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The Folly Of
"So, is it wrong to have lots of money,
even if you've worked hard for it?"
What does the Bible say?
The Rich Man And The Poor Man
Anybody can see that rich men generally get treated better than poor men. James called it, "respect of persons." A man wearing a gold ring and nice clothes is more likely to get preferential treatment than a poor man in ragged clothes. That is completely unjust. You cannot possibly know all the legitimate reasons why a man may have been reduced to poverty, neither can you know what crooked, dishonest tricks a man may have used to get his wealth. Any judgment, good or bad, is uninformed and inaccurate.
James 2:9 - "If ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin."
"The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends,"
Weep And Howl, Ye Rich Men
Modern Christianity has taken sides with the wealthy, ignoring every Biblical condemnation of the pursuit of wealth. Vast "ministries" are lucrative success-motivation-prosperity movements with a few scriptures interspersed. It is a perverse gospel that rich men gladly support.
But neither Jesus nor his disciples were wealthy. They did not teach or preach anything remotely akin to wealth-building. They taught that the love of money is the root of all evil.
James 5:1-2 - "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you."
The Rich Will Be Judged Calamitously In The Last Days
Rationalizing will not change the truth that God hates your love of money as much as adultery, fornication or any other major sin. If you are obsessed with increasing your wealth, repent before you are destroyed.
James 5:1-3 - "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days."
Rejoice When Lowly Are Exalted, Rich Are Humbled
God often works in terms that are exactly the opposite of human understanding; i.e, the way up is down; the way to be exalted is to humble yourself. To become a master, you must become a servant. God uses foolish things to confound the wise, and weak things to confound the strong.
James 1:9-11 - "Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. ...so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways."
HERE ARE SOME RANDOM VERSES ON THE TOPIC:
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, 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," Matthew 19:23-24.
MARY (Mother of Jesus) said,
"He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away," Luke 1:53.
"And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said,
Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.
Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you,
and when they shall separate you from their company,
and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil,
for the Son of man's sake.
Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold,
your reward is great in heaven:
for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation,"
"But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world,
and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare,
and into many foolish and hurtful lusts,
which drown men in destruction and perdition.
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.
But thou, O man of God, flee these things;
and follow after righteousness, godliness,
faith, love, patience, meekness,"
1 Timothy 6:6-11.
"Charge them that are rich in this world,
that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches,
but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
That they do good, that they be rich in good works,
ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation
against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life,"
1 Timothy 6:17-19.
"When thou sittest to eat with a ruler,
consider diligently what is before thee:
And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?
for riches certainly make themselves wings;
they fly away as an eagle toward heaven,"
"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth,"
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh,
and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever,"
1 John 2:15-17.
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death,"
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises,
but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them,
and embraced them, and confessed that
they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out,
they might have had opportunity to have returned.
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly:
wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God:
for he hath prepared for them a city,"
"There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing:
there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches,"
"A faithful man shall abound with blessings:
but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye,
and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him,"
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye:
if therefore thine eye be single,
thy whole body shall be full of light.
But if thine eye be evil,
thy whole body shall be full of darkness.
If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness,
how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters:
for either he will hate the one, and love the other;
or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon [money].
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life,
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not,
neither do they reap, nor gather into barns;
yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you,
That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,
which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?
or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow:
for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,"
Back to the original question:
"So, is it wrong to have lots of money, even if you've worked hard for it?" Honest question.
It may be the very fact that you worked hard for it that is most offensive to God. He wanted you to work for Him, but instead, you gave all your time and energy to selfish pursuits.
God has called you and me unto Himself.
He has asked us to present ourselves as living sacrifices unto Him,
which is our REASONABLE service.
We can squander the 24 hours of our days by pursuing riches,
or we can give our lives to God, one hour at a time,
consecrated to do His will.
If we will give our lives to building HIS kingdom, WE WILL INHERIT IT!
But if we give our lives to building OUR kingdom, we will LOSE IT!
The choice is yours.
See also:The Church Walking With The World
See also:Lies Preachers Tell
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