Sermon Transcript – The Deceitfulness of Riches

Series B – Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, October 18, 2015 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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0:28the holy Gospel According to Saint Mark
0:30chapter 10 verses 23-31
0:34Jesus look around and said to his
0:37how hard it is for the rich to enter the
0:39kingdom of God
0:41the disciples were amazed at his words
0:43but Jesus said again children how hard
0:47it is to enter the kingdom of God it is
0:50easier for a camel to go through the eye
0:52of a needle than for a rich man to enter
0:54the kingdom of God
0:56the disciples were even more amazed
0:59and said to each other who then can be
1:03Jesus looked at them and said
1:05with man this is impossible
1:09but not With God all things are possible
1:12with God
1:13Peter said to him
1:15we have left everything to follow you I
1:18tell you the truth Jesus replied no one
1:20who has left home or brothers or sisters
1:22or mother or father or children or
1:24fields for me and the gospel will fail
1:27to receive a hundred times as much in
1:29this present age Holmes brothers sisters
1:31mothers children and Fields and with
1:34them persecutions and in the age to come
1:38eternal life but many who are first will
1:40be last and the last first
1:44in the name of Jesus
1:47so our gospel text picks up where the
1:50gospel left off last week remember the
1:53rich young man coming to Jesus and
1:55asking what must I do to inherit eternal
1:58Jesus rattles off the second table of
2:01the law and the guy says oh I’ve kept
2:03all those Commandments from my youth
2:05and Jesus loves him and says to him all
2:07right one thing you lacked go and sell
2:09everything you have give it to the poor
2:12and then come follow me
2:17well his invitation was the same
2:21invitation that he gave to the disciples
2:22when Jesus met Peter and the others he
2:25said follow me and they did this guy had
2:28that same invitation but the problem was
2:32he had a god other than Jesus
2:35and that God
2:36is named Mammon or money
2:40and so the man leaves despondent and now
2:43Jesus comments he says
2:47how hard it is for the rich to enter the
2:52kingdom of God
2:54and then the text says this the
2:56disciples were amazed at his words
2:58amazed really
3:01you know why they were amazed
3:03because there were people preaching in
3:06the name of God
3:07some of the same messages that we hear
3:10how do you know that God loves you and
3:13is truly blessing you well look at your
3:16bank account if the number is small you
3:19are under a curse if the number is large
3:22and has lots of zeros after the initial
3:25number well then you are truly
3:27experiencing the blessing of God you are
3:30blessed and there’s pastors and
3:33preachers today who are going around the
3:35landscape and on the airwaves and on the
3:38internet preaching messages to this
3:39effect God Wants You wants you to be
3:44and he can’t really help you until you
3:48start stepping out in audacious faith
3:51and all you gotta do is look at yourself
3:54in the mirror every morning and say
3:57words like this I am wealthy I am
4:01prosperous I am the head and not the
4:04tail I am strong and see when you start
4:07affirming all of these wonderful things
4:10that you are God’s hands will be untied
4:13and he can start to shower on you
4:16blessings from heaven with one little
4:18caveat though you gotta write a large
4:21tithe check make it payable to your
4:23local televangelist and send that into
4:25him as a seed offering to demonstrate to
4:27God that you have enough faith for to
4:30believe that God’s going to bless you
4:34and you know what that’s called alive
4:36from the pit of Hell
4:39a lie from the pit of Hell
4:42the gospel is not about making you rich
4:44in this life and if you believe that
4:46that is the truth then your God is named
4:49money not Jesus and that’s the problem
4:53and so this is kind of similar to the
4:55message that disciples were hearing
4:57because we learn from the Gospel of Luke
4:59that the Pharisees who were the chief
5:01rabbis running around the landscape at
5:03the time they were lovers of money
5:07and so how do you know that God is truly
5:10truly blessed somebody just look at the
5:13gold in their money bag look at the
5:16clothes that they wear
5:18this is how you can tell somebody’s
5:20blessed and we can all kind of relate to
5:22this because we’re all used to and we’re
5:26all trained in well the pecking order
5:30based upon what you have I remember
5:32distinctly running into this pecking
5:34order when I was a little lad when I was
5:37a lad the Star Wars movies came out it
5:39was a big deal I remember seeing the
5:42original Star Wars movie in the
5:44Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood
5:46big deal blew my mind I mean all I
5:50wanted was a lightsaber but then what
5:53happened is that all of the toys started
5:56coming out there were Little Star Wars
5:58action figures and then there were
6:01different levels of things that you
6:03could purchase you could purchase well
6:04an X-Wing Fighter or if you really had
6:08money your parents were really rich you
6:11could get the Millennium Falcon and I
6:14remember going over to some of my
6:16friends’s houses and well I had a Han
6:19Solo and a Chewbacca and a Luke
6:21Skywalker but my friend had the
6:24Millennium Falcon
6:26it was just not fair how could he have
