We often here the term “making a good life for ourselves” and yet anyone who judges “a good life” by anything other than the life of Jesus, is completely deceived. He is “the life” and anyone who forsakes Christ to “make a good life for themselves” in this fleeting world, does not know Heaven’s soon coming King (John 14:1-6). The “deceitfulness of riches” has consumed them and they are not “rich toward God.” (Mark 4:17-19; Luke 12:15-21) Shall we forfeit the eternal “mansion” for a temporal shack? Shall we anguish eternally for the deadly decision to put ourselves before the LORD? Jesus speaks of being “rich toward God.” Are we?
=== JESUS CHRIST DID NOT come to die to make us rich in this sinful world and anyone teaching that is a false teacher (Luke 12:15-21); 1 Timothy 6:3-5). No, in fact, He sternly warned against being rich in this temporal world due to it’s jeopardizing of your eternal soul. Jesus told us to lay riches up in the coming world and if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be with Him in the next world (Heaven, New Jerusalem). Read Matthew 6:19-24 and Luke 12 and 16 and 1 Timothy 6.
“And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for (consistent with) repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Matthew 3:7-10
God not only looks on the heart – He inspects the fruit, the good fruit which can only come from a true, abiding relationship with Him (John 15:1-6).
“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Matthew 7:19
Today is no different than the days in which the prophet Haggai spoke by the Spirit of God to the people who were supposed to know Him. God’s work lies undone today due to the self-serving, self-absorbtion and self-worship of many of those who claim to know Him.
Do we not see the same thing today? Those claiming to be saved and good church attenders will follow along with the church program as long as it doesn’t require change – true repentance – the laying down of their lives without reserve. But today the local churches (nearly all of them) are manned by spineless moral cowards who refuse to die to self themselves much less teach what Jesus taught about such being a condition for following Him (Luke 9:23-24).
“How many boast as followers of Christ, yet never give nor deny themselves of even an IOTA of anything, and rebel against it in all greed and selfishness to this day. They’d rather invert the Cross than bear any burden to carry it.” Keith Hargrave
“Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? 5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. 9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. 10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. 11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.” Haggai 1:4-11
Has anything changed? No. – “There is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Are you willing to test your life as it now is in order to prevent a surprise later?
The root sins of Sodom were “pride, fulness of bread (earthly wealth), and abundance of idleness.” (Ezekiel 16:49-51) Doesn’t that sound like the Laodicean’s who had forfeited their place with God and were going to be spewed – sent to hell?
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (undone): 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:15-19
If Christ said they had to “repent” it is because they were in danger of hell fire. This command to repent clearly means that they were not ready to meet Him. Why not? Why did Jesus say they were going to be rejected (spued)? – “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.“ (Revelation 3:17)
What about the once “rich man” who refused to render aid to Lazarus? See Luke 16:19-31.
What was Jesus Christ’s stated reason that the once rich man went to hell? WHY did God send Him to hell?
“But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime (earthly) receivedst thy good things (he was rich before), and likewise Lazarus evil things (Lazarus was poor on earth): but NOW he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” Luke 16:26
If you deny that there is a direct correlation between the way we spend our money and our true spiritual state, you are denying Christ and calling the Son of God a liar.
God’s people follow Christ who emptied Himself of all for the benefit of others.
The crux here is – Give now or burn forever. Yes, give your life now or it will soon be too late. If your life were given over to Christ (essential for salvation), your trinkets and treasures would be Christ’s and you would freely and generously give them to those individual believers in need and to the work of the Gospel. The reason you don’t freely give them now is that you are not given over to the LORD truly and therefore not ready to meet Him. You have not truly repented by the Bible definition and the greedy, hoarding, covetous fruit your life bears clearly testifies to such a lost state (Matthew 3:7-10).
“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” 1 John 3:7
You must choose: Which life would you rather suffer in? – This one or the next (eternal one)? Is it time to pluck out the eye and cut off the hand of soul-damning covetousness, greed, hoarding, and self-worship? (Mark 9:43-49)
Who Are You Rich Toward? – God or Self?
