Proverbs 10:15 reads, “The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.” Practically speaking, if a man has riches he also possesses a certain measure of SECURITY (pictured by the “strong city”). If financial times become bad, he has something to fall back on, which will prevent him from suffering. The opposite is true of the poor, for they will suffer utter ruin when times are bad because of their poverty.

Though what we have just seen is true in THIS LIFE, it does not apply to the NEXT LIFE. The rich man cannot trust in his riches to make him safe and secure for eternity, for wealth will NOT secure heaven for anyone. Proverbs 11:4 states, “Riches profit not in the day of wrath.” In other words, riches will not prevent the wealthy from suffering “eternal destruction” when the Day of Judgment comes. Conversely, a man may be poor in this life and suffer greatly because of it, but his poverty will not bring him eternal ruin in the next life. The truth is, a man may be “dirt poor” in this life and yet if he trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation, he will not suffer eternal ruin but is eternally secure. In John 10:27-28 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.”

To illustrate this truth, we will close by quoting the words of our Lord Jesus from Luke 16:19-25 where we see a rich man (who never trusted in Christ) and a poor man (who obviously put his faith in Christ for salvation). This passage reads as follows: “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine line, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony’.” (NASB)  (221.7)  (DO)