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Following Jesus and Wealth

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by Livingstones2020, Nov 28, 2021.

  1. Livingstones2020

    Livingstones2020 Biblical Creationist

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    Hello and greetings in Jesus name. I have a question. I had a lengthy discussion with one of my friends about doing the Will of Jesus. He says that none of us are doing God's will. He says that in order to do His Will, we must give up our riches, everything that we have, and live in poverty to help the poor. He often quotes the story of the rich young ruler and says that is for everyone. We must sell all that we have and live among the poor. He even says that even having a vehicle (Which he has 2 of....) is a sign of wealth and propertity. If we have wealth, we are not following Jesus. At an earlier date, he says that none of us (every single Christian in USA) are not following Jesus and not doing God's will because of this issue. Any biblical advice that I can give him regarding to following Jesus and of wealth?
     
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  2. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    It is thought that Jesus was offering the young nobleman discipleship, not proscribing a pattern for all Christians

    If one divests themself of their wealth they become just another poor person that needs help.

    The New Testament is filled with instructions for Christians regarding wealth. Your friend should study the subject.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
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  3. royal priest

    royal priest debtor to grace

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    God gives different roles to people in the church. Those that acquire wealth and those that distribute it. Both roles are necessary and we should not expect people to give beyond what they can reasonably afford nor place them under any compulsion.
    1 Corinthians 16; 2 Corinthians 9
     
  4. Livingstones2020

    Livingstones2020 Biblical Creationist

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    Thank you for your input. I never heard that it was a call to discipleship on the individual. I will take a look into it. And I did mention that, but he says that we all can just rely on Jesus. I am guessing that he is thinking about when God feed Elijah by ravens.
     
  5. Livingstones2020

    Livingstones2020 Biblical Creationist

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    Thank you for your input. That is actually something I never thought of before. We need both (Input and Output) to be equally balance. I did mention that there are some that are called to do of what my friend is claiming, but that is not the direct command to everyone in the Church. We had a disagreement before where it says to go into all of the world to preach the Gospel. He claims that every single Christian have to go into every single country in the world. I did explain that the command was for the Church as a group and not to the individual.
     
  6. Akita Suggagaki

    Akita Suggagaki Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever seen the movie or read the book, "In The name of the Rose"? Murder mystery set in medieval monastery. There, is also a debate among Franciscans as to the role of poverty and even whether Jesus owned his own clothes. So we can see how this can be blown into a useless distraction. I think the main point was made by Jesus when he said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matthew 6:21).

    It is not about how much you have but about how much has you.
     
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  7. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    Many are "doing the Lord's work" by helping others. An 'informal ministry' of sorts.
     
  8. inquiring mind

    inquiring mind associate with those you can learn from Supporter

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    The fortunate often look for scripture that protects their wealth; whereas, many of the less fortunate are looking for directions that call for your giving it to them and making them feel entitled to it. Neither seems quite right to me. As with most things, the correct answer is probably somewhere in the middle and involves doing what you can and should do to better the situation… and that goes for both parties.
     
  9. EpicScore

    EpicScore Member

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    When considering the relationship between believers and wealth, I should note that the "father of the faithful", Abraham, was a very wealthy man; and "the man after God's own heart", David, died as a King, and not a penniless beggar. You cannot help the poor if you yourself live in poverty, and while God did call His people to wander in the wilderness, their final destination was meant to be the Promised Land "that is flowing with milk and honey", and not the barren desert.

    Of course, wealth and prosperity is also one of the biggest obstacle that prevents peoplfrom wholeheartedly serving the Lord. This is why Matthew 6:24 specifically warns us that "You cannot serve both God and money" rather than "you cannot serve both God and your lust" or some other forms of idolatry. Also, interestingly, in the sermon I heard today, the pastor remarks that some of the harshest disciplines that God dealt towards His people were done against those who had acted out of their "love of money"--such as Achan, who stole spoils from Jericho, and whose sin caused the Israelites to lose their subsequent against Ai (Joshua 7); and Ananias and Sapphira, who lied about the amount of money they were offering to the church (Acts 5).

    I think the main issue here is that wealth affords us with luxury, status, and influence that grants its owner an almost "godlike" prestige among their spheres of society (which other forms of sin does not grant), and this makes those who owns much of it to seek and rely on God rather than their own self-sufficiency.

