The Bible is full of reversals. People who have labored to get ahead and sacrificed their morality, their integrity and their souls to gain the world find that the world is an empty promise.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. The world only takes. Human beings are truly only dust in the wind in terms of the history of the world. Even the greatest civilizations of the past have been forgotten. Ours too will be forgotten and others rise up in its place (unless the Lord comes first!)
The Kingdom of God is eternal. It will never end and all who invest in it will be richly rewarded!
It is like the extravagent spender--he may look wealthy and happy, but he's living hand to mouth--spending income as he gets it, even going into debt to keep up the lifestyle. When it ends, it ends abruptly and he finds himself destitute.
Others live frugally, appearing to be somewhat poor even as they wisely save for the future. One day their investments mature and they live in wealth until the end of their days.
It's like the fable of the ant and the grasshopper. Here's a link to the fable if you've forgotten it! http://www.civprod.com/storylady/stories/AesopFables.htm
The Kingdom of God works similarly--some choose to reject God and live according to the desires of the flesh. (Billy Joel--"I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.") We can even be jealous of them in the shine of their youth as we watch them having fun, doing what they want. But the harvest they reap from this lifestyle is certainly not to be envied!
Instead, the people who have lived by restraint gain wisdom and become respected and sought after for their teaching. They become the rock, the shelter in the storm sharing the strength of God who has kept them strong all the years.
Certainly salvation may come to both types of people through the grace of God in Christ Jesus--but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord! I'd rather know the full joy of walking in will of God than the empty satisfaction of gorging my stomach!