Is it Biblical for Christians to be wealthy?
Or to invest in the Stock Market?


THE INVESTING CHRISTIAN?


THE BIGGER BARNS OF TODAY'S CHRISTIAN...

 

Yep, its a Barn!  Well, what else did you expect?    In today's world of economic uncertainty and employment insecurity, what is a Christian to do in order to ensure he will have what he needs during his "golden years". The first question is, what does one really need and what is excess? The second question is, once we have all we need, what are we to do with the excess? The fact of the matter is that today in America, more so than any other time in history, one can acquire a vast amount more than he needs to survive or get by. This was not the case just a mere 100 years ago. Most people were sustenance farmers, and built and grew all they needed. It was a hard life and one very, very seldom wound up with more than the basic needs to survive every day life: food, clothing and shelter.

    Think about it, that's all one really needs to live or get by. Very seldom did anyone ever have enough extra to worry about what to do with the excess. If someone was fortunate enough to have a little extra of one thing or another, it was usually traded to get what he was lacking in another area. By default, people didn't have to worry about falling into the trap that Jesus spoke about in the following parable:

Luke 12:15-21 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.  And he spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that lieth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

More Maoney, More things, Give to the poor?  Oh come on! Then he will grow to depend on me!     This parable is speaking about covetousness. The widely understood definition of "covet" is to long for something belonging to another. What Jesus is implying here in saying, beware of covetousness, is related to the man's own goods!  He was not envious of another. What do we have here? Is it possible to covet one's own goods? According to this parable, it is. We live in a time and a country where it is very easy to acquire much more than we need to survive. As Americans, it seems that no matter how much we have, we always want more. We must keep up with the Jones' you know. Many Christians explain that this is just God's blessings for our faithful and holy lives. But if we had real faith, wouldn't we listen to the words that Jesus said?

Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

The 21st Century American Christian's path to God folks, right there.     When Jesus says "and all these things shall be added unto you" he is talking about food and clothing only. God's blessings are spiritual blessings, and Christians who try to explain their vast material wealth as God's blessings, seem to ignore what Paul said in his letter to Timothy.  

1 Timothy 6:5-6 Perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.

    What does all of this have to do with investing and 401Ks? The answer lies in how today's Christians build bigger barns. We don't grow and store crops, we work and earn money. We need a place to store up our excess. We all know what the Bible has to say about money.

1 Timothy 6:7-12 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 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. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

    When Paul says "which while some coveted after" he is using this term the same way that Jesus did. He is not implying that they are envious of other's money, but that they desire more and more. Why do they need more? Apparently, so they can build bigger barns. Why do we need bigger barns? So we can provide for ourselves. Think about that, so that we can provide for ourselves! Where is God in all this? Paul's' warning is so strong, that he says to "flee these things"! These are pretty strong words concerning acquiring excess. When we make more than we need, do we do as the early church did, and give the excess to those who are in need? No, we don't.

Acts 4:33-35 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

    Does this resemble today's church? I think not. When we make more than we need we are taught, even by today's Christian leaders, that we are to show "good stewardship" and invest the money for our retirement and our future. Many Christians say that the poor are in bondage to their poverty, because of their sin. They also say we have excess because of our godliness. If one was to "sell all they had and give it to the poor" as Jesus taught, he would be looked at as irresponsible and not using the things God has ordained to provide for ourselves. But has God really set up and ordained mutual funds and the stock market, or is it the machination of someone else?  The stock market and the 401K program is, in my opinion, one of Satan's greatest schemes. We now use a worldly system, that has nothing to do with God, and whose sole purpose is the acquisition of and the love of money to provide for ourselves, and claim that this is God's plan and purpose for our lives. We Blindly invest in these "mutual funds" not really knowing all the while, the practices and pillaging of these companies that we're invested in.  Sometimes not even knowing exactly which companies we're invested in. Ignorance will not cut it with the Lord! He is a jealous God and expects us to rely on him for everything.

Is anyone getting the message here?     American Christians however, say we trust in the Lord for all our needs, while at the same time investing in the stock market which is a worldly institution, that is controlled by Satan. Everything about the corporate world boils down the one thing - the love of money. That's it. That's all it's about. There is no greater good here. And we know what the Bible has to say about the love of money.

