23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Jesus is using the example of people with riches and how hard it is for them to enter into the kingdom of God
Jesus uses the example of the eye of the needle- and its used in a lot of sermons, I’ve heard it. But honestly, its sermon fodder. Those gates didn’t exist if you look at the historical record.
The most likely explanation is that Jesus really meant a needle- Which is even more powerful
Riches are a snare! They can easily pull you away from the things of God! Rich people feel as though they don’t need God. They think that they are fine without Him.
Like a camel through a needle- Not going through! Its not going to happen for you rich man!
This is why you see many more poor people who believe in God than rich- they have to depend on him!
Some of you are already thinking about the rich people you know- but you’re richer than you think!
Every American is rich. If you have electricity, water, a flushing toilet, and means of transportation
Just because you cant go on vacation, drive a fancy car and afford the newest phone doesn’t mean poor
Luke 12:15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
This is America though- impressed by what someone has and what they possess, not by who they are
Meeting Carlos- Deep love for God and people. I wasn’t asking his car, his house, his accomplishments.
Where are you trusting? Have you lost the connection to trusting God and are now trusting yourself?
People who come to church until they get that Job- For Shame! Not praying if you aint gonna tithe.
What does it mean to you?
You have got to break yourself from your love of money and stuff if you think you’re going to make heaven
Jesus says the eye of the needle- camel through it will be easier than for you rich American!
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
This is why I love tithing and giving away money. Breaks me of my love of money
People love to argue about tithing. You should just be doing it to break yourself of the love of money
That in and of itself is enough motivation “I don’t know about nothing, but I love my money less when I tithe”
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
Think about this- Riches are what choke out the world.
Mark 4:19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Check your heart. Destroy your love of money.
All things are possible
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
What Jesus is saying her is that it IS possible for a rich person to be saved. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a camel to go through the eye of the needle and it IS POSSIBLE for a rich man to make it into heaven.
This is not a statement about having big enough faith to believe big stuff
Jesus is saying, all of mans attempts to try and earn his own way to heaven will never work, only God and his grace can get someone into heaven
It is impossible for a rich man to get into heaven with his wealth. Not by how much he gives. Not by how much he buys and gives away. Not by any act of his own righteousness, only through the grace of God!
Friend who had the big tither- great! But still isn’t enough to get into heaven
If your tithe is 60 dollars and you still have a love of money- you’re suspect! Break your love!
But it is possible with God!
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
READ MATT 7:21-23
What does it mean to you?
You must live in a constant awareness of where your heart is
Its not because you are afraid of losing your salvation, but it is so easy to be pulled aside
I’m not immune! Every pastor wants a big ministry- Satan entices me to preach soft to grow
We get 15 visitors a Sunday on average. That’s 780 a year for 4 years. That’s 3000. Where would we be if I let off the gas and just cared about putting butts in the seat?
But I want to honor God! I want him to be proud of me! I want to be true to the word!
But the enticing of the worlds goods is hard to fight. Bigger house. Newer car. Etc etc.
It is possible to get to heaven and make a ton of money and have big stuff! You must love Jesus and his church more than you love your stuff! Its not impossible, its just hard!
The only possible way to get to heaven is through belief that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sin, receive that, and then live completely for him
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
We must live for Jesus in everything we do! I know that’s what I preach every week but its TRUE
2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Whats interesting is that people who are striving to live for Jesus never get tired of hearing the truth
2 Timothy 2:21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
Believe its possible to live for Jesus! Believe that you’re going to heaven and live like it!
Matthew 10:37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
You must lose your life- you must not love your life. You have no rights to your life or your happiness
Salvation is possible if you remove EVERY love from your heart besides Jesus!
Whatever you lose you gain
28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
Can you honestly say that you have left all to follow Jesus? Or have you merely made some life adjustments?
This isn’t to say that you have to go tomorrow and quit your job and sell everything
Colossians 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
2 thes 3:10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies
1 Thes 4:9-12 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,
You gotta work! You gotta have a job! God teaches us something in our work. He teaches us something in what we are doing with our hands- it’s an example to the evil people of the world
Read Mark 10:29-30
Following Jesus is costly. When you choose to follow Jesus its going to cost you everything, but you have to have trust that Jesus is going to take care of you through it
And in this verse he promises it
I understand that there are many Christians that experience calamity on this side of heaven, but the honest truth, is that I haven’t gone without since I have been serving God
It’s a hard place to fully trust God. Army, trust it. Big corporation. Trust it. Now trusting God.
I think its why God wants pastors supported by the tithe- shows the church what trust looks like
But v 30 promises that along with blessings you get persecutions v 30
I don’t say inflammatory things just to say them- I say them because they are God’s holy truth
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
I live and eat well. Always have. But I always catch the flak for being a Christian as well
I’m fine with it. I’m a narrow minded zealot. People think I take it too seriously.
But the promise is a 100 fold return in THIS life and the ETERNAL life.
What does it mean to you?
You must live with the reality of pouring out not always wanting and holding
Philippians 2:17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
In acts 21 paul was to go to Jerusalem and they didn’t want him to go- Acts 21:13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
No one gets out alive- we all get the persecutions
Paul SUFFERED for being a Christian- Gave up his comfort, his earthly friendships, his liberty and his life
2 Corinthians 11:24-26 READ
1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
1 cor 4: 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;
Are there blessings to be a Christian? Of course there is!
Freedom from past sins, guilt free life, blessings of provision and peace. God blessing the work of your hands and protecting you from the hand of the enemy
When you live for God- you will be the head and not the tail. Your life will be an example to the world that God can use the foolish things of the world to influence the world
But you’re going to be persecuted for it! You’re going to suffer in your relationships, but you’ll be taken care of by God!
Be OK with being last
Quit always having to be right and first in everything
31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
This is two fold- Jesus is speaking about the jews and salvation in regards to the gentiles
But it directly speaks to these disciples, that they were called first, but Jesus lets them know- there is going to be other disciples who will be called as well, who may be before you in the end
What does it mean to you?
Look for ways to make others first and be OK with being last. Its ok. God’s economy doesn’t work like the world. You gain by losing. You get by giving. You win when you lose.
Quit letting money be your God and thinking you’re not where someone else is based on $