Thursday, December 1, 2016

Is Wealth Dangerous?

The Bible warns us about the potential dangers of wealth. Prosperity may make us forget the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:7-18). Wicked men can prosper (Psalm 37:35, Psalm 73:3,12). Solomon saw that sometimes the wicked prosper while the righteous go hungry (Ecclesiastes 7:15). Jeremiah asked God why wicked men sometimes prosper (Jeremiah 12:1). “The sun rises and the rain falls on both the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).
The Bible warns us of the dangers of accumulating too much wealth. Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV). Jesus points out, “You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24 NIV). Jesus cautions “woe to you who are rich” (Luke 6:24 NIV). Jesus warns that it is hard for a rich person to enter heaven, “…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24 NIV). Jesus told his disciples, ““How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23 NIV).
In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus says that riches and pleasures can choke the seed of God’s word (Luke 8:14). Jesus calls us to give up everything we have to follow him, “those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:23 NIV) and he said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23 NIV).
Paul teaches that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:8-10 NIV).

Whoever aspires to be a minister in the church should not love money (1 Timothy 3:3). The writer of Hebrews recommends, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).