As we approach the end of this study on the dangers and perils found in making a conscious decision to pursue wealth at the expense of one's spiritual relationship with God; I thought it good to look at a few verses that explain what and why this is so dangerous and lethal. Perhaps there is no place which shows the depravity of man when he departs from God better than Romans chapter one.
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness;
19because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them.
20For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse:
21because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.
22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.
24Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves:
Romans 1:18-24 American Standard Version (public domain)
When people who know God do not glorify Him as God and do not give thanks for all He has done for them; they become vain in their reasoning and darkness settles upon their senseless heart. These people profess that they are wise and may even write books and lead huge ministries, but if their reasoning is vain and their heart has become darkened, although they say they are wise, they are actually fools.
Nothing much has changed since the days in the wilderness when Moses was on the Mount receiving The Law from God. The people became restless and wanted a god they could see and touch. They convinced Aaron to make them a golden calf to be their god. Does this not perfectly describe the state of not only the world but much of Christianity today? The worship of gold as god started many thousand years ago and continues even now.
When people reject God and seek to make their own god, they resort to tangible things they can see, taste and hear. They exchange the glory of the incorruptible God for the tangible and corrupt images of things in the physical realm. Because of this, God gave them up (gave up on them) and the lusts in their hearts catapulted them into utter uncleanness and repulsive sins manifested in their bodies.
The end result of this tragic and devilish spiritual death spiral is found in verse 25 of Romans one:
for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
When people exchange the truth of God for a lie, they end up worshipping and serving the creature rather than the Creator who is supposed to be blessed forever. When people willingly exchange the truth of God for the lies of the devil, they walk away from God into the eager arms of His eternal enemy.
Ultimately, when people not only exchange the truth of God for a lie but turn that lie into the so called truth; God has no choice but to give up on them. Romans 1:28 serves as a poignant reminder of what can and does happen when a person no longer trusts in the incorruptible God but rather in the gold and riches of man:
And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
Of course the remaining four verse in Romans one list one horrific and evil thing after another which when put together define a reprobate mind , devoid of the truth and utterly banished from God's presence. Allowing greed to consume your mind and heart throws open the door that ultimately leads to idolatry and a life totally at odds with God and His will for us. God forbid this happens to any of us or anyone we know and love.
[quote]for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.[/quote]
This is so evident in our world today and often within our own churches. A number of years ago, I remember a CB member telling me about a church some people had invited him to visit. To his horror, the pastor kept referring to a well-known minister over and over and over again. People carried the latest copy of that minister's book and the conversation afterwards centered on that man. "So and so says..."
Wanting to give these people the benefit of a doubt (perhaps they were doing some sort of study), he returned on a few more occasions only to find the same thing. It became evident that they were "worshipping" this man rather than God. One could argue that it was admiration rather than worship but where do we draw the line? We either worship God or we do not. There is no sitting on the fence with God.
We might argue that our favorite preacher or teacher is simply sharing the Gospel but we must be so careful and I believe the same is true in regard to greed. Things often start out innocently enough but if we are not careful, they can explode into sin.
Thanks for your blogs about the dangers of coveting material things, and having a love for money. Sin is a dangerous trap.
We need many more leaders that lead by example, such as paul, shown in Acts 20:33-35. Not in it for the money. But for the benefit of others. And of course, for God.
God bless you brother