Is it Sinful to be Rich?

Does the Bible Condemn the Rich?

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. 1 Timothy 6:9-10

Riches are neither good nor bad. It is the attitude toward them that is good or bad. As may be concluded from a study of 1 Timothy 6:9-10, it is the calculated and planned procedure of an individual to get rich that causes temptation, snare, and hurtful lusts. It is not money that does this, it is the love of money.

The passage of 1 Timothy 6:6-8 instructs that an individual is to be content with that which he already possesses: But godliness with contentment is great gain. 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.

More Passages About Riches

Another excellent passage found in the Bible concerning the subject of an individual seeking to become wealthy is found in Proverbs 23:4, 5: “Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”

From these passages, it may be concluded that the selfish accumulation of wealth is never a worthy goal for the servant of the Lord. Wealth is extremely elusive. Like the eagle, it may suddenly soar to the heavens, placing itself far beyond a man’s reach (LIBERTY BIBLE COMMENTARY, Vol. 1, p. 1240).

Increase Spiritualism, Not Materialism

The world has made us believe that our success in life is directly proportional to how much money we make and how much we spend on ourselves in the form of houses, cars, boats, jewelry, etc. But, as we are reminded in Scripture, “…What is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” (Luke 9:25). “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Since our eternal soul is what is important, our lifestyle as Christians should be depicted by our level of spiritual maturity, not our level of materialism.

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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