1. GOD LOVES THE RICH TOO, young and old, male and female, not for their possessions but to bring them through the EYE OF THE NEEDLE into His marvellous kingdom. The Bible says: “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:25)
2. GOD LOVES THE RICH, and poor folks too; they are the work of His hand. A lot of people may read the scripture verse quoted above and imagine that God has a grouse against money bags. No Sir, the Almighty will not shut His door against anyone on the basis of what he has or has not, because ALL THINGS are received from Him and in Him, as it is written: “…A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27) The prince born in the palace and the pauper conceived and delivered in a hovel are of God and in Him. The choice of where a man is born, by who and available opportunities are prerogatives of God. One man is RICH and another is dirt POOR, not for lack of trying, but everyman is the product of a complex play of factors moderated by DIVINE PROVIDENCE. The Bible says: “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the RACE IS NOT TO THE SWIFT, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, NOR YET RICHES TO MEN OF UNDERSTANDING, nor yet favour to men of skill; but TIME and CHANCE HAPPENETH TO THEM ALL” (Ecclesiastics 9:11) Without mincing words, God does not condone INDOLENCE. It is also true that hard work, ALONE, does not translate to RICHES. TIME refers to equal opportunities of DIVINE PROVIDENCE available to ALL MEN in God, who makes His “…sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45) CHANCE accommodates God’s SOVEREIGN WILL to determine when, where a man is born and what he makes of it. So then, the same God makes rain to fall from the sky but some lands are fertile and others are dried up. Two men are born same year, same town, and one ends up RICH and the other very POOR. Whatever card God deals to you, He expects you to make the best of it, because every life has a PURPOSE in DIVINE AGENDA. RICH or POOR, every soul born into this world is accountable to God for the gift of LIFE and His BLESSING. We have in us God’s BLESSING to fulfil His AGENDA, as it is written: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And GOD BLESSED THEM,..” (Genesis 1:28) The BLESSING of God is the ability to make the best of TIME and CHANCE. Having said that, God places a higher responsibility on those who have more of the riches of this world, as the Bible says: “…For unto WHOMSOEVER MUCH IS GIVEN, OF HIM MUCH SHALL BE REQUIRED: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48) If some Bible verses seem to condemn the RICH, it is because God expects more from them. GOD LOVES THE RICH and endowed with material possessions, not to oppress or live a gluttonous life, but to fulfil God’s PURPOSE. I affirm that His arms are stretched to ALL RICH folks, to assist them with the burdens of their possessions and save their souls from eternal damnation.
3. GOD LOVES THE RICH but will not bend His rules to accommodate the deceitfulness of riches. Earthly riches are welcome in the household of God, for the good of all, but not the baggage of material excesses. Riches saddle those who have them with onerous responsibilities. Expectedly, those who are YOUNG and SPIRITUALLY IMMATURE face a tough battle to stay true to the WORD of God. The Bible says: “…cares of this world, and the DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word and MAKE THEM UNFRUITFUL AND ABHORRENT TO GOD” (Mark 4:19) A RICH YOUNG MAN came to Jesus Christ, seeking to be made PERFECT for the kingdom of God. He came with confessions of piety in his mouth, but saddled with a soul overburdened with cares and worries of this world. He sought God with his mouth but had no room left in his heart to receive Him (Mark 10:19-20) This YOUNG MAN obviously did everything the parish pastor wanted but failed to do the ONE THING God desired of him, as the Bible says: “Then Jesus beholding him LOVED HIM, and said unto him, ONE THING THOU LACKEST: go thy way, SELL WHATSOEVER THOU HAST, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, TAKE UP THY CROSS, and FOLLOW ME” (Mark 10:21) Jesus said, ONE THING THOU LACKEST, and went ahead to dangle three requests before him. Meaning, all three requests dissolve into the ONE THING he lacked, that is, ABSOLUTE TRUST in God beyond and above his possessions. Jesus LOVED the fellow and he was so close to EVERLASTING LIFE but missed it because he voted for his RICHES against God. If Jesus had asked for an OFFERING, this RICH MAN and many others in his shoes would give generously. God is not man, the pastor may need your money for his welfare and the parish for a building project, the Lord needs your HEART and your HEART ALONE. The RICH MAN “…was sad at that saying, and WENT AWAY GRIEVED: for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:22) Whatever good intentions and faith he had were wiped off in a minute of reckless LOVE of MONEY and pierced his own soul with unending sorrows, as it is written: “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” (1 Timothy 6:10)
