DCLM Search The Scripture Youth For February 5, 2023 : Topic – Proper Perception Of Riches
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PROPER PERCEPTION OF RICHES
TEXT: Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:15-30
MEMORY VERSE: “And when Jesus saw that he was Very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:24)
In this study, Jesus’ answer to the rich young ruler’s question reveals self-morals and replacement of sound conversion. This account unfolds the dialogue of Christ with a rich young ruler who approached Him with piety, respect and willingness to receive full instruction and guidance on the requirement to have eternal life.
Question 1: What do you learn from Christ’s response to the rich young ruler’s question?
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, What good thing shall 1 do, that l may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). Christ as a teacher that comes from God was always accessible to all. As the young ruler came with question of knowing the qualification for inheriting eternal life, He gave him attention. In his discussion with the Lord, the young ruler claimed to be morally upright and law-abiding. But Christ Who has all knowledge knew he lacked one thing and counseled him. “Jesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21). However, the counsel of Christ grieved the man and he left sorrowfully. The Christian youths should note that morals, titles and deeds of kindness cannot replace genuine salvation.
THE PROJECTION OF MORALITY WITHOUT PERFECTION (Matthew 19:21; Luke 18:20-22; Matthew 6:20,21)
“Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up” (Luke 18:20,21). The young man claimed to have kept the entire commandments of God from his youth. But Christ revealed he lacked one thing, and that was putting his trust in riches. Conformity with denominational practise and moral without genuine conversion will earn no one eternal life. Neither will activities (like singing, ushering, working at the electronics unit, attending school fellowship, fasting, attending vigils e.t.c) in the church replace new birth experience.
Question 2: What must a youth do to inherit the kingdom of God?
Every youth who desires to inherit eternal life must be ready and willing to forsake all sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Such youth must be ready to let go of anything forbidden by Christ which may be peculiar to the youth and pose a hindrance to his or her journey to heaven. The rich young man was not ready to drop earthly riches for heavenly possessions. He wanted to combine the love of God with the love of the world. Christ said, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). Also, many youths are not willing to drop their sins. Some want to serve God and still stick to their worldly friends, pleasure, parties and cosmetic desire. Jesus emphasized to the man the need to seek treasures in heaven, “and thou shall have treasure in heaven: and come follow me” (Luke 18:22; Matthew 19:21). Every Christian youth should seek heavenly riches (Colossians 3:2) and lay up their treasures in heaven. “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:20,21).
THE PERIL OF EARTHLY WEALTH WITHOUT SALVATION (Luke 18:24-27; Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:19; Mark 8:36; 1 Timothy 6: 17,18; Ephesians 2:8)
The young man’s hope of inheriting eternal life was dashed when he was asked to sell all that he had, distributed to the poor and start following Christ. The condition to get to heaven, which Jesus told him could not be attained by human effort but by grace of God (Mark 8:36). Also, salvation cannot be attained by human effort alone but by the grace of the Lord. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). The place of the rich in the church and the possibility of making heaven needs to be x-rayed from the Scriptures. The rich man eventually left Christ sorrowfully and this made Jesus to say, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:24). This does not mean that rich people cannot enter into the kingdom of God. But Christ was only emphasising the need not to place our confidence and trust on it. Riches could be deceptive (Matthew 13:22; Mark 4: 19), it could make people to be high-minded (1 Timothy 6: 17). Wealth could make possessors put their trust in earthly riches (1 Timothy 6:17). Also, riches could make people desperate and corrupt (James 5:2).
Question 3: What warning did paul give to Timothy about the are rich?
Paul warns Timothy to, “Charge them that are rich in world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly an things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate” (1 Timothy 6: 17, 18).
Question 4: What are the true riches a Christian youth should seek?
Christian youths are to seek first the kingdom of God and pursue wealth legitimately. we are to possess: one, riches of Christ’s goodness, forbearance and longsuffering (Romans 2:4), two, riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God (Romans 11:33). Three, riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy (Romans 9:23). Four, riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7). Five, riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18). And six, riches of glory to be strengthened in the inner man (Ephesians 3: 16; Philippians 4:19). However, God has promised the redeemed wealth, as a reward of obedience to Him (Deuteronomy 28:1-13; 3 John 2). Godly men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Hezekiah, etc., were rich, yet they did not put their confidence in riches, but in God. It is however, note-worthy that the path to wealth acquisition could be fraught with danger and eternal damnation. Heaven’s pilgrim should therefore, be watchful (Proverbs 11:28; 1 Timothy 6:8,10). Godliness with contentment remains the modest rule for heaven-bound citizens.
THE PROFITABILITY OF SACRIFICE FOR HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP (Luke 18:28-30; Matthew 19:28,29; Mark 10:28)
Peter reiterated the fact that they have sacrificed all for kingdom sake. Then Peter began to say unto him lo, we have left all, and have followed thee” (Mark 10:28). Christ did not deny Peter’s acclaimed sacrifice but commended and comforted them.
Question 5: Mention some blessings that accrue to those who forsake the world to follow Christ.
“And Jesus said unto them, verily say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration When the son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children or lands for my name’s sake shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (Matthew 19:28,29). Also, Christian youth who sacrifice relationship, ambition, convenience, position for the kingdom of God’s sake will have hundred folds back in this present time and in the world to come, life everlasting. Note that the more you give to the saviour, the more you get from Him and the more you give to the world, the worse you get from it.