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Does God Want You To Be Rich?

In recent years some churches have begun preaching that it is God's will for his people to be rich. They say that it is the will of God that his people should have a lot of money. And we see these ministers who preach wealth ministry set the example with expensive clothes, big houses, jewelry and fancy cars.

But is this really the will of God or something else? To answer this question we need to look at the scriptures.

Jesus tells us that we should not be concerned about the things of this world. That we should not worry about what we shall wear or what we shall eat. For he says that our Heavenly Father knows that we need all of these things and he will supply them, but we should first seek his kingdom and all these other things will be provided. (Matthew 6:33) The promise here is that if we first look to God then we will have what we need. Will we have wealth? It is possible but certainly not a promise or a requirement. The focus of our attention is not wealth but seeking Gods kingdom.

The apostle Paul wrote that, "...those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs." (1 Timothy 6:9-10) Now if the love of money is the root of all evil, and if it is a trap and a temptation for God's people, would it be God's will for his people to be brought to a place where this evil could wreak havoc in the church? Surely God would want his people to focus their love towards him and each other rather than the pursuit of wealth.

When you consider all of the evil in the world today, greed and the seeking of wealth motivate much of it. The love of money has caused great destruction to many people in this world and also has caused great destruction in the churches.

We see also a rich young man came to Jesus asking, "What good deed must I do to have eternal life?" He was told to keep the law, which the man said he had done since childhood. After some discussion he was told to go and sell all that he had and give it to the poor, and to come follow Jesus. The man went away sorrowful for he had great possessions. Jesus then made the point, "How hard it will be for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." He likened the difficulty to trying to pass a camel through the eye of a needle. (Matthew 19:21-24) So if it were going to be that difficult, would God be suggesting that his people seek riches and possibly exclude themselves from his kingdom?

Money is not of God so why would it be in his will for his people to accumulate something that is not of his making? Jesus showed this when asked by the Pharisees whether he paid taxes. He asked them, "Show me a coin," and when they produced the coin he asked, "Whose likeness is on this coin?" They answered, "Caesar." And Jesus responded saying, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:19-21) In this statement he clearly showed that money is the invention of man, not of God. So again, why would it be in God's will for man to seek after the things that are not of God?

The apostle Peter also wrote of the holy women, "Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of fine clothing, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." (1 Peter 3:3-4) Does this sound like a ministry that suggests it is God's will for you to be wealthy? Obviously not: For the true wealth here is not physical but spiritual.

In all of these things it is evident that it is not God's will for his people to accumulate great wealth. This teaching by some of the modern churches is quite wrong, and in fact quite destructive to people. Some of this ministry is based on teachings of tithing, which is wrongly applied and only serves to increase the wealth of the church. There is a free paper on my website that discusses the issues of tithing in the modern church in more detail.

In the final analysis what can be said about those churches promoting this wealth ministry was best described by the apostle John. In Revelation 3:15-19 he shows that churches such as these say, "I am rich, I have prospered and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked." He then counsels them to obtain the true riches that come from God and clothes of righteousness to hide the shame of their nakedness.

Finally we see who actually controls the wealth and the power of the world in the temptation of Christ. When the devil took Jesus up on a high mountain he showed him all of the kingdoms of the world and all the glory of them and said, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will." (Luke 4:6) It is evident that all of the wealth of the world is in the hands of Satan to bestow on whomever he desires. So if Satan who is the enemy of God controls all wealth, would God seek for his people to be wealthy?

From all of this it is clear that this wealth ministry being taught in some churches is wrong and should be avoided at all costs.

I hope that you found something here to help you or add to your own knowledge. If you have any questions, then please feel free to contact me.