“Hear this, all peoples; Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, Both low and high, Rich and poor together. My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding. I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will disclose my dark saying on the harp. Why should I fear in the days of evil, When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me? Those who trust in their wealth And boast in the multitude of their riches, None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him— For the redemption of their souls is costly, And it shall cease forever— That he should continue to live eternally, And not see the Pit.”
Psalms 49:1-9 NKJV
Money for nothing
We are in the time of the big billionaires, men and women who have great wealth, and live lives with no end to excess. The live as if they can have whatever they want. In reality, all their wealth cannot get them what they need most: salvation.
I once read that Michael Bloomberg once quipped in the Atlantic:
“I am telling you, if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in,” he told reporter Jeremy Peters. “I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
He thinks that his donations to causes he deems worthy will be more than enough to get him into heaven, but in reality, his very best will only get him a bad seat in hell. He does not understand that his righteousness is but filthy rags.
“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.”
Isaiah 64:6 NKJV
Bloomberg will fade like a leaf, and in due time he will take his place in the Lake of Fire, should he not come to know Jesus.
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 20:11-15 NKJV
I am thankful for the word of God, for those reminders that the Lord holds the world in His hands and that Jesus is coming to bring true justice. Reading Psalm forty nine this morning was a source of great joy.
More and more, our lives are determined by the powerful, as even our basic needs are meted out us at the discretion of others. We are being battered by conjured up inflation, as those titans of industry use the real circumstances of our economy to jack up prices using the troubles as a cover. They get richer and richer.
They then seek to translate that material wealth into political and cultural power. It is not enough to control our ability to meet our own needs, they desire to control our hearts and minds. But they will see their end.
Because of the word, I know that I need not fear, for there god the devil will not save them, nor can they save themselves.
Brothers and sisters, it is on us to be in prayer for those, small and great, who do not know the Lord. What is coming is dire, and we do not have the imagination necessary to comprehend the reality of the eternal punishment to come.
It is our duty to go and share the Good News of the Gospel, of the King of Heaven who laid aside His glory He knew with the Father to come and live as one of us. He took on humility, that we would know the grace of God. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are redeemed by faith, something we could not possible do for ourselves.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Ephesians 2:4-9 NKJV
We are entering a time of great struggle, with those countries already impoverished, facing unprecedented hunger and lack of fuel. Slowly it is moving up the economic chain, as we in the “first world” are seeing signs even now. I tell you the truth, the Lord is a great provider. I have never gone hungry, nor have I had great want.
The Lord has taught me to be content with whatever I have and to be thankful. It is amazing how little you desire from the world, when you make the Lord your heart’s desire.
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV
We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We can endure the trials to come, knowing that if we seek after the Lord, we will have what we need. Let us be a people so focused on the Lord, that we seldom consider the distraction of worrying about what we will eat or drink.
“Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Matthew 6:30-33 NKJV
Seeking first the righteousness of God frees the mind and the heart from worry about a host of things, and leaves room for joy. We are going to need that joy to get through what is coming.
The next time you think of some billionaire, think not of his wealth, but the disposition of his soul. Pray for him, then rejoice that you know the Lord.
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