Three Taverns Church

The American Gospel – On Money


What we Americans may wish the Bible said about money (and somehow convince ourselves that it does):

Matthew 6:19-20 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust  destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in a bank where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves probably won’t break in and steal; and if they do, your deposit is insured up to $250,000.

Matthew 6:24 No one 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, but a large retirement account is OK.

Matthew 19:21-22 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, give $20 to the church when you can remember to, build up your possessions, drive past the poor with your windows rolled up, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, sing songs about me once a week.

Mark 4:19 But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth (not your wealth of course, but the wealth of your neighbor who makes more money than you) and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

Proverbs 23:4-5 Do not wear yourself out to get rich, unless you will become really rich; do not trust your own cleverness, that’s what financial advisors are for. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle unless you have a solid retirement plan.

James 5:1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because the stock market is falling.

Proverbs 11:28 He who trusts in his riches will feel safe and secure, and the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf.

Luke 8:14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, because they did not consult with a paid professional regarding their investment portfolio.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money should keep working for more; they will eventually be satisfied with their large income. To do otherwise is meaningless.

Proverbs 11:4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath if you haven’t invested it correctly.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 Instruct those who are rich in this present world be conceited and to fix their hope on the certainty of riches, and also on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works when their schedules allow for it, to be generous up to a reasonable limit and ready to share a little, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may own expensive cars.

Luke 16:14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What other people value highly is detestable in God’s sight, but what you value he respects.”

7 thoughts on “The American Gospel – On Money

  1. I think the bottom line is this: God DOES KNOW each one’s heart, aside from the presumptions of others and/or the outward appearances that others see and perhaps judge.
    Each must examine his own heart before the Lord.

    • Perhaps. And perhaps it’s time to stop watering down the Gospel. Perhaps it’s time to call a spade a spade.

    • Furthermore, while God knows our hearts, I contend that many people struggle with knowing their own heart. I thought I knew my heart for years; only now do I see how little I really know myself.

      The American church seems afraid to call people out on just how rich and greedy most of us are. I think we need to hear this kind of message so we can examine our own hearts. I don’t want people thinking their heart is ok, only to realize when they stand before the Lord that, oops, I guess my heart was no good after all. I’d rather they find that out on this side of eternity while they still have a chance to do something about it.

      Francis Chan is one of the few pastors I’ve heard who is willing to call out congregations on money on a regular basis. Leaders in the church, both paid and unpaid, have a responsibility to preach the whole Gospel, not just the popular parts that bring in big audiences.

      Consider the following verses:

      James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (ESV)

      Jeremiah 23:25-27a “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another.”

      Ezekiel 28:4-7 “by your wisdom and your understanding you have made wealth for yourself,
      and have gathered gold and silver into your treasuries;
      by your great wisdom in your trade you have increased your wealth, and your heart has become proud in your wealth—therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you make your heart like the heart of a god, therefore, behold, I will bring foreigners upon you,
      the most ruthless of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and defile your splendor.”

      Psalm 81:12-13 “So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!”

      Psalm 119:35-36 “Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”

      I could go on, but you get the picture. I am not satisfied with letting people pass from this world without challenging their belief systems. The more I read the Gospel, pray, and listen to Spirit-filled people like Francis Chan preach, the more I look at my own life and realize how unlike Jesus I am living.

      The Son of Man had no place to rest His head; Paul had no silver or gold; the church in Jerusalem shared everything in common. Yet somehow, because of our national heritage, we can justify luxury cars and expensive homes? I don’t want to start setting up rules and laws, because death comes from the law. What I want is for people to open their eyes to the Gospel message that’s right in front of them, then look at their lives and be honest to themselves.

  2. Yes, sharing the word of God is a good thing. If one attends to the word of God with a humble heart and with willingness to be taught by the Holy Spirit, one will be able to examine his/her own heart before the Lord. It sounds like that is working got you, RM.

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