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Rich but Poor

“Rich and yet poor”

I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty. —Revelation 2:9

Read Revelation 2:8-11

Just look at him. He is irreligious; he does not attend church; he wants nothing to do with the Bible. Yet, if there is one person the world calls blessed it is this man. He owns a beautiful home, wears expensive clothing, drives a luxury car, and goes on expensive vacations.

Asaph said similar things in Psalm 73. The ungodly seem to prosper while those who confess God’s name seem to experience one adversity after another. Asaph continued to complain until he entered the sanctuary of God and saw their end. The final end of all the ungodly was, and still is, eternal punishment in hell. They cannot take any of their earthly riches with them. They will stand face to face with God, with whom they had not reckoned. They were deceived by their possessions, their fame, and their strength. But now the time comes to die.

Concerning Polycarp’s congregation at Smyrna we hear quite a different thing; they were oppressed and poor. This is unattractive; who would want to be poor and oppressed? We do not even want to think of being brought into such circumstances. If that’s what religion gives you, then forget it.

But listen to what the Lord Jesus said: But thou art rich (v.9). How is this possible? That is contradictory is it not? No. The Lord Jesus looks beyond this life, just as Asaph did, and then the great contrast becomes apparent; the ungodly are eternally poor while those that fear God are made eternally rich. These are the riches which the Lord directs us to in His Word.

What troubled Asaph? Can you relate to his questions?


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