Truly I say to you, how squeamish it is for those having money to be entering into the kingdom of God. Yet again I am saying to you, it is easier for a camel to be entering through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to be entering into the kingdom of God.
[Matthew 19:23-24; Mark 10:23-26; Luke 18:24-25]
Sniffing around edges of the kingdom, a rich man just doesn't have the taste for it. Jesus says, “One thing you still lack: go and sell all you possess, and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Jesus felt a love for him. But at these words, the rich man's face falls.
And Jesus entered the temple and began to cast out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers. He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a house of merchandise.” And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a robbers' den.” [Mark 11:15-17]
Sell your possession and give to charity; make for yourselves purses which do not wear out, and unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [Luke 12:33-34]
Following Jesus Christ continues in this way, as they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. [Acts 2:45]
II Timothy 3:1-5 (land of a hundred-million camels)
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power. Avoid such men as these.”
Jesus reveals from Parable of the Sower
The seed which fell among thorns these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they become choked with worries in the world, riches and pleasures of this life. These other things enter in and choke the word, preventing good fruit from being brought in maturity. [Mark 4:18-19; Luke 8:14]
For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. [I Timothy 6:10]
Brothers, let your way of life be free from the love of money. [Hebrews 13:5]
Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. [Proverbs 23:4]
Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, when the wealth of his house is increased; for when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not chase after him. Though while he lives he congratulates himself --- and though men praise you when you do well for yourself --- He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see the light. Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, is like the beasts that perish. [Psalm 49:16-20]
Jesus teaches us, “No one can be serving two Lords; for either he will be hating the one and loving the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaving for God and for financial increase. This is the very reason I now say to you, do not be anxious for your soul, as to what you may be eating or what you will have to drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall wear. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? Look at the birds above, how they do not sow, reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father is feeding them. Are you not of more consequence than they? Who, by being anxious, can add a cubit to his stature? And why are you worrying about clothing? Observe how the flowers of the field grow. Are they toiling with thread and weave? Yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much rather do for you, you scant of faith? You should not be worrying then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?' For all these things the nations long for, and your heavenly Father is aware that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and these all shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will be worrying of itself. Sufficient for the day is its own evil.” [Matthew 6:24-34]
Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their appetite, nor will they be able to fill their stomachs, for it has become the stumbling block of their iniquity. [Ezekiel 7:19]
In the beginning there was no money. Money came into the world as part of the social order. And now, the world is made after Money. And Money said, “Let there be happiness and comfort built on Money.” And the Capitalists were pleased. And Money said, “Let Money bring forth Money Lovers after their kind,” and it was so. And Money called its greatest servants, “$uccessful”; and its lesser servants it called “Indigents” or “Frustrated.”|
And Money said, “Let Money bring forth both buyers and $ellers, after their kind.” And, it was so. And the Earth was to be covered with the knowledge of Money. And the markets agreed that it was good.
Then, Money determined that it would make man into its own image. And, in the image of a fool it fashioned him. And Money called each man by the numbers that he carries with him. Then Money said, “It's not good for Capital to be alone.” So, man made Credit.
Now, Usury is more crafty than any other beast. And Usury said to lady Credit, “Has Money given us any limit as to what we may do with Debt?” So, Credit went out to take from all who would dance with her. Then Credit sought for Money, but Money was hiding in leverage. And Money said to Credit, “What have you done with Debt?”
Now, man had relations with Credit, and she conceived the need for Job $ecurity. And Money said, “Is this not good?” And again, she gave birth, and called her offspring “$tress”. And Money said to $tress, “Increased Productivity!” And $tress went out and led Job $ecurity to the grave. Then Money said, “I did that.” And so were built the many cities of Materialism, Unrighteousness & Greed.
So Money was found with Darkness, and the Darkness became the blight of men. Money was in the world, and the world was now made by him, and knew him. As many as trust him, for them is lost the treasures of Heaven.
from John Bunyan's Pilgim's Progress:|
MR. BY-ENDS: Suppose a man, a minister, or a tradesman, etc., should have an advantage lie before him to get the good blessings of this life, yet so as that he can by no means come by them, except, in appearance at least, he becomes extraordinary zealous in some points of religion that he meddled not with before; may he not use this means to attain his end, and yet be a right honest man?
MR. MONEY-LOVE: I see the bottom of your question; and with these gentlemen's good leave, I will endeavor to shape you an answer. And first, to speak to your question as it concerneth a minister himself: suppose a minister, a worthy man, possessed but of a very small benefice, and has in his eye a greater, more fat and plump by far; he has also now an opportunity of getting it, yet so as by being more studious, by preaching more frequently and zealously, and, because the temper of the people requires it, by altering of some of his principles; for my part, I see no reason why a man may not do this, provided he has a call, aye, and more a great deal besides, and yet be an honest man. For why?
1. His desire of a greater benefice is lawful, (this cannot be contradicted,) since it is set before him by Providence; so then he may get it if he can, making no question for conscience' sake.
