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A Word to the Wealthy

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 20, 2021 8:00 am

A Word to the Wealthy

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 20, 2021 8:00 am

Words of warning from James regardng those who use their wealth to mistreat others; how to handle wealth in a way that pleases God; based on James 5:1-6, 1 Tim. 6:17-19, and other passages.

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I want you to understand that what you do on earth matters to God in heaven.

It matters. If it's good, God takes note of it. If it is evil, God takes note of it.

Nothing escapes God's notice, and the Bible also tells us in no uncertain terms that we will all answer for our actions done in this body. Rich or poor, old or young, well-known or unknown, God is fully aware of our every thought, our every action, and our every motive. Hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepard. Today Pastor Paul offers a word of wisdom for the wealthy, but make no mistake, his message applies to all of us because we've all been blessed in one way or another. As you follow along today, keep this thought in mind. There's nothing wrong with having wealth or popularity or good looks or any other blessing, but there's everything wrong with these things having you. Stay with us here or visit pastorpaul.net to listen to Destined for Victory on demand.

You can also subscribe to the podcast at Google Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, A Word to the Wealthy. The Bible concept is everybody is getting a wage, and it's not necessarily positive unless you're living in obedience to God's Word. Paul says it again in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 10, for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, watch this, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in this body, whether good or bad. You see, you're getting a consequence, a reward whether you have lived in obedience or in disobedience.

And so we need to understand this is an important concept. This is why you've got to live with a God consciousness because you might try to sneak and do something wrong, but all you're doing at best is hiding that from people. But how many know God's looking right at it? So some of you all used to be slick. You grew up slick. We can't tell now because you look all holy and stuff like that, but I know some of you all were slick.

You got saved out of slickness and truth be told, some of you all still trying to shake some of that off now. But you can't outmaneuver the shepherd of your soul. The Bible says, remember when Samuel was going to the house of Jesse to anoint one of his sons, when Samuel saw Jesse's sons, he said, when he saw the first one, the firstborn, he saw a big strong guy, this has got to be the next king of Israel. And the Lord said, no, that's not him. And before you look at the others and decide based on what they look like, what you think, he said, let me tell you, God said, I don't look at outward appearance. I look at the heart. I look at the heart. So don't try to judge folk by what you see. That's how some of you all got messed up in various ways in your life past. We won't go back into that, but you made some of your worst decisions cause you thought you saw something worth hooking up with.

Don't say it man, they'll know it's you. Man looks on the outward appearance, but not God, he looks on the heart. He knows what's going on in every area of your life. So when you really get in the groove of learning how to walk in the spirit, you don't have to fear anything appearing out of a closet. You don't have to worry about any closets in your life cause all of them have been exposed to God and you've learned how to live in open awareness of his presence in your life.

I've known what it is to live with secrets that need to be dealt with and I know now what it lives to be in the light and I'm telling you, you sleep better when everything's out in the light. You know, if you ever get into deceptive living in any area of your life with your money, some of y'all scared every tax time cause you know you've been messing around trying to skirt the little IRS rules and stuff like that. Not you, but somebody on your row, look down, see who it is.

Somebody on your row scared right now cause taxes is looming. You don't have peace because you know there's some things that if they caught up with you, you'd have to pay a penalty. But it's wonderful to live in the light and the best way to do that is first of all, make sure you can answer to God for everything happening in your life. Cause if I can answer to God, I can show answer to the folks.

You see what I'm saying? And so the first point is very important. Our actions and decisions have divine consequences. Everything you do, everything you decide has a consequence, whether it is a good one or a bad consequence, they all have their consequences.

That's why you want to be under the blood. You want to be saved. Anybody listening to this message and you haven't given your life to Jesus yet, the first thing you want to do is give him your life because he puts you in the position where you are justified by faith. You have peace with God. All your past sins are forgiven. All your present sins are forgiven and if you confess them moving forward, all your future sins are forgiven. Jesus is the way to live life without having to worry and duck and dodge and peep and look around and who saw me?

Oh my God. You don't have to live like that in Christ cause if you do wrong, you confess your sin and the Bible says he's faithful and just to forgive you your sin and to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. That's why I don't understand people who resent the fact that the Bible says Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the father but by him.

