Thursday: Terms of Endangerment

Study Matthew 19:16-26. What spiritual dangers are revealed in this passage? How might believers benefit today’s rich young rulers?

Image © Providence Collection from

Image © Providence Collection from

He possessed credentials, qualifications, abundant material resources, unquestioned morality, and unlimited self-esteem! The youthful disciple-candidate earnestly requested the Master’s formula for salvation. Should Christ have been flattered? Finally we’re converting the upper classes! Apparently no such exhilaration polluted Christ’s thinking. Had this petitioner expected commendation, he was sorely disappointed. Instead, Christ established the Ten Commandments as the minimum standard of obedience. Perhaps the young ruler had congratulated himself. By his self-measurement, he surpassed the first hurdle. Christ, however, had elsewhere demanded righteousness that exceeded that which other religious leaders possessed. Would that standard be lowered to accommodate this candidate? Judas would have been ecstatic. Whoever handled public relations would have been overjoyed. Think what having wealthy supporters aboard could mean image-wise.

Spiritual deficiencies, however, cannot be overlooked nor minimized, for the mission of Jesus is sacred. Compromise cannot be tolerated. Every selfish indulgence must be surrendered. Christ outlined the three-step process: Sell your possessions, furnish the poverty-stricken, follow Me. This was spiritually dangerous territory. Although young, the would-be disciple had accumulated a sizeable fortune. Luxurious houses, beautiful vineyards, productive fields, fashionable clothing, jewelry collections, servants, livestock, perhaps speedy customized chariots-all these might have flashed through his mind. God’s terms were inflexible. Neither bargaining nor negotiating could reduce the price: everything for Jesus; worldly greatness exchanged for heavenly treasure.

How many have come to Christ, ready to cast their interests in with his, and, like the rich young ruler, earnestly desiring to inherit eternal life! But when the cost is presented to them-when they are told that they must forsake all, houses and lands, wife and children, and count not their lives dear unto themselves-they go away sorrowful. They want the treasures of heaven, and the life that measures with the life of God, but they are not willing to give up their earthly treasures. They are not willing to surrender all to obtain the crown of life.-Ellen G. White, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, April 19, 1898.



Thursday: Terms of Endangerment — 12 Comments

  1. God has never condemned money; what He condemned was the, “love of money” because it “is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim 6:10 NKJV). For the rich young ruler money was his god which controlled his life. It was that kind of relationship that Jesus wanted to change.

    As a general rule I don’t think God asks people to give everything they have. Certainly Job, Abraham, his sons, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and many others were very rich but there is nothing said in the Bible where God ever asked them to give it up. I think of Oskar Schindler who started out a greedy businessman in Nazi Germany but who turned out in the end to be a tool in the hand of God to save over 1200 Jews from certain death. In doing so he spent his entire fortune saving those people and when the war was over he remained relatively poor the rest of his life. Nicodemus was like that too. It is estimated that he could have supported the entire population of Jerusalem for a year with what he had. Instead of using it for himself he used his wealth for the benefit of the church and reportedly ended up poor because of it. He volunteered his means because that is what he wanted to do – it wasn’t because he was hounded and forced to give it all up.

    I think it is dehumanizing for church leaders to treat people with means as automated bank tellers doling out money at their request. When I got some inheritance, which wasn’t very much, there was an attempt to get it and I felt that was all I was worth to the conference – just so much money. I might as well have been a machine, a robot without a heart spitting out the green stuff.

    Not all wealthy people treat money as a god or a weapon to get their own way. Many of them want to be part of something bigger than themselves and would like to fit in as part of the group. The same goes for people with education which are quite often automatically made elders in the local church and venerated to the status of super being. They make mistakes too just like the rest of us yet they are expected to be so much more.

    I wish we would treat everyone equally as real people who make up the kingdom of God rather than a cold statistic on some report.

    • While He might ask some to give all they have, He might ask some to give part of what they have.

      We do not know what He asked of others because giving is personal. But pray and ask Jesus what he wants you to do with what you have. Some people he allows to be poor, some he allows to be rich and some inbetween. Some in Israel give up to 25% to tithe and the Lord blessed them bountifully.

