I have been struggling with how to say this for a few days now. I wanted to make sure that I was not being overly offensive. Today, I finally figured out how to say it. It starts with a story. One day Jesus was walking by a fig tree that was full of leaves. Upon closer investigation he found that it had no fruit. He then cursed it and it died. How does this answer the question, “Will all Christians become wealthy?”
If you read my previous post, you may see where I am going with this and how this story relates to the question regarding Christians becoming rich. Before I answer this question let me build some background so you can clearly see the connection that I am making between the opening story and the question.
It is clear to me that the majority of material prosperity in the Bible comes as a result/bi-product of the way in which that individual lives. This idea of your life producing results is not foreign to biblical teachings as you are probably able to sight many stories, parables or instances where tangible results count.
For example the story of the 10 talents/bags of gold; it was expected that they produced an increase (Matt. 25:14-30). By their fruits you shall know them (Matt. 7:16). Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). I will show you my faith by my works (James 2:18). By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you show love one for the other (John 13:35). If you abide in the vine you will bring forth fruit (John 15:5). Among these stories/statements is the fig tree (Matt. 21:19) that appeared to be doing well but had no fruit; no results.
So are professed Christians that are not prospering materially like this fig tree? Okay I should quickly answer this question before my readers crucify me for where you may think I am headed.
I believe that every Christian following the biblical guidelines for handling money will an increase or progressive improvement in their finances; however not all will end up wealthy.
This middle of the road view should not be surprising. It is the same thing that is experienced on the path to salvation. In salvation there is no level that you can attain to that you are able to claim that you are now worthy to be saved. Yet the direction of your life should be one of upward mobility from the immoral living to a more Christ-like character. It doesn’t matter how long you are on the journey, as long as you are on it.
The same is my belief when it comes to Christians and material prosperity. If you are following what the bible teaches, you will be on that path of upward mobility financially. Yet there are three reasons why some Christians following this biblical process will never reach a level that the “world” considers wealthy. 1. It makes a difference where you start on the social ladder. 2. The span of life they have remaining once they begin following the biblical approach to managing money and 3. What they choose to do with their lives once they are in a position of prosperity.
This is why the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) is not concerned about how much gold individuals start with or with how much they have in the end. The important thing is that they have increased. Why is this important? Because no bi-product means that something is wrong. Think of the fig tree with no fruit. The same applies. Remember, even though all the seeds were sown on good soil some produced 100 times, some 60 and some 30 (Matthew 13:23).
The question is what path are you on? One that leads to prosperity or one that leads to debt and financial ruin?
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