    About that last sentence, does he realize that it's physically impossible for every Christian to travel to all countries for the sake of evangelism, not to mention ineffective for what the evangelism is meant to accomplish in the first place? For the Word of God to really take root in someone's heart and bring genuine changes in their lives, it's not enough to just preach Christ and end there. The believers would also need to be discipled, nurtured, guided and counseled through trials and afflictions, and for this growth to happen, there needs to be a trusting relationship between the more mature believer and the new convert. It is impossible to build this kind of trusting relationship between the believers if every Christian is constantly on the move.

    I recall John Piper spoke about this in a conference, where he mentioned that God does allocate different roles in the Great Commission, and that while some people need to be sent out of their homes to preach in foreign lands, some are appointed to minister at their homes. Even in the early churches in Acts, the leaders are given distinct roles, with the apostles serving as the primary evangelists, while the deacons and elders "serve tables" and care for the poor/sick/needy.

    Also if you don't mind me asking, is your friend a Christian? I'm curious what prompted his views, when he doesn't seem to be subscribing to the values he endorses himself.
     
  10. EpicScore

    EpicScore Member

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    double post
     
  11. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jesus Christ of Nazareth also said to cut off your hand and pluck out your eye so that you do not sin. Hyperbolic language is often used in scripture and is a useful tool in many cases to get a point across. He simply points out that the love of lust and money more than God and others will have everlasting effects.
    Blessings
     
  12. Albion

    Albion Factchecker

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    ...and that, if completing some sort of checklist of good deeds is what the person questioning Christ thinks will make him or her acceptable to God, then Jesus' reply is saying there's no one who can accomplish everything that such an approach would require. It would need to be to achieve Perfection.

    On the contrary, faith in Jesus is what leads to salvation.
     
  13. sandman

    sandman Senior Member

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    Both those ideas (sell all that we have and live among the poor) are equivocal statements based on specific biblical context(s) and concluded with self-aggrandizing theo-rationalism…. which is the practice of treating reason as the ultimate authority over truth.

    To say that we should be poor to relate to the poor is equivalent to stating I should be a criminal to help criminals or an alcoholic to help alcoholics. If everyone were to be poor ….who would contribute to the poor….we would all be in the same boat.

    A prime example today would be Mike Lindell who has and continues to help countless people with his wealth…..people who otherwise would be homeless, addicts, and without a knowledge of God’s Word. Mike has helped many with the resources he has been blessed with ……couldn’t do that if he had nothing to give.

    In Acts the people sold their pluralities to help others they did not become impoverished and destitute.It is the love of $$$ that is the root of all evil and we are not to serve two masters… Ye cannot serve God and mammon (the things of this world)

    Jesus indicated in what capacity people would serve.

    Mat 13:8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

    Vacating our wealth to help others is fruitless…vacating what holds us back from serving the Lord be it mammon, social ties, fear, sin, mental pressure, or any weight which doth so easily beset us is profitable to God.
     
  14. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    Ephesians 4:28
    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
     
  15. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Interesting that his words don't match his actions.

    Challenge him to read acts and the epistles looking for all the evidence that Rich christians supported the work of the gospel.

    Wealth isn't wrong, it's how we got it and how we use it that matters.
     
  16. FutureAndAHope

    FutureAndAHope Just me Supporter

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    When I became a Christain God called me into the workplace. There are plenty of opportunities to share faith, and at the end of the day, you have money to help the poor.

    John the baptist said:

    Luk 3:11 John told them, "If you have two coats, give one to someone who doesn't have any. If you have food, share it with someone else."

    It is out of our excess, and willful sacrificial giving, that we help the needy.
     
  17. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Beloved one,
    Is your friend considering this verse ?
    “Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.””
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:21‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

    Have your friend considered carefully what Jesus said about treasure in Heaven,
    and not on earth!

    Beloved one, if your friend considered all who are rich Christians not doing the will of God, tell me what apostle was talking about, that they said:

    Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
    ‭‭I Timothy‬ ‭6:17-19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

    Apostle Paul told Timothy to command who are rich in this present age in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

    If there are no rich Christians who they COMMAND ?

    If the rich Christians do good, be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, —aren’t the rich Christians storing up for ourselves a good foundation for the time to come !

    Can the rich Christians lay hold on eternal life, according to what apostle Paul told Timothy? They can.

    Beloved one,
    Let us consider the will of Jesus according to the Spirit.

    To God the Father be thanksgiving through Christ. Amen
     
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