PDA

View Full Version : Opinions? Are riches wrong for a Christian?



BruceG
Mar 2nd 2010, 03:06 PM
Are riches wrong? Is it sinful to has a nice car, a house on a hill, travels to exotic places and closets full of clothes? Not necessary. One can indeed abound and yet not hold onto any of it, willing at a moments notice to say to God "Yes, Lord" if He tells to to sell all to follow Him. Zaccheus did it. Jospeh of Arimathea did it. But how rare it is that this can be done! How ignorant we have become in the body of Christ as to the dangers lucking in the way we live in relationship to riches and worldly possessions. How blind we have become to the truth that Jesus shared when He said "How hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven."

If only we could see that the danger in riches is not the riches themselves, but the trusting in them. Why should we seek the comfort that only God can offer us, the indwelling Spirit, if we seek with all our hearts after the creature comforts this life has to offer? How can we believe the amazing promises of God if our hearts are not willing to sell all to get the pearl of great price? This is why we are warned again and again about the deceitfulness of riches. It divides our heart and makes true faith towards God impossible.

Do not console yourself if you do not consider yourself rich. To many in the world, you arerich beyond belief. Perhaps in your mind, not so. It makes no difference. It is where your heart is towards them that is the great revealer of where your heart lies. You may be surviving on $9.00 per hour, and still find covetousness and avarice rules your thoughts. As Paul clearly says, it is also to them that would be rich, not just those that are.

"But they that would be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition."
1 Timothy 6:9

It brings to mind Esau, who traded his birthright for a mess of pottage, demanding immediate gratification rather than the patience and wisdom to wait for true riches. Thank God there is also a Moses, who gave up the riches and power he had in Egypt and counted his service to God of more value. Thank God there is a Paul, who willingly threw off the esteem of man as "the pharisee of the pharisees", and set his affections solely upon Christ and the fellowship of His sufferings.

How did Paul put it? He said that the riches of man, the praise of others, are but dung, and not worthy to even be compared to the glory that Christ shall reveal IN US! Where is our treasure? Is it here? Then we best get to enjoying it for this is all we get. Or are we wise amongst fools, knowing that the treasure we seek is a heavenly one. Yet how wonderful our Lord is to give us the downpayment, the earnest of our inheritance here on earth....Christ in us, and the victory of walking free indeed in Him.

If only we could understand that Heaven is but the beginning of the unfolding of the goodness of God. Do you fear you will be bored in Heaven? Don't count on it. Listen!:

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has even entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for them that love Him."
1 Corinthians 2:9

Do you see this? Let your imagination soar! Walk to the far extremes of your imagination as to how God might award us for being overcomers. It is not even close. There are ages to come...ages! Now revelations of His wonderful love for us. Shall we live as brute beasts as Esau did, and tell God "No thanks, I'll take my reward now, if you please." Shall be be like Ananias and Saphira who tried the best they could to have one foot in this world and another in the kingsom of God?

The valley of decision is now coming into view for many who have tried to experience the glorious liberty of the children of God with their feet firmlyplanted in this life. God has up till now been patient with our procrastination. But soon, tonot make a decision that we will follow our Lord no matter what the cost, is to have already made it. Thank God it is still not too late to repent and throw ourselfves upon the mercy of God to save us from the deception the enemy has thrown in our paths.

But you might argue..."Hey! If I got a lot of money, I would use it for His kingdom...for helping the poor...to relieve the struggles of brothers in the church." Perhaps, but do not be too sure of that. Have you been faithful to do this with littlet thus far in your walk? If not, then neither will you if you win the lottery or get the huge promotion.

Jesus asks each of us, "Lovest thou me more than these?" These things? These praises of men? These worldly pleasures? Do you really love me with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength? He is not talking about our church doctrine, or a memorized law. This is a real question and the Lord will one day get a real answer. For many, I fear, the answer will lead to weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, for then there will be no second chances. The time of repentance has passed away into oblivion.

All that can be shaken, will be shaken. No one will end up sitting on the fence. We cannot serve both God and mammon. CANNOT.

Understand, it is not the things themselves that are the issue. You can give it all away, and still be empty. Make God your treasure. Seek Him like you are digging for gold. He is not far off, and has promised thst we will seek Him and we will find Him, when we seek Him with our WHOLE hearts.

If you have an opinion, either agreeing or disagreeing, I welcome it here. I think it is high time we discuss this big elephant in the room that few want to admit is there.