Why resent that? That's meant to be your way out. Don't get mad at God. I resent the fact that he says that Jesus is the only way. I believe there ought to be many ways to God.

Thank you so much for sharing your opinion. Now God himself said there's one way and his name is Jesus and Jesus came to earth for the express purpose of living among us and then dying for us. He is the way out. He is your justification.

He is the one who will get you from earth to heaven and it is silly for you to resent the fact that Jesus is the only way. I've often said through the years, it would be that makes about as much sense as you being in a burning house, you're trapped in a room, don't know how to get out alive and then suddenly a fireman burst through and says come with me, this is the only way out. How many of you all would stand there and say I resent you saying this is the only way out. There ought to be many ways out of this house of fire.

That wouldn't make much sense, would it? You would get your happy hips right behind that fireman and wherever he goes, you would go. Well, I'm here to tell you Jesus came to be your fireman. Jesus came to make sure you don't have to worry about the negative consequences that James speaks of. I don't have to worry about any negative consequences because I've confessed sin, I trust Christ, I'm learning how to walk in the spirit, I'm learning how to live life his way and I don't have to worry about anything negative because Jesus took care of that for me.

Isn't that good news? So, the first thing I want you to understand as you look at this passage is James is simply saying that these folks are going to face consequences and that's how he describes it very graphically as they're needing to weep and wail because of the misery that is coming. Their wealth has rotted, moss have eaten their clothes and their gold and silver are corrupted and they're testifying against them. He is saying all of that about something that is yet to come upon these people.

He said the way you have lived, the way you have systematically mishandled your affluence, he said you're going to pay the price for it. So, we need to understand even if you aren't in this category, you're not a wealthy person who has abused and misused people in the course of using your affluence, he says you still need to know that everything you do has consequences. The second point I want to draw out of our look at this passage is jot this down, the sin was their corruption, not their wealth. James is not upset with these people because they're wealthy. This is very important for you to understand because there is a brand of Christianity, there are some people who basically believe if you're going to live for Christ, you need to divest of all of your worldly resources.

I've met them, I know some folks who think you really need to be poor or living very simply if you're going to be a follower of Jesus. But I checked that philosophy out by the Word and it doesn't check out. I said it doesn't check out. I spent most of my life in this book.

I've looked at everything carefully, it doesn't check out. The Bible does not agree with the assertion that the only way to be a true follower of Jesus is to live a very simple life and give everything else away. I will admit there are those who feel a calling to do that. I've met some of them, they feel a calling to do that. They live in voluntary poverty and they feel a calling to divest of all of their stuff so that they can live simply and help other people and I respect that. I've told everyone who's ever come at me with that, that that's the way they live, that's the way they believe others should live. I respect you but don't worry about what I have and don't try to sit in judgment on me. Because for some of us, poverty wasn't voluntary for a whole lot of years.

Can I get some help somewhere? It wasn't voluntary. It was just called life.

That's all it was. One of my preacher friends just said recently, if you ever see me broke, that's by accident now. That's by accident.

That's definitely not intentional because I spent a lot of time living that way because I couldn't help it. And the fact is there are those who feel that calling to be voluntarily poor and I respect them and God bless them. But don't put that on everybody else because that's not what this passage says. He's not rebuking these people because they're wealthy. He's rebuking them because they misuse what God has given them and they mistreat people by using their position of affluence. You see what I'm saying? And so you need to understand this is very important.

Now let me make sure you can verify what I just said. Look at verse three of the text. He's rebuking them for, in verse three, for hoarding wealth in the last days. For hoarding wealth in the last days. You know what hoarding means. They have shows on TV now about people who just hoard. You ever seen any of them where somebody got a house full of stuff, you can hardly walk in there. Ever seen any of them? People just pile up stuff and they just bought it. Just have to have it.

