This will surprise many, but the Bible speaks to ministers very directly about this subject.
We live and minister in the last of the last days. Money has become a world wide issue and no country is unaffected by conditions in all the other countries. This very unavoidable situation precipitated the Vatican to call for a one world government to manage a one world economy - both of which are vessels the anti-christ and the beast will use. The natural human mind is trying to find a way to stabilize a system that is inevitably doomed.
Paul told us that people would be the biggest problem faced in the church in the last days and they will cause a lot of difficulty.
(2 Timothy 3:1–5 ESV) “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
The predominant culture around the world is that people love three things: self, money, and pleasure. Those three “loves” give rise to a lot of greed and lawlessness. The church is not unaffected by this. The culture of the area always creeps into the church through the people that are not properly discipled.
Because the attention of people is focused in these areas, there needs to be corresponding ministry to maintain a Biblical culture about money rather than that of the world.
Every one of us needs to use money, but, the currency of the Kingdom is faith. Faith obeys and keeps the word of God. As Jesus multiplied bread and fish, faith will provide when money cannot.
Having money does not prove spirituality. The world’s measure of success cannot be used to measure spirituality. Having money will be one of the means that the anti-christ and the beast use to deceive the masses. There will be a lot of money around and they will be viewed as having the answers needed for everyone to have what they want - money and pleasure along with the form of godliness.
I have great concern for the way the saints are being led in the area of finances today. They are being conditioned to give only when there is a promise of their personal financial return. They are also being conditioned to give to ministries that claim to have a special blessing on them for increase. This “inspirational” and “motivational” approach to fund raising is preparing the saints to flow right into the structure of the anti-christ and the beast.
Biblically, the saints are to be discipled. The saints are to tithe and give to the Gospel out of love and discipline to the Word of God. A church member that is taught in the ways of the Lord will not be subject to outrageous and unbiblical strategies to get their money.
When wealthy people are in church, they often receive special treatment because of their wealth. I can’t find this in the Bible. While God raises up people in the Body of Christ to minister finances to the Kingdom, I cannot see special treatment for them as a result. I can see the Apostle Paul telling Timothy how to minister to rich people.
(1 Timothy 6:17–19 ESV) “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
I have been around many rich people in my life, both in the business world and in the church. The most common trait I see among them is they are often haughty. They are accustomed to getting what they want, doing things their way, and having people constantly seeking their favor. Paul says to tell them not to be this way.
The word “charge” means to command them. Pastors and ministers have a higher authority than what money brings. However, many times pastors are intimidated by wealthy people and end up treating them differently. Over the years, I have spoken to numerous pastors that have found themselves in situations where a “key money person” is not happy with something and is threatening to leave - along with their money. Its a real problem. Perhaps if the rich were properly discipled and not favored because of their money they would not think they can intimidate the man of God.
We condition the rich to be haughty. When we raise money for a project we give the biggest donors a special plaque - perhaps in a platinum category. Then, the next lower group of big donors get a gold plaque. It finally goes all the way down to silver, bronze and ends up with an honorable mention for the lowest givers. I have often heard of special appreciation dinners for the big donors to honor them for their giving. Paul said to command them to not be this way.
Rich people are rich by the grace of God.
(Deuteronomy 8:18 ESV) “You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
Out of all the rich people I have met, I realized something that surprised me - not all of them are smart. Some just were in the right place at the right time with the right thing. There are always those that accomplished their wealth with their wit, but it is not always the case. God graces people for different purposes.
If you study the scriptures you will find that the ministers of the sanctuary were not anointed to make the money. However, they were anointed to spend the money. When the rich people are allowed to decide how the church money is spent, they have stepped out of their anointing and will inevitably begin to direct and control the ministry. Many do not have direct control of the money in a church but still determine how it is spent by way of intimidation or “suggestion”. In the Bible, only the Priest is anointed to handle what is Holy to the Lord. God said everything given to Him is Most Holy to the Lord. Again, Paul says to command the rich to not be haughty.
Every time a rich person is given special recognition for giving his money, that act disrespects the giving of those that do not have as much to give. It belittles them. The Bible speaks to this.
(2 Corinthians 8:12 ESV) “For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.”
Everyone’s giving is equally accepted with God when they give according to what they have. So, God does not honor the rich for giving more than the others. You see, God thinks it is because of His grace that the rich people are rich.
(Luke 21:1–4 ESV) “Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Giving out of abundance is not commended - it is expected. Jesus commended the poor widow and said she gave more than those that gave out of their abundance. If anyone is going to make a platinum plaque and put a name on it - it should be the names of the poor that give out their need.
Rich people are supposed to give, that’s why they are rich. Paul told Timothy to command the rich people to do good with their money, to be generous and to give. Rich people tend to think their money is only for themselves. You can tell by the way they spend it. If they would be smart about it, they would realize that if they would honor God the way the Bible says to and allow the pastor to train them, then they will live a very comfortable life and be Godly at the same time.
We know that in this day men will be lovers of self, money and pleasure. Pastors and ministers must not be timid about leading the rich people that God sends in their midst to minister their finances to the Kingdom. We command them the same way we do everything else - by speaking the truth in love. Wealthy people are just like everyone else, some may not like being discipled. But, some may have never been told the truth.