“When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?” (Matt. 19:25)
It is interesting that those present that day believed that the proof of salvation was equated with wealth, with materialistic possessions. If one had wealth, status and position then they had received the blessings of the Almighty, if one was in poverty or lived a life devoid of those items, then the favor of God did not rest upon them.
“You must have sinned greatly,” is what Job’s friends said to him. And was there not proof of this? Did not the nation suffer as a whole when they sinned, at Ai, in the days of Jeremiah, when they made the golden calf in the wilderness, were they not punished?
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24:22)
If we, the Gentiles who have been saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ sin, are we punished? If you commit an act of open disobedience to the Almighty, will He destroy your house, remove your health, take your prosperity away and leave you destitute? Let’s use a large denomination here, say, the Southern Baptist organization, if they stand against the Living God by rebuking His authority, will all who are members of that group be punished?
“If you obey me, I will bless you.”
“I have blessed you, so obey me.”
Is the God of the Old Testament different from the God of the New Testament? Does God change in His approach to calling men and women to Himself? Is there any other way to be saved than by grace? What of Lazarus at the rich man’s gate?
It is no wonder that works-based religious ideologies achieve such great results, why people adhere to the traditions of men above the words of God, all one must do is see the benefits received of the world and the proof is obvious, those items show that one is indeed in the favor of the Lord. Then how do we consider 1st Corinthians 1:26, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:”
The world sees a man destitute of the things of this world, poor in them, and not only doubts his salvation, the salvation through grace in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but sees no reason to even listen to him as he professes that truth, for there is nothing in it for them.
“If I follow Him, I must be willing to give up all I possess if He asks me to?” That is not the god they will serve.
Their works, their supposed obedience must be rewarded here in this life, or there is no proof of their salvation, of His care and concern for them.
“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (James 2:5)
Why then do some pastors, true men of God, live in fine houses and wear expensive watches, travel the globe and eat fine meals, while you, whose heart may be just as much if not more desirous to serve the Living God for His glory live paycheck to paycheck?
Ask the Lord, I do not know.
If you serve the Lord Jesus Christ for the glory of God and you are blessed with wealth, with the things of this world, the world will call you a hypocrite. If you are poor, if life, everyday life is a challenge and you profess Christ daily to the wicked, they will not believe you, nor desire to give up all they have to live a life of poverty.
Why the Lord does what He does is up to Him, we accept with thanksgivings, we work for His glory no matter the rewards, we serve because we love Him who first loved us.
You will have to ask Him my friends, I do not have the answers.