Friday, May 17, 2013

The Love of Money


I Tim.6: 3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Money is earthly power and brings forth self righteousness especially when it is sought and honored. It used to be that the kingdom of darkness was known for how it sought and held in high esteem money and wealth. And the church used to reject that allurement choosing rather to trust God for her needs.
Pr.30: 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
I Tim.6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Even though the love and pursuit of money has always been lurking within the hearts of men, after the Industrial Revolution it exploded by leaps and bounds. During the last several centuries, and the last being the most pronounced, the church has rapidly succumbed to the mores and pursuits of the fallen culture in which it lives. To say this is sad is a colossal understatement. To leave the cross and its Lord and run after money and material things is the worst of all sins. In the end, after many decades of giving your heart over to such things, the gospel eventually becomes a doctrine and ceases to be a living power within the church.
But how can we turn our back on the Lord Jesus and all His sufferings and go a-whoring after that which will perish? What kind of faith is that? What kind of love do we have for Him who gave us Himself when we turn our hearts over to the cares of this temporal world? Do we even love the blood anymore or has even that become stale and powerless and void of the sacred redemption of God’s holiness? Oh how the cross and everything about it is now less exciting then a new television set. Take the cross off the shelf on Easter week, genuflect a few times, and on the Monday after Easter go about our business. Oh the shame of it all!
Money. Green paper or numbers on a printed bank statement. Are those the shrines where we now bow? But the mighty and august cross of Christ and the glory of His empty tomb must compete for some cameos in church sermons or the Christian bookstores? This is an outrage and rightfully deserves our public scorn and our personal repentance. And when we see videos like the one I provided we as believers should know that this is apostasy. This is not just a compromise or a dilution of the faith. This is not just heresy or false teaching. This is apostasy, and upon leaving the faith what has been set up in its place is modern day idolatry. Grown men, supposedly preachers of the gospel, dancing on money in front of the congregation. And people loving it. It is blasphemous and open apostasy and these men are representatives of the demonic.
But that video shows absolute nonsense, but there is idolatry within other evangelical churches who would believe that the men in that video are heretics. Almost ten years ago I taught a Sunday School class in a Baptist church in out town. At that time we had around 100 attendees each week. The church had just brought in a new pastor because the previous one resigned because of a moral failure. The pastor that was called came under one condition that the church would increase the salary package because he had been making around the same money in his present church. That pastor was a millionaire who had made his money before being called into the ministry.
Well just before that church was beginning a faith pledge drive for a 25 million dollar new auditorium, they hired a full time associate to oversee that fund raising effort. And several months before the big kick off the new pastor passed around free copies of a book entitled “The Blessed Life” by Robert Morris. The main thrust of the book was that God wants to financially bless all His children and the key was to give. Just before a faith pledge drive…how transparent.
But one story in the book was when Pastor Morris went to play golf with some friends. And that morning was chilly and Morris had forgotten his sweater. He looked for a sweater in the pro shop and found two for sale. One was under 100 dollars while the other was way over 100 dollars. Desiring to be frugal he bought the cheaper one. Well he had an awful game of golf, and afterward Morris said the Spirit spoke to him that his awful golf was because he had the spirit of poverty on him as evidenced by his refusal to purchase the more expensive sweater.
Now I ask you this. If you have even an elementary understanding of God and His Word do you not find something like that both silly and tragic? This is what passes for Christianity? Several weeks after we were given that book I resigned my position. You cannot serve God and money. And when we reduce God to golf sweaters we have left the faith and are now teaching a religion called capitalism. Although these evangelical gurus would not dance on top of money outwardly, inside that is exactly what they are doing. What may have begun many, many decades ago as a slight and almost imperceptible compromise, has now blossomed into full blown apostasy. Yes, it is that serious.
How much more serious can it get when the Master says that all evil can be traced back to the love of money. Many compromised preachers love to point out that it isn’t money that is the root of all evil. It is the love of money. They are correct in that detail, however they are blind to what is overwhelmingly obvious to anyone who wishes their eyes to see it. The church is filled with the love of money in all its ways. Sacrifice and self denial and moderation are now lies from the devil. And anyone who strives to remain untouched by this world is considered eccentric. Someday all true believers will stand before Christ and experience the pain of what they have done to the Redeemer.
Let me address something else here. Many of these prosperity hucksters preach a false gospel and a false Jesus. However there are many sio called orthodox preachers who have the love of money but who have genuinely been saved by God’s grace. They will suffer loss in that day.
I Cor.3: 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
We so easily dismiss the loss that shall be suffered by believers. As long as we get to heaven who really cares? But we are ignorant of the depth of that loss. There was a small town in middle Pennsylvania where houses were set apart with almost a quarter mile in between. A couple had given birth to twin boys with glowing red hair and the entire town rejoiced with them. It was a phenomenon within such a small town. One afternoon the mother had put down these two toddlers for their nap and she walked next door to borrow something. While she was speaking with her neighbor both women look across the meadow and saw a horrific sight. The woman’s house was smoking profusely and was ablaze.
The mother ran toward the house but as she came upon it two of the volunteer firemen arrived and restrained her. The house was engulfed in flames and the two red headed toddlers had died within the blaze. The mother was inconsolable. The entire town grieved as if those two boys were their own. In fact the loss of those two boys lasted for decades for those who knew them. For many years there was a kind of unspoken sadness among the townspeople.
How much more will we feel and experience when we suffer loss before Him because we had given our hearts over to what did not honor Him? What kind of spiritual grief will believers experience when they suffer that kind of loss before He who has saved their eternal souls? You see, dear believer, this no game of doctrinal gotcha. Let us awake to our sin and arise to our duty! Let us see what has happened, at least in part, and pursue Him with our whole hearts while rejecting the lusts of the flesh.
There is a monster called money. If we treat it as a necessity and keep it a sacred distance from our hearts we can still follow hard after our Savior. But if we allow it even the first small footprint into a territory that should be His alone, then it will slowly consume us.


