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Is It Wrong for a Christian to Pursue Wealth?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 11, 2023 1:30 pm

Is It Wrong for a Christian to Pursue Wealth?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 11, 2023 1:30 pm

Episode 1312 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

 CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Does the Bible say I have to have sex with my spouse when I don't want to?

2. Will I feel sorrow in heaven for non-believing loved ones?

3. What should Christians do with the extra embryos after IVF treatment?

4. Is it okay for a Christian to pursue wealth?

5. Do Christians go straight to heaven or wait for the final judgment?

 

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Is it wrong for a Christian to pursue wealth? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2023.

You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well, it's September 11th, Patriot's Day. It's a day that we want to take a moment to remember those who were killed on this day back in 2001, and of course the heroes who died in the rescue effort. Such a somber day for so many people in the U.S. Many heroes, Bill, as you said, literally coming out of the ashes and something for us to never forget.

And so I'm glad that you brought it up. May God continue to be with and comfort those who suffered great loss on that day. I mean, it's been over 20 years now, but it seems like it was just yesterday.

Wouldn't you say, Bill? Yeah, you know, and I'm a little concerned because I know the news outlets will probably be showing images of the planes hitting the buildings, the buildings collapsing, people running. And little kids who weren't around back then don't know the full story, may see that on their TV screen tonight, and that could cause a lot of anxiety.

And I think so parents should probably be maybe aware of what their kids are watching over the next 24 hours or so because we don't want any kids to have, you know, unnecessary nightmares, fears because they don't really understand what they're seeing. Yeah, I mean, we've used it as an opportunity in our family in the past to just have conversations about the world that we live in, about the reality of evil and sin, and ultimately the need for the gospel. And so, I mean, it can also be something that we as parents, we're talking to our kids about history and what happens in the world and the hope that we have, the ultimate hope that we have in Christ.

And so, yeah, I mean, this is an opportunity there. You're listening to Core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. We also receive emails and voicemails here at the Core.

Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Elizabeth. My question has to do with the Bible verses about intimacy with a husband and wife. My husband and I are on different camps on this. I believe that, yes, we are supposed to be intimate. When I don't feel like I want to be, I feel like that's okay. My husband believes that from what the Bible says that even if I don't want to, I still need to do that. Can you help us?

Thanks. Hey, Elizabeth, thank you for that question. I think the text to go to in Scripture is what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7, verse 1. Now concerning the matters about what you wrote, he says it is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman, but because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights and likewise the wife to her husband, for the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a limited time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, but then come together again so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Let me just say a couple of things, Elizabeth. I think that there are instances where a husband can try to use the Bible to demand intimacy from his wife or guilt his wife into having sex. I think that's a misuse of the Bible.

That's not doing things the right way. There can be, and this happens tragically, ways in which people twist scripture, and yet here the apostle Paul does talk about that commitment that we have to each other and the fact that sometimes in this arena we are serving our spouses. We're not always going to have those feelings per se, and I think that's where we have charity and extend grace to each other where sometimes we can say, okay, well, I'm going to serve you here or where your husband can serve you. Frankly, husbands are called to serve their wives as well, and sometimes that looks like recognizing, okay, this is not the right time. It seems to me, obviously, as a husband that you would want this also to be something that your spouse was into and wanted, but this is not uncommon for a husband and a wife to feel like, okay, we have a different level of drive here.

