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People Jesus Met Part 24

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2020 7:34 am

People Jesus Met Part 24

So What? / Lon Solomon

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You know I think most of us here know the plots of Charles Dickens famous 1843 story a Christmas Carol. Of course it's the story of a sad greedy old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge who finally learns the joy of using his money to benefit others. Well, as we open the pages of the Bible. Today we're going to need another greedy man but sadly this man never learned the lesson that Ebenezer Scrooge learned the Bible calls him the rich fool. Now remember were in a series entitled people. Jesus met and today Jesus meets a man in the crowd and tells him the story of the rich full story of the rich fool is a story about the dangers of greed, which threatens to rob us of reward in heaven and the to put us in a position where we force Almighty God to call us a fool.

So we want to go back and look and see what Jesus said 2000 years ago and then you know what were going to do working to bring all of that forward and were going to ask the question well what differences that make for me. So our passage today is Luke chapter 12 and we begin adverse 13.

The Bible says that a man in the crowd said to Jesus, teacher, please tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me now in Jesus's day, it was common for people to ask prominent rabbis to settle legal cases between them and someone else. But Jesus totally rebuffs this God. Verse 14 then Jesus said to him, man who appointed me a judge or an arbiter for you. You say wow Jesus, gruff with this guy in the well yeah there was a reason you see in ancient Israel. The inheritance laws were very definitive and clear.

The oldest brother served as the executor of the estate.

The oldest brother received two thirds of the estate and the final one third of this, the estate was split evenly among the other brothers and sisters for what we have here in Luke chapter 12 is one of the younger brothers asking Jesus to put pressure on his older brother to give him more of the estate.

Then he was legally entitled to that we should stop and ask the question well.

Hadn't this younger brother already gotten some of the money from his dad's estate will the answer is yes and wasn't that found money on.

He wasn't in more money than he had before. Well guess, and so shouldn't he have been grateful for whatever it was he, God, I mean it was more than he had.

Well, the answer is yes.

But this man wasn't grateful. Indeed, he wanted more. He was greedy.

So why did Jesus rebuff this man the way that he did well. Very simply because look here this man wasn't coming to Jesus asking for justice, he was coming to Jesus asking him to to endorse his greed that we all see this yes because that's the secret to the rest of the passage.

Now verse 15 then Jesus said to the crowd. Watch out, be on your guard against every form of greed for a person's life does not consist of the abundance of their possessions. Jesus said guard yourselves against the extreme love of money. Guard yourself against being Ebenezer Scrooge why Jesus says well because life doesn't consist of just the abundance of the stuff you got. Or to put it another way of fruitful rewarding life does not automatically result simply from hoarding and having a lot of money. I don't know if you guys ever heard of William post his nickname was broad but but one the 1988 Pennsylvania lottery and chose to take all of his winnings and cast the winnings total $16.2 million. Well the truth is that after he want all that money post went on to experience a series of tragedies in his life including a divorce, a bankruptcy if you can believe that. And his brother hiring a contractor murderer to kill him, so that his brother could get some of the money in an interview. Years later, in USA Today, but Poe said and I quote he said I was much happier when I was broke." Well, time magazine recently did a study that found quoting now from time that a millionaire is no more likely to be happy than someone who's earning 1/20 as much. The point is if you're miserable with a little you going to be miserable with a lot and this is exactly what Jesus is trying to impress upon the crowd that money itself does not equate to true riches is what we do with the money that can produce true riches and to drive this point home. Jesus now tells the crowd a little story, and here's where we meet our friend of the rich fool. Verse 16 then Jesus told the crowd the story. He said the land of a certain rich man produced a bumper crop. Any thought to himself what shall I do now since I have no place to store all these crops now. Please notice that when the story begins this man, this main character in the story is already filthy rich.

I mean his barns are already stuffed to overflowing, and suddenly, his land produces another huge crop and so he has a dilemma's dilemma is what will I do with all this new wealth all the surplus wealth well you know the Bible told them what to do with it. Deuteronomy chapter 15 verse 11 says there will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, God says, I command you to be openhanded towards the poor and needy. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart and if you do. God says the Lord your God will bless you in all you put your hand to hate this man had a great opportunity.

Staring him right in the face. I mean he had the chance to give all the surplus grain away. He had the chance to show love and compassion to needy people and poor people all around him, and he had the chance to use his money to earn God's favor and God's blessing on his life. But what did he do well.

