Design of the Week 02/13/08 – Root of All Evil

February 13, 2008 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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In 1 Timothy 6:10, Paul explains to Timothy that the love of money is the root of all evil. In verses 9 and 10 he explains why:

1Ti 6:9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

 

 

Sadly, it seems like Paul had a vision of the times we live in today. Although money has always been a motivation for many things, in today’s time, it seems that it is THE motivation for everything, including the church. Of course, being pious and “upright” the church would never claim that money is their motivation, but listen to the messages. God wants you to be blessed! Blessing and wealth is your right as a Christian! God wants you to prosper and have THINGS.

Is this the truth of the gospel? What happened to souls being saved from the eternal damnation of hell? Many of those who preach the blessings of God and prosperity rarely talk about the truth of what will happen is someone dies without Christ (most never do…). The common response to this is: “But it takes money to preach the gospel to the entire world!” And the truth is, they’re right! But, does it take “pastors” and “evangelists” with million dollar salaries and private jets to do it? If it was really about the gospel, wouldn’t those who are “prosperous” and “blessed” do more with the money than keep it? Is it really a testimony to God that the most “successful” pastors in America make as much as some small nations and have churches full of false converts while a pastor in Mexico has next to nothing but has a church full of people that live out the truth of the gospel?

I’m not saying that those who make millions haven’t done good things with the money. What I am asking though is, is it a true representation of the gospel? In verse 8 of 1 Timothy 6, Paul says that we should be content with food on the table and a roof over our head! Does it have to be the roof of a million dollar mansion? Many of the preachers of old could have very well been better off than those we see today, and yet, many of them died as paupers because they gave most of their money away.

Many of those who make an enormous amount of money are on TV today. Does TV cost a lot of money? You bet it does! But I’m not talking about the expenses of the ministry. I’m talking about the salaries of those who lead the ministries. I’ve heard many sermons by those who preach this type of gospel. They’re empowering, they’re moving, they’re funny, and they’re topical, but there’s nothing in them about the fate of those without Christ. There’s nothing in them about judgment. The only time they talk about hell is when they talk about “busting down it’s gates” and “keeping people out”. But their message does nothing to aid that. In the end, God is a doting dad and Jesus is the fix-all for every problem, but they’re never talked about as holy, righteous, just, pure, and angry at sin.

Instead, they are used as a marketing tool to bring money into the churches so that they can look prettier, add on new additions, and get the latest high definition projection screens and sound systems so that the flocking masses of people who love having their ears tickled will be awed and inspired by the “blessing of God”. In the mean time, many of those people lead lives full of sin, heartache, pain, and grief. They go back every Sunday to “get free” of the sins that they were supposedly free of two months ago. They go to hear how they can set their finances, marriage, or children in order. They get “5 steps to building a better family” or “3 ways to live a life of blessing” and they rarely hear the full truth of the gospel.

If you’re one of those people, don’t feel bad. I was too. For a while, I was led to believe (and allowed myself to believe) that it was all about me. That it was about me being blessed and happy and prosperous “so that the gospel could be preached”. I bought the tapes, “sowed the seed”, and “had faith” that God would respond to that. Then, God began to open my eyes. He began to show me that it’s not about me at all! It’s all about Him. It always has been about Him and it always will be about Him. It’s about Him being glorified. It’s about Him seeing the completion of a work started on Calvary. It’s about Him being reconnected with the lost through the salvation of their souls. As He was revealing all of this to me, He showed one thing that I knew deep down, but didn’t want to listen to (out of fear and pride). I didn’t need more “blessing”. I was already blessed more than I could imagine! I was saved from the wrath of God and the torment of hell through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus for my sins. I had a roof over my head and food on my table. And I had everything I needed right then and there to preach the truth of the gospel to anyone I came in contact with. And so do you.

I don’t have a problem with people being blessed. If they truly understand what blessing is. The Bible does talk about the righteous being blessed. It talks about not being forsaken. It even talks about prosperity. But it never talks about those things as a goal. Those things are always mentioned in the context of the Savior of the World. Jesus Christ.

If you have read this and you’re wondering what the truth of the gospel is and you’re not sure that you’ve heard it, I’m going to tell you right now.

The Bible says that it is appointed a man once to die and then the judgment (Heb. 9:27). You and I have one life to live (no reincarnation). After that life is over, we will stand before God and give an account of our lives. This account will be so detailed that it will include every idle word that we speak (Matt. 12:36). God will pass judgment on us according to whether or not we lived up to His standard of goodness. That standard can be found in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). If we are found to have broken those commandments, then God’s judgment is upon us and we will find ourselves in hell. You may be wondering, “How do I know if I’ve broken the commandments?” Just look at them. Have you ever told a lie? If so, you’re a liar and you’ve broken the 9th commandment. Have you ever stolen something (no matter how small or how little it cost or how long ago it was)? If so, you’re a thief and have broken the 8th commandment. Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? If so, that’s called blasphemy and you’ve broken the 3rd commandment. Have you ever looked at someone with lust (sexual desire)? Jesus said in Matt. 5:28 that that is the same as committing adultery. If so, you’re an adulterer at heart and have broken the 7th commandment. If you’ve broken all four of those commandments (James says that if you break one commandment, you’ve broken them all – 2:10) then you are a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. You’ve broken God’s laws and without payment for those sins you’ll end up in hell.

Some people will say, “That’s not a very loving God! How could a loving God send people to hell?” The truth is, He doesn’t send anyone to hell! They send themselves there. It is their choice to go, just like it would be your choice if you go. God has made a way for you to not go. If you choose to ignore it, then it is not God’s fault that you end up in hell.

Others will say, “I’ve already accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, so I know I’m going to heaven”. My answer would be that I hope that’s true. But I would ask you to look at your life. Is it lived out according to the gospel? Or, are you still living in sin? If you’re living in a sin that you’ve supposedly repented of, then you aren’t saved. If you are living a lifestyle of sin and banking on God being a forgiving all-loving God, then you have misunderstood Him. He is an all-loving God to those who are His (those who have repented). To those who live in sin, whether they profess Jesus as Lord or not, He will be wrath, justice, and righteous anger. If you claim that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and your life doesn’t have the evidence to back it up, then you are a false convert. You have deceived yourself into thinking that God will allow a little sin in your life and that as long as you ask for forgiveness, everything will be ok. God doesn’t forgive sins when we say we’re sorry, he forgives them when we repent! That means we have to turn from the sins in our lives and stop doing them. Does that mean that Christians don’t stumble? I am living proof that they do. But do they continue in sin or live a lifestyle of sin? NO! They repent of the sin and turn away from it and any situations that may cause them to sin.

The root of all evil is the love of money and with it comes a diluted and distorted gospel that will not glorify God, will not see the lost truly saved, and will continue to make the church dance to the world’s tune. It’s time that we stopped loving money and started loving God!

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