We're on different pages, and that's where we need to be gracious to each other. That's where we need to recognize, again, the fact that this is one of the ways we can serve each other, and that's exactly what the apostle Paul is getting at there in 1 Corinthians 7, being cautious not to deprive each other from that intimacy because temptation is a real thing. And yet, at the same time, not using the Bible to try to force our spouse to do something that they're not interested in doing at that moment, so we really need to extend grace to each other. We need to, I think, grow in just that love that helps us to serve each other both as husbands and wives and make sure that we're using scripture and applying scripture here the right way, and so appreciate your question, and I guess if you were looking for an answer that says, do I have to or do I not have to, I think it's more complex than that. I would say we are called to serve each other, and in all things that we do, we're called to exercise love toward each other, especially to our husbands and to our wives, and so this is an area where maybe both of you can grow, where your husband can grow in serving you and understanding your needs and your feelings and saying, okay, this is a time for me to serve my wife as well, and where you can grow also in serving him and recognize, okay, I'm not always going to be into this in the moment, per se, but I can also serve my husband here. And so, Elizabeth, thank you for reaching out to us. Again, that passage was 1 Corinthians 7, verses 1 through 5, and pray that the Lord blesses you and your marriage.

Really well said. Thanks for that, Council Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible, your Christian life, maybe something that's going on in your church right now that's got you concerned, or maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith, and you consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist, and you kind of stumbled on the show and would love to ask Adriel some questions about the Christian faith. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

This is 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Betty, who's calling in from Missouri. Betty, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi there. Yeah, this is Betty. As a believer, and I understand about heaven and how we are going to be able to recognize each other, and they're not supposed to be sadness or anything, but what about the sadness of non-believers that we knew or loved in life here? And also, if my dad, who had a second wife, the first one, passed away, will there be jealousy?

Can you help guide me on that? Excellent question, Betty. Well, no, I don't think there will be any jealousy, and I don't think there will be any sadness. And that's just the vision that's given to us when John has his series of visions in the book of Revelation, when he sees the new heavens and the new earth. This is Revelation chapter 21. He says, I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.

He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. What a beautiful hope that we have.

How much we long now in the midst of a broken world where there is pain and sickness and tears and cancer and sin and all of these things. Oh, how we long for God to wipe every tear away from our eyes, and that's precisely what John sees happening. And so in the new creation, there will be no sadness, but you raise a great question. Well, okay, what about, you know, if I'm there and someone I really loved didn't trust in Christ, they rebelled against God, they turned away from the gospel, and they're not there, won't I be sad because of that?

I mean, that's a horrible thing. My sense is, and the Scripture doesn't just, you know, give a real specific answer here, but my sense is that being in the presence of the triune God, together with all the saints, perfected in holiness and love, is going to so eclipse everything else that there will be no room for sadness or jealousy. We're going to, you know, it's going to be perfect love, and that's what the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, so that there is no jealousy. There's no, and we'll look at, you know, another saint there in heaven and think, oh, man, they lived a better life than me or whatever, I'm jealous of them.

No, perfect love. We're going to want only the best for everyone, and so that's what we have to look forward to, no more sadness and perfect joy in the presence of the Lord. So well said. Thanks, Betty, for listening to Core Christianity and for your great question there. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible, Christian life, doctrine, theology. We have our phone lines open right now. We'll be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so, so now is the time to call. The number is 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Morgan, who's calling in from Minnesota. Morgan, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi there. My question for Adriel today relates to fertility. So my husband and I had IVF treatment in January of this year, and it was successful. We are expecting our second baby girl in about five or six weeks, but my question has to do with the embryos that have been preserved from that process. I'm just kind of looking for some guidance from a biblical perspective. So, you know, long story short, we have embryos that have been preserved, and the choices are basically continue paying quite a lofty fee to store them when we don't intend on having more children, or you can dispose of them, but I'm really struggling with that because to me, they're living, you know, you could find out the gender right now. So to me, they're people, so it's hard for me to just say, yes, dispose of them.

A couple of things, Morgan. First, I want to say to you, congratulations, and may the Lord bless the remainder of your pregnancy and this baby that's coming. And I mean, there are, you know, questions, ethical questions related to IVF. One resource, just because this is such a, you know, a bigger thing that we don't have a ton of time to go into on a short broadcast like this, but one resource that I would recommend that does get into the question of IVF, and really get to the heart of some of what you're asking. It's called Bioethics and the Christian Life, written by David van Droonen. Bioethics and the Christian Life, maybe get that on Kindle.

