Wednesday, April 29, 2020

For The Rich To Build Bigger Barns, Is It A Crime Against God?

Why Jesus Had Mostly Condemned The Rich While He Was Always Supportive Of The Poor?

Question: Why Jesus had mostly condemned the rich while He was always supportive of poor? For the rich to build bigger barns, is it a crime against God? Don't you think that Jesus is pro-poor people and anti-rich people? What do you understand from this parable of Jesus in Luke 12:16-21? This brings us to the question, is Jesus anti-capitalist who never wants anyone to stock things up and also hoard in life?

Answer: Greetings in Jesus wonderful name!

Jesus spoke many many times of his teachings through parables which are small earthly stories, to make His disciples understand the heavenly meaning of it through the Holy Spirit, and for the general public who are only interested in the show that happens around it to get what they want,
(i.e.) the entertainment that they were seeking without real intent of getting saved to follow the teachings of Him. So these earthly stories told by Jesus mostly have a heavenly meaning that is hidden to the curious onlookers but is revealed supernaturally through the Holy Spirit to sincere seekers and disciples of Jesus Christ (Matt 13:10-17).

Here is the following small story that Jesus spoke about:

"16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21).

When God gives, he gives abundantly to all human being to live and cherish and be thankful for the food that God He gives to all. The Bible clearly reveals that,
"[God]... causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matt 5:45). Why does God give rain and the light which are the basic ingredient of photosynthesis? So that the plant might not only grow to become food to humans whether they are good or evil, the main reason the Lord gives to them equally is that the plants might cause oxygen to increase in the atmosphere for man to live healthily. O what a good God we have! God never condones sin as it is offensive to God as He is holy, and He hates it because it destroys the human whom he loves very much. The Lord Jesus refered this attribute of the goodness of God and showed it to believers, so that they might learn to be patient like God even when they face bad, curseful, oppressive and high-handed violent people who want to act as if everything belongs to them and none belongs to the meek or the poor people of the earth.

Jesus said, that the very Kingdom of God belongs to the meek people and poor in spirit, broken and in need who choose to act in the Character of God and reject their self life on earth
(Matt 5:3, 5; Luke 6:20). Glory! God want to see His children walk on earth just like Him, to be good to both the evil and the good equally until the Lord intervenes to judge them all in their own time in which the vengeance of God will be revealed for the Glory of God (Rom 12:19). God wants His children to overcome evil with the good character that He has given to them within for His glory (Rom 12:20-21).

Jesus pronounced woe
[i.e. great sorrow and distress to come] to rich, self-satisfied, merry-making and self-deceived people saying, " 24 “ But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25 Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets." (Luke 6:24-26).

One reason why Jesus in the above verse shouts great sorrow and distress upon those who are rich, full, who laugh and love hearing all men speak well of them because humans who have all of these above things have a tendency to become self-sufficient and self-righteous before God which will make them move away from God instead of making them know and understand their own despicable and sinful heart and nature they have within to fear God and revere Him, which can only make them trust in His mercy and grace. God has sent Jesus Christ as a spiritual doctor to save sinners. To those who know that they are sin-sick and want to get out of it will only be able to reach out to Jesus in desperation and get their sin-sick soul saved from hell fire that it deserves.

So the rich does not want to depend on God by faith to get saved because in the earth he receives all the comfort from what he owns, as he owns more than enough which makes him never to look up to God for provision, how he spends all the more than enough things they have through wine to make themselves laugh and spend their time with many women and business friends who are ready to accompany them because of their wealth and status. And for the same reason he has the ability to bring all the yes men and women around him who will talk always well of them, because there remains a spiritual deception around their life.

For the above stated reason, James the apostle dealt severely with the rich to make them understand how much they need God without which they will leave the earth to go straight to hell fire of torment and suffering
(Jam 5:1-6). In the same way, the great apostle Paul as well as Peter through their apostolic letters, have always rebuked the rich to never place their trust in riches instead of God (Acts 8:20; 1 Tim 6:9-10). The way of the rich is to be aggressive and brutal and ruthless enough to collect whatever they can through unrighteous means and retain it (Prov 11:16). There comes a time when all their trust they have in life becomes grounded on the riches they hold in life, these are the one who are in eternal danger who will fall and go to hell fire (Prov 11:28).

