papercut press 1999-11-23 - Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Luke 6:24 But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.

Unless you have been living under a rock or are wise enough not to have a TV, you know of the extraordinary success of the show, "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" Last week I was working out at my health club while a contestant was in the process of winning his million. It was interesting to see the smiles and expressed joy on the faces of everyone in the club who had their eyes glued to the moron box.

It seems that in the United States, nearly everyone wants to be a millionaire. Who can argue with wanting to have money? Think about all the good you could do if you had oodles of cash at your disposal. Who can argue with that logic? And while the Bible no where condemns wealth or those who have it, it does have stern warnings for the rich, and gives principals and guidance that teach us to avoid excesses.

There are advantages to being wealthy.

  1. Wealth is given to some by God. "But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth..." (Deuteronomy 8:18, see also 1 Timothy 6:17)
  2. Wealth is a basis of protection. "A rich man's wealth is his strong city … " (Proverbs 18:11)
  3. Wealth multiplies friends. "Wealth adds many friends..." (Proverbs 19:4)

Wealth also has its disadvantages.

  1. Wealth leads to a supposed self-sufficiency. "Beware, lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'" (Deuteronomy 8:17, see also Job 31:24-28)
  2. Wealth cannot save. "Even those who trust in their wealth, and boast in the abundance of their riches? No man can by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him." (Psalm 49:6, 7)
  3. You can't take it with you. "For he sees wise men die; the stupid and the senseless alike perish, and leave their wealth to others." (Psalm 49:10) You will leave your wealth for someone else.

Several years ago there was a poll done of Americans. Many were asked what they would be willing to do for 10 million dollars. 25% said they would be willing to abandon their families. 7% said they would be willing to kill a stranger. Who wants to be a millionaire? Some would even be willing to kill the innocent for mere wealth. How bad do you want it? What would you be willing to do to gain mere wealth, knowing fully that you can't take it with you?

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:24-26

Soli Deo Gloria,
T-

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