“Got Riches?”

Posted: September 26, 2014 in Christian Life, Government, James, Promises, Salvation

In 1928 a group of the world’s most successful financiers met at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. Collectively, these tycoons controlled more wealth than there was in the U.S. Treasury, and for years newspapers and magazines had been printing their success stories and urging the youth of the nation to follow their examples. But that’s not the end of the story.

Money And Wealth. It is not the root of all evil. Do you know what is (1 Timothy 6:10)? Did you know how covetousness and idolatry are associated (Colossians 3:5)? Some people acquire money lawfully while others obtain it illegally. Don’t you think that the legislators who make the laws should have to abide by the same rules that they impose on the rest of us? We’re supposed to live by the rules established by the government of the land in which we live (Romans 13:1-7). Some ways of doing business today were once forbidden. We understand that franchises and network marketing were not permitted at one time. It’s unfortunate that money can be used or misused by both unbelievers and Christians (1 Corinthians 7:31).

Capitalism. Did you know that God’s Word prohibits stealing and encourages capitalism, not socialism or communism (Ephesians 4:28)? Do you know what the Scriptures say about someone who can work but who won’t work (2 Thessalonians 3:10)? Earthly riches can keep a person from trusting in Christ for salvation and daily living (Matthew 13:22). Spiritual riches are of great value (Ephesians 1:3). However, many Christians know very little about their riches in Christ. We’re saved by an act of faith, and Christians are to live in an attitude of faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 1:17) while knowing and claiming God’s promises to us as New Testament believers (Hebrews 4:2). Are  you trying to claim promises that were never intended for you?  Are you living the “Faith/Rest Life” that is provided for all Christians?

Classifications. People can be classified physically and spiritually. Some folks are poor without and within. They spend their entire lives in poverty and die without Christ as their personal Savior (Ephesians 2:12). Jesus said that there would always be poor people on this earth (John 12:8). Then there are people who are rich without and rich within. The patriarchs Job, Abraham and others were physically and spiritually rich (Job 1:1-12; Genesis 12:16). So were Nicodemus, the teacher in Israel (John 19:39), and Barnabas (Acts 4:36, 37). The persecuted believers in the church at Smyrna were physically poor but spiritually rich (Revelation 2:9). So was the beggar who ate crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table (Luke 16:20). But then there are also people who are physically wealthy in this life but who will end up in hell because of their spiritual poverty expressed by their unbelief in Christ alone for their salvation (Luke 16:19, 23; John 16:9). The folks in the church of Laodicea had great riches but they lacked spiritual life (Revelation 3:17). In which of these four categories do you fit?

Judgment Day. James, the Lord’s half brother (Mark 6:3), warned hoarders that someday they will reap misery (James 5:1-3). The Christians who love this present world system and who misuse it will lose out on their rewards at the “Bema Seat Judgment Of Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). All unbelievers will face Judge Jesus (John 5:22) at the Great White Throne Judgment. They will be judged according to their works to determine their degree of suffering in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:15-20; Matthew 25:41, 46). No human being needs to go there. Salvation has been provided for everyone (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2).

Salvation. No one can buy his/her way into heaven. It is a gift from God to all who will place their faith in Christ exclusively rather than trying to earn their way to heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Do you believe that He died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:33-43)? God is omniscient and knows those who are His and those who aren’t (John 10:14). Once we’re truly saved, no one can snatch us out of God’s hands (John 10:28, 29). He will never leave or forsake those who belong to Him (Hebrews 13:5).

Warnings. Because many people in the olden days were very poor and worked as day laborers, it was important that they get paid every day when their work was done. The employer was not to withhold the worker’s pay from him for any reason since he and his family depended on the money for survival. The Old Testament law was clear abut this (Leviticus 19;13; Deuteronomy 24:14, 15; Jeremiah 22:13; Malachi 3:5). The employer was not to defraud his workers and steal from them in an effort to engage in prodigal living and over indulgence (Matthew 24:38; Luke 15:13). As then, so our world is filled with people who are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:4). Are you one of them?

Murder. Some wealthy land owners were “living high on the hog” while defrauding and abusing their field workers who had worked hard for an honest day’s pay. This may have contributed to the early deaths of some workers who were unable to resist their employers (James 5:6). Are you an employer or an employee? God has given us Christians some rules that relate to both groups (Ephesians 6:5-9). Consider these things and examine your life by God’s standards. What needs to change so that you can be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Quote. “A quest for wealth and power can consume all our energies. Those who have wealth and power face the additional temptations of pride, greed, and an attitude of self-sufficiency. The wealthy can also take advantage of their condition to practice injustice and dishonesty toward the poor and needy.” – Thomas Lea.

The Rest Of The Story. Twenty-five years later, this is what had happened to the men mentioned above. The president of the largest independent steel company, Charles Schwab, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died broke. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cutten, died abroad, insolvent. The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, served a term in Sing Sing Prison. The member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home. The greatest bear in Wall Street, Jesse Livermore, committed suicide. The president of the Bank of International Settlements, Leon Fraser, committed suicide. The head of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Drueger, committed suicide. All of these men had learned how to make money, but not one of them had learned how to live. – Source Unknown

Remember. Money is a part of the present world system in which we all live. It is governed by the devil and his agents (Matthew 4:9; John 12:31; Ephesians 2:2). The believer may use it but he must not love or abuse it by making it the most important thing in his life (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31). “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36).

Help. If you have questions and/or comments, or are unsure of your eternal destiny, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive future articles as they come out.  It you are helped by an article, let us and someone else know.  Thanks. 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s