A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked (Psa 37:16), because they have a lavish eternal reward and a assurance of heavenly life after their death on earth. Wealth gained hastily will dwindle
(Prov 13:11), because God judges righteously and makes the wealth of the wicked to go in to hands of the righteous soon, and instead the wicked will be punished by God with eternal doom and gloom (Prov 13:22; 11:21). Most men who are rich do not have their trust in God, but their God is mammon which makes them become wicked and also work wickedness (Matt 6:24).

A rich man's heart is full of coveteousness which he fails to even self-realize and instead he seeks to be religious to fill the God shaped void present within him
(Luke 18:18-23, 24; 2 Cor 7:10), but Jesus our Christ has always as a spiritual doctor prescribed an open heart surgery to be done by God from above and as a result he wanted them to receive His new nature inorder to get saved from the sickness of riches which is a cancer that spreads within us to cause death to our spiritual life by our old nature of sin (Luke 12:15; John 3:3).

In Christ The Useless Are Chosen To Become Useful To Him In His Kingdom

J. R. Miller says, “Christ is building His kingdom with earth's broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. …He can lift earth’s saddest failure up to heaven’s glory.” What a truth it is!

Apostle Paul revealed this truth by saying,
"26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”" (1 Cor 1:26-31).

In other words, when Jesus chose people for the establishment of His Kingdom, he did not go to palaces and posh areas to choose the best of the best talents of the earth, he went to areas where simple unlearned people like fishermen lived and poor people with not much talent live, the rejected and depressed, the talentless and useless, people who are nothing in the eyes of the world and are even self-dejected because of it, there He chose most of them except one or two tax collectors who were the chief sinners according to the religious heads of his times. Then he appointed these people as disciples to learn from Him, and then be the apostles He has called them to become. These men learned to be faithful and humble first, then they failed many times, yet Jesus trusted them to do their Job because he did not see their talents but only their faithfullness, then He loaded them with amazing gifts and talents that stunned even the learned people so many times that they asked whether these people were with Jesus, means Jesus the Christ gained the reputation as a simple man who empowered simple men to astonish the world around them with the power of God and wisdom
(Acts 4:13; Mark 6:2).

The Rich Man Was Wise And Smart Full Of Talents

Jesus said in his above real life story,
"The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully", which means the rich man worked hard and used his resource expecting a harvest, but he saw not just a harvest but a plentiful and rich harvest. The rich man was a capitalist, which means he was a person who used his wealth to invest in trade and industry for profit in accordance with the principles of capitalism.

As a capitalist, he expected only a harvest, but when the harvest became plentiful, it means he did not expect it, but God gave the plentiful to make a point proven of the attitude of the selfishness of the rich. So when the rich man found that the barns which were the grain stock-houses were at that time were not able to hold the plentiful harvest, immediately he thought of doing this expansion of barns by saying,
"17..'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods."

Is this not wisdom of the rich to store more and make more profit? Yes that is why I say that this rich man was talented enough to think of storing grains so that when demand will hit the market, he would be able to sell for more price and make more profit with the plentiful harvest. This is perfectly Ok with a capitalist. But then when he alone was not the reason for the plentiful harvest as God was involved in it to give great rain and great sun at the right time to bring out such a plentiful harvest, God expects humans to realize to be thankful and also share with the poor when plentiful and more than enough comes from God (Prov 19:17; 22:9). Infact when selfishness was at play, it was oppression over the poor who are going to suffer and it is indeed a dishonor to the Lord when the poor people cry out to Him in their suffering and hunger (Prov 14:31). The Lord's name gets dishonored not because he did not provide, but because of coveteousness of the rich and their selfishness for more profit neglecting the humanity that is at need (Deut 15:11; Acts 20:35). In fact when more than expected harvest comes, God expects the harvester to leave some more for the poor and needy of the land (Leviticus 19:9-10).

