Summary: Using some Greek history, and even Pompeii, this lesson shows how fleeting it is to be in search of wealth/possessions. Touches on proper theology of money.
YET FORFEIT HIS SOUL
James Series 3: Treasures
INTRO: This Bible study is a continuation of last week’s lesson titled Money Money Money…Money. So we will start with the book of James.
BIBLE VERSE: James 1:9-11
9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
5. THE THEOLOGY OF MONEY
BIBLE VERSE: Mark 8:36
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
A. Poverty Theology: This imbalanced view teaches that we should have a disdain for possessions. Some who hold this position would say that it’s wrong to have excess money and things.
Example: Medieval Monks: Medieval monks use to gather themselves in castles/convents/etc a way from the world. Expressing a deep-heartening concern with the world, they would negate the scriptures about taking the message of Christ to the world, and cloister themselves away to live a life of poverty, chastity, and charity. Though not wrong to have this belief of not desiring worldly possessions, it is absolutely wrong to say that the Bible tells us that and people are sinning if they acquire possessions.
B. Prosperity Theology: This teaching wrongly assumes that prosperity is the reward of the righteous. This cause and effect relationship implies that if God is happy with you, He will bless you financially. If He’s not pleased with you, you won’t be blessed with possessions.
Example: Joel O’Steen Ministry Quotes: The top pastor in USA said this:
“You can change your world by changing your words... Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
“You may make some mistakes-but that doesn’t make you a sinner. You’ve got the very nature of God on the inside of you.”
“"Work out your own salvation. Salvation is more than a onetime prayer. It is constantly working with God, dealing with the issues He brings up and keeping a good attitude, fighting through until you win the victory."
-this last quote is the only mention of Salvation in his entire 300 page best selling book, Your Best Life Now
Now, this quote and many others are not always inherently wrong, God does bless his people. But when all that is talked about, the incorrect Gospel message has been preached.
The Colisseum: Again, years ago, thousands of Christians because of their beliefs were fed to lions in Rome and made fun of in front of tens of thousands. Their deaths, were entertainment to the masses. Literally, there were people lying next to their children who were formulating plans onto which appendage to feed the lions first. My point? If “God loves us and has a wonderful plan to bless us” applies to Christianity, then that message could also be preached to those about to be ravaged by lions. Can it? No way.
Deny Self: Remember, in three different gospels, Jesus says to “deny self” and even “take up your Cross daily.” He even asks what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world but “lose his soul.” Clearly, Christ’s messages were far more about sacrifice than about accumulation.