Sunday at 9:30 church we spent a good deal of time discussing Francis Chan’s sermon Lukewarm and Loving It. You can watch it here. One person said what they heard in the sermon was that you could only get to heaven if you sold everything and gave it to the poor. A couple of others who heard the sermon said they didn’t get that from it. They heard Chan say that you mustn’t make money and possessions your idols, seeing them as more important than Jesus.
I said I believe the Bible teaches that what is required depends on the individual. Jesus did tell the rich young ruler to sell everything he owned and give it to the poor and then to come follow Him. Jesus knew that He couldn’t compete with the rich young rulers possessions for the rich young rulers affection. Some people can have possessions and even wealth and still love Jesus more than their things. Zacchaeus was able to hold on to some of his possessions because he didn’t value them more than Jesus. And let me be clear, Jesus doesn’t need your money. He desires your affection. And Satan will use money (and credit cards… ouch!) to divert our affection from Jesus to our possessions.
I said if there are people driving to church in a Cadillac and putting $25 in the offering plate, that may be a sign that they love their possessions more than Jesus. And Chan’s sermon said that it is so hard for them to get to heaven. They would be better off selling everything they have and giving it away. And don’t get mad at Francis or mad at me. (As a matter of fact, if I preached this and someone got upset – that’s a pretty sure sign!) We’re just telling you what Jesus said:
“I’ll say it again–it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” ~ Matthew 19:24