properties. After all he was a very wealthy and powerful man on earth. Heaven would be no different he mused.
They passed by a castle that was by far greater and more glorious than any he had seen on earth,
Who lives here the rich man asked. Surely he must have been rich and famous on earth.
No, this woman took care of the elderly most of her adult life and was very poor as far as earthly standards go said the guide.
As they weaved their way through the sub divisions of mansions and houses that were fit for kings the guide gave a short run down on each owner. None of who the rich man knew or expected to be living in such luxury.
If these unheralded nobodies could find themselves living under such beautiful of circumstances then what would be in store for me, he thought.
They soon entered into a very poor looking area with rundown and even incomplete houses. Some without roofs, unfinished walls, missing windows and doors.
The rich man was taken back. Why are you taking me through these poor areas the rich man demanded.
None of these are yours said the guide.
I would think not the rich man replied
What seemed like an eternity walking past some of the most horrible housing projects he had ever seen or experienced the guide stopped in front of piece of land.
Here we are the guide said with a smile. This is your new dwelling.
The rich man was speechless.
Standing in front of a house that was without roof, missing windows and no door with a porch that appeared to missing floor boards the rich man turned to the guide.
This can not be my house the rich man screamed. There must be some mistake. I was a very wealthy and powerful man, I had companies that employed thousands of people, I went to church every week, I gave ten percent of my income regularly. I said my prayers in church, I was a good man and a good christian.
There is no mistake. This is all the materials you sent for us to use to build your house. the guide said calmly.
I don’t understand said the rich man.
The guide took a deep breath before he continued.
As much as God appreciated how much good you did, how you kept the commandments and the law, how you presented yourself to the world you may have missed an important virtue. And I say this with all due respect, as your unfinished, run down shack speaks for itself.
You failed to do the most important thing that would have given you enough materials to build the mansion you feel you so rightly deserve.
And what is that the rich man asked with folded arms.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” With every act of kindness and love toward another human being no matter how big or small would ensure all the necessary materials needed to build your mansion. But you failed to do this.
The rich man looked into the eyes of his guide. In an instant he understood that his whole life of building wealth on earth meant nothing in Heaven.
Let us learn from the rich man what is most important in God’s eyes. To love Him with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind add loving your neighbor (those you come into contact with each day) as your self and you have a recipe for success.
Here and in Heaven.