THE RICH MAN
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:24)
Here we have the parable of the Rich Man. A problem many face, because they focus on materialistic things.
It seems counterintuitive to tell a rich man to change their behavior to the opposite: Share your profit with the poor, dont save it up on earth, stock up your savings in Heaven instead.
Why is it hard for a Rich Man to enter heaven?
Because in general, those that are rich have a plethora of man made priorities, problems, and business issues to deal with.
And in general, that means they prioritize God to be last.
God makes it clear that having a lot of money is not the sin.
Its when we are selfish with our money (not helping orphans, widows, or feeding the poor), and when we do not prioritize God in our lives.
Additionally, lots of money gives a man a false sense of security. He starts to believe he is powerful and secure enough with his money to replace the need for God.
A Fool! Does he not know that God gives him all of his strength, energy, every heartbeat, and knowing God allows a man to enter through the narrow gate in Heaven?
Did God not provide the entire infrastructure for the rich man to earn in? Why then should God not receive his Sabbath, daily prayers, bible time, priority as a servant, fellowship, and tithes?
Matthew explains to us in Chapter 6:
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24) (See also: Luke 16:13)
The problem with this rich man is that he loves his money more than God; this is a transgression of the Greatest Commandment,
“You shall Love your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your might.” (Deut 6:5)
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21)
A relevant parable is this one:
And [Jesus] said to them, “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness;
for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
And he told them a parable, saying,
“The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully;
and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’
And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns,
and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’
But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21)
So, having money is not a sin; however, you can easily become more devoted to money than to God.