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Faithlife

The rich

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It is hard but not impossible for rich people to enter God’s kingdom. They must put their hope in God, not in their riches. Rich people who live selfishly, abuse their position and fail to repent and live for Jesus Christ, are in peril.

Notes & Transcripts

Parables concerning rich people

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Rich people have received blessing

1 Timothy 6:17 ESV
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
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They have friends

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They have power

Proverbs 22:7 ESV
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

They have security

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Warnings to rich people

They should recognise that God is the giver of riches

Deuteronomy 8:17–18 ESV
Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
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They should not be arrogant or complacent on account of their riches

Jeremiah 9:23–24 ESV
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
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They should not trust in their riches

Proverbs 11:28 ESV
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
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They face disaster if they lack wisdom

Psalm 49:20 ESV
Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
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They must live moral lives

Proverbs 28:6 ESV
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
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Wealth can bring anxiety

Ecclesiastes 5:12 ESV
Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.
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Riches are of fleeting value

Luke 12:16–21 ESV
And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced 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 tear 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; relax, 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 the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
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Ultimate security is found in God alone

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It is hard for rich people to enter God’s kingdom

Matthew 19:23–26 ESV
And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
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Rich people will be judged for their behaviour

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If they exploit, oppress or kill the poor

James 5:1–4 ESV
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
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If they hoard wealth and live selfishly

James 5:5 ESV
You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
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If they slander the name of Jesus Christ

James 2:7 ESV
Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

Commands to rich people

To seek God’s kingdom as first priority

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To repent from sin

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To be generous towards the needy

1 Timothy 6:18 ESV
They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
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Incorrect attitudes to the rich

cursing them; living in awe of them; fearing them

Showing favouritism to them:

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God brings good news for rich people

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Examples of rich people

Abraham:

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Isaac

Jacob:

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The Israelites, who entered a fertile promised land with an abundance of wealth plundered from the Egyptians:

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Solomon

Hezekiah:

; Joseph of Arimathea; ;
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