Friday: Further Study: With the Rich and Famous

Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, Nicodemus, pp. 167-177; Levi-Matthew, pp. 272-280; ‘One Thing Thou Lackest,’ pp. 518-523; Zacchaeus, pp. 552-556, in The Desire of Ages; Ministry to the Rich, pp. 209-216, in The Ministry of Healing.studymore

“Much is said concerning our duty to the neglectedpoor; should not some attention be given to the neglected rich? Many look upon this class as hopeless, and they do little to open the eyes of those, who, blinded and dazed by the glitter of earthly glory, have lost eternity out of their reckoning. Thousands of wealthy men have gone to their graves unwarned. But indifferent as they may appear, many among the rich are soul-burdened. He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase. He that says to fine gold, Thou art my confidence, has denied the God that is above. None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth forever).. . .

Riches and worldly honor cannot satisfy the soul. Many among the rich are longing for some divine assurance, some spiritual hope. Many long for something that will bring to an end the monotony of their aimless lives. Many in official life feel their need of something which they have not. Few among them go to church; for they feel that they receive little benefit. The teaching they hear does not touch the heart. Shall we make no personal appeal to them?-Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 210.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Wealthy converts played important roles in financially sustaining the infant Christian movement. Though exceptions existed, sacrificial giving characterized the well-to-do believers. God’s kingdom consists of honest-hearted people from every social class. Christians should be neither intimidated nor enamored by wealthy people, but should fearlessly proclaim God’s revelation that they may be saved. Understanding that we should never compromise theology and principle, what practical changes can your church make so that wealthy people will find it easier to find fellowship there? How is your church’s evangelistic strategy addressing the need to make disciples among the well-to-do? What specific things can your church realistically do to reach the rich?
  2. Look at the Bible verses that Ellen G. White used in the statement in Friday’s study. What is the essence of what they are saying? How can we help those who think that their happiness will be found in wealth and material possessions to realize that they are on the wrong track?


Friday: Further Study: With the Rich and Famous — 1 Comment

  1. It seems to me that we have the impression that Jesus loved parties and banquets and went to them uninvited but there is only one place in the Gospels that I know of where Jesus actually invited Himself to stay at someone’s house. The incident is found in Luke 19 and it is about a rather short little man by the name of Zacchaeus. I think the whole story is worth studying because “he was rich” and marginalized by society for being “a chief tax collector” (Lk 19:2). That means that he was probably the supervisor of many other tax collectors or at least one of greatest of them around the vicinity of Jericho, another center of prosperity in Palestine.

    There is much about this story that is interesting. Like Matthew, another tax collector (Matt 9:9; Lk 5:27) who became one of Jesus’ disciples and writer of one of the Gospels, he had a prior interest in Jesus. It wasn’t like Jesus was barging in on his life but rather that in his heart, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, Zacchaeus invited Jesus in. Jesus knew his heart and simply accepted the invitation in a strange way. And so it is with many rich people. They appear hardened on the outside but are really searching on the inside for what is missing in their life. Many of the rich and famous are not as happy as they appear, wealth and power have not given them what they expected so they are still looking and hoping.


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