Summary: Paul said to command the rich to do something good with their wealth. 1- Command the rich to put their hope in God 2- Command the rich to be rich in good deeds 3- Command the rich to lay up heavenly treasures
INTRO.- Command the rich. Do we ever have the right to command anyone? Maybe not, but God does. God can command us to do whatever He wants because He is God.
It’s like parenting. Parents can tell their kids what to do and when, but of course, that doesn’t mean they’ll do it. But parents have the right to command, teach, train, and discipline their children. AND SO WITH GOD. In fact, He has even more right to do this with us since He created us and gives us everything that is good. We owe Him more than we owe our parents!
Paul said, “Command those who are rich in this present world.” What did he mean by the word “Command”?
II Timothy 4:1-2 “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”
Paul may have meant for Timothy to “preach the Word” to the rich of this world. A preacher can say some things in the pulpit that he might not say personally to someone.
Preaching is like shooting a shotgun: you spray everything in sight with the shot. You don’t aim at one particular person. Of course, if a preacher says, “You rich folks,” someone might get the idea that he was talking to them.
I definitely think that preaching has changed over the years. In the past, if a preacher told us something from the book he didn’t just tell us, HE PREACHED IT HARD! And you sat up, listened and gave it some thought and gave him respect!
Today’s preaching seems to be more like just giving good advice. Often there is little warning about sin from the book. It’s just a bunch of niceties to make people feel better. People don’t like to be told about sin and what to do about it. They prefer to be petted and pampered.
However, the divine command still stands: PREACH THE WORD. CORRECT, REBUKE AND ENCOURAGE. All true Biblical preaching should contain some rebuke and encouragement. People need to be moved and motivated by the preaching of God’s Word.
ILL.- Chuck Colson wrote: Theodore Epp, founder of Back to the Bible radio ministry, realized something was wrong when he stopped receiving critical mail. Convicted that he was not challenging the flock enough, he changed his preaching. "I’m afraid that when I’m pleasing everybody, I’m not pleasing the Lord," he later said, "and pleasing the Lord is what counts."
This is not to suggest that a preacher is only successful when he is upsetting people! But he must be certain that he is first and foremost faithful to the One he serves. He is fulfilling a divine commission when he preaches. Just as an ambassador is entrusted not with his own message but with his superior’s message, so the minister is entrusted with the Word of God. Before it is delivered, therefore, every message should be laid at the foot of His throne with one questions: "Is it faithful to You, my Lord?" AMEN!
PROP.- Paul said to command the rich to do something good with their wealth.
1- Command the rich to put their hope in God
2- Command the rich to be rich in good deeds
3- Command the rich to lay up heavenly treasures
I. COMMAND THE RICH TO PUT THEIR HOPE IN
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
The rich in this present world. That’s me. That’s you.
ILL.- Packs Padillia preaches in the Philippines. Do you know how much the average Filipino lives on yearly? $1463 to $1920. Can you imagine? We have it so very good here in America!
Dr. Tagupa, Jonesboro, AR, said we could live like a king in the Philippines with maid service included just on our social security.
ILL.- Brother Ruben Casas is a Hispanic preacher in East LA, California. He preaches for the American Baptist Church. We got acquainted some years ago through sermon central as well. Ruben, of course, was born and raised in Mexico. Here is a part of a letter that he wrote me.
“I remember the time in my homeland when I was working for less than one dollar a day. I came to this country looking for a better future and I found it. I went to school for a few years while I was working, sometimes part-time, sometimes full-time. When the Lord called me to ministry, He opened many doors. I was able to go to college than to seminary to get my Masters in Divinity.