There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:…
I. THE CONTRASTS.
1. In their external circumstances.
(1) One rich; the other poor.
(2) One elegantly clothed; the other as a beggar.
(3) One sumptuously fed; the other desiring the rich man's crumbs.
(4) One in health; the other physically wretched.
(5) One socially influential; the other in beggarly isolation.
2. In their spiritual condition.
(1) One exulting in his wealth; the other contented in his poverty.
(2) One satisfied with his earthly possessions; the other seeking treasure in heaven.
(3) One selfish and ungodly; the other a self-sacrificing believer.
3. In their eternal destiny.
(1) One cast into hell; the other carried into heaven.
(2) One tormented; the other comforted.
(3) One associated with demons; the other in companionship with Abraham.
(4) One in unalterable anguish; the other in permanent blessedness.
II. THE LESSONS.
1. As to Providence.
(1) Worldly prosperity no proof of acceptance with God.
(2) Poverty and distress no proof of Divine abandonment.
(3) Worldly isolation compatible with Divine companionship.
2. As to spiritual life.
(1) Ease, luxury, and social elevation do not lead to spiritual-mindedness.
(2) Beggary, physical helplessness, and deprivation of all worldly comforts, not able to wean the believer from God.
(3) The Holy Scriptures God's best guide to spiritual truth.
3. As to the future state.
(1) That man has an immortal nature.
(2) That death does not affect the constituents of this nature in respect either to
(a) Its consciousness;
(3) That death does not affect the moral condition of this nature.
(4) Heaven and hell, respectively appointed for the good and bad.
(5) Heaven and hell, eternally separated by an impassable gulf.
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: