This was a question posed by a friend on wealth, he was asking if all rich men cannot make it into heaven due to the statement Jesus made saying it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to be able to enter into heaven.
Here are my thoughts:
1. There are plenty of verses in both the Old and New Testament showing that God can and does bless some of His children with abundant material wealth. King Solomon was a good example of this in the Old Testament.
God told His people that when they entered into the Promised Land after coming out of the wilderness, that He would bless them with wealth and prosperity. He told them they would be the head and not the tail, and that they would never have to borrow from anyone ever again.
However, this possibility has to always be kept in proper balance and perspective. With money comes power, and with power comes corruption. Some people simply cannot handle abundant wealth. It will destroy them, their families, and their personal relationship with God.
These are the people I feel Jesus was referring to when He made the above statement. The reason is that when some people become very wealthy, their wealth and their obsession to hold onto all of that wealth starts to blind them to everything else that is more important in their lives – like their personal relationship with God and their personal relationship with their families and friends.
God always has to be #1 in your life. If your wealth and possessions ever start to replace Him in that #1 spot, you are going to get into big trouble with Him! This is what gets some people in trouble with God when they do become rich.
I believe that is why Jesus made the above statement. In this statement, I believe He is giving us a clue as to what happens to some people when they do become rich. Their wealth starts to blind, corrupt, and distort their view of reality the way God wants us to view life.
Just look at all the rich people in Hollywood. You can see who is handling their wealth properly and who is not by how they handle their money and what it has done to their personalities.
For some, it has made them conceited, arrogant, and full of pride. They think they are better than everyone else because they now have all this money, along with all of the power that has come with it.
Then you have others who do properly handle it. They do not flaunt it, it does not go their heads, and it does not change them for the worse. They stay humble with it and they remember where they had come from.
They do not leave all of their friends, and they are also willing to share some of their wealth with family, friends, and good causes.
If Jesus was making this statement to include all rich people not being able to make it into heaven, then this would contradict some of His Father’s words back in the Old Testament about His desire and ability to want to bless some of His people with abundant wealth.
Since the Bible cannot contradict itself, then you have to place both of these kinds of verses right next to one another, as they are both correct.
Some people will not make it into heaven as a result of their wealth, because that wealth will corrupt and ruin them. However, there are other people who have been blessed with abundant wealth who will make it into heaven, all because they have properly handled the wealth that God has given to them!
2. For some people, God has to bless them with abundant wealth in order to build the types of ministries that He will want them to operate in. A good example of this would be Joyce Meyer and her ministry.
God put a call on her life that she would become a well-known Bible teacher. In order for that to happen, abundant wealth had to gradually be released into her life in order for her to be able to build the buildings that needed to be built, hire the people that needed to be hired, and buy the supplies that needed to be bought.
Abundant wealth was eventually released into her life, but it was to be used to serve God, not to hoard it for herself or take off, leave God, and live a life of luxury.
3. You will see there are some preachers who preach what many criticize as being the “wealth and prosperity” message. I believe that some of these preachers are really out of balance with what they are teaching. Some of them are teaching that it is God’s will to bless everyone with abundant wealth and prosperity, and that if you are not abundantly rich in material wealth in God, then you are doing something wrong.
I believe this teaching is really wrong. For some, God does want to bless with abundant wealth. And if He does bless you with any kind of abundant wealth, then it is being sent your way in order for Him to properly support you in whatever it is He wants you to be doing for Him in this life.
However, what about the people who are called to go off into the far reaches of Africa and they are asked by God to live off a very modest salary at best. These missionaries are not operating in any type of abundant wealth and prosperity with the Lord.
Yet they are walking in the perfect will of God for their lives and they are doing exactly what God wants them to be doing! And yet you do have someone like a Joyce Meyer who is operating in abundant wealth and prosperity, all because that abundant wealth is needed to properly support and fund the type of ministry that God is calling her to operate in.
Some people are blessed by God with abundant wealth in order to build and run the types of ministries that He wants them to have and others are not – either because abundant wealth is not really needed for whatever it is that God is calling them to do, or God knows that any kind of abundant wealth that would be given to them would end up destroying their lives, because it would all start going to their heads and affect their personal relationship with both Him and their families and friends.
I believe God sometimes keeps some of His people from having abundant wealth, as He knows it will eventually destroy their personal lives and possibly cause some of them to lose their salvation in Him.
