Pastor Roger Anghis
April 10, 2011
In looking at what is said in the New Testament about wealth we will see that God has NOT changed his mind concerning who should have the wealth in this world. But we must always remember that we are to be conduits for God’s grace and what He gives us we must be ready to give it away to whom He directs to give it to. Our next verse is Mark 10: 17-30. This story relates back to how we are supposed to treat money.
Too many people have money as their god. It is THE most important thing in their life. Jesus uses this situation to teach how hard it is for a rich person that is not careful as to how he treats wealth to get into heaven. Jesus never says don’t be rich, but he does warm about the trappings of wealth (verse 23). It’s not the wealth that is keeping people out of heaven, but how they handle the money. They have made money the most important thing in their life. vs. 17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? (18) And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. (19) Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. (20) And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. (21)
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, one thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. (22) And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. (23) And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! (24) And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! (25) 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. (26) And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? (27) And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. (28) Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. (29)
And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, (30) But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. (verse 21)This is where most Christians fail. They have placed money and material possessions higher than God. This man had wealth and prized it more than God. This is one of the verses that many preachers use to prove that Jesus doesn’t want us wealthy but that ideology conflicts with Luke 6:38 and Mark 10:29-30, which we will study in-depth shortly. Jesus declared in Luke 6:38 that when you give, it comes back to you. So even if the man had sold all he had and had given it to the poor, it would have come back to him dollar for dollar, minimum.
According to Mark 29-30 it could have come back to him 100 fold. What Jesus wanted was for him to learn to live by giving. A look at the background of this may reveal what kind of wealth this ruler had. In verse 22 the Greek word used for “great” is polus which means great, abundant, plenteous. The root of this wors is pleistos (plice-tos) which means the largest number, very great.
The word used for “possessions” is ktema (ktay-mah) and means estate. The lexicon defines it as property and lands. What this verse is saying about this man is that he had an extremely large estate. Jesus did not rebuke him for having wealth, He wanted him to learn God’s way of living and that’s living by giving. In verse 23 Jesus declares how hard it is for someone who has wealth to get into the kingdom of heaven, but it isn’t because of the wealth, per say, but because of the importance that person puts on wealth. The Greek word used for “riches” is chrema (khray-mah) and it means wealth, money, riches. Never in this verse does Jesus declare that it is the riches alone that will keep a man out of heaven. In Matthew 6:33 we see where Jesus states that possessions will be added to you when you are seeking God. The lesson Jesus wants us to learn is to depend on Him, not the money.
In verse 24 Jesus clarifies what the man’s problem was and for all too many that have wealth; “how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!.” If you are not careful, you will begin to trust in the money instead of God. The Greek word for “trust” used in verse 24 is peitho and it means to rely, have confidence, trust, yield. Psalm 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Jesus wants us to trust Him, not money. Verse 25 is a reference to a small opening in the wall of Jerusalem called the eye of the needle that was so small that to enter through that passage you had to unload your pack animal and hand carry the load through the small opening and then bring the pack animal through and reload it.
The inference here is focusing on the difficulty of trusting in God when you are dependent on your wealth. Verse 26 keys in on an important point that most preachers miss completely. That is the response from the disciples: “Who then can be saved?” The initial reaction was simply no one with any amount of wealth could make it to heaven. Being good Jews, except for Luke who was a Gentile, they were taught from their youth how to profit and create wealth. Most of them had families that they had to support and traveling with Jesus required that they have a fair amount of substance to care for their families.
In verse 28 it states that Peter, being very concerned about what he thought Jesus meant, reminded Jesus that they had left all to follow Him. Jesus clarifies His statement and declares the spiritual law of giving into the kingdom by stating that whatever is given up for the kingdom of God will be returned to him now, in this time, 100 fold. I don’t care how you look at it. 100 fold is increase, huge increase. The Greek word used is hekatontaetaplasion and it means a hundred times. As an example, if you give land to a church, you will receive now, in this time, something of value that will equal 100 times what that land was worth. This is a promise directly from Jesus Himself. Only a fool would question it. Jesus also said that there would be persecution. Most of the persecution will come from the church. They called Oral Roberts a heretic for saying that God is a good God, even though God IS a good God. Some of the persecution will come from those that will not follow God’s law of tithing and then complain about the harvest of those that do tithe.
I know of a preacher that has given away 14 different airplanes to other preachers. Each one more expensive than the last always updating everything on the plane and rebuilding the motors. Then after years of doing this he received a very nice airplane. He received 100 fold plus on his seed and he has put up with grief from the body of Christ for doing what God has said to do and then reaping the harvest that God said he would reap.
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There is one last thing that Jesus said about those that give into the kingdom, they will have eternal life. It isn’t something that you can buy. If you give just to get, you will not receive anything that will last. But when you are born-again and give because you love God and want to see His kingdom grow, you will receive a return on what you give and you will have eternal life. That is wealth beyond anything that this earth can offer.
© 2011 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org