1 Timothy 6:10  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.

    This isn't just an outsider's opinion, who is angry with the corporate world because it has not benefited him. This comes from an "insider". I'm a V.P. of finance with an education in financial management, and I have spent my whole career in corporate America with one responsibility... Maximizing R.O.I, otherwise known as "Return on Investment". The "corporation" usually doesn't care how you get it, or who you have to crush to increase it,  as long as returns keep increasing. Notice how we have distanced ourselves by blaming it on the "corporation". But come on now, who really runs corporations? People do, and we make the decisions, no matter how ruthless those decisions are, or how they affect other people. What does the Bible have to say about this?

Jeremiah 22:13 WOE UNTO HIM that builds his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that uses his neighbor's service WITHOUT WAGES, and gives him not for his work:

Steve Shearer of Antipas Ministries wrote:

Soon, the middle class will stand in this man's shoes.BEGIN QUOTE;

"What does that that say then about what G.E., Ford, Nike, GM, , etc. are doing throughout the world - working people to death in their factories for UNJUST WAGES. The Bible continues:

James 5:4 Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, which has been withheld by you, cries out {against you}; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbath. 

There will be a reckoning however and God promises retribution; 

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. 

And the Lord isn't fooling around! He means it.

    And what about Bechtel, Exxon Mobil, Unocal, Chevron, Monsanto, etc.? - all multinational mining, oil, and chemical companies that extract the mineral wealth of the populations of the so-called "Third World" without just compensation, leaving the countries that they have economically pillaged and raped devastated and shattered as a result! What's that say about those "investors" in the United States who participate in this system of things through their 401k accounts? - pretending all the while that they don't know the true nature of the multinationals they are invested in? If they don't know, they should have known. Ignorance will be no answer for what they have done when they at last appear before the Judgment Seat of God. The Lord says that He will surely be a "SWIFT WITNESS" against those who - "Turn aside the stranger from his right?" ("stranger" - meaning "strangers" to those who are doing the pillaging) - that's EXACTLY what companies like Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, Phillips, Chevron, De Beers, Barings Mining, etc. are doing when they extract the riches of the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, and pay the populations of these areas a pittance of what this mineral wealth is really worth. When companies like Chevron do this in Nigeria and Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, they are "turning aside the stranger (i.e., the native populations) from their right," and the Lord says that He will judge those who do this (and ANY and ALL those who - no matter how peripherally - participate in it "for gain.") The Bible says:

James 5:1-6 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabbath. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. 

END QUOTE;

 

STOCKSSTOCKS  AND  BONDS  BONDS  

 

                                 EQUALS  

 

STOCKS STOCKS  AND  BONDS  BONDS!!!!!!!


    Steve has hit the nail right on the head here. This is pretty serious stuff. God will not go easy on those who oppress the hireling and withhold a fair wage.  Neither will he go easy on those who use these companies, and these financial systems to fatten their wallets and build bigger barns. Ignorance will by no means be accepted.

2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 

    God knows what's going on here and as Christians, we should know what's going on as well. We can pretend that we don't, or look the other way, but ignorance is no excuse before the Lord.  I will admit that it is very difficult to not participate in these investing activities, after all how else are we going to prepare for our future, and who will provide for us if we don't take matters into our own hands? 

I'll tell you who will provide for us. GOD will. Jesus said:

Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Jesus said it and he always keeps his word, but it requires large amounts of one ingredient.  FAITH!!!!!

    There it is, the F-word. We all know it, we all profess it, but do our actions show it? That is the real question to be answered. Jesus said you will know a tree by it's fruit. He didn't say you will know a tree by the sound it makes when a hot wind blows through it! It's actions that count, and we need to back up our words with deeds.

James 2:14-18 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, "Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled;" notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

Let's turn this ship around folks!     I have spoken to many people about this and many agree, in theory, that we should rely on God. They say, however, let's be practical, you have to invest in a 401K! That's just what's done today. Times are different and things have changed - haven't they? Well there's one thing I know for sure and that is that God hasn't changed. If we continue to rely on the system of things in this present evil world to provide for us, then we really don't have the faith that we say we do. How will we feel when we stand before the Lord after having used today's worldly economic machinations to fill our coffers and build our barns, knowing all the while the iniquity that these companies work? What will Jesus say to us? 

Will it be:
Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Or will he say:
Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Reflect, pray, and let God speak to your heart!!

God Bless!           
In Christ, W. C. Kisiel        http://www.11th-hour.info