As a result of the more than expected plentiful harvest, the selfishness and coveteousness of the rich man could be seen when the rich man said to himself, "And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”". Here is what we see how capitalism in itself is not bad, as Jesus Himself appreciated the talented who multiplied their talents faithfully and brought it back to God who had given them all for their own and as well as for the common good of the poor and needy to get benefitted in the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30). But coveteous capitalism which leads to materialism without humanism is what God hates. Because in such a hyper capitalistic world, the poor and needy are the most oppressed, forgotten and who suffer the most. The cry of the poor when it reaches the ears of the Lord, that is when most judgment takes place and the Lord intervenes in to the self-sufficient and selfishly self-absorbed world to awaken it of its poverty of compassion to make them help the poor and needy (Lev 19:15; Psa 12:5; Prov 22:16; Isa 41:17; Prov 14:21).

In this above story, we see the rich man hoarding out of selfishness, when God expects him to give to the poor the plentiful that had exceeded his expectation. The great God who created the poor has also created the rich and He is the God of both these people (Prov 22:2). When the Lord distributes his provision to the earth, he gives an opportunity for the rich to have compassion on the poor so that they can trust the God who created them both for His own glory and not hoard things for themselves to trust only in themselves, when the fact of the matter is, God is involved as a partner to give the rich their harvest, and also expects them to not only give the labor of the poor but also be generous enough to give to the needy and sojourner [i.e. travelers who stay temporarily] what they need (Deut 24:15; Jam 5:4; Ezek 22:29; Lev 23:22).

Every opportunity of the rich to have compassion on the poor is a chance for them to trust God and look for salvation from sin. Every opportunity for the poor to cry to God in their time of need and suffering is also a opportunity to trust the Lord and prove His providence and sovereign hand to be experienced in their life so that faith can come in to them to be saved from sin.

So I believe when the rich of the world hoard things and become richer and more self-sufficient like the rich man we have seen above, only the poor of the world mostly suffer and cry to God in constant need for their survival and salvation, and so for Jesus Christ to be pro poor is to realize that only they need him, and that the anti-rich stance of Jesus Christ is because they do not trust God or come our of their self-sufficiency to get saved from sin which is the root cause of the coveteousness in their heart. Most poor have great faith, but most rich do not have faith (Jam 2:5, 6-7; 5:1-6). The rich who do not get saved to have faith are warned of their self-sufficiency by Jesus and all his apostle which outwardly look to us as though they are anti-rich. No, not at all, because of their love towards the rich they are hitting the truth straight to them so that they may come to realize their foolishness of coveteousness that is leading them to hell fire (Jam 1:9-11; Heb 12:6-11). If the rich man continues to be proud, he will not get saved. If He chooses to humble himself before the Lord God and his apostles and the other fivefold ministers of God, then they will receive God's grace to get saved gloriously (1 Peter 5:5-6). Because the poor are the broken in heart mostly because of their suffering and need, Jesus and his apostle always speak in a soft tone to fill their heart with joy and bandage their wounds and heal the broken heart because of the same unconditional love for them (Psa 147:3; Luke 4:18).

Because of the self-sufficient attitude of the rich, Jesus told about them saying, "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!” (Matt 19:24). In other words, to trust the Lord they have to give up their heart of coveteousness and sin of idolatry which is to worship mammon, in order to get saved. It is so hard for the rich man, because he has got used to trusting riches that even the best rich religious person who have all truth about inheriting eternal life were not able to ditch their riches and trust the Lord to inherit eternal life (Matt 19:16-22). When even a rich man is willing to come to Jesus and surrender his life to him, God is able to save him by giving him a new heart and transform it to make that rich person to trust Him and become rich in faith to make his heart compassionate enough to use their riches for the Glory of God by doing good works (Ezek 36:26-27; Jer 29:12-14). So God is neither pro-rich nor pro-poor, but rather He is a God of justice who is very close to the poor and speaks for them because they are broken often and have no one to speak for them (Psa 9:18; Deut 15:10-11). It is easy for the poor to trust God and love Him because they find no alternative to His great promises which gives them comfort (Jam 2:5; Luke 21:1-4). It is hard for the rich to trust God and love Him because they have a alternative to Him in mammon which becomes their god and riches which gives them comfort in this earth (Matt 6:24), and so they fail to receive the comfort of God after their death through salvation from sin and inheriting heaven to be with God to be comforted (Luke 16:25).