“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:15-21
— Concerning the modern counterfeit who has only a mere “form of godliness” yet denies the “power” or authority of Christ to reign over his individual daily life and decisions (2 Timothy 3:5). ……—- Their fancy coffees are more important to them than is Christ. Do some math: $3.50 x 30 days per month = $105 per month and they give less than that to Christ’s work. Their sport drinks, junk food and soft drinks, their must-have new appliances and automobiles, and housing is more important than the lost souls Jesus bled to save. Do the math – $50-150 in cable TV or satellite and God’s work gets a mere tip if anything. Yet they claim to know Him who said that He came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Many other examples can be used here. Waste, waste, waste! Wasted life and wasted substance. Without hesitation, these deceived spring for entertainment, unneeded vehicles, clothing, and junk food. They spend more money on pet food than on Christ who gave them that money (1 Chronicles 29:14; James 1:17). Without invitation they impulse buy without hesitation. They see the bag of chips and health-destroying soft drinks and grab them. There’s no hesitation and yet, when they are presented with the opportunity to give to the only eternal work in the earth – the work of the One they claim to be serving – they spurn that privilege. Yet, as they watch divinely called out Gospel worker struggling to exist, they scoff at and accuse those few laborers of just being “in it for the money.”
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
If our treasure is in the things of Christ, it’s because that’s where our hearts are – and vice versa.
Eternal hell awaits the wicked who like the “certain rich man.” Why? Well he previously had the opportunity to help righteous and poor Lazarus and yet refused. There was no do over. He got no second chance but rather went straight to hell the instant he died (Luke 16:19-31). He has a person right under his nose to help as many of us do today. He chose to be rich unto himself and not “rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21)
Someone might be thinking “You mean I’m going to hell if I don’t give? How dare you insinuate such!”
Please allow me to correct you so there’s no misunderstanding: Not only am I insinuating it, I am telling you that you are absolutely bound for hell if you have not given your life to Christ. If your life was given over to Christ, the fruit of your life would clearly reflect a God-fearing stewardship of your time and talents. You’d already be giving to His work and to those in need.
At this point, your temporary treasures are being spent on yourself – the god you really serve. – “For where your treasure is, THERE will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Remember that like the once rich man in Luke 16 who died and went to hell, in the end not one soul will be afforded the opportunity to do a redo – to give their way out of hell.
In Luke 16 Jesus told us the story of a “certain rich man” in order to warn us before we follow that man’s wicked ways and go where he went.
That now eternally tormented, previously rich man, would do anything to go back and give his life and treasures to Christ but it’s too late. His destiny is signed, sealed, delivered. He even begged to have someone go preach God’s Word to his five brothers so they wouldn’t come to that horrible place of fiery incarceration. His window of grace is gone but ours isn’t.
Just what earthly possession, treasure, or money is worth going to eternal damnation over?
The way we are currently stewarding the monies in our possession is a direct reflection of the true priorities of our heart.
Concerning those who have rejected the Messiah for the god of mammon, one sister in Christ notes:
“They worship Mammon, a very real demon who seduces them through their flesh, sad!” Angela A.
Warning and Description of the American “Christian”
“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 22 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. 23 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. 24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.” Luke 6:20-25
After reading these words from Jesus, should Christians be living lives of lavishness or minimalism in this fleeting life?
Are we here to be entrenched in this worlds goods or to spread the Good News of Jesus and to teach His Word to all men (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15). As those He has found and saved and made new creatures in Christ, whose “ambassadors” are we to be? (2 Corinthians 5:17-20) If we are Christ’s “ambassadors,” why would we gather things to ourselves in this sinful fallen world when He Himself did no such thing while He walked this earth?
In God’s kingdom there are goers and senders. If your primary calling from God is to work and make money, that means you are a sender of the “few” “labourers” Jesus told us to pray for God to send out (Matthew 9:35-39). That’s why you have a job or a business – “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, THAT he may have to give to him that needeth.” (Ephesians 4:28) That is, that he may have money to give to needy Christians and to Christ’s work which is always in need of support.
He has sent out into the “plenteous” “harvest” a “few” “labourers.” (Matthew 9:35-39) Are you personally supporting Jesus’ “labourers”? No, the question is not “Are you giving to your local church because they convinced you that they are the storehouse?” Most of your money given there is a waste and actually helps the wolves who run those church businesses. You are fueling the devil’s agents in most cases by doing so (2 Corinthians 11:12-15; 2 John 7-11). How do we know they are wolves? Simple: They are not fulfilling Christ’s New Testament edict and purpose to preach the Gospel to the lost and teach all men God’s Word – in other words, get them into God’s Word for themselves, daily (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; 1 Timothy 4:6, 16, etc.).
We should stop funding the wolves who are Christ’s enemies and use their position and platform and personalities to brand their own ministry business. Has anyone ever become familiar with the marketing term “branding”? It’s where a company creates a name, logo, and slogan that it brands (burns) into the minds, the psyche of the people in order to get them to patronize their business.
