Despising the Dollar
Jesus said you cannot serve both God and Money. It is one or the other—God or money. There is no middle ground with Jesus. The man who does not hate money is not a Christian. The church goer who does not despise money will not go to heaven. Jesus spoke sharply, clearly, and to the point. We “either” hate God or hate money.
- No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matthew 6:24)
Jesus meant a literal, violent, rejecting kind of hatred and despising of money. To demonstrate this we only need to look at the anti-Christ. When the anti-Christ comes on the scene, the words of Jesus will be as solid as concrete. No one will make a parable out of Jesus’ state- ment that we need to hate and despise money. It will not be a matter of whitewashing greed, but whether a man will sell his soul for money. The anti-Christ will soon control all money and thus those who do not despise the dollar will gladly follow him.
- He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16–17)
Many Christians who taught and warned about the anti-Christ will be the first in line to take the mark, since they did not both hate and despise the dollar by grace. God will simply not give them the power to withstand the anti-Christ because they did not stand by the words of Jesus in grace.
The Love of Money
- For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10)
Many people whine that money isn’t evil, but the “love of money” is the real sin. Well, how does a person know if they love money or not? We simply need to look to Jesus and our own hearts to find the answer. Jesus said, let me repeat, Jesus said, anyone who does not “hate” and “despise” money, loves it. First Timothy 6:10 applies to anyone who does not despise the dollar.
A life moved by coupons, getting things on sale, and searching for the best price, loves money. A heart that embraces retirement plans, investments, and great invest- ment re- turns, loves money. Anyone seeking to expand their territory hates God because they do not despise money. A church seeking to cover its costs for preaching the gospel serves money. Anyone distressed about his debt does not despise money. Even though many people do these things and more in the name of the Lord, if a hatred and despising of money does not ring out loud and clear in their hearts, they live a lie. Those who think that the Bible teaches principles for investment are deaf to the voice of the Holy Spirit that calls all men to hate money. Those seeking to live on a budget know nothing
about following Jesus (Mark 6:37). Being a good steward with money means only two things—one, hating money and two, despising money. All the other Scriptures and understanding about wealth and money flow from these pure words of Jesus. Any book, sermon, article, or person who does not preach this in an offensive way worships and loves money. A life of true faith in Jesus, from begin- ning to end, shows the fruit of these two things.
Money is Wicked
- The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” (Luke 16:14–15)
“What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” Money is a detestable thing in the sight of God, and any Christian with the heart of God will pour contempt upon money. Jesus desires that all who would love God should have an attitude about money—a bad attitude. When God thinks of man’s money He reacts with an attitude of disgust because money is a vile in- vention. It is a lie to say that money itself is not evil, only the love of it. Money in and of itself is a contemptible thing. Heaven has no banks and only a people devoid of
love would invent a thing called money. Money is hell’s invention not heaven’s innovation.
You may, like the Pharisees, be “sneering” at this and find yourself disgusted at such a concept, but this only underscores the wickedness of your heart. Like the Phar- isees Jesus so adamantly rebuked, you justify “yourselves in the eyes of men.” This, however, does not make the love of money any less a sin. Indeed, though the church preaches a justification of greed and Christian book pub- lishers print mountains of books on good stewardship to whitewash our greed, the fact still remains. Those who do not hate and despise money, worship it. If you really want to be a good steward of worldly wealth in God’s sight, you can take only one course of action. Give it all up. The shadow that was the Law commanded we give ten percent, but Jesus surpassing the Law tells us no man belongs to Him unless they have given up one hundred percent.
- In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33)
There are no exceptions. Those who have a true saving faith in Jesus have left everything to follow Him. All others live a lie and have merely passed through a wide gate and walk down a wide road that will end in their destruction.
