In the final part of Lesson 2, we will look at God’s warnings to the rich.
The story of the Rich Young Ruler is told in Matthew 19:16-30. Jesus used this story to demonstrate how difficult it is for those who love money to be saved. To recap, the young ruler asked Jesus what he had to do to earn eternal life. Jesus replied that he should keep God’s commandments. He responded that he had kept that commandments and asked what he lacked. Jesus then told him to sell all that he had and give the money to the poor. In verse 22, we read, “When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth”
Jesus then told his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matt. 19:23-24
Think About: Why do you think it is so hard for the rich to be saved? Their riches make them feel self-sufficient, so they have a harder time realizing their need for God.
Why was the rich ruler sad? He wasn’t willing to give up earthly treasure for true riches in Heaven.
The Bible provides many additional warnings to the rich. Read the following verses and allow God to show dangers of seeking riches for riches sake.
1 Tim. 6:9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation, and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
Job 36:18-19 Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a large bribe turn you aside. Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in distress?
Luke 6:24 Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
Luke 1:53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
James 5:1-5 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you…Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver have corroded…You have hoarded wealth in the last days…You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence.
Think About: After reading these verses, why might you still desire to be rich? Riches allow us to be debt-free and live in financial freedom. They also give us the ability to help others. Being rich is not a sin, but loving money above others is a sin.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”