If you are a Christian, whether poor or rich, you have probably wondered if the Bible permits Christians to be wealthy. Well, you are not alone because most Christians often question if richness is a sin whenever they hope for something materialistic (like a vacation or some extra coins). However, does the Bible say being wealthy is a sin? Is being rich a sin?
The Bible does not say or imply in any way that being rich or having lots of wealth is a sin, but it is clear that the love of money is. Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil.” However, you should remember that the scripture teaches us to be contented (this doesn’t mean we should be poor).
So, what does the Bible say about having wealth? What does the Catholic Church teach about being rich? Will rich people go to heaven? What did Jesus say about being rich? How can being rich lead someone into sin? What are some of the bible stories about rich sinners? Does God want Christians to be poor? Continue reading to get the answers to these questions and more.
What does the Bible say about being rich?
Though being rich is not a sin, the Bible warns us about riches and money. The book of Proverbs 11:28 notes that those who put their trust in money will fall. As Christians, we should put our total trust and faith in God because he is the one who provides us with the riches and wealth we have.
Additionally, the scripture in the book of 1st Timothy 6:9-10 warns Christians against the desire to chase wealth and richness. Desiring so much to be rich will often lead you to do anything (including sinning) just to get money. Therefore, Paul writes to Timothy in the book of Timothy and warns against this intense desire to be rich, as he notes that it will often lead to being trapped in temptation and eventually destruction.
Christians should be aware that the fullness of life is not found in having riches but rather in being in Jesus Christ. The gospel Of John 10:10-11 says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”
What does the Catholic Church say about being rich?
The Catholic Church agrees that being rich is not a sin but dangerous. Wealth can tempt us to rely on our strength and forget that we exist because of God’s mercy and grace. Therefore, being rich is not a sin but will eventually pass. Jesus urges us to focus on the things above.
Catholic Church also agrees that rich people can enter heaven. Job and Abraham are among the rich people in the Bible who found favor before God, and they attained heaven. Therefore, the Catholic Church does not deviate from Jesus’ teachings that it will be hard for a rich person to see heaven; it agrees with this teaching.
Can a rich person go to heaven?
Absolutely! Being rich doesn’t guarantee you a ticket to hell. You will see heaven as long as you use the money to bring glory and honor to God. Bible readers and theologians unanimously agree that rich people are a blessing in the Christian community when they use their riches according to God’s will. However, the problem with being rich only comes when money becomes the center of your everything rather than God. If you idolize your richness, then you are sinning against God.
Rich people can use their wealth to serve God in several ways, like charities and contributing towards widows and orphans. In that way, they are fulfilling God’s will. James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Some of the saints in the Bible were very rich, and the Bible implies that they went to heaven. They include Jacob, Job, and even Abraham. Genesis 13:2 says, “Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in Gold.”
What did Jesus teach about being rich?
Jesus had a lot to teach about wealth and poverty. Before we even discuss his teachings about being rich, we need to know that Jesus came from a poor background. When he was born, the first place he lay was a manger.
One of the most referred-to teachings of Jesus regarding richness is found in the book of Mathew 19:24. “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
Theologians from Food For the Hungry Organization believe that Jesus said these words because of how easy it is for a rich person to idolize his richness at the expense of serving God. That is why the Bible is clear that the love of money is the source of all evil. Jesus urges us in the book of Mathew 6:19-21 to put our focus on the treasures above, and not earthly ones.
How can being rich lead someone into sin?
The Bible is explicitly clear that we cannot serve two masters simultaneously. Mathew 6:24 says that you will end up devoting your time to one at the expense of the other. That way, you will have sinned against God because our God says he is jealous of God, and we shall worship him and him alone. If you are rich and realize you value your money more than your relationship with God, then you are sinning against God.
Additionally, the book of 1st Timothy 6:10 implies that the love of money is the source of all evil; hence it is a sin. As much as having lots of money is not a sin, too much wealth can easily distract our minds making us focus more on the wealth and how to generate more rather than serving God with our wealth. The Bible is clear that whatever we do or say should bring glory to God. If your richness does not, it can easily lead you to sin.
What are some bible stories about rich sinners?
There are several bible stories about rich sinners. One of the most common stories about rich sinners is about the rich man and Lazarus, which is recorded in Luke 16:19-31. The Bible talks about Lazarus, a poor beggar at the gate of a rich man who lived luxuriously. When they both died, Luke tells us that Lazarus went to heaven to be with Abraham while the rich man went to hell.
Luke 19:25 says, “But Abraham replied, son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.”
Another story of rich sinners is the story of Zacchaeus. The Bible says that Zacchaeus was a tax collector who got his wealth through fraudulent means. However, when Jesus spotted him at the top of the tree, he decided to go to his house.
Luke 19:7 says, “All the people saw this and began to mutter, he has gone to be the guest of a sinner” Zacchaeus, however, resolved to give his possessions to the poor and pay four times to those who he stole from.
Does God want us to be poor?
Several people misunderstand and misinterpret Bible verses and imply that God wants us to be poor; that is not the case at all. This mostly arises from Jesus’ teachings when he said it would be hard for a rich person to see heaven. Rich people easily make money their idol, hence why it will be hard for them to see heaven. However, the Bible says nowhere that God wants us to be poor.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.