Bruce

-SEEKING-
Mar 2nd 2010, 03:19 PM
Are riches wrong for a Christian?

The short and simple answer is no. They are not wrong. It's what we do with them that show us where our heart is.

Vhayes
Mar 2nd 2010, 03:26 PM
If it all belongs to God, how can a person or an individual be "rich" in material things? As Seeking said, it's about the heart.

thedee
Mar 2nd 2010, 05:41 PM
It is not money that is evil but the love of money
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." - 1 Timothy 6:10

theBelovedDisciple
Mar 2nd 2010, 05:48 PM
And 'knowing' the Source of them... May one never forget that...

He owns all the cattle and the gold.... and He will distribute to His Children according to His Will for their life...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Listen to the Psalmist.....

Trust not in oppresion, become not vain in robbery, if riches increase set not your heart upon them

God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power [belongeth] unto God.

Also unto thee, O Lord, [belongeth] mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

having things is not evil, money is not evil,..... its the 'love' of them that drowns men in destruction and perdition..

there are some out there that will accuse and slander those who are Genuinely Born AGain from above.. God has blessed them with Prosperity and 'things' to enjoy.. these judge by the flesh and accuse falsely .. the 'blessing God has bestowed on these Christians.....God 'knows' their Heart and He realizes that they 'knew' the Source of their Goodness and Prosperity... and are thankful for His Blessings.. but there are certain who will falsely accuse and condemn those who God has Genuinely Blessed... Look at Job at the End of his trial... but He 'knew' the source of it all.. and kept that in his heart... for he was a patient man..

God blessed Him more in the end than in the beginning... look at Abraham..

also to put God into some kind of financial formula or vending machine concept formula.. is so very dangerous.. and this type of teaching is the foundation for covetousness and wrong teaching..

You came into this world with nothing.. and you will depart with nothing... but thats not to say..

God will not bless you with prosperity and things that you enjoy.. within His Will...for your life..

When He saved me in 1994... it was the Revelation of His unmerited Goodness that led me to repentance.. the blessings He had bestowed on me even thought I did not deserve it.. this very good health, and prosperity.. I did not deserve that.. but He did it out of His Grace.. and it was the Revelation of that that brought me to my knees in 1994... Now that I 'know' Him.. He still blesses me today.. and I 'know' the Source of the Goodness in my life.. its nothing I've done to deserve it.. but its Because of the Abundance of His Mercy and Grace.. these which are unmeasurable...

the Bible declares ' He delights in me'... wow.. and not only me.. those He loves...

amen and amen...

goykodesh
Mar 2nd 2010, 05:55 PM
We are called to worship the One God only. If one can have 'riches' and avoid putting 'riches' first in their life, then the wealth does not have power over them. If someone is 'weathly' in monetary terms, they must be willing to give it all up instantly and without question. Usually what possesions we hold dear in our life, God will allow a circumstance to occur to reveal to us the true extent of our faith.

Butch5
Mar 2nd 2010, 05:59 PM
Are riches wrong? Is it sinful to has a nice car, a house on a hill, travels to exotic places and closets full of clothes? Not necessary. One can indeed abound and yet not hold onto any of it, willing at a moments notice to say to God "Yes, Lord" if He tells to to sell all to follow Him. Zaccheus did it. Jospeh of Arimathea did it. But how rare it is that this can be done! How ignorant we have become in the body of Christ as to the dangers lucking in the way we live in relationship to riches and worldly possessions. How blind we have become to the truth that Jesus shared when He said "How hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven."

If only we could see that the danger in riches is not the riches themselves, but the trusting in them. Why should we seek the comfort that only God can offer us, the indwelling Spirit, if we seek with all our hearts after the creature comforts this life has to offer? How can we believe the amazing promises of God if our hearts are not willing to sell all to get the pearl of great price? This is why we are warned again and again about the deceitfulness of riches. It divides our heart and makes true faith towards God impossible.

Do not console yourself if you do not consider yourself rich. To many in the world, you arerich beyond belief. Perhaps in your mind, not so. It makes no difference. It is where your heart is towards them that is the great revealer of where your heart lies. You may be surviving on $9.00 per hour, and still find covetousness and avarice rules your thoughts. As Paul clearly says, it is also to them that would be rich, not just those that are.