2. Besides, his desire after that benefice makes him more studious, a more zealous preacher, etc., and so makes him a better man, yea, makes him better improve his parts, which is according to the mind of God.
3. Now, as for his complying with the temper of his people, by deserting, to serve them, some of his principles, this argueth, A. That he is of a self-denying temper. B. Of a sweet and winning deportment. And, C. So more fit for the ministerial function.
4. I conclude, then, that a minister that changes a small for a great, should not, for so doing, be judged as covetous; but rather, since he is improved in his parts and industry thereby, be counted as one that pursues his call, and the opportunity put into his hand to do good.
And now to the second part of the question, which concerns the tradesman you mentioned. Suppose such an one to have but a poor employ in the world, but by becoming religious he may mend his market, perhaps get a rich wife, or more and far better customers to his shop; for my part, I see no reason but this may be lawfully done. For why?
1. To become religious is a virtue, by what means soever a man becomes so.
2. Nor is it unlawful to get a rich wife, or more custom to my shop.
3. Besides, the man that gets these by becoming religious, gets that which is good of them that are good, by becoming good himself; so then here is a good wife, and good customers, and good gain, and all these by becoming religious, which is good: therefore, to become religious to get all these is a good and profitable design.
This answer, thus made by Mr. Money-love to Mr. By-ends' question, was highly applauded by them all; wherefore they concluded, upon the whole, that it was most wholesome and advantageous. And because, as they thought, no man was able to contradict it; and because Christian and Hopeful were yet within call, they jointly agreed to assault them with the question as soon as they overtook them.
Then said Christian, Even a babe in religion may answer ten thousand such questions. For if it be unlawful to follow Christ for loaves, as it is, [John 6:26] how much more abominable is it to make of him and religion a stalking-horse to get and enjoy the world! Nor do we find any other than heathens, hypocrites, devils, and wizards, that are of this opinion.
1. Heathens: for when Hamor and Shechem had a mind to the daughter and cattle of Jacob, and saw that there was no way for them to come at them but by being circumcised, they said to their companions, If every male of us be circumcised, as they are circumcised, shall not their cattle, and their substance, and every beast of theirs be ours? Their daughters and their cattle were that which they sought to obtain, and their religion the stalking-horse they made use of to come at them. [Genesis 34:20-24.]
2. The hypocritical Pharisees were also of this religion: long prayers were their pretence, but to get widows' houses was their intent; and greater damnation was from God their judgment. [Luke 20:46,47]
3. Judas the devil was also of this religion: he was religious for the bag, that he might be possessed of what was put therein; but he was lost, cast away, and the very son of perdition.
4. Simon the wizard was of this religion too; for he would have had the Holy Ghost, that he might have got money therewith: and his sentence from Peter's mouth was according. [Acts 8:19-22]
5. Neither will it go out of my mind, but that that man who takes up religion for the world, will throw away religion for the world; for so surely as Judas designed the world in becoming religious, so surely did he also sell religion and his Master for the same. To answer the question, therefore, affirmatively, as I perceive you have done, and to accept of, as authentic, such answer, is heathenish, hypocritical, and devilish; and your reward will be according to your works.
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if you're gonna fake Christianity for yourself, you will need to make it look good. You will first require some Bible knowledge (more is better), a little Christianese tongue, and a well-rehearsed facade to take along with. Christians are thought to look calm, and seldom with great passion. They are imagined to be as moralists, with Jesus on their side. Alternating these facets in settings of individualism, nationalism, pop psycho-social think, will all fit the bill for fitting-in with your fellow fakers. At least act like you're concerned about the world, even if it's just for your own stake! But now, to advance in your present charade
Fooling disciples of Jesus will always require more effort, if this can be achieved at all.
1. "Fellowship" to them is social time to you, so at least keep Jesus Christ as focus of the conversation! Good buddy, vanity, nonsense and "shop talk" all quickly give you away as lost to what really matters. Save it for when they're not around!!
2. Keep your secrets, but don't make it look like your keeping secrets! A disciple knows a life above willing fault, and simple actions you take to hide a word or deed will stink of something rotting in you.
3. Time to bank your love of money with a touch of practiced charity and clever investments. Get together your rationale for the things you have, and polish it! i.e., "God gave me these things", "I have these responsibilities", "It's all mine so I can help others
and shut up about all the stuff on your wish list!
4. Taking a personal offense will most certainly blow your cover-up! Recall from your Bible study: Christian disciples have died to themselves, so don't be a fool with this one. The least of them will be able to discern the way you take to offenses or beam with self-interest.
5. Disciples pray, so don't you fail to participate publicly! And, even if you think that you've received an answer to prayer, leave it be. Your answers can pop up like red flags to any disciple.
6. Wining or complaining around disciples is DOA.
Keep it for your spouse?
Heh, that's all the time I have for this. Big roast with Screwtape tonight. Live a great life.