Verse 18 says, then the rich man said this is what I'll do, I'll tear down my present barns and I'll build bigger barns and their all store all migraine and my goods and I'll say to my soul soul.

You have many goods laid up for years to come. Take life easy, eats, drink and be merry. Instead of using as well to bless the lives of others and using it to gain God's favor and God's blessing. Instead he decided to hide it all away and hoarded for himself use it when allowing a window in such a strike. Stop let me see if I understand you are you saying here that it's wrong to us, save for a rainy day. Are you saying here that it's wrong to plan for retirement. Are you saying here it's wrong to keep something back in reserve in case you needed no absolutely not.

But folks would you please notice the rich man already had all of this, he was already so filthy Rich didn't even have any place to put his new wealth, see friends. The issue here was not one of good financial planning.

The issue here was one of greed to your and simple verse 20 but God said to him you fool, this very night your soul is required of you and now you will get all that you prepared for yourself. Jesus concludes by saying verse 21 and this is how it will be God will call anybody a fool who lays up treasure for himself, but is not rich towards God see this rich man had made every provision for this life, but he made no provision at all for eternity and one night when he came his time to go and rather suddenly I might add. The point is, he had nothing in his heavenly portfolio's bank account with God. Read zero and that's precisely why Jesus called him a fool. Now that's as far as we want to go in our passage because it's time now for us to ask our question and you know our question in all of our campuses. We want you involved in this.

So here we go nice allowed.

Come on now want to throw a year you say lawn, so once I understand what you're saying but I really don't see how this necessarily relates to me. What's the so what here will friends the so what. Here Jesus gives it to us. We don't have to try to figure it out.

Jesus said verse 21.

What did he say Jesus said this is how it will be with anyone who lays up treasure for himself, but is not rich towards God.

God Jesus is God's going to call him or her a fool to not know about you folks but in my thinking. It is no small thing to have Almighty God of the universe call you a fool. I mean as a follower of Christ. This is certainly not how I want God to greet me when I show up in heaven. You know a lot. Welcome to heaven, you fool.

No, that's not how I want this to happen and I don't really think that's how you want God to greet you when you get to heaven. So let's ask a question and that question is what exactly did this rich man do that was so wrong that it caused God to call him a fool.

Well, Jesus answered the question what he say in verse 21 he said the rich man laid up treasure for himself, but he was not rich towards God.

And that leads us to a second question which is what exactly does it really mean when the Bible talks about being rich towards God. Well, let's talk about that. The Bible teaches, my friends, that every follower of Jesus Christ. Every true follower of Christ has a bank account in heaven. The Bible teaches that the day you and I gave our life to Christ.

God opened up for us a heavenly bank account in the pearly gates Savings and Loan or something akin to that in the Bible teaches that while were here on earth. God has given us the opportunity to make deposits into that account to transfer funds into that account funds that will be waiting for us when we arrive in heaven and funds on the basis of which first Corinthians 314 God will dispense rewards when we get to heaven.

Listen to the Bible reiterate this over and over. Matthew chapter 6 verse 19 Jesus said do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But rather, Jesus says store up for yourselves.

What's the next three words say it treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 1921 Jesus told the rich young ruler go sell all you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have what's the next three words treasure in heaven. Jesus said in Luke chapter 12 verse 33 when we give to the Lord.

We provide ourselves with purses that will not wear out one of the next three words treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted folks.

The point is that the more treasure we deposited in our heavenly bank account while we're here on earth. The richer towards God. We will be when we arrive in heaven is our lawn. I But it leads me to 1/3 question and my third question is exactly how do I do this exactly how do I make these deposits and transfer these fundamental have any deposit slips on me how exactly do I do that and and that's a great question and what he, Jesus, just tell us in the three verses that we read about treasure in heaven.

He said that every time we use our funds here on earth in a way that honors God in a way that advances the work in the kingdom of God on earth. We are transferring that amount of funds into our heavenly bank account. We are storing up in that amount treasure in heaven and becoming rich towards God by that amount now look here, of course, acts of service for the Lord Jesus also go into this account.

When we teach Sunday school when we lead a Bible study. When we serve and access ministry. When we lead a small group we volunteer for Turkey outreach. We serve as an usher or whatever we do it for the Lord of those things go in the count to but Jesus isn't talking in this particular passage about converting our acts of service in the heavenly treasure. He's talking here about converting our earthly monetary funds into treasure in heaven. So let's stay on point and when the Bible talks about that. The Bible tells us three ways that we can use our earthly funds are finances to transfer and make them deposits in heaven. Number one by giving to our local church acts chapter 4 verse 35. The Bible says that the early followers of Christ brought money and laid it at the apostles feet. Why because they were leaders.

