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The Deceitfulness of Riches
October 10, 2010

“And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:18-19)

There is currently a widespread teaching among evangelicals that material prosperity is a right which accrues to the Christian who will do certain things. This “prosperity gospel,” however, is merely a false front for the old-fashioned sin of “covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).

The Lord Jesus, in His parable of the sower, warned that this “deceitfulness of riches” along with “the cares of this world” and then “the lusts of other things” could soon choke out whatever place the Word of God might once have had in the believer’s life. In no way does the Lord ever promise material wealth to a Christian, but the desire for money and its power has surely crushed the spiritual lives and testimonies of multitudes. “They that will [i.e., desire to] be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts. … 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 6:9-10). If, by His grace, the Lord does enable a Christian to acquire wealth, it should be regarded as a divine stewardship and opportunity for ministry.

The apostle Paul, who died penniless in this world but with great treasures laid up in heaven, expressed it thus: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come” (1 Timothy 6:17-19). HMM

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