- Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold (Genesis 13:2).
- Isaac, for he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him (Genesis 26:12 – 14).
- David died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead (1 Chronicles 29:28).
- Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom(2 Chronicles 9:22).
It was acceptable to God for these to have great possession and it is surely acceptable for Christians living today to be rich and wealthy too, but there are conditions. God given riches and wealth should be free from devil influenced gain. Proverbs 10:2 acknowledges that people can be rich yet such riches should not come through wickedness.
Biblical exhortation is for all the living
I want to go back to Proverbs 10:2 and expand on wickedness that makes many, including Christians, to be very rich. It is a pity that some Christians get rich through wicked ways without noticing it or some think that because their method is widely acceptable in this world so it is with God too.
I want to mention a few things that have made many Christians rich yet such practices are an abomination to God:
- Stealing God’s money. Tithes are God’s money which some Christians have decided to exempt themselves from paying for whatever reason. If you don’t pay tithes, you are robing God. The flip-side of this is for the church leaders that abuse the submitted tithe. Pastors that enrich themselves with tithes are also stealing from God.
- Selling / trading on God forbidden items such as drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. Christians should not run just any business like non-Christians would. The Bible teaches Christians to be their brothers keepers. We Christians are also exhorted not to cause a brother to sin. Providing drugs, even when it means giving it away for free, is wrong before God.
- Christians that gain from premarital or extramarital sexual relationships are not different in any way from prostitutes that sell their bodies for financial or material gain. This is an obvious abomination to God.
- Selling miracles. Whether such miracles come from God or are powered by the devil, it is wrong to sell miracles for financial gain. Jesus teaches that His followers should give miracles freely as they also have received such gifts free from Him. The devil has trapped many Christians in this practice.
- Gambling. This is driven a lot by greed. Very few people gain from losses made by many. This is ungodly.
- Shylocking. This is not God’s model of helping others that need credit. If you charge interest, then it’s ungodly for you to do that. I know there could be a huge debate on whether banks, obviously they charge interest, are ungodly or not. What the Bible says about it is what it is in the sight of God.
- Bribing or being bribed. This is also another common trap for brethren. I know it’s easy to compromise the truth by purposing to do it just this once and only to find that it continues to the next potential deal. If you accept bribes of give bribes, you are on the sinners list according to God.
There are a lot more evil practices that lead people to wealth and riches which God forbids. It remains your duty to do an introspection on your source of income to see if it complies to the word of God.
The answer to the topic question is that it is okay for Christians to be rich. However, Christians that are rich should know that it is very hard for them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven yet if they hold on to the end, they will make it.