Christianity and Wealth

“The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys” (Job 42:12).

For the past several months, both Pastor Brad and I have been writing about the dangers of the prosperity gospel. Prosperity gospel makes the Christian faith all about health and wealth. It is both dangerous and false. It is dangerous because it will only lead to disappointment when life’s storms come our way. It is false because it is not biblical.

Having said that, you need to know that God has no problems with Christians being wealthy. We have many examples of people in the Bible who are wealthy: David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Abraham, and many in the New Testament. Rich Christians in the New Testament were key to help provide the funds and spaces for worship, evangelism, and supporting the apostles.

God is not against Christians having things. What God is against is things having Christians.

How can you tell the difference?

  • When it comes to spending and managing funds and goods, if the mighty dollar determines what you give and what you keep, money’s got you.
  • If what you give and what you keep is determined by God and his word – beginning with tithing (giving ten percent) – then you are genuinely managing and stewarding wealth and goods.

Money, goods, and resources are tools to be used to further God’s kingdom. When you give to God, riches and goods are used to impact eternal destinies. Nothing that we withhold and keep from God is transferred to eternity. We leave everything behind. The only things we can save for eternity is what we give.

John Piper says, “God gives his people money so that we can use money in a way to show that money is not our god.”

Radical, Normal Christians

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24-27).

When the New Testament world referred to normal Christians, they were viewed as radical Christians. Normal Christians were viewed as radical Christians because they lived a life that was so different than the lives around them. The hopes and dreams of normal Christians were so unlike the hopes and dreams of everyone around them. So, in time, normal and radical became synonyms in the New Testament world.

You see, there is no such thing as a follower of Jesus Christ who doesn’t follow Jesus Christ.

“Follower of Jesus” is not a title but a description. Christians were called followers of Jesus because that’s what they did. What Jesus said, the disciples did. Fully submitting to Jesus and his teaching was not viewed as radical but as normal.

The problem is that modern day Christians have made radical and normal antonyms.

But when it comes down to it, there is no such thing as a follower of Jesus Christ who doesn’t follow Jesus Christ.

Remember, a follower of Jesus is not a title – Christian is not a title. A follower of Jesus is a description of how Jesus followers live.

Got it?

Believe in the Lord Jesus and You Shall be Saved. Why is this So?

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Why is this so? Why are those who believe in the Lord Jesus saved?

R. C. Sproul says, “The cross is meaningless without the incarnation and incomplete without the resurrection.” He is absolutely correct.

First, Sproul says, “The cross is meaningless without the incarnation.”

  • Incarnation literally means in the flesh. At the root of this word is carnal, meaning flesh. In the flesh.
  • Incarnation refers to God taking on human flesh and human form in the person of Jesus Christ.
  • God became fully man in Jesus of Nazareth. When God appeared in human form in the manger in Bethlehem, he was fully man.

Incarnation of Christ means Jesus is fully God and fully human. Jesus needs to be both to be our Savior and Lord.

Jesus died on the cross on our behalf. The reason why he was able to do that was that Jesus was able to live the life we were not able. Jesus lived a perfect human life, a life without sin. Had Jesus sinned, when he died on the cross he would have died for his own sins. But because he lived a sinless life, a sinless person stood in our place to pay the debt of sin for our behalf.

Secondly, Sproul says, “The cross is incomplete without the resurrection.”

There was nothing unique about the death of Jesus on the cross. The Romans crucified over thirty thousand people. What makes the crucifixion of Jesus is that the second person of the Trinity died on that cross. It wasn’t just a human being that died on the cross. The Son of God died on the cross. And by dying on the cross as the Son of God, he took the place for all who believe in him and accept the gift of eternal life. Nothing unique about a man dying on the cross. But the death of the Son of God on the cross? That changes eternity!

How does Jesus’ death change eternity? Because of the empty tomb. Because the empty tomb proves that Jesus was not only fully human, but that he is also fully God. The resurrection completes the mission of Jesus to save sinners.

Jesus died for sinners by paying the debt sin. And by rising from the dead, we share in Christ’s glory and resurrection.

Jesus is who he said he was: the Son of the Living God.

This is the reason why those who believe in the Lord Jesus are saved.