4. GOD LOVES THE RICH and is determined to help and deliver them from self inflicted SORROWS that drive men to perdition. The Bible says: “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” (1 Timothy 6:9) “THEY THAT WILL BE RICH” have two things in common. ONE, they are RICH, have no room for God in their hearts, but are consumed by inordinate passion to be RICHER. TWO, they live ONLY to satisfy the cravings of the FLESH. Even so, God LOVE for the RICH is unabated, but abhors GREED and LICENTIOUSNESS. We have a PARABLE in the Bible, of a certain RICH MAN who got a windfall from his harvest and said: “I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I WILL SAY TO MY SOUL, Soul, THOU HAST MANY GOODS LAID UP FOR MANY YEARS; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:18-19) This man was RICH and fabulously RICHER after the windfall, that was no problem to God. His error was not a bigger silo, but in PRESUMING to own the breathe in his nostrils! When he said, “I WILL SAY TO MY SOUL”, he picked up a fight with his Creator and God answered: “…THOU FOOL, THIS NIGHT THY SOUL SHALL BE REQUIRED OF THEE: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:20) The PARABLE did not tell us how long God tolerated his GREED and LICENTIOUSNESS. Or, how many messengers God sent to him and how he treated them. We will never know the preachers who received favours from him in return for INDULGENCES. In spite of all these things, I assure you that GOD LOVES THE RICH. His desire is to add long life and good health to their days, not to cut it short. His arms are open to receive ALL RICH folks who come to him in REPENTANCE, into His REST. Thus says the Lord: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST” (Matthew 11:28)
5. GOD LOVES THE RICH and will yet receive many RICH folks into His Kingdom before the door of grace is shut. ZACCHAEUS was a RICH MAN, who made his money by extorting poor Jews in the name of Rome. The people loathed him and his despicable vocation denied him a place in the Temple. When he heard of Jesus and the gospel of SALVATION preached in His NAME, he realized he had been wrong all along. Zacchaeus sought the Lord diligently and went as far as climbing a tree to get to Jesus. God also was quick to receive him when he REPENTED. and made RESTITUTION for his SINS, as it is written: “… if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I RESTORE HIM FOURFOLD. And Jesus said unto him, THIS DAY SALVATION COME TO THIS HOUSE…” (Luke 19:8-9) Please note, Zacchaeus did not pay money to Jesus for his SALVATION. This clarification is necessary because we live in a generation where GREEDY MEN in cassocks make brisk business with the souls of RICH MEN in the name of the Lord. I enjoin you to flee from those who PRETEND to pray, for a fee, but will not lead you to REPENTANCE and SALVATION in Jesus Christ. They are PRAYER CONTRACTORS and are after your money not your SALVATION. NICODEMUS was a RICH MAN, a member of council of elders and well respected in the Temple. He heard the Good News of SALVATION by GRACE through FAITH and realized he was not in right standing with God. NICODEMUS left whatever he was doing and went to see Jesus, ALONE. Jesus received him and said: “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3) You need some quality time ALONE with Jesus, away from your hangers on and those who peddle religion for filthy lucre. ALONE with Jesus, Nicodemus heard what no priest ever told him. He was shocked to hear he must REPENT and be BORN AGAIN to receive a NEW LIFE that is established on personal relationship with the ALMIGHTY. There are many nice RICH folks in the manner of Nicodemus, within and outside the Church, who urgently need to spend quality time ALONE with the Lord Jesus Christ. His message to ALL is the same as He told Nicodemus; YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN. Your quality time with Jesus has nothing to do with your pastor, bishop or parish, but strictly between YOU and God. It is not an inquest or God putting you to trial, but YOU coming clean with your Creator in REPENTANCE and laying hold of SALVATION by FAITH in the NAME of Jesus Christ. Thus says the Lord: “Come now, and LET US REASON TOGETHER, saith the LORD: THOUGH YOUR SINS BE AS SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE WHITE AS SNOW; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18) Clear your table and find a quiet place to pour your heart to Jesus Christ, ALONE. He will hear, FORGIVE ALL YOUR SINS and give you a NEW LIFE.
6. GOD LOVES THE RICH and and the POOR too. He sent this message to prepare and receive a bountiful harvest of both RICH and POOR when He shall arrive in clouds of glory, accompanied by innumerable angels. I commend the reader and hearer of this message to the exceeding GRACE of God which is able to save to the uttermost, amen
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