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In the movie Black Rian (1989). There is a scene where the star Michael Douglas has a meeting with the head honcho of the Japanese Yakuza. In this scene the Yakuza leader talks about how America has changed the culture of the Japanese people since their loss in World War II. The leader says this about a lower-level Yakuza group leader:
“He might as well be an American. His kind respect just one thing—money.”
These are the words of criminal leader. Who, from his view, was seeking revenge upon America for dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. This script was written by two Americans, but the statement made says volumes. Here is one of the verses from the Bible on the topic of money:
1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
Jesus says we have a choice to make:
Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
When reflecting on the quote from the movie “Black Rain.” An aspect of the United States of America is revealed. That I personally believe is accurate. It shows that the people of the United States think mostly of one thing. Money. This includes those that call themselves “Christian.”
Now I wish to show something from the book of Revelation which could reflect this nation.
Revelation 18:11 – The merchants of the world will weep and mourn for her, for there is no one left to buy their goods.
Revelation 18:14-17 – “The fancy things you loved so much are gone,” they cry. “All your luxuries and splendor are gone forever, never to be yours again.” 15 The merchants who became wealthy by selling her these things will stand at a distance, terrified by her great torment. They will weep and cry out, 17 In a single moment all the wealth of the city is gone!” And all the captains of the merchant ships and their passengers and sailors and crews will stand at a distance.
Then earlier in this chapter it says this also:
Revelation 18:4 – Then I heard another voice calling from heaven, “Come away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her.
The key element of these sins is money as is witnessed by these latter verses of this chapter. So, what or who is the master of the city of Babylon?
The answer: money.
Which is not the master of Christians, but the master this “city” which is worshipping money otherwise known as the world.
It is made clear in Revelation 18:4 that those that follow Jesus Christ must turn away from the ways that pollute the city of Babylon. So, if money is their god, then those that profess to be “Christian” must turn away from money.
Seeking after luxuries, after possessions is seen as sinful in the Bible.
1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
Yet many who profess they are Christian live in luxuries. While only having cravings for physical pleasures. They have cravings for everything they see. They have pride in their achievements and their possessions.
I know this is true. For I have seen it with my own eyes. In many churches throughout this nation. By many who profess to be Christian. Yet they live in huge houses, with more rooms within them then is needed to live within. These extra and physically empty rooms filled with possessions that do nothing but gather dust. They drive in expensive vehicles. They seek pleasures upon cruise ship and upon golf courses. Drinking of wines and liquors to receive physical pleasures. They are prideful of their earthly achievements. Seeking glory and recognition for their peers, but not from God.
Why do they do this and not realize they are in error. They are in sin. Because this is how it has been for generations. Because they have turned away from the true teaches of the Bible. Yet due to the dullness of decades within these repeated sins. People believe they are in the right of actions, when in reality they are in error. All due to the love of money, yet believing they are of God and loving God. When the Bible states this is the opposite.
People say they must have money to get their basic needs. To be clothed to be fed. This is what Jesus Christ Himself said about this:
Luke 12:22-34 – “Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? 27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. 32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. 33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
What are our needs?
To be fed. To be clothed. These are the only needs listed by Jesus Christ. Beyond this is a want.
We seek shelter to seek comfort. To protect our bodies beyond the clothing. So, our shelter should not be large. But just enough to give us this basic protection. Yet many seek more than this. The bigger the shelter the more possessions we add within it. So, we should seek to minimize our shelter forcing us to sell our possessions.
Remember the young rich man:
Mark 10:17-31 – As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” 21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” 26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. 27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” 28 Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said. 29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
Too many worry about themselves. Forgetting that it is not they that gives them food and clothing, but God. Their worries cause them to save their money and then to seek after possessions.
During the time of my year of Job. When God took all my possessions away from me. I had a debate with a Jewish person that had fallen away from God. She kept telling me to sell all my possessions. Unaware that I had already lost everything. She kept returning to this one point. This is how those that have rejected God see those of the Christian community today. They see them as the rich the privileged. That is why they seek to destroy Christianity. They see Christians as wasters of money. And why shouldn’t they? When the Bible makes it clear that any money that goes above the necessary needs is to go to those in dire straits. Not to be stored up wealth, but to share with those in need especially those within the body of Christ.
1 John 3:17 – If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
This is how those within Christianity should be acting. Yet so few that call themselves the children of God do this very thing in today’s society. Which is a sad truth. So they need to think hard upon this verse from 1 John. And decide for themselves who it is they wish to follow. God through Jesus Christ or the world.