Ah! Poor soul — it is the rich man who goes to hell!
("A Few Sighs From Hell" or "The Groans of the Damned Soul" by that poor and contemptible servant of Jesus Christ, John Bunyan, 1658. Being an exposition of Luke 16:19-31, concerning the Rich Man and the Beggar, wherein is revealed the lamentable state of the Damned — their cries, and their desires in their distresses, with the determined judgment of God upon them. A good warning word to sinners, both old and young, to seek salvation by faith in Jesus Christ — lest they come into the same place of torment.)
"There was a certain rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a certain beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores!" Luke 16:19-21
If we would judge men according to outward appearances, we shall oftentimes judge amiss. Here is a rich man who, to outward appearances, appears as the blessed man — better by far than the beggar, inasmuch as . . .
he is rich — and the beggar poor;
he is well-clothed — but the beggar is nearly naked;
he feasts sumptuously — but the beggar would be glad for dog's food.
Oh, who would not rather be in the rich man's state!
A wealthy man, with all sorts of new suits and dainty dishes every day, has enough to make one who minds nothing but his belly, his back, and his lusts to say, "Oh, that I were in that man's condition! Oh, that I had as much as that man has! Then I would live indeed; then I would live pleasantly, and would say to my soul: Soul, be of good cheer — you have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy — eat, drink and be merry! You are in a most blessed condition!"
This is the conclusion with those who judge according to outward appearances. But if the whole parable is well considered, you will see that that which is held in high estimation with men — is an abomination in the sight of God.
We see that the saddest condition, according to outward appearances, is oftentimes the most excellent one; for the beggar had ten thousand times the best of it, though, to outward appearances, his state was the saddest.
Those who judge according to outward appearances, for the most part, judge amiss. For here in the parable — a man of wealth, and a child of the devil — may be the same person! A man may have an abundance of outward enjoyments — and yet be carried by the devils into eternal burnings!
This is the trap in which the devil has caught many thousands of poor souls, namely — by getting them to judge according to God's outward blessings. Ask a poor, carnal, covetous wretch, how we would know a man to be in a happy state, and he will answer, "Those whom God blesses and gives an abundance of this world to."
Yet, for the most part, these are the cursed men. Alas! Poor men, they are so ignorant as to think that because a man is increased in outward things — therefore God loves that man with a special love. Ah! Poor soul — it is the rich man who goes to hell! "The rich man died, and in hell (mark it, "in hell") he lifted up his eyes, being in torment!"