    • I believe God condemns anything that dethrones Him in our hearts. In the case of this wealthy youth, He treasured his riches more than anything else. His wealth was his god. Evident is the spirit of self-sufficiency, pride and greed. When asked to give it all up and follow Jesus, he walks away sorrowfully. The problem was not that he was rich but that he loved his riches more than he loved God, which brings us back to our main text in 1 Timothy 6:10.

      • Life is all about choice making; the young wealthy man chose his riches over following Christ. His riches meant the whole world to him, that he could not afford to part with anything that he didn't mean to part with. Money trully is the root of all evil as stated in the Bible (1 Timothy 6:10.)

  2. When talking of SPIRITUAL things, the Laodicean Church proudly says, "I AM RICH and well off; I have all I need". But God said, 'You are poor, naked and blind" and further warned to spit the church out of His mouth if it remained spiritually poor.

    When talking of MATERIAL things, the opposite happens. The Laodicean Church seems to be confusedly saying, "I AM POOR". (because nobody seems to be admitting he is rich). But God is telling us today that materially we are rich (I believe nobody of us belongs to the poor as defined in 1 Tim. 6: 7,8)and I am convinced that He used this lesson, to tell us that He needs now our riches and so He is calling each one of us today to share our riches to the work of the church. Remember, the rich man in the story represents all of us because he is a BELIEVER, He is a member of the church and not an outsider.

    Like the rich man, we are all under the same command, Share your riches and Follow Me. The big question today is, like the rich man, Will we also allow our riches to shut us out of heaven and hear the same words God uttered him, "How hard it is for rich people to enter the kingdom of God?".

    "How easy it is for poor people to enter the kingdom of God?". That's better to hear.

    • As is said in the bible, the state of the Laodicea church is the state of us Christians in the last days. We think we have it all put together, we thinks we are more civilized and learnt than our fore fathers, we are more rich and advanced in technology, we can even post our comments from all over the world in minutes and remain friends without faces. Yet the words of revelation Is for us. "we are wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Thanks to Jesus we can come and buy without any money. We can buy love and faith,and righteousness by faith. Christ is calling one and all, come and drink from me, as He called the woman at the well. He also said "I am the Bread of Life, live in me"

  3. Is that what Jesus meant that it would be easier for poor people to enter heaven than the rich? Do we poor people not hold on to things of this world? I believe more than the love of money will keep us out of heaven. I believe just the love of things could be a problem.

    • That is true, heaven will have both rich and poor people, but in different proportions. Many may tell themselves the are poor but heaven will be the judge.

  4. We sometimes hear the terminology, ''money can't buy love''. The rich young ruler was unhappy with his spiritual condition, although a commandment keeper, and a famous synagogue attendant, he asked Jesus, what was lacking in his life. Jesus read his heart and knew he had been a selfish man who had hoarded all his earthly possessions, which did not give him love for his neighbor. However, he turned away sorrowful, because he was not willing to have treasures in heaven. May we be willing to share whatever we have been blessed with in order to root out selfishness out of our lives.

  5. As bible believing christians, some of us have being given more than some by God. It is not His will that we keep all to ourselves as hoarders. We are to share with others who are less fortunate. In bible times, the Lord allowed poor as well as rich to dwell in Isreal. (see Exod and Deutra).
    Just found this quotation from two different sources from E.G. White writing.

    A few, yes, only a few, of the vast number who people the earth will be saved unto life eternal, while the masses who have not perfected their souls in obeying the truth will be appointed to the second death.

    While the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God's people upon earth.
    The hidden selfishness of men stands revealed in the books of heaven. There is the record of unfulfilled duties to their fellow men, of forgetfulness of the Saviour's claims. There they will see how often were given to Satan the time, thought, and strength that belonged to Christ. Sad is the record which angels bear to heaven. Intelligent beings, professed followers of Christ, are absorbed in the acquirement of worldly possessions or the enjoyment of earthly pleasures. Money, time, and strength are sacrificed for display and self-indulgence; but few are the moments devoted to prayer, to the searching of the Scriptures, to humiliation of soul and confession of sin. From Maranatha - Page 252

  6. [Modertor's note: Please use your full name.]
    We need to be very careful not to be entangled wth the cares of this world.... We need to realise that we are just stewards of God,everything we have one day we wil b held accountable for !!! To those with wealth may we use it to the glory of God


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