They don't throw anything away. Any of y'all like that, raise your hand if that's you. Coming up next, the rest of today's message, A Word to the Wealthy with Pastor Paul Shepherd, who is Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship located in Fremont, California. If you've never stopped by our website, pastorpaul.net, I invite you to do so today. You'll find all of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand plus a host of great resources in our online store and that includes books and DVD messages from Pastor Paul. You can also learn more about the ministry and all the great things friends like you are doing through your prayers and financial support. That's pastorpaul.net. And we know if you love listening to this program, you'll enjoy watching some of Pastor Paul's best video clips.

Subscribe at YouTube or go to pastorpaul.net where you can find more details and links to all of his social media. Now, let's go back into the book of James and rejoin Pastor Paul for the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, A Word to the Wealthy. Hoarders, hoarders can never give out, can never unload. They're always pulling in more and more and more and more. And some people do that with wealth and with finances. What they have is never enough. They're constantly raking in. And look at what James said.

The problem is you are hoarding wealth in the last days. Now, what does that mean? James writes in the first century of the existence of the church. This is one of the earliest epistles. And he's writing to a generation of Christians who thought not only Jesus is coming again, they thought he was coming again in their immediate lifetime because Jesus had told them of the last days and they had learned about that. And the day of Pentecost introduced the church age and on the day of Pentecost, one of the prophecies it fulfills is in the last days, God would pour out his spirit. So the first century of believers thought that Jesus was coming right back within their lifetime. And James says, since we believe Jesus is coming right back, how dare you all hoard wealth at a time when if anybody ought to be helping folks, it ought to be you who know Jesus is soon to return. So why get richer and richer when you could be helping more and more people? You see what I'm saying?

Everybody tracking with me? He said you're hoarding wealth in the last days. So how are we to understand the last days then since Jesus didn't come back in their lifetime and hasn't come back for 20 centuries thereafter? How are we to understand it? Well, the day of Pentecost, which was the birthday of the church was the beginning of the last day period. What none of us know is how long the last day period is track with me. We know it was the beginning because on the day the spirit of the Lord was poured out on Pentecost, it fulfilled the prophecy from Joe in the last days, I'll pour out my spirit upon all flesh. So it was the beginning of the last days, but Jesus taught very clearly. No one knows the day or the hour that I'm coming back. We've seen the false prophets, we've seen the Harold Campings who have falsely said, I figured out the Bible formulas and I know when Jesus is coming back.

Why are you getting scared? I'm the one who said it. It was clearly a false prophet. Okay, how well intentioned he was. He kept on publicly predicting something when Jesus said, you don't know.

Is that right? And so at a certain point, you just got to call it what it is. That's false prophecy. And so he kept declaring, I know when Jesus is coming. The fact is no one knows the day of the hour, but we do know we're in the last day period.

Now, the reason why we can't get comfortable is because since you don't know, it could be any day. Furthermore, Paul said when he wrote his spiritual son, Timothy, and I want you to go there with me, 2 Timothy 3, he gave us some clear indications about the period in which you could expect Jesus to come and look at what he said. Go with me to 2 Timothy 3, and I'm going to show you why you can't afford to be loose in your living.

2 Timothy 3, beginning with verse 1. But mark this, Paul practically said, you can get out your pen and get ready to put some check marks by what I'm about to say if it applies to the time in which you live. He says, but mark this, there will be terrible times in the last days.

How many know we can put a check mark right there? We're living in terrible times. When you see what's going on in our world, we're living in terrible times. In fact, there are some who see the war clouds gathering, and it looks like the enemy of our souls, I believe he's at least trying to get together a World War III.

I'm observing what's going on in the world, and over in the Middle East section and all of the warring against Israel and all of the ISIS and all of this stuff, I see some stuff happening that could very well be a chilling manifestation of the words we just read, that in the last days there will be terrible times. I put a check mark right there. Look at verse 2.

People will be lovers of themselves. Check. Thank you for pulling out your check mark.

Lovers of money. Check. Boastful. Check. Proud. Check. Abusive.

Check. Disobedient to their parents. Thank you parents. Thank you parents.

I appreciate all those parental checks. We've never seen it. Y'all younger folk just have to excuse us.

