The rich need God, too.
NOVEMBER 9, 2022
The rich need God, too. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. If you were listening yesterday, we got into the 18th chapter of Acts. We saw that Athens and Corinth were different places. Athens was an intellectual capital. Corinth was a business, commercial capital. And we saw that one of the reasons that is immediately apparent for Paul’s success in Corinth and his failure in Athens, was that he didn’t go to the rich and the powerful and the famous. He went to the poor and the weak and the uneducated and that was rich soil for the growth of the church. One time, and we took some time to go to I Corinthians 1:26 through 29.
For consider your call, brethren,
Now, he’s writing to the people at Corinth, the city about which we are studying.
For consider your call, brothers, not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise.
Well, he still does that. He still does that. And do you know why? Because rich people, powerful people, elite people, people who are a part of the ruling glass don’t know how sinful and needy and how weak they are, but the poor do. My friend and mentor, late friend and mentor, Fred Smith used to say, that he felt sorry for very rich people, but he would smile and say, not for the reason you think. Fred would say, I feel sorry for them because they’ve got everything they dreamed and hoped for, and when they got it, they found out it didn’t deliver. Well, I think Fred is right about that in some cases, but in some cases he’s not right. You can cover a whole lot of nonsense with a whole lot of money. You can cover a whole lot of drivel and shallowness with a whole lot of power. Self righteousness grows in that kind of soil. In the Middle Ages Pope Innocent IV and Thomas Aquinas were standing watching while enormous stores of wealth were being carried to the Church of St. John. You see, observed the Pope with a smile, the day is passed when the church could say silver and gold have I none. Yes, said Aquinas, Holy Father. And the day is also passed when the church could say to the lame man, rise up and walk. And so, it’s good to remember. I’m not throwing rocks. If you are affluent, I’m glad for you. Just remember, Jesus gave that to you for a reason. If you’re powerful and you’re a believer, God put you there for a reason, and I’m glad. If you are a professor, if you are a CEO, if you’re in a position of leadership, I rise up and call you blessed. Now, don’t you shilly shally because God puts you there for a reason. But I go back to the original point, and that point is that when Paul went to Corinth, he went to the foolish, the poor, the people without power, and that was a rich place to begin. But let me tell you something, it’s good to remember that part of the success of Paul in Corinth can be explained that way, but that doesn’t, and we’re gonna spend a long time talking about it, by any means, explain all of the success. Does it? The rich need God too. I remember one time when I was called to a church that was in fact fairly wealthy and I was out of my element. It was, you know, it was a, it was in a place where I had, well, I’d come from Boston and I was in Miami and you know, you talk about cultural shock. If you move from Boston to Miami, man, your whole world changes. And I was thinking, this is not me. I just don’t fit here. I, it doesn’t work. I miss Bill Bright, who was the founder and president of the old Campus Crusade for Christ, now called CRU. And he was a friend of mine and I went to him and I said, Dr. Bright, I’ve got to get out of here, I can’t stand this place, it’s too hot and there’s too much money and I, these are not my kind of people. I don’t know what to say to them. And Dr. Bright said to me, Steve, I understand that, that makes it hard, but let me tell you something. God put you here for a reason. Rich people need God too. People who have influence need to hear the gospel. And if you’re not going to tell them about God or tell them about the gospel, who’s going to? Well, with that admonishment, I decided to stay. And in fact stayed for almost 20 years and absolutely loved it. But in that first year, I had more suicide calls, then all of my previous ministry combined. My counseling load got so heavy that I almost died because the rich need God too. The powerful, need the gospel as much as anybody. The people in charge need to know that there’s somebody else in charge, and that would be God more than anybody else. And in those 20 years, some poor people started coming from the city. And we learned to love each other, and I rejoiced in serving God in that place. You think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday and sometimes on Wednesdays when I have a little extra time, I take the time to answer one or two questions. As you know, Pete Alwinson will be in on Friday and we’ll spend that whole program answering questions and we love to get your questions here. It shows you’re paying attention and the only dumb one is the one you don’t ask. You can ask a question by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, and that’s 24 7, anytime you want, you record your question and we sometimes put your voice on the air. Or you can send your question to
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and you can e-mail a question to [email protected] and if you can help us financially, please do. I know that a lot of you can’t, and if you can’t pray for this ministry, but if you can be as generous as you can, and I promise that we’ll be as faithful with your gift as you were in the giving of it. We’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. We are a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both organizations check our books to make sure that we’re ethical, even though we were before they came along. And you can charge it on your credit card or include it in your envelope. And we’ll rise it up and call you blessed. Let’s turn to one or two of these questions, Steve, what about once saved, always saved? Well, that’s a doctrine that I think is clearly taught in Scripture. In Philippians 1:6, for instance, Paul says.
He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
And in the 10th chapter of John, Jesus gives 10 guarantees that he’s not going to let us go. And he ends all those guarantees by saying.
And no one will pluck them out of my hand.
And so, I believe that once you are saved, you’re always saved. Now, I am fully aware that some Bible believing Christians, and they have their verses too, believe that you can lose your salvation. But in fact, those who are thoughtful about, do not believe that you can lose your salvation easily. I used to say to Dennis Kinlaw, who was then the president of Asbury, and I loved him. He gave some lectures on sanctification, that absolutely blew me away. But I used to say to him, Dennis, you believe people can lose their salvation, you just don’t believe you can lose your salvation. And he would laugh cause he knew that was true. People who are Armenian or Wesleyan, their theology, believe you can lose your salvation, but they don’t believe you can lose your salvation because you stole a quarter from your mother when you were 12 years old, or that you didn’t floss this morning. They believe, and I understand this, that you’ve got to intentionally, and strongly stomp on the face of Jesus and walk away and say, leave me alone and never again speak to me again. And, now I don’t believe a believer can even do that, but they believe you’ve got to do it that way, or you can’t. And it comes out pretty much the same in the wash, that Jesus holds us. And the last thing you ought to worry about as a Christian is that he will let you go. He won’t. He’ll never say I’ve had it with you. Do you have a friend that you trust absolutely? And you know that if you were hanging over a cliff, you would want them holding the rope. And you would want them holding the rope because they would never let go. They’re not gonna smell the flowers or look at the scenery. They’re going to hold onto the rope for all it’s worth. Now that’s the kind of friend you want, and that’s the kind of friend you’ve got in Jesus. He’s got you. He won’t let go. He’ll never say I’ve had it with you. He’ll never say I had such high hopes for you, I’m going somewhere else. He made up his mind about you a long time ago and he won’t change. Got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.