"But they that would be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition."
1 Timothy 6:9

It brings to mind Esau, who traded his birthright for a mess of pottage, demanding immediate gratification rather than the patience and wisdom to wait for true riches. Thank God there is also a Moses, who gave up the riches and power he had in Egypt and counted his service to God of more value. Thank God there is a Paul, who willingly threw off the esteem of man as "the pharisee of the pharisees", and set his affections solely upon Christ and the fellowship of His sufferings.

How did Paul put it? He said that the riches of man, the praise of others, are but dung, and not worthy to even be compared to the glory that Christ shall reveal IN US! Where is our treasure? Is it here? Then we best get to enjoying it for this is all we get. Or are we wise amongst fools, knowing that the treasure we seek is a heavenly one. Yet how wonderful our Lord is to give us the downpayment, the earnest of our inheritance here on earth....Christ in us, and the victory of walking free indeed in Him.

If only we could understand that Heaven is but the beginning of the unfolding of the goodness of God. Do you fear you will be bored in Heaven? Don't count on it. Listen!:

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has even entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for them that love Him."
1 Corinthians 2:9

Do you see this? Let your imagination soar! Walk to the far extremes of your imagination as to how God might award us for being overcomers. It is not even close. There are ages to come...ages! Now revelations of His wonderful love for us. Shall we live as brute beasts as Esau did, and tell God "No thanks, I'll take my reward now, if you please." Shall be be like Ananias and Saphira who tried the best they could to have one foot in this world and another in the kingsom of God?

The valley of decision is now coming into view for many who have tried to experience the glorious liberty of the children of God with their feet firmlyplanted in this life. God has up till now been patient with our procrastination. But soon, tonot make a decision that we will follow our Lord no matter what the cost, is to have already made it. Thank God it is still not too late to repent and throw ourselfves upon the mercy of God to save us from the deception the enemy has thrown in our paths.

But you might argue..."Hey! If I got a lot of money, I would use it for His kingdom...for helping the poor...to relieve the struggles of brothers in the church." Perhaps, but do not be too sure of that. Have you been faithful to do this with littlet thus far in your walk? If not, then neither will you if you win the lottery or get the huge promotion.

Jesus asks each of us, "Lovest thou me more than these?" These things? These praises of men? These worldly pleasures? Do you really love me with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength? He is not talking about our church doctrine, or a memorized law. This is a real question and the Lord will one day get a real answer. For many, I fear, the answer will lead to weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, for then there will be no second chances. The time of repentance has passed away into oblivion.

All that can be shaken, will be shaken. No one will end up sitting on the fence. We cannot serve both God and mammon. CANNOT.

Understand, it is not the things themselves that are the issue. You can give it all away, and still be empty. Make God your treasure. Seek Him like you are digging for gold. He is not far off, and has promised thst we will seek Him and we will find Him, when we seek Him with our WHOLE hearts.

If you have an opinion, either agreeing or disagreeing, I welcome it here. I think it is high time we discuss this big elephant in the room that few want to admit is there.

Bruce

Here's the real danger. Who defines rich? I think most of us on this board would say we are not rich, yet the poorest of Americans are rich in cmparison to the rest of the world. Jeuss said,

Matthew 19:23-24 ( NKJV )
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The other question you asked is, is it wrong to have a big house and closets full of clothes etc.? Well, let me ask this, if we are doing the work that Christ commanded, feeding the poor, giving to the needy etc. not out of our abundance but out of our need, would we have those things at all?

Amos_with_goats
Mar 2nd 2010, 07:02 PM
Yes, as has been eluded to. The error that is so common is to see the riches as something other then what they are.

Writing to the persecuted Church at Smyrna;

Rev 2:8-9

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich)

Our error is failing to see that we are rich already beyond our understanding.... because we buy into the lies the world tells us about what riches are.

theBelovedDisciple
Mar 2nd 2010, 07:43 PM
We are called to worship the One God only. If one can have 'riches' and avoid putting 'riches' first in their life, then the wealth does not have power over them. If someone is 'weathly' in monetary terms, they must be willing to give it all up instantly and without question. Usually what possesions we hold dear in our life, God will allow a circumstance to occur to reveal to us the true extent of our faith.