- So they pulled their boats up on shore, left every- thing and followed him. (Luke 5:11)
The First Church
- By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35)
As stated before, this is a matter of love. Jesus loved us enough to give up all of heaven and, if we want to love as He loved, we too will give up all. Jesus found it a joy to both hate and despise money, and a true church will joyfully despise the dollar. For this reason, Jesus said that all men will “know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Disciples are taught by God. And anyone taught by God about how to love one another will imme- diately learn to hate money.
We see the good fruit of love in the first church. Because Jesus taught them to hate and despise money, they naturally had all things in common. They were so dead to material things that “No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own.” No wonder God could work a unity in the church so that all such believers were one in heart and mind.
- All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. (Acts 4:32)
This does not mean that the church itself owned everyone’s property, or that one man owned every other member’s material things. Rather, since the members despised money, God could work the love of heaven that shares everything. After all, Satan, while in heaven, started to claim things for himself, which caused God to cast him down. And on his way to hell, Satan stopped at Earth and inspired man to invent money. Anyone claiming or grasping anything in the name of Jesus stands in league with the Devil. Claiming and grasping things denotes the complete opposite of the message of the cross. Like Jesus, who picked up His cross, each person should continue daily to surrender everything without any thought of getting anything back from God. We are not to grasp, just as Jesus did not grasp.
- Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:6–7)
Those unwilling to despise the dollar cannot become the slave of all, as Jesus said. Those who love money will always seek in some way, small or large, to make others serve them, to benefit and bless themselves rather than to become a servant of all who expects nothing in return. Even those who pray for blessings so that they might bless others, in reality use the needs of others to bless themselves. They are like Judas who often helped himself to the money bag as he met the needs of Jesus (John 12:6). How little true love the church possesses today. In spite of all the talk about loving each other in Christ, it is easy to see whether a Christian or church truly has the love of Jesus among them. If a church does not hate and despise money, they do not have the love of Jesus. Indeed, they have not even begun to know the love of Jesus in their church. We see in the book of Acts that God repeats the description of the love that was present in the first
- All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. (Acts 2:44–45)
Right after Peter preached his sermon at Pentecost, those who were baptized came together as a church. And what would someone see at this church? A group of people who hated and despised money proven by the fact they “had everything in common.” All those who gave up everything had everything in common.
Do not Store
- Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19)
Is God against savings accounts? You bet He is. Didn’t Jesus just say in the Scripture, “Do not store up… treasures?” Does this mean it is a sin to have a savings account?
Certainly, if the savings account is for yourself. We are called to hate our own lives (John 12:25) and Chris- tians are a people that do nothing for themselves. Indeed, through poverty and making ourselves poor, we make others rich.
- …poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. (2 Corinthians 6:10)
Want a simple test to see if you hate or despise money? Then ask yourself this question. How poor have you become in the process of making others rich in Jesus? In this following Scripture, we see again the wisdom of Jesus. Those claiming to be in Jesus, and in the light, are often far more greedy and concerned about money than the world. A quick glance at the church, and those claiming
to be Christians, confirms that their concern over money is even greater than the world’s. The very people that ought to be dead to money are the most worried about it.
- The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. (Luke 16:8–9)
Rarely does anyone find a Christian who uses worldly wealth to gain friends. In fact, those that appear at first to give generously are discovered to give only because it makes them feel good. They do not give for others, but only to benefit themselves in some way, whether emotionally or physically. Notice, too, that Jesus said we should use worldly wealth until “it is gone.” Every true disciple of Jesus should make it his goal to die as poor as Jesus did.
Jesus told us to look at the birds of the air and the fact that they do not “store away in barns.” Every bird reminds us not to store up worldly wealth. Indeed, only Christians who obey Jesus in despising money have the right to claim the promise of not worrying about it because God will provide for them.
- Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26)
Faithful Men as Leaders
- The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. (James 1:9–10)
If you are poor, the Bible says to rejoice in your high position in Jesus. And if you are rich, boast and brag about your low position in the church. If a church wants to be spiritual, they should appoint poor men as leaders, for in such people you can find rich faith (James 2:5).
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