The Deceitfulness of Riches

By David J. Stewart

"And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful." óMark 4:19

Life is short!  Everyday we read in the news about deaths, sometimes thousands at once.  Proverb 27:1 warns, "Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."  Today may be the last day of your life.

Oh the deceitfulness of riches!  So many people today are consumed with making more money.  Sadly, this includes many believers.  What are you doing for God?  It's been said: " 'Tis one life will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last."  What will it matter 10,000 years from now how much money you made in this lifetime?  It won't!  All that will matter 10,000 years from now is:

  1. Whether you "died in the Lord" (Revelation 14:13); or "died in your sins" (John 8:24). 
  2. As a believer, what you did in this life for the name of Jesus Christ and for the Gospel (Mark 10:29,30).

There is no greater deception in this world than financial security.  Most rich people are going to Hell (Luke 18:25).  The rich already have heaven on earth, so they don't need God (so they think).  They are DECEIVED!  Nothing has destroyed more lives, friendships, marriages and churches faster than the love of money.  The love of money is a road to Hell. 

The greatest things in life aren't things.  All the money in the world cannot buy peace of heart and mind, cannot buy forgiveness of sins, and cannot buy a happy home.  In 1st Timothy 6:9-10, the Bible reveals the dark truth about where the path to earthly riches often leads...

"But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." 

Temptation... a snare... hurtful lusts... erred from the faith???  A book could be written addressing the evils surrounding the pursuit of wealth. 
 

Materialism Verses the Christian Life

Perhaps the most tragic consequence of such greed is the modern working mother, who sacrifices time with her children on the alter of materialism.  How sad that so many children today are being raised by strangers, or someone other than a loving mother.  God never intended for a mother to pursue a career in the workplace (1st Timothy 5:14,15).  Oh, the deceitfulness of riches!!! 

Woe unto those who place money over family.  Although I can certainly admire a man's willingness to work long hours, it is unhealthy and unwise for a married man with children to work much overtime.  No one ever looks back at the end of their life wishing they had worked more overtime; but MANY people tearfully look back, with blank memories of time they forfeited with their family.  You don't need that extra money.  I'd rather be in debt, than be a slave to a job and never be able to spend quality time with my family.  I've watched many people work tons of overtime, and just go deeper into debt, and waste their lives away making money.  Let it go.  Don't play the game.  It's a matter of priorities.

Notice again our main Scripture... "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful" (Mark 4:19).  So many believer's today are consumed with materialism and making more money.  They've been CHOKED by the cares and riches of this life.  The tragic result is a fruitless life, i.e., they never share the good news of Jesus Christ with lost sinners.  Consider the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:19,20...

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."

What a beautiful statement... "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven."  Would to God that more believers would grasp this truth.  The Bible teaches that Christians ought to lay up treasures in Heaven by soulwinning (Daniel 12:3), serving the Lord faithfully (1st Corinthians 3:14; 2nd Corinthians 5:10), and contending for the faith (Jude 1:3).  Jesus said... "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward" (Matthew 10:42).  God rewards even the smallest things done in the name of Jesus Christ for the sake of the Gospel.  It is a matter of faith in the Word of God.

If as many believers today were zealous about soulwinning as they are about money, America could be reached for God.


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