Good post...

and after He saved me in 1994.. I was well off, very good job, had everything... but this did not measure up to what the Riches of the Kingdom are about.. Godly Wisdom, Humility, 'knowing' your Redeemer, being Crucified with Him on a daily basis... there is no monetary value that you can place on them.. money and material things dont measure up to the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. You know what I did? I left it all.. all behind... big salary, the whole works.. and I walked in Faith..sold this sold that... to the point to where I had basically nothing but the clothes on my back and did not know where my next meal was coming from.. left it all for the Kingdom... many thought I was crazy and stupid and dumb, others thought I was insane... one group even tried casting out evil spirits out of me.. because I didn't measure up to their 'standard' of what a Chrisitan should look like.......... but that didn't bother me... I left it all.. for the Kingdom...

today I have twice as many Friends, mothers, brothers, sisters, than prior to Him Saving Me.. and He has blessed me abundantly according to His Will for my life...

His Words are True..
---------------------------------------

But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men impossible,[I] but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,

But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last first.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I certainly am not wealthy according to the 'worlds standard'... He has blessed me and those things I recieve today .. I know that I recieve them 'freely'.. because of the witness of the HOly Ghost... they are distributed to me because of the Abundance of His Mercy and Grace.. towards me.. I've done nothing to earn them or did not 'work for them.. but they Flow thru Him... and its because of What He's done .. on that bloody Tree.. that I recieve anything from Him...

BruceG
Mar 2nd 2010, 07:57 PM
The short and simple answer is no. They are not wrong. It's what we do with them that show us where our heart is.
Ok, next question. Do you think how the vast majority of Amercian Christians are doing with God's provision as He would have us to do? Bear in mind now...it is never our money. We are stewards only and our stewardship will one day be called into account. As a matter of fact, not only is the money all Hos, so are we, aren't we? We have been bought with a price and are to use this life to glorify God on the earth to a lost and dying generation.

Something to ponder on before you answer.

God bless you Seeker.

Bruce

BruceG
Mar 2nd 2010, 07:58 PM
Here's the real danger. Who defines rich? I think most of us on this board would say we are not rich, yet the poorest of Americans are rich in cmparison to the rest of the world. Jeuss said,

Matthew 19:23-24 ( NKJV )
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The other question you asked is, is it wrong to have a big house and closets full of clothes etc.? Well, let me ask this, if we are doing the work that Christ commanded, feeding the poor, giving to the needy etc. not out of our abundance but out of our need, would we have those things at all?
Excellent points Butch.

markedward
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:16 PM
Having riches is not sinful.
Hoarding them is sinful.
Keeping them for your own satisfaction is sinful.

I don't believe in secular socialism, where the government forcibly takes away your wealth to give it to the needy. That's just a masquerade for stealing.

But I do believe in a voluntary socialism, where, when a person believes in Christ, they will necessarily forsake their riches to compel social justice (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, aiding the poor, healing the sick). There are some high-profile Christians who makes millions of dollars every year and they "reverse tithe" (they give 90% of their income to social justice efforts). I can find no fault in that, when they give away the majority of their money and still remain "upper class". But if someone has money to spare, by principle of following Christ and loving him, they should necessarily want to use their spare money for benevolence towards their fellow man... not hide it selfishly. I do know Christians who are wealthy, and they snub the idea of giving money to relief efforts of any kind, simply because they believe it's their God-given right to keep (i.e. hoard) their wealth. This flies in the face of "You cannot serve both God and mammon."

BruceG
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:59 PM
And 'knowing' the Source of them... May one never forget that...

He owns all the cattle and the gold.... and He will distribute to His Children according to His Will for their life...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Listen to the Psalmist.....

Trust not in oppresion, become not vain in robbery, if riches increase set not your heart upon them

God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power [belongeth] unto God.

Also unto thee, O Lord, [belongeth] mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

having things is not evil, money is not evil,..... its the 'love' of them that drowns men in destruction and perdition..

there are some out there that will accuse and slander those who are Genuinely Born AGain from above.. God has blessed them with Prosperity and 'things' to enjoy.. these judge by the flesh and accuse falsely .. the 'blessing God has bestowed on these Christians.....God 'knows' their Heart and He realizes that they 'knew' the Source of their Goodness and Prosperity... and are thankful for His Blessings.. but there are certain who will falsely accuse and condemn those who God has Genuinely Blessed... Look at Job at the End of his trial... but He 'knew' the source of it all.. and kept that in his heart... for he was a patient man..

God blessed Him more in the end than in the beginning... look at Abraham..

also to put God into some kind of financial formula or vending machine concept formula.. is so very dangerous.. and this type of teaching is the foundation for covetousness and wrong teaching..

You came into this world with nothing.. and you will depart with nothing... but thats not to say..