He is better off keeping some of them from having abundant material wealth in order to get them into heaven rather than allowing them to have all of this abundant wealth and then lose their own soul in the pursuit and acquirement of all that wealth.
Life is full of horror stories of all the people who have not properly handled the abundant wealth that was given to them. The Bible also tells us that the love of money is the root of evil – not the actual money itself. Abundant wealth can be a great blessing, but only if it is used in the way that God intends for it to be used in your life.
1. The one verse that really puts all of the wealth and prosperity message in proper perspective is Matthew 6:33, which tells us that we are to first seek the kingdom of God – and if we do, then everything else that we will need will be given to us.
It is God’s job, once we into a full surrender with Him to:
- Guide us
- Anoint us
- Protect us
- Support us
If God does not guide us – we will never get to where we are supposed to be going in our calls for Him.
If God does not anoint and empower us – then we will not have His power to be able to fully accomplish all of the missions He will send us out on.
If God does not protect us – then we will never make it to first base, as the dark side would take us out the first chance they got.
And if God does not support us – then we will not have the things we will need in order to properly operate in our calls for Him.
In this divine support that we will be getting from the Lord will be all of the money that we are going to need, all the people we are going to need, all the supplies and equipment we are going to need, and all the favor we are going to need.
In this support that we will be getting from God will be all of the money and wealth that we are going to need to properly operate in whatever it is He will be calling us to do for Him in this life.
However, wealth is really a relative term. What may be wealth for one person may be just a drop in the bucket for another. One million dollars may be a lot to some people, but for others, it is considered a minor amount in today’s society.
I believe that God would like to bless more of His people with abundant wealth, but many of His people would not properly handle it.
They would either hoard it, squander it, or use it in ways that God would not want them to be using it for.
These people are thus bad risks, and if banks won’t invest in bad risks – then neither will God!
2. Van, if God does start to bless you with any kind of material wealth and you know that it really is coming from Him – don’t worry that it may keep you out of heaven. It will not! Consider it an incredible blessing! God is showing you that He is trusting you with this abundance, and He will then watch how you handle all of it and whether or not you will be a good steward with it.
With any kind of abundant wealth God may give you comes an incredible ability to help other people out and effectively operate in whatever it is God is calling you to do for Him in this life.
The Holy Spirit will always be there to help guide you as to what you are supposed to be doing with any type of abundant wealth God may pass your way.
The Bible also tells us that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek after Him, and for some, this reward will be some kind of material wealth and prosperity.
So if you start seeing some of these financial blessings come your way, consider them a major reward and blessing from the Lord, and that He is well pleased with whatever it is you have done for Him to date.
I hope this answers your question. If you have any more thoughts or questions on this issue, please feel free to email them over.
The Scripture Verses
Van, I will leave you with a few good verses from Scripture showing you that God can bring wealth and prosperity into your life if this will be in His perfect will for your life.
- Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (Psalm 35:27)
- “If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.” ( Job 36:11)
- “Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.” (Deuteronomy 29:9)
- “… Here me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” (2 Chronicles 20:20)
- “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)
- “He who deals with a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes one rich.” (Proverbs 10:4)
- “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 28:20)
Van, you will notice the above verses do promise prosperity, but each one of these verses has specific conditions attached to them. Notice these specific conditions:
- Faithful Man
- Hand of the Diligent
- Plans of the Diligent
- Believe in the Lord Your God
- Keep the Words of This Covenant and Do Them
- Obey and Serve Him
You’ll notice in these specific conditions that not only must you be in a good personal relationship with the Lord to get these types of abundant blessings sent your way, but you also must work for them by being faithful and diligent in whatever God is calling you to do for Him. God will not give you a free lunch on being able to bless you with any type of wealth and prosperity.
You will have to do your part in all of this, and your part will be to work very hard in the jobs and assignments that God will be passing your way to do for Him. If you get lazy with what God is calling you to do for Him, then He will have no desire to want to bless you with any kind of abundance.
Jesus has already told us that He will be rewarding us “according” to our labors. The key word is “according.” The word “according” is telling us that God will reward us based upon how well we perform for Him and what kind of good fruit we produce for Him.
Also notice in the above conditions that we have to obey God, keep serving God, and keep the words of His covenant – which means that we have to walk in all of His ways and obey all of His commandments.
Many people lose what God would of had in store for them in this life because they have either bailed out on Him and the call that He had set up for their lives – or they have started to sin and transgress against Him by entering into some specific sin areas they know they should have never entered into in the first place.