Tag: root of evil

Beware of loving money!

Scripture reading for October 27th: Luke 16-18

“No servant can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money.” “The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.” Luke 16:13-14

In Christian circles today, there is a popular variation of the Gospel called the “prosperity” teaching.  This teaching takes the verses about God’s blessings and twists them to say that God wants you to be rich and to use your riches as a testimony to the world of the blessings of God’s kingdom.  God’s word does proclaim blessing on God’s people for obedience and faith, but He is more concerned about our hearts.  He said it is impossible to serve two masters.

The Pharisees of Jesus’ time had a teaching very similar to the prosperity message of today.  They taught that God’s blessing was on the rich and if a person was poor, he was under a curse.   (Deuteronomy 28:1-13)  Jesus told a story about a rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus.  These two real people lived on earth and both died.  At death there was a great reversal.  The rich man ended up in the torment of Hell, the place of the wicked dead.  The poor beggar, Lazarus, ended up in Abraham’s bosom, a place of comfort and blessing. They could see each other but were separated by a great gulf.  (Luke 16:22-26)

Jesus went on to tell about the conversation in the underworld between this rich man and Father Abraham.  The rich man asked to have Lazarus come and bring a drop of water to comfort him in his torment.  It was impossible!  This rich man then asked about sending Lazarus back to earth to warn his five brothers so that they would not end up in Hell.  This request was also denied.  The Law and Prophets provided all the warning that God was offering.

We have this Word from Jesus to warn us as well!  Pursue the kingdom of God and His righteousness, not money!  Beware of the spirit of the Pharisees, who loved money.  Beware of those who preach a false prosperity gospel!  Love God and serve Him only!

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Godliness is gain!

Scripture reading for October 21st: 1st Timothy 6:1-21

The false teachers of Paul’s day often used their religion to make money.  The idols of Ephesus supported a large trade union of silversmiths who made a living off of selling idols.  The keepers of the idol temples made money from prostitution that was used to worship.  Some of the so-called ‘Christian’ teachers also taught that God wanted people to be rich.

“If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing.  He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” (1st Timothy 6:3-5)  These teachers used words, controversial doctrines, and promoted envy and strife in the body of Christ.  Paul warned Timothy to beware of their tactics and instead teach and model the truth.

“Godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1st Timothy 6:6-10a)  Paul told Timothy that godliness was great gain for those who were content in Jesus Christ.  A focus on obtaining lots of money could easily become a trap of Satan.  The love of money was a strong force driving people into idolatry and away from God.

Timothy must flee from this love of money and the trap of the devil by pursuing righteousness and godliness through faith and love.  “Fight the good fight of faith.  Take hold of eternal life to which you were called,” (1st Timothy 6:12a)   Paul wanted Timothy to have a great reward from Jesus Christ when He appeared!

We must keep pressing on to conform our lives to that of Christ.  Godliness is great gain when Christ appears in His glory!  We must use our money, possessions, gifts and faith to produce good works that will bring eternal riches!

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