Jamie Morgan said...

Great post! No man can serve two masters; for eighther he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold the other ye can not serve God and mammon.I belive you hit the nail right on the head the western church for to long now has replaced Christ and his teaching by laying up treasure here on earth insted of laying up treasure in heaven.When we point this out to most you get all kinds of twisting of scripture to make people feel better about this fact.The church is so caught up in this deception that its hating Christ but loving mammon.

Cheire c. said...

For the Love of a sister in the Lord.

Jackie update.

Jackie had her surgery and she is going to be okay. Testing still has to be done but she made it through the surgery and if all goes well be home by Sunday.

GLORY TO GOD FOR HIS MERCY, LOVE AND CARE FOR HIS CHILDREN. All the honor and Glory from this event with Jackie is all to you Dear Father and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you brothers and sisters for your prayers for Jackie.

love you all.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Lorena said...

Rick, much needed post!
Firstly, I'd just like to say, all glory to our Gracious God that Jackie is going to be okay!!
Thank you Cherie c. for letting us know.

The video is despicable. The Pastor should have gone back home for his sweater. The whole thing is horrible. Someone said to me that being a Pastor is just a business now...just a job and I must agree. It's no longer Jesus Christ, and redemption, and the gospel, and sharing it with others.

I'm glad you resigned your position, Rick.
Also I think that some people in the church with much money look down on others who have little of it.

lastdaysoftheage said...

The Lord called us to be humble. My wife and I prayed to the Lord the other night to ask what He would have us do the next day. His answer: Be Humble. God's Grace, Mercy, Holiness and Righteousness to you brothers and sisters.

Cherie c said...

Jackie is home and doing great! Thank you Lord! Now we ask for a good report from the tests. Two weeks to go. Jesus can handle anything. Thank you Lord for hearing our prayers.

Cherie c.