God will not bless you with prosperity and things that you enjoy.. within His Will...for your life..

When He saved me in 1994... it was the Revelation of His unmerited Goodness that led me to repentance.. the blessings He had bestowed on me even thought I did not deserve it.. this very good health, and prosperity.. I did not deserve that.. but He did it out of His Grace.. and it was the Revelation of that that brought me to my knees in 1994... Now that I 'know' Him.. He still blesses me today.. and I 'know' the Source of the Goodness in my life.. its nothing I've done to deserve it.. but its Because of the Abundance of His Mercy and Grace.. these which are unmeasurable...

the Bible declares ' He delights in me'... wow.. and not only me.. those He loves...

amen and amen...

I find it revealing that Paul wrote to people who used to steal for a living that they now work with their own hands. Why? So they can support their own needs. Yes, but wait, there is more. We are told so that they can help other in need as well.

Can you tell me exactly how, with people starving to death, how we can walk in love and not use our blessings to bless others less fortunate, when the need is so great and not hidden from our eyes? What is the difference between us and the goats who said Lord, Lord, but were penetrated by the accusations of the poor who came are way and left with but a "God bless you, be filled"? The question was asked then "How dwelleth the love of God in you? It still is being asked with no answer to be given.

I am not saying there is a magic cutoff point to not cross over so that we know we are walking correctly. But how important it is to recognize there is indeed deception hidden in the desire for riches. How I wish most hingered for the presence of God and His attributes in our lives with as much intensity as we do earthly treasure. If we cannot release the blessings of God back to Him at a moment's notice if He requests us too, then we are not ones who are in a position to possess super abudance. It is HARD for a rich man to enter Heaven. Do we really dare risk our eternal souls for a mess of posstahe in this life?

The blindness that has gripped our hearts is because most indeed cannot handle being stewards of a lot, and despite the many warnings to the contrary, many press on towards prosperity, yet the time they take to get the Lord's heart on the matter is measured in seconds. We are warned that in the last days, many will depart from the faith, supposing that gain is godliness. James continues and says "For we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out. Therefore, with food and clothing, let us be content." The question now is "Shall we heed this?"

Bruce

Servant89
Mar 2nd 2010, 10:36 PM
Abraham and Job were both rich and both pleased God. But for most people, chances are it will ruin their walk with God. When we are in trials, anointing increases, when we are spoiled, character goes down.

Shalom

theBelovedDisciple
Mar 2nd 2010, 11:57 PM
But how important it is to recognize there is indeed deception hidden in the desire for riches.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bruce,

where did I say I desired riches.. and it was hidden...??????

He 'knows' that I have no hidden desire for 'riches'...... your responding to me like I'm in 'sin'....

or because He has blessed me... I must be falling or about to fall ...... or that I should never anything at all...

I know what's Freely Given to me...

I have been abased and abounding................ Bruce...

and in both situations.. Learned to be 'CONTENT'....

if there is a problem with God blessing me... You'll have to take that up with Him..... Bruce,,

He is Jesus the Christ.. God manifest in the flesh .. the Son of Man...

the attempt to pile on condemnation and guilt on someone thru the subtle use of the Word... because he/she is Blessed by God... is none other than a subtle yet attractive big piece of fruit.... put out there by you know who.....

I 'know' this type of fingerprint.. and 'who' it belongs to...

no matter how 'good' it looks.... Righteous and Holy it looks...

I'm not ignorant...

Butch5
Mar 3rd 2010, 11:49 AM
Having riches is not sinful.
Hoarding them is sinful.
Keeping them for your own satisfaction is sinful.

I don't believe in secular socialism, where the government forcibly takes away your wealth to give it to the needy. That's just a masquerade for stealing.

But I do believe in a voluntary socialism, where, when a person believes in Christ, they will necessarily forsake their riches to compel social justice (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, aiding the poor, healing the sick). There are some high-profile Christians who makes millions of dollars every year and they "reverse tithe" (they give 90% of their income to social justice efforts). I can find no fault in that, when they give away the majority of their money and still remain "upper class". But if someone has money to spare, by principle of following Christ and loving him, they should necessarily want to use their spare money for benevolence towards their fellow man... not hide it selfishly. I do know Christians who are wealthy, and they snub the idea of giving money to relief efforts of any kind, simply because they believe it's their God-given right to keep (i.e. hoard) their wealth. This flies in the face of "You cannot serve both God and mammon."

Well said Mark!