Sunday, September 9, 2012
“Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death” (Proverbs 11:4 KJV).
Remember, recession-resistant riches reside in our Redeemer, Christ Jesus.
Economic turmoil is plentiful: widespread unemployment, low-wage job growth, rising healthcare costs, government overspending and bailouts, and skyrocketing poverty. What a mess!!! Remember our Lord’s declaration? “For ye have the poor always with you…” (Matthew 26:11).
We in the Dispensation of Grace are instructed to work (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12) and save our money (2 Corinthians 12:14). However, Jesus Christ told His Jewish disciples, living in Israel’s kingdom program, to do the opposite: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms [goods/money to the poor]; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:32-34). These Jews were to seek first “treasures in the heavens,” not earthly possessions.
In Acts 2:44-47 and Acts 4:32-37, Jesus’ disciples obeyed His instructions by selflessly selling their possessions, giving the money to the apostles, who then established a common fund for all kingdom Jewish saints to use. Why? “Riches profit not in the day of wrath” (today’s Scripture). Had our dispensation not opened, they would have experienced the seven-year Tribulation, God’s wrath, when the world’s economy would ultimately collapse, making material riches worthless (Revelation chapter 18). (By the way, this is still future.)
Paul never instructs us to sell our possessions as Israel did, but we too should not be attached to our (temporary) material possessions. Our spiritual riches in Christ (especially righteousness, our right standing before God) are more important than physical possessions. They are everlasting and they “deliver [us] from [spiritual] death” (today’s Scripture). Likewise, believing Israel’s spiritual blessings (especially righteousness) are also everlasting, delivering them too from spiritual death (hell and the lake of fire, God’s ultimate wrath).
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).