The leaders of the early church in Jerusalem and it was distributed as people had knee that was the first way they did it.

There's a second way to transfer funds and that is by giving to missionaries and missionary organizations. Paul wrote the Philippians and said after I preach the gospel to you when I left Philippi. You sent me financial aid again and again when I was in need not watch what he says in verse 17 he says it's not that I'm seeking your gifts, but I'm excited. Look what he says here about what is going to be credited to your account in heaven. This is all about money you sent to support the work of the gospel. That's money that's going into your heavenly bank account and pauses. That's what excites me and finally the third way that we can make these transfers is by giving to individuals in need in Jesus is named. Don't forget that the Bible refers to this Matthew chapter 6 is almost giving and it tells about an example in the early church where the church did this people did this, acts 1129 there was a great famine and the believers in Antioch, each according to their financial ability provided help for the poor believers living in Jerusalem sending this relieve by the hand of of the United Way. Is that what that says no sending this relieve by the hand of the World Health Organization done say that either sending this really by the hand of the Red Cross doesn't say that sending this relieve by the hands of Barnabas and Paul, two of the pastors at that church would you notice that when the church in Antioch decided to help people in need.

They made sure they did it by means of a vehicle where Jesus got the credit and the name of Jesus was exalted in how they did it. Now listen, I'm not saying the Red Cross doesn't do some great things and I'm not saying you shouldn't give to the Red Cross. I'm just saying that giving to a secular organization like the Red Cross doesn't lay up treasure in heaven for you, because that money is not distributed in the name of Jesus and for the fame of Jesus. So these are three options for transferring funds number one. By giving to our local church ministry number two by giving a missionaries and missionary organizations, and number three by giving the people in need. Using a vehicle that exalts the name of Jesus Christ. Now I want to stop for a moment to share my personal opinion with you. I personally believe and I structure my giving accordingly that the vast majority of our giving should be to the local church that we are attending, you say, well of course you believe that what you're up as global church. Of course you believe that no no no. No no no in the years before I was ever a pastor of a church when I worked for a missionary organization.

Brenda and I even in those years still gave the overwhelming majority of our giving not to that missionary organization but to the local church that we were attending and I'll tell you why believe this three reasons. Number one because the local church is the primary instrument of God that the New Testament tells us about and therefore I believe that is a Christian, I have the duty to support a local church above everything else number two because a good local church will be using the money we give it to address all three options for biblical giving.

In other words, a good church will be using some of the money we give for local church ministry. Some of the money we give for missionaries emissions organizations and some of the money we give to help poor and needy people in the name of Christ.

So with one give you cover all three areas and finally the reason I believe this is because giving to a good local church ensures maximum accountability over how that money is going to be spent on the most local churches are like McLean Bible church.

We have a group of godly elders who scrupulously watch over how the money is spent at this church.

We give a financial report to our congregation.

Every quarter at our congregational meeting. We take our budget and laid before the congregation every year in December and it has to be approved. We can spend a dime without congregational approval and we do a complete and thorough audit every year of this church that anybody who wants can have a copy of a be careful where you give your money that there's real accountability that is being used for the things that you gave it for in this regard.

I warn you about giving the televangelist because most of these guys have absolutely no accountability over how the money is spent. That's given to them and you have no knowledge whatsoever of where your money is going. So let's summarize what we learned so far today when number one we learn that Jesus tells us in the Bible to make sure were using our money here on earth in such a way that when our soul is required of us. We will be rich towards God and second we do this, Jesus tells us in the Bible, not by hoarding our funds in greediness, but by using them for the advancement of the kingdom of God and the work of God and how do we do that by giving to our local church by giving to missionaries and by giving to people in need.

In Jesus's name.