We have never seen a day like this in our lives. That's why every now and then I just have to exhale a little bit. I'm sorry if I do it too much for your taste, because I know some of y'all are so overly concerned that the children won't have unhealthy ideas of themselves because of the things we say and do, but every now and then I got to just exhale these children. It's just gotten out of control with parents who don't know how to parent. I don't understand it. I have no frame of reference for that. I know parents who are afraid of their own children. I don't have a frame of reference for that. I was raised by a generation of parents. It wasn't just mine. The whole generation of them, they wouldn't think of being scared of something they had.

Just never cross your mind at all to be concerned for your safety. I don't care how big you get. We had a little frail lady in our church in Philadelphia. Both her sons got big and grown and one day they sassed her a little too much and she said, let me tell y'all something.

The longest day you live, I will be your mother and if you don't mind me, she said, I know you're big, but I'll climb a ladder and knock you upside your head. I realized I just traumatized a whole generation of younger people with that statement. I'm so sorry.

Be healed. Our generation, we weren't going to be scared of our kids. Some folks don't take their children out in public because they're afraid their children will embarrass them in public. Our parents took us out in public because if there was going to be any embarrassing going on, some of y'all know the rest of that sentence. If there was going to be any embarrassing going on, they were going to embarrass you.

They say you get out there and try it if you want to and see what happened. I grew up in the days where you didn't see children out in the store falling out cause they couldn't have something. Hit the floor every now and then you would see it in my day, but if we were in there with our parents and somebody else did that, some kid flipped out in the middle of the aisle at Woolworth.

I just dated myself, just dated myself. I wonder if I got any Woolworth shoppers in the house. I'm not talking about you brand new Walmart shoppers. Before that was a Walmart, before that was a Kmart, there was F. W. Woolworth.

My God, we went to Woolworth for everything. And if you saw some kid out in the aisle number two stretching out on their parent cause they couldn't have something and they didn't, if we were with our parents, we just backed up. We didn't back up cause back in that day, let me tell you, I'm about to scare y'all.

Hold on to yourselves. Cause back in that day, the parents weren't afraid to swatch you in public. I know they don't do it now cause they scared everybody going to pull out their cell phones, get them arrested or something. But in my day, nobody was calling child protective services cause you got swatted on your behind for acting like you got no home training. In fact, I didn't just watch you once cause you, now you've embarrassed me at the store, so I got to get you for embarrassment as well as misbehavior.

And when they got through with you, you got up and got saved. Anyway, okay, I'm not going back into that. We're looking at this list. Ungrateful, people ungrateful in the last days, check. Unholy, check. Without love, check. Unforgiving, check.

And go right on down the line. Slanderous, without self control. Brutal, not lovers of the good. Treacherous, rash, conceited. Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness but denying its power.

All of that is going on in big numbers today. So I am convinced we are not only in the last days, but we're in the last of the last days. If someone has wronged you recently, if you've ever been abused or mistreated, if you've ever been condemned with or without cause, Pastor Paul wants you to think about the way the world treated Jesus. Consider his suffering, his unselfish life, his sacrificial death, and the words he himself spoke.

The servant is not greater than his master. One day, your justice will come. In the meantime, follow in the footsteps of Christ who willingly suffered at the hands of men so that all men might one day find eternal life, including those who mistreated him most. In Psalm 107, King David writes, then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress. So if you need prayer today, the Destined for Victory ministry team would like to join you. From the homepage at pastorpaul.net, use the contact feature to let us know how we can pray for you.

And while you're there, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, which comes at no cost or obligation. And we have a great resource to share with you today, a DVD message from Pastor Paul Shepard titled, Get Your Hopes Up. Now, the word hope in English often conveys doubt.

I hope my team wins or I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow. But biblical hope has its foundation in God in whom there is never any doubt. Learn more about biblical hope in this DVD message from Pastor Paul. That's Get Your Hopes Up, our gift to you this month by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Simply call 855-339-5500, 855-339-5500, or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online.

You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. Some of you are believing God, and I'm sure some of you are going to be blessed with more resources. But first, you got to be faithful over what you have and make sure you are demonstrating that I honor God with everything that he blesses me with. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepard shares his message, a word to the wealthy. Until then, remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-05 20:47:42 / 2023-08-05 20:57:13 / 10

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