I think it's about 13, 14 bucks on Kindle, and you could read the chapter on IVF. I had Dr. van Droonen as a professor while I was in seminary, and he does a great job of thinking through this biblically, and you're absolutely right. We're talking about life here, and as Christians, we're called to preserve and protect life. So discarding life, I think, is out of the question.

I don't know all of the potential options. I know in the past, I've heard of things like adopting or giving up the embryos of the children for adoption. I think maybe even being open to pursuing, having more children as well, but I would be against the idea, because we are talking about life, of just discarding the lives.

So that's a really short answer. Dig into that book by Dr. van Droonen, Bioethics and the Christian Life, and this is one of the ways, brothers and sisters, that we continue to shine as a light in the world today, in a society that oftentimes minimizes life, the beauty of life, the importance of life. Our decisions, even in things like this, your decisions, even in things like this, Morgan, are a witness of your faith in Jesus Christ pursuing a family and children, and wanting to preserve and protect those children as well. So may God bless you. Let me just take a moment right now to pray for you and to pray for your family, and just that the Lord blesses this upcoming baby that's coming. Father, we thank you for the gift of life, and we thank you, Lord, for our sister Morgan, for her family. We ask that you would grant her wisdom in this situation and that you would provide for all of their needs and guide them, Lord, so that in what they do, they're pleasing to you, and would you please bless their family as they prepare to welcome a new baby. Be with this baby and fill this child with your Holy Spirit from a very young age. We thank you, Lord, for this great and precious gift. Be with Morgan.

Be with their family. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. Thank you for calling, Morgan. And you know that you mentioned the adoption option there, Adriel, and there's a term called snowflake babies, where these embryos are given up for adoption. There's actually organizations that specialize in snowflake babies, so perhaps not something that Morgan could pursue, Morgan and her husband could check out.

So thanks for your great counsel there, a very difficult ethical issue, as you said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have a great resource we want to mention to you. If you are a parent or a grandparent, there's nothing like singing scripture, singing hymns, singing the Lord's words to your kids, with your kids, and we have some songs available that do just that. Yeah, this resource is a free resource that you can download over at our website corechristianity.com, and the resource is called Ten Songs to Sing as a Family. It'll give you ten hymns to sing together with your family, with your kids, maybe around the dinner table or before you go to bed at night. It'll also give you some information about each of these hymns. A great way, I mean, one of the primary ways throughout the history of the church that theology has been taught, that the truth of God's word has been passed from one generation to another is through song, and so we can't minimize that or lose sight of that. And so learning the great songs of the faith and singing them together as a family is such a gift, a wonderful thing that you can do.

And so get ahold of the resource again. It's called Ten Songs to Sing as a Family. Once again, it's absolutely free. We'd love to have you get that at our website. Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash radio. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash radio and look for those ten songs.

Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Jesse. My question is, is it wrong for a Christian to want to be wealthy? And where is the line that determines whether you're being greedy or whether you're being ambitious? I've been very torn about this lately, trying to find that right place where I'm serving God in my heart and providing for my family and trying to excel in the workplace, but I just feel like it's a very blurry line between too much and not enough. Thank you very much. God bless you guys.

Jesse, man, God bless you as well. What's wrong for Christians to be lazy, I would say. And if you've got a strong work ethic, I mean, that's a good thing. Working hard and working hard and being devoted to whatever it is that you're doing and doing it with excellence, that can and ordinarily oftentimes may result in acquiring wealth or in growing and advancing in whatever it is that you're doing.

And so I think having that drive, that passion is a good thing. Now, if it's the love of money, if it's clinging to money as this is what I'm putting my hope in. And, you know, a lot of times people say, so many Christians today are, you know, get all up in arms about, you know, we make everything into an idol. Money is an idol, family is an idol or whatnot. But the truth is, Jesus gives a lot of warnings about how we view money and possessions and how easy it is for us to turn money and the drive for things into an idol, something that we bow down before, if you will. Jesus made it very clear in the Sermon on the Mount, you know, you can't serve God and money. You're going to love one master and hate the other.

