Beware of loving money!

Scripture reading for October 27th: Luke 16-18

“No servant 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.” “The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.” Luke 16:13-14

In Christian circles today, there is a popular variation of the Gospel called the “prosperity” teaching.  This teaching takes the verses about God’s blessings and twists them to say that God wants you to be rich and to use your riches as a testimony to the world of the blessings of God’s kingdom.  God’s word does proclaim blessing on God’s people for obedience and faith, but He is more concerned about our hearts.  He said it is impossible to serve two masters.

The Pharisees of Jesus’ time had a teaching very similar to the prosperity message of today.  They taught that God’s blessing was on the rich and if a person was poor, he was under a curse.   (Deuteronomy 28:1-13)  Jesus told a story about a rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus.  These two real people lived on earth and both died.  At death there was a great reversal.  The rich man ended up in the torment of Hell, the place of the wicked dead.  The poor beggar, Lazarus, ended up in Abraham’s bosom, a place of comfort and blessing. They could see each other but were separated by a great gulf.  (Luke 16:22-26)

Jesus went on to tell about the conversation in the underworld between this rich man and Father Abraham.  The rich man asked to have Lazarus come and bring a drop of water to comfort him in his torment.  It was impossible!  This rich man then asked about sending Lazarus back to earth to warn his five brothers so that they would not end up in Hell.  This request was also denied.  The Law and Prophets provided all the warning that God was offering.

We have this Word from Jesus to warn us as well!  Pursue the kingdom of God and His righteousness, not money!  Beware of the spirit of the Pharisees, who loved money.  Beware of those who preach a false prosperity gospel!  Love God and serve Him only!

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