John W. Ritenbaugh
Sermonette; #FT11-02s; 20 minutes
John Ritenbaugh, claiming that the New Testament (warning caution with money) and the Old Testament (teaching that wealth signifies a blessing to God) seem to emphasize contrasting or contradictory lessons, endeavors to harmonize the two views. Abraham, Job, David, and Solomon were blessed with abundant wealth, but God's own Son did not have abundant wealth. Wealth is not intrinsically evil, but lusting after it is. Prosperity does not automatically indicate that the holder achieved it by obedience. Having money without character does not constitute success. The success of the church is dependent upon the collective successes of its members; we rise and fall together as a single body. No man is an island; God will not feel inclined to prosper us if we do not share it with others. The body must share in our prosperity. Jesus changed the focus of success from material to spiritual; wisdom is a more secure currency than money, but when one has both, and uses the wealth to help the brethren, this constitutes true wealth.
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