I once read a post online where someone was saying that Jesus Christ is condemning rich people to hell in the Bible. I guess this person was referring to two significant portions in the Bible where Jesus addressed this issue;
- Mark 10:25, ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
- The parable of the rich man and Lazarus (also called the Dives and Lazarus or Lazarus and Dives) is a well-known parable of Jesus appearing in the Gospel of Luke. The Gospel of Luke (Luke 16:19–31) tells of the relationship, in life and in death, between an unnamed rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus.
Mark gives the impression that living a God pleasing life is not as easy to the rich as it would for the non-rich. I wouldn’t want to go the other extreme of poor people because that can also be a reason to abandon the faith. In fact, a balance between the two is probably the ideal. Proverbs 30: 8 and 9 says, ‘Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me only food sufficient for me. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God’. The challenge then becomes identifying and realising the state of equilibrium. There is no particular measure but contentment with whatever one has seems to be the solution.
How do rich people condemn themselves to hell?
I believe there are things that rich people do that make them move away from the will of God. Money is the greatest vehicle to making people rich and we would be deceiving ourselves not to use it as a measure of richness and wealth. The Bible talks about it and it is also relevant in this subject.
Below are some of the things that lead rich people to hell by being careless in handling money:
- Sacrificing too much time to make more of it. When you are busy under the motivation of making more money, time may pass by without you noticing it. Pending jobs pile up and you eventually have tight deadlines that you must meet sometimes at the cost of attending church, reading the Bible, praying and doing other works of service in society. Your spiritual life weakens and the devil gradually takes over. These are people that forget the Bible warning that “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income”, Ecclesiastes 5:10. Ideally, you have to refer business to others that do a similar job as yours or reject it. You could reschedule for future dates if your service happens to be highly specialised and scarce.
- Constant exposure to lawless worldly practices. To make money and be counted among the rich often calls for some dirty practices that a Christian or someone that wants to make is to heaven is not expected to do.
I can tell you right now that it is very unlikely for a Christian to win the highest tender in government, say $ 100 million, without having bribed someone. It also is not easy for a Christian to reject a tender because it will demand for him or her to abandon church and rob God of devotional time. Hardly will you hear of a rich person that is not promiscuous. There are lots of things that are a challenge to the Christian who aims for holiness, righteousness and truth in the business world or rich man’s life.
On the other hand, it’s not only the self-employed that seek riches nor are counted on the rich. You will be surprised what people can do to secure high paying jobs. It is common for woman to get quick promotions and high pay by committing adultery with the person that has the power to promote. It is uncommon for man to do that but theirs is to offer some bribes. All these are things that should not be heard of from a Christian.
- Love for money. It cannot be disputed that the love for money is the root of all evil. Love for money is tantamount to loving riches and wealth. If you keep money at the centre of your activities, to keep your right stature with God you have to make extreme efforts to dislike it. Something you like you want to always protect. If you are not careful, you may find yourself involved in schemes set up to destroy someone or even kill them that want to stand between you and money.
An experienced rich Christian would reveal even more interesting things on this subject. There is a lot more that can be said about people that put riches and money first and their practices that condemn them to hell. However, it must be noted that heaven requires pureness of heart. Being involved in any of the above, even the slightest of it, means hell is the destination for all that are involved.
I wish to extend a word of prayer to anyone who is caught up in the love for money. You may give me an indication through my email firstname.lastname@example.org.