of God that in the prophets is revealed in the Gospel and make their god the glory of this world,the joys of this life, their comfort and salvation. The rich man
gloriously and in pleasure.
Eating, drinking, stuffing himself with food, drunkenness, dressing fashionably, vanity, thetemporal pleasures of sin was his whole life. God, His Word, God's solemnity, God's goodness,had no place in this life. Such worldly people and Bon Vivants are idolaters, no better than ablasphemer, sorcerer, and perjurer.b. These despisers also deny all neighborly and brotherly love that God requiresin the Law and to which the attested, gratuitous love of God in the Gospel attracts and enticesus. The rich man closed his heart against poor Lazarus, whom he met daily at the threshold of his door.
How seriously and urgently Moses and the prophets had impressed upon theIsraelites mercy especially to strangers, the poor, the miserable, this he knew well, but paid noattention to it. The respectable, miserly Pharisees smother in themselves all human feeling.Their ruthlessness is equally appalling as the bloody deeds of murderers and robbers.c. Even those who willingly despise the Word feel the sting of the Word in theirhearts. They are condemned by Moses and the prophets. This evil conscience drives them toseduce others to be fellow sinners. The rich man had many brothers, relatives, and friends thatled him to the grave, that were involved in his life of luxury and condemnation.
d. But because these proud, miserly Pharisees continually kicked against thepricks, dulling the conscience and despising the Word usually after persistence to the end, theycut themselves off of all possibility and means to come to repentance and faith. They persistand harden themselves in service to sin, in this spiritual doom. By nothing could the fivebrothers, by no resurrection of the dead, through no more miracles, be advised and helped,because the only means of salvation are taught by Moses and the prophets.
The rich manfared sumptuously
, until his dying day, with joy and forfeited any time of grace.
Everlasting doom emerges from this spiritual corruption.2.Whoever despised the Word, harvested everlasting destruction after this life. PoorLazarus, who died in the faith and in reliance on God's Word, commitment, and grace, nowrejoiced in eternal life, in fellowship with God, angels, and saints.
But the rich man had to, andall who have despised the Word to the last, must forever live in want and suffer in hell. OurGospel makes present and illustrates to us the dreadful torments of hell, in order to warn andscare us. It paints before our eyes the following characteristics of
Luke 16:27-28; Luke 16:22.
Luke 16:22, 25.