Yeah, you see, they refuse to use the monies given into their coffers to simply put forth Christ’s kingdom Word and to preach Christ alone like the early church did (Acts 5:42). Instead they have to put their own personal name or ministry’s name on it in order to get glory for and to themselves! Red flag! Read Psalms 74 and see how they have cast down Christ’s name and enthroned their own name/“ensigns”! Notice how these individuals and ministries refuse to release a penny of those monies to anything that doesn’t promote their own cause/name. Wake up and stop funding Christ’s enemies lest you be eternally judged with them! (2 Peter 2:1-3)
Then, Satan’s children, who claim to be saved, will accuse Christ’s true servant of being in it for the money. If this wasn’t so foolish it would be a roll on the floor screaming hilarity! As a called-out servant, if I was in it for the money I wouldn’t be in it because there is no money!
You must see your working and giving as a vital ministry to the LORD’s blessed kingdom. It is just as equally vital as those who go and do the work. They cannot do such if you don’t do your part.
It is YOUR privilege to give of what God gives you. You need to give in worship to the LORD more than those few good ministries need the money. Concerning the Philippians believers giving, Paul the apostle said “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” (Philippians 4:17) You see, you have an “account” in Heaven and to refuse to give the opportunity to give would be to cheat God’s people about of riches in their eternal “account” where Jesus commanded us to lay up treasure! (Matthew 6:19-21)
WHO do you think wins when Christ’s called-out servants are left starving and can’t pay basic bills? Is God glorified or has Satan triumphed to distract and incapacitate one of Jesus’ “labourers”? The answer is obvious. Whose fault is that? It’s the fault and sin of those who are being fed by that ministry.
We must not waste the monies God is putting in our hands on temporal comforts and trinkets. We must change our way of living and demonstrate that we are content to know Him and need no excessive stuff, things, trinkets to satisfy us. He is our satisfaction.
Nothing’s ever enough to American “Christians.” They are in big trouble spiritually and have no idea.
“We live in a small caravan in a caravan park. We drive a very old car and do not own much if any furniture. Are we happy? You bet we are.” Marie J.
Ever notice how happy the African children are? Why? After all they have one toy to share between a whole village of children. Why are our electronic-inundated children so unhappy?
You must see your money as being a provision from God and a tool to further Christ’s Gospel by funding His workers.
Without your money fueling the Gospel workers God has shown you, they will not be able to do what He has called them out to do and you will be personally accountable for such.
Your calling may be to work and that means you are earning money that is to be firstly given to “honour” of the One who gave you the ability to earn that money.
“Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10
Holy Father, please bless us to have the joy of giving once again, in Jesus’ precious Name, amen!
But someone must actually DO HIS work and it’s the LORD alone who calls them out. There are goers and senders (Romans 10:14-15). And those around those divinely called-out ones are to rejoice to be blessed to support them – because they are doing GOD’s work. In fact the Bible says we are to honor His servants “for their work’s sake.” Why? – Because it’s God’s work, not man’s.
“And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” 1 Thessalonians 5:13
“Woe unto you that are rich!” (Luke 6:24)
ALL Americans are “rich” in God’s eyes. This is the richest country in world history. Woe be unto us! – if we refuse to be generous and continual in our giving.
“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; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 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
Those who have and are learning the joy of giving as Jesus taught, always rejoice to be able to give out of what He has given them and even long for more to be given them so they can give more to His work.
It has been perhaps rightly state that “Those who give the least complain the most.”
The SELF-preservationists complains with a contrary attitude toward those called out to minister. The self-serving, unrepentant church goer does not want his little personal party interrupted. So he figure that the Gospel worker should leave the post God put him on and go out and earn his own money – never realizing that if we are truly the LORD’s all we have is HIS and not ours (1 Chronicles 29:14). The counterfeit reasons that he’s too busy spending his money on self’s pleasure and status in this sinful world, and refuses to live a minimalistic lifestyle in order for Christ’s Gospel workers to be able to do His work in furthering His Gospel by winning lost souls and teaching them God’s Word. “You are inconveniencing me” he reasons in his mind. “You are taking away from my self serving creature comforts. God forbid that anything my depraved heart so desires be kept from me. When I see something I want, I just buy it or put it on credit. And I don’t appreciate people asking for money (for a ministry work).”
“Actually when I used to be one of those fancy coffee drinkers they used to cost closer to five dollars per cup. I still drink coffee but at home now.” Melanie G.
Coffee is a blessing, from God it seems. Yet does having a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning have to cost $3-5 per cup per day? That’s a considerable amount of money per month. 30 days in a month x $4 is $120. Many who waste God’s money on such give far less to the work of Jesus. God is calling us to repent. This is pure rebellion.