You're going to hate one and love the other. And the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy chapter 6, he also speaks about this. He says it's important for us to have contentment as the people of God. And so the question I would have for you is, do you have that contentment, that contentment that comes from the Holy Spirit, that, Lord, I'm resting in you.

I'm working hard and you're blessing me and I praise you for that. But I'm not so driven by, you know, the passion or lust for money that I'm compromising my commitment to you and my commitment to my family. That does happen. There are people who pursue riches to the extent of neglecting their own family.

And so that would be a serious red flag. And again, that's what Paul gets at in 1 Corinthians chapter 6. He says, Godliness with contentment is great gain for we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, he says, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction for the love of money.

And that's the problem. You have to ask yourself, is it the love of money that's driving me? He says, for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. In other words, in that pursuit, in that ambition, is it taking you away from the faith? Is there this deep anxiety and discontentment and frustration and not that piece of the Holy Spirit?

I think that's how you gauge this question. If it's just, no, I'm walking with the Lord, I'm loving the Lord, I'm working hard as unto the Lord, and God has blessed me. I know it doesn't always work out that way, but for whatever reason, God has blessed me. That's a good thing. That's something to give thanks to God for. And so having riches isn't a sin in and of itself.

There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, Paul makes that clear just a little bit later in 1 Timothy 6 when he says in verse 17, as for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

In other words, those riches are just not ultimate for you. The real question is, are you rich in good works? With the ways that God has blessed you, are you sharing? Are you doing good to others? Are you being a good steward of the things that God has given you? And you're right, there is a fine line because there are some people who maybe it looks like they're just being blessed by God, but the reality is they're enslaved to the love of money and that's what's driving them.

And there are others where they're really successful and that there's nothing wrong with that. They're focused on the Lord, they're serving the Lord, and they're using the good gifts that God has given them to be generous to others. And so that's what you need to ask yourself, is that happening or is this taking me away from my relationship with Jesus and filling me again with anxiety and frustration? May God bless you. And I do, again, want to commend you because it's good to work hard and to take initiative and to be ambitious, not sinfully ambitious, but wanting to work hard with what God has given you.

That's commendable. And as you do that, offering your whole self, all of your work to the Lord as an act of service to him, your whole body as a living sacrifice, I think that is pleasing to God. And so may God be with you, Jesse, and may God use you. I don't know what it is that you do for work, but may God use you to be a blessing for others.

Such a good word. Thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Here's our phone number if you want to leave us a voicemail after our program ends. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Robert in Missouri. Robert, we've just got about a minute left. What's your question for Adriel?

Hi there. Yeah, I had a question about life after death. We don't go to heaven right away, the way I understand it, but we have to wait until the Judgment Day when Jesus comes a second time, and then we'll meet him in the air. Robert, thank you for that question.

Well, it's better news than that. I don't think that we have to wait. If you believe in Jesus, if you've trusted in Jesus Christ for your salvation, you're united to him by faith, you don't have to wait until the last day, the day of judgment, before you are in the presence of the Lord. The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5 verse 8, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The souls of believers are at their death, perfected in holiness, and they immediately pass into glory. And then our bodies go down into the ground, and we wait for that final day that you were referencing, the day of judgment, the day of resurrection, when our bodies and souls are reunited and our bodies are glorified.

But before that time, it's what theologians refer to as the intermediate state. You are in the presence of the Lord in heaven, and that's what the apostle Paul was looking forward to in Philippians chapter 1. He says, my desire, he's talking about his death, if he writes to the Philippians, my desire, Philippians 1 verse 23 and 24, my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. Because he knew that when he died, he was going to go and be with Jesus. And if you are in Christ, if you've trusted in him, then that means that the moment you die, you are going to depart and be with Jesus. And that's far better than anything this world has to offer. God bless you. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-07 16:52:17 / 2023-10-07 17:02:36 / 10

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