Is Jesus Anti-Capitalist Who Never Wants Anyone To Stock Things Up And Also Hoard In Life?

As we have already seen, capitalism is an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. Jesus is not an anti-capitalist because many times he has encouraged people through parables to actively multiply their talents and not dig the earth to hide even a single talent in selfishness (Matt 25:14-30). Life is the greatest gift that God has given to all human beings equally. According to Jesus, life should be used skillfully by each and every person to use it to multiply and fill the earth with abundance which is the blessing that God has given to all active persons since creation which will get activated once they are thankful and grateful to God and to each other to develop their skill and use it for the greater common good and not in selfishness (Gen 1:26-31). In other words, God doesn't want the human beings to stock things up in selfishness and with the motive of nothing but profit even when it means suffering to fellow humans. Hoarding is never encouraged in the Bible (Luke 3:13; Exo 16:4; 36:5), but rather sharing of the resources for all is what God recognises as being a blessing for the greater good of all (2 Kings 7:3-20).

God himself gave wisdom for Joseph to collect in the seven years of abundance for the seven years of famine that was coming so that not only his household but the whole nation of Egypt was saved from extinction (Gen 41:15-39, 47-57; 45:7-13). God himself said through the wisest man who wrote Proverbs saying that we need to learn wisdom from the ants which stores up its food in the summer for the coming winter without any one teaching it. In fact, if humans will not learn to be industrious and wise in their work of storing things foreseeing difficulties, poverty will come upon them like a wild-beast to consume them and need like a armed man to arrest their life (Prov 6:6-11). So we know that storing things for the greater good of the family and neighbours and friends and for the nation and the nations of the earth is to be wise, but storing things in a selfish way of indulging in it and making oneself the center of attention for the whole world to exist is sinful and very much against the will of God.

When the rich man said to himself, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry,” he became a presumtuous fool towards God but thought he was wise in himself.

Jesus revealed what was God's attitude and verdict towards people who have such selfish, indulging and hoardful attitude of sin without gratitude towards God, to such people God is saying them as like to the rich fool we have seen in the above parable, "‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”"

So the bottom line is, every human being should take notice of what kind of treasure they collect while they live on earth, because this will decide how they will live the rest of their eternity as rich saint in heaven with God or poor miserable sinner in hell fire without God. Those who live only in selfishness and attitude for the love of more money to collect treasures for themselves in their life on earth (1 Tim 6:10), without ever thinking of collecting treasures in heaven to become rich towards God, will live as a miserable poor sinner in hell fire eternally that will be horrible with a never ending torment forever in their afterlife without the Presence of God (Mark 9:44, 48; 2 Thess 1:9). And because of having money as their god, after their death the rich will receive no comfort but only torment without God, as their god was actually money it was not able to save them because it could not be taken out of the earth no matter how rich they were on the earth (1 Tim 6:7; Matt 6:24; Luke 16:23-25, 26).

We know that the rich people should not put their trust in money but rather in the God who provides for them, and should learn to be active in doing good works through the money God has given them to be used for His Glory (1 Timothy 6:17-19). It is not wrong to be rich if God has given it to us (Prov 30:8; 10:15, 22), but it is absolutely wrong to be selfishly rich and hoarding things for one's self enjoyment rather than for it to be used for the common good of all which makes them become a Blessing. Remember the poor when you are rich, and help them for their need (Prov 19:17; Matt 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 18:22), for you will collect treasures in heaven and remember you are lending directly to the Lord who will repay you with all good things for now and for eternity!

Much Blessings...


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