You know why every three or four years. We do our footsteps of Moses trip through Egypt and one of the highlights for me anyway is going to the antiquities museum in Cairo displaces just nominal and the most phenomenal display in the Museum without a doubt of the treasures of King taught now King taught or really his full name was King took on Kyle moon as a Pharaoh was buried with all of his loot, you know, the pharaohs believe that they needed everything that they had on earth you're materially for the afterlife. And so when they buried him. They put all that stuff in their tables and chairs and you name it they put it all in their well King taught God and 1325 BC and 3000 years later when Howard Carter found his tomb in 1922 and opened it up. Guess what, guess what was inside. Well every single piece of loot. The King taught put in their was still there. 3000 years later, when taught, went into eternity folks, not one bed not one chair, not one enough and went with it and you know why because the Bible says. First Timothy 267 for we brought nothing into the world and it is certain that we will take nothing out of the world friends. The Bible tells us. The only thing you and I will ever take out of this world are the deposits that we've transferred into our heavenly bank account. By the way we spend our money in the way we serve Christ with our life. Those of the only things will take out of this world and on the basis of those things, God will reward us in heaven. And this is why the church that fails to challenge you as a follower of Jesus Christ, to give sacrificially to the Lord while you're here on earth to give generously to the Lord why you're here on earth. That church is doing you a huge disservice and this is why, as your pastor, I am not the least bit ashamed to urge you to give liberally to the work of God here on earth you salon your right you are shameless, all right.

I accept that criticism. It's okay and let me tell you why I'm shameless about encouraging you to do that, it's because I know I'm doing you a favor. It's because I know that when you get to heaven and you're standing before Almighty God, and some little CPA angel flies up with a green visor and bifocals and read you your financial statement in heaven friends.

I know you're going to look back and you're going to find me and you can thank this church that we kept encouraging you not to hoard everything you had in greed, but to actually transfer funds and to keep swelling your heavenly bank account and become richer towards God. You say belong. The problem is I can't give like some people can give. I mean they can lay up treasure in heaven at a rate that I can never later will hold women women friends. That's not how God's actuarial tables work at all. First Corinthians 16 to the Bible says give in proportion to how the Lord has prospered. What's the next word you not somebody else you friends listen.

If God is prospered you a little and you give liberally out of that little God will reward you to the exact same degree as someone whom he's prospered.

Much and they give liberally out of that much it doesn't make one bit of difference what somebody else gives remember the story of the widow and the two mites.

Remember that and Jesus said that little window gave too little, tiny panties gave more in my sight that all these rich people why because she was giving out a little and was being more liberal with the little than these other guys were being with a lot friends it's not about the portion we give her the amount we give. It's about the Pro portion we give, so don't you worry one bit what anybody else gives us to make one bit of difference folks. You just worry about what God's given you and what you're going to do with you. God will deal with you as you decide salon what you really telling me here today. Are you really telling me that I should go sell my vacation home and sell my boat on so my classic cars and sell my jewelry or whatever and I should give all that money to the Lord.

Is that what you're telling me today friends listen, I'm not telling you anything about what you want to do with your personal holdings. I'm just telling you what the Lord Jesus Christ told all of us today and what he told us is don't be like the rich fool don't make every provision financially for this life and make no provision financially for eternity. Now what each one of us does with that will that's your business. I mean, you do what you want to do with that. Let me say one thing in closing and that is I don't know if it's possible to have regrets in heaven, but if it is, I strongly suspect that one of the greatest regrets. Most of us are going to have is that we transferred so little into our heavenly bank account. While we were here and we kept so much of it here on earth and used it on ourselves. At least I worry about that with me.

I worry about my greed and I'm constantly asking myself the question okay lawn. How much of this.

Do you really want to keep year and use for you and how much of this. Do you really want to transfer so that when you get to heaven. Those funds are there waiting for you and I'm telling your friends that kind of question everyone of us as sinful, greedy human beings is a tough question because were all like the rich fool in our flesh we all want to keep it all for us. But Jesus said don't be a fool. Be smart. Listen to what I'm telling you because when you get to heaven. What you really want God to say to you is welcome to heaven, you smart person. That's what you really wanting to say this is how we getting to say that it's not worth thinking about folks was pretty good. Lord Jesus, you know how uncomfortable it is for preachers to talk about money and we all know here how sensitive people are about the church talking about money.

I understand this Lord I have and ask anybody for a dime today. That's not what this was about today was about his biblical instruction with today was about was biblical teaching. Today was all about the Lord Jesus Christ telling us how to use our finances here on earth, so that when our soul is required of us. We will not be poured towards God and we won't put you in the position Lord were you have to call us a fool. The Lord take the word of God today and apply it to our heart with great power cause us to ask ourselves some searching questions. Lord Jesus calls us to answer those questions in a way that one day you will look at us and say you know what you were not a fool you are smart because you responded to what I told you to do in the word of God or change our lives because we were here today and we pray these things in Jesus name God's people said Amen


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