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Can a Christian be Rich? // Ask an African Pastor

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Can a Christian be rich? Yes. There is nothing wrong with being rich.

There are Wealthy Believers in the Bible

We have, in the Old Testament, Abraham – who was a believer. Probably not a Christian in the same terms we may use today. But he was a believer and he was a rich man. We have Joseph, we have David, we have many people in the Old Testament, Job included, who had a significant level of wealth.

In the New Testament, we find the same thing. We find a converted person that cares – who was significantly rich before and after he met Jesus. We find many other people in the New Testament who had significant wealth.

The Bible does not say that to be a Christian you have to be materially poor.

So the Bible does not say that to be a Christian you have to be materially poor. Although, in some cases, it tends to favour the poor. And we think here of some parts of the gospel of Luke, for example.

The Danger of Being Rich

Yet the Bible warns us against the danger of being rich. Jesus in his own words says that It’s not impossible for rich people to become Christian – but it’s really, really difficult. (Matthew 19: 23-24) Why? Because rich people tend to rely a lot on their wealth. As a source of identity, as a source of security, which then contrasts with the demands of the Gospel and the calls of God. Rich people tend to value their money and love their money more than they love God. And so, they have a much higher level of temptation.

Rich people tend to value their money and love their money more than they love God. And so, they have a much higher level of temptation.

It doesn’t mean poor people don’t have the same problem. It just means that sometimes people with wealth, and money and power, tend to rely on it more than they would rely on God.

Can a Christian be Rich?

And so, does the Bible say we shouldn’t be rich? No, it doesn’t say that. Does the Bible say we should trust in our riches? It says no, we should not. We shouldn’t love riches. But rather we should use our God-given opportunities and riches to serve others and for the good of those who are poor.

So the rich people are not necessarily non-Christians. And just because people are poor doesn’t also mean that they are Christian.