The Danger of Wealth
By David J. Stewart
James 5:1, “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.”
I recently read the following quote by a man on the internet, rebuking someone's faith in God, which seems to be a common attitude amongst wealthy people these days...
“I'm far too intelligent to believe in poor peoples fantasy's about some wizard in the sky. I have earned and saved more money than you will ever see in your pathetic lifetime, I assure you. Only poor people need a God, because they don't have anything else but delusions of being "special". Me? I'm a realist!”
Do only poor people need a God? Sadly, wealthy people foolishly think that they already have Heaven on earth, so who needs a God, right? We'll, they'll find out one day when their heart beats for the last time that there is a God in the universe; and the Bible is true (every Word); and Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the only way to Heaven. Wealth is so dangerous because it blinds people with temporal riches.
No wonder that the Bible says in James 2:5, “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” The Bible promises great things for the born-again believer in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” What a wonderful PROMISE from God. If God was willing to give His only begotten Son to bleed and die for our sins, suffering the reproach and shame of our sins, then surely God will give us all things as Romans 8:32 PROMISES. I mention the word PROMISE repeatedly because that's exactly what God has given to us... thousands of Scriptural PROMISES!!!
If you are poor, heart-broken or lonely in life, you have the PROMISES of God almighty to claim and cling to as you struggle through this earthly life. We all need God. Scripturally, we are all poor in sin and lack any spiritual wealth (Isaiah 64:6). God is NOT impressed with our achievements in life, nor is He swayed by our level of education or intelligence. God wants us to place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, believing on His name. Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING to the believer, as we read in 1st Corinthians 1:30, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” What a wonderful God and Savior!
2nd Peter 2:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Here we learn in 2nd Peter 2:4 that God has purposely GIVEN UNTO US EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES! Amen and amen. This is why we can KNOW for certain that we are saved, that is, because God PROMISES to save any sinner who believes on the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Salvation and eternal life are a PROMISE from God. We don't have to wonder, worry nor do our best and hope that we make it to Heaven.
George Strait has a popular Country song, YOU'LL BE THERE, that distorts the meaning of salvation, turning it into works salvation. I'm sure Mr. Strait didn't even write the song and means well, but he is influencing tens-of-millions of people with his music. I love George Strait's singing, truly, but I must stand for God about this song. I realize that most people don't see a problem, don't care, and think I'm splitting hairs; but the gospel is delicate and easily corrupted, which is why God tells us to earnestly contend for the faith in Jude 1:3. I'm the biggest sinner I know and I don't condemn anyone, for the Bible condemns all of us as guilty sinners (Romans 3:19).
Whether you are poor or rich in this world, sick or healthy, ignorant or highly educated, it matters not as far as Heaven is concerning. All that matters is whether or not you acknowledge your sinnership and trust upon the name of Jesus, Who is the Christ, the only begotten Son of God to be saved. There is NO salvation in any other name (Acts 4:10-12).
There will be many saved sinners in Heaven rejoicing, Who were poor, afflicted or maimed people here on earth, because they trusted Jesus as Christ to have their sins forgiven, washed away and cleansed by the literal blood of Christ (1st John 1:7). Ye must be born again (John 3:5-7)!
The Bible says it's easier for a camel to thread a needle than for a wealthy person to enter into the kingdom of God, because of the very attitude of the man I quoted at the beginning of this article. Matthew 19:24, “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
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