I came across a little chart recently, that had a break-down of about 9 well-known religious leaders in the world today. I won’t name any names here. It doesn’t really matter the who…it’s the what that I’m more concerned with. I’ll get to that in a minute. The chart showed the amount of money each of these leaders and their ministries earned in a year. Let’s just say it was quite a bit more than the teacher’s salary I earn in Missouri. I can’t adequately assess these leaders solely based on how much they earn because I have no information as to how much of that money they give to God – and there is the what.
So many of the religious leaders in the world today stand up in front of thousands of people and preach how the Lord blesses His people financially, and with worldly goods, if they truly love Him and follow Him. This – they have the gall to do – in their $10,000 Italian suits while wearing their $15,000 Rolex watches, and when services are over they will drive their $80,000 cars to their $5,000,000 homes. To actually believe that people who have not been financially blessed are not saved, or they just don’t have themselves “right with God,” is ludicrous. Ludicrous!
I have a different take on why some religious leaders spout such nonsense. I don’t think they believe that at all. I think they support this whole theory because of the guilt they feel. There is something deep down inside them that they just can’t seem to come to grips with. It’s a struggle, and they can’t resolve it; they can’t rectify it; they can’t…JUSTIFY it. Not with scriptures, anyway, and the word of God is what any belief, idea, theory, etc, etc, etc, must be measured against. Their theory is not in scripture. Christians are promised many things in the next life, for example:
Jesus said to them, “I assure you: In the Messianic Age, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, brothers or sisters, father or mother, children, or fields because of My name will receive 100 times more and will inherit eternal life
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world (John 16:33).In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).
Let’s get back to the preacher I described above. The one with the luxurious lifestyle he earned only by the grace and mercy of our Lord. I’ll help you resolve the issue you are struggling with, preacher. Jesus Christ is the perfect example for us. How did he live his life? Was he wealthy? Did he wear the finest clothes? How many Rolex watches did he have? Where was his million dollar mansion…Nazareth or Jerusalem? I forget which verse tells us about his yacht and all the luxury accommodations he stayed in while he went around changing the world. (If someone knows…please email me). What did Jesus give to His Father? Think about these questions and answer them. Do you not believe that if God had wanted His son to live a life on earth as a wealthy man He could have? It was a deliberate choice. You don’t have to understand it, but you must believe it was all part of the Divine Design. Jesus didn’t have a dime. He relied on the love and generosity of those around Him. He gave love and He got love in return. He wore the average dress of an average man. He was here to SERVE…not to BE served. He lived and died to fulfill God’s plan, and there are still millions of people around the world who cannot connect the dots! It’s all there in black and white (and red).
We are clearly told, by Jesus, that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter heaven (Matthew 19:24). Why do you suppose that is? It is because most rich men (and women) make their possessions their god. When the rich man came to Jesus to find out what he must do to get into heaven this is what Jesus told him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Matthew 19:21-22 Jesus asked too much of the man. He could not do that. His possessions were his true god. You don’t have to be wealthy to give a camel a run for his money. Whatever any of us makes a god out of – besides God – is not following Jesus. That can be work, or video games, or swimming, or sex, or obsession with our looks, or whatever we have decided to place before God.
Jesus is the model we are to be like. Every aspect of His life was a deliberate choice. Christians are to strive to be more like Him. Not just those “Super Christians”…ALL Christians. It is not a sin, or wrong, to have money or nice things. Let me be clear with that. I do not believe that all Christians must sell everything they have and walk around barefoot to prove they love God. Although, for those special Christians who answer the call to go unto the earth and spread His good word, he promises great blessings (Luke 18:29-20). We are to strive to be Christ-like in the love of our fellow man, in forgiveness, in peace, in service, in duty to our Father, in generosity. In all the ways of Christ.
God blesses us so we can be a blessing to others. Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more. Luke 12:48 Be the blessing you were meant to be. How many orphanages around the world could you fund for a year, or hungry children could you feed, or missionaries could you support, or clothes could you give to those in need, or cancer treatments could you fund, or Christian schools could you open, or whatever…with just ONE of your Rolex watches? If God has blessed you with generous finances and you are not giving back to Him what you should be, or more, then that is a sin AND it’s wrong. Wanna debate me? Try this…What did Jesus give? His life.
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