Sunday, October 02, 2016

Why It's Hard For A Richman Or Even the Poor To Enter The Kingdom Of God

Note: Having money is not a sin; however, you can easily become more devoted to money than to God.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21)

No one can serve two masters; for 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 God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24) (See also: Luke 16:13).

However, riches have the potential to deceive those who possess them. This is not always the case, but it is, indeed, a potential pitfall--so much so that Jesus does say it is quite hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

The Parable of the Sower sheds more light on this. In this parable, there are four different types of soil on which seed is sown. The seed represents the Gospel and the soils represent different responses people have to it.

The third type of soil/response is described as follows:

but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Mark 4:19

Why is that? Here are some reasons why it's hard for a rich (or even poor) man to enter the Kingdom of God.

1. The rich (and poor alike) tend to look to riches for ALL their needs

The carnal, unrenewed mind thinks worldly things. Just like the rich young ruler that Jesus talked to prior to the earlier passage (see Mark 10:17-22), all of us tend to trust in our riches because of the tremendous comfort, security and privilege that it brings.

Seriously, money can buy many things, but it can only buy so much. It can't buy salvation. Thus we won't be receiving the free gift of God in Christ Jesus through it.

2. Salvation is NOT by works or riches

No one can work or pay his way to heaven and the Kingdom of God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says "God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."

Salvation is a gift from the Lord, paid for in blood by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. It's a gift that no money, no favour, and no amount of work can ever purchase. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."

3. Salvation is God's own work, NOT ours

Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus is "the founder and perfecter of our faith." He was, is, and will always be the One who made the way for us to be saved. He was the one who worked to bring us to salvation (see Ephesians 2:4-7), who works to continually produce the fruits of our salvation in Him (see Philippians 1:11; Galatians 5:22-26), and the one who will bring us to completion (see Philippians 1:6).

Those who trust in their riches to provide all they need to live a godly life (yes, even that) will find that riches aren't even needed to save, to build up in the faith, and to grow in Christ-likeness. All we need is less of us and more of Christ (see John 3:30; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

As already mentioned, it is entirely possible for a rich man to go to heaven. The problem is that a rich man can more easily trust in his own merits or wealth.

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