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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Does God want us to be Wealthy or Poor?

Written byAwake                                                          |Edit Article
Edited by Muoka Chibuzor

These statements reflect the view of number of religious groups that attribute material wealth to the blessings of God. If you do the right thing by God, they preach, he will empower you to gain the good things of this life and reward you afterwards as well.
The theology has wide appeal, and books promoting it are best sellers. But does this prosperity theology harmonizes with the bible?

That’s the aim of this article.

To be sure, our Creator, whom the Bible calls the “happy God,” wants us to lead happy successful lives.
Psalm 1:1 – 3 – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord. And on his law he meditates Day and Night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruits in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers!
Moreover, he blesses those who please him.
Proverbs 10:22 – The blessings of the Lord makes rich, and adds no sorrow with it. 
But for us today, is that blessing merely a form of material prosperity?The answer becomes clear when we understand where we are in the stream of time according to Gods purpose.
A Time to Get Rich                                                     
In the past, God blessed some of his servants with material wealth, the patriarch Job and King Solomon being good examples of that.
1 Kings 10:23 – Thus king Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.
Job 42:12 – And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.
Yet, many other God – fearing men had little, including John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.
Mark 1:6 – Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, and a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey.
Luke 9:58 – And Jesus said to them, “Foxes have holes, and Birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
The point?
According to the Bible, God deals with his servants in harmony with his purpose for them at the time.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.

Now, how does this principle apply to us today?
Bible prophesy reveals that we are living in the “conclusion of the system of things,” or “the last days” of the present world. This era would be marked by warfare, disease, famines, earthquakes and breakdown in society – conditions that have plagued mankind on an unprecedented scale since the year 1914.

In short, this world, like a foundering ship, is about to sink! In view of those facts, would it make sense for God to bless each of his servants with material riches, or would God have other priorities for us?
Jesus Christ compared our time with the days of Noah. Jesus said:

“As they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark; and they took no note until the flood came and swept them away, so will the presence of the son of man will be.”

Jesus also compared our days with the days of Lot. Lot’s neighbors in Sodom and Gomorrah were ‘eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting and building’
“But on the day that Lot came out of Sodom It rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed them all,”
Jesus said, adding: “The same way it will be on the day when the son of Man is to be revealed.” – Luke 17:28 – 30.

To be sure, there is nothing wrong with eating, drinking, marrying, buying, and selling. The danger lies in being so absorbed in those things that we take no note of the urgency of the times.
So ask yourself, ‘Would God be doing us a favor if he were to bless us with the very things that will fill our lives with distractions?
On the contrary, he would be doing us a great disservice. That is not the way of God of love!

As in the first century, some faithful Christians today are wealthy. However, God warns them not to trust their riches nor be distracted by them. Rich or Poor, all should focus on doing God’s will.

A Time to Save Lives!
However, God does not expect his faithful servants to be ascetics. Rather, he wants them to be content with life’s necessities so that they focus on serving him. He in turn will see that their material needs are filled.

Hebrew 13:5 – let your manner of life be free of love of money, while you are content with the present things. For [God] has said: ‘I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.’

God will prove true to those words in an outstanding way when he preserves “a great crowd” of true worshippers through the end of the present system of things and into a new world of peace and prosperity.

The so called prosperity theology is in reality, distraction theology

Finally, Jesus said: I have come that they [his faithful followers] might have life and might have it in abundance. That ‘abundant life’ refers, not to a life of material plenty now, but to endless life in paradise under God’s Kingdom rule.

Do not settle for less by being deceived by so – called prosperity theology, which in reality, is distraction theology. Instead, heed Jesus loving words.

Pay attention to yourselves that your heart never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you as a snare!

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