So often, we think that those who have worldly wealth, possessions, and power are the important people in society. They dominate politics and the news, they are held up as the examples of what “everyone” should aspire to. But we see a very different picture in the Scriptures. Ryle, weighing in on Luke 16:19-23…
“Many would consider the position of the rich man to be ideal. He seems to have had all that his heart could wish. But the truth is that this rich man was desperately poor. When the good things of this life were taken away, he had nothing to take with him for the next life. He had riches on earth, but no treasure in heaven. He had fine clothes, but no covering of righteousness. He had friends on earth, but no Friend and Advocate at God’s right hand. He never tasted the bread of life, and when he left his splendid house he had no home to go to in heaven. His ‘wealth’ was not real wealth, for he was without Christ, without faith, without forgiveness, and without holiness. When he died he went to hell. In truth, he was desperately poor.
On the other hand, Lazarus had literally nothing in this world. It is hard to imagine a case of greater poverty and misery. But in the highest sense, Lazarus was rich. He was a child of God, with an inheritance in heaven. His riches were lasting and true. He had the very best clothing – the righteousness of Christ. He had the best of friends – God himself. As for food, he fed upon the bread of life. And these things he had forever – in his death as well as in his life. Lazarus was not poor, but truly rich.”
(Walking With God, p.82-83)