Your money is not really yours – it’s God’s.
What are you doing with His money for which you shall give account?
“ALL things come of thee and of THINE own have we given thee.” 1 Chronicles 29:14
There are a myriad of ways “Christians” today waste God’s money. God forbid that they have to be humiliated by driving a 10 year old car. God forbid that the style of their dish washer or refrigerator is outdated. God forbid that they have to be deprived of any luxury item their little hearts desire!
I know of a ministry that was derailed due to a lack of about $300-400 per month. There was support but not quite enough which means that God was leading others to help support that ministry and yet they refused. They were too busy wasting God’s money in this sinful world – embellishing themselves with even more shoes, clothes, fancies accessories, expensive meals, etc. These refused to do their part in supporting Jesus’ work due to their waste on self and they will give account for those servants of Christ who cannot do what He called them to do due to their disobedience. Those greedy people who claim to know Christ and yet refused to lay down their lives in this sinful world will stand to give account for the souls that went to eternal damnation due to not being able to hear the Gospel through the LORD’s servants who had to leave their post.
These type people want to over spiritualize things when they are called to truly lay down their lives in this fleeting world. Yet, the same folk do not hesitate to call a number or do an internet search to buy some frivolous accessory that has no eternal value. God forbid that they be bothered with the opportunity to support Christ’s work.
They want to live in denial of the obvious fact that if those God-called Gospel workers aren’t being provided for (financially supported), they cannot do Christ’s work and that means souls will be hell due to their rebellion. In other words, they defend their right to live their lives on their own terms all the while deceiving themselves into thinking God will save them in the end.
As a kingdom disciple, you must see this as your part in fulfilling the Great Commission for which you shall give account before the Almighty on Judgment Day.
Covetousness is idolatry of self – the worship of self instead of the Savior. This is a soul-damning sin. See below:
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” Ephesians 5:5-7
Of being minimalistic and appreciative, one sister notes:
“I learned that being with the Lord I have all I need. He has blessed me with all things. The most important thing to me – what I want most is to hear Him say – is ‘well done my good and faithful servant.’ With what He has given me I invest in his kingdom. So thankful for the life He has given me.” Lisa V.
You know as I read this sister’s words it occurs to me that we just push ourselves further from Christ and from knowing Him more intimately by crowding and cluttering our lives with more stuff. The Bible says that the LORD Jesus is our “exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1) If we have Christ, we have all! If we truly have Christ reigning in our lives, we do not covet stuff but are rather content.
“Let your conversation (your way of life) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5
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“Isn’t giving supposed to be from a cheerful giver out of what he personally purposes in his heart?”
Yes, and yet there is great jeopardy in not using what He gives us for His glory … the servant who buried/wasted his talent went to hell – “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (hell).” Matt 25:30 ….. Not giving, hoarding, clearly indicates/reveals where someone’s heart is and that they are serving mammon, not God and are therefore not saved. ….. this is the case with most who claim to be saved. They have not laid down their lives and this is obvious in that they have time, money, energy, and all the wherewithal to go lusting after this world’s trinkets and spend all they have to get them …. and yet do not find it in their unrepentant hearts to lay down their lives and give. They are lost while thinking they are saved. Laodicea. This is not small matter. It reveals they are lost and as sure for eternal damnation as if they were already there. We cannot factor our Christ’s clear teachings due to Paul’s….. perhaps the way to reconcile this paradox (seeming contradiction) is to observe the audience each is speaking to. 2 Cor. 9 is written to the church at Corinth where true believers where being addressed and incentivized to give and lay up treasure in Heaven. Jesus taught this also (Matthew 6:19-24). The Son of God also clearly taught that eternal hell awaited those who are not generous with what HE puts in their temporal possession. This is Jesus’ teaching. It seems severe because so few truly forsake their lives in this world. Yet this is exactly what Jesus taught and He clearly stated that eternal hell is the finality of this self-serving, lukewarm, disobedient, rebellious lifestyle. They must repent and when they truly do, all they have will be His …in their minds and distribution of it.
Jesus taught that the way we steward His resources that He puts in our hands is a direct reflection of the priorities of our hearts (Matt. 6:19-24).
Anyone not purposing to give at all into Christ’s eternal kingdom by helping the poor and funding His work, seems to reveal their lost, apostate (backslidden) state….. “Ye shall know (discern) them by their fruits” Matt 7:16, 20
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.: 2 Timothy 4:2