6:30so much more
6:32than I have and I remember going home
6:34and saying mom I want the Millennium
6:38and the response pretty much had
6:39something to do with pigs flying or
6:41something like that right
6:44but you know what
6:46I actually felt I felt like this kid was
6:50better than I was because he had a
6:52Millennium Falcon and all I had was a
6:54couple of action figures if only I had
6:56not opened the packaging and kept those
6:59action figures I could sell them on eBay
7:01now for a fortune but that’s another
7:04but we all have stories like this
7:07we all look at other people and we say
7:09gosh look at the clothes they’re wearing
7:11look at the logo on that person’s shirt
7:14and you begin to feel like somebody’s
7:16worth is based upon the wealth they wear
7:18on their body
7:21how big is the diamond in their wedding
7:24ring how big is the gold and the
7:28Diamonds in their ears are on their neck
7:31is there a Gucci symbol on their purse
7:36yeah mine says Kmart but I don’t have a
7:38purse I’m just saying you know yeah and
7:41so and can you afford to shop at Macy’s
7:44or Nordstrom’s or do you have to go to
7:46the thrift store
7:49all of this
7:50is an Abomination and it’s from the
7:54don’t think for a second that whether or
7:58not God is blessing you or cursing you
8:00is based upon how much money you have or
8:04do not have in your account Jesus is
8:06going to blow this all up
8:08so Jesus says how hard it is for the
8:11rich to enter the kingdom of God
8:14think about that
8:15how difficult it is why because the love
8:19of money and the Trust In money is
8:22idolatry it’s a sin against God in the
8:24first table you will have no other gods
8:26before me so Jesus says
8:30children how hard it is to enter the
8:32kingdom of God it’s easier for a camel
8:34to go through the eye of a needle than
8:37for a rich man to enter the kingdom of
8:40now I haven’t done much sewing but I can
8:42tell you this it’s difficult to get a
8:44little thread into a needle I can’t
8:46imagine getting a camel into it
8:48in other words it’s impossible and
8:51that’s what Jesus is saying and then the
8:53disciples respond they were even more
8:56amazed and said to each other who then
8:59can be saved now note here in the text
9:03verse 26 the disciples are asking who
9:06then can be saved and Jesus looked at
9:08them and said with man this is
9:12not the saving of a rich man
9:15but the saving of anybody rich or poor
9:19tall or short skinny or fat
9:24doesn’t matter with man
9:27salvation is
9:29impossible you can’t save yourself
9:33try as you might you will never be good
9:37you really think that you’re going to
9:39save yourself and that your feeble good
9:43works are going to somehow stack up to a
9:47certain level where God’s going to say
9:48well not you finally have done it you’ve
9:51done the impossible you’ve saved
9:54never going to happen
9:57with man this is impossible but not With
9:59God all things are possible with God
10:04now I’d like to read to you some other
10:06passages of scripture that make it very
10:09clear that the love and Trust in wealth
10:12enriches is idolatry and scripture
10:16speaks very sternly against it James
10:20chapter 5 verses one through six read
10:23come now you rich
10:25weep and howl
10:28for the miseries that are coming upon
10:31your riches have rotted your garments
10:34are moth eaten your gold and silver have
10:38and their corrosion will be evidence
10:40against you
10:42and they will eat your flesh like fire
10:46you have laid up treasure in the last
10:50behold the wages of the laborers who
10:52mowed your fields which you kept backed
10:55by fraud are crying out against you and
10:58the cries of the Harvesters have reached
11:00the ears of the Lord of hosts you have
11:03lived on the earth in luxury and in
11:06self-indulgence you have fattened your
11:09hearts in a day of Slaughter
11:15doesn’t sound like things are going to
11:17go well for those who do that we’ve all
11:18seen those reality TV shows where people
11:20are Hoarders
11:22it’s a weird disorder where people
11:24collect and keep every little piece of
11:26junk that they can possibly get and they
11:27collect it and they stack it all in
11:29their houses you can’t even walk in
11:30their houses like walking through
11:31Canyons right and they never get rid of
11:33any of that stuff
11:35well hoarding doesn’t begin with that
11:37kind of stuff
11:38it begins with money
11:41and these are people who have hoarded
11:43lived in luxury
11:45despised others have defrauded them and
11:48you know why they’ve defrauded them
11:50because they never want to part with
11:52their God
11:53I know I told you I was going to pay you
11:56ten dollars an hour but you know I don’t
11:59really like the job you did here so I’m
12:02only going to pay you four bucks an hour
12:06take it or leave it
12:09you’ve we’ve heard of people like this
12:10we may have even experienced people like
12:13and you think what a jerk well the
12:16problem there is that
12:18see his God as money he can’t part with
12:21his God he doesn’t want to share his god
12:24with anybody he’s living in
12:30we read in Ecclesiastes and let me read
12:32it again Ecclesiastes 5 whoever loves
12:36money never has enough
12:41you sit there and you wonder I mean we
12:43all hear about these exorbitant salaries
12:45that these CEOs make
12:48are these sports figures
12:50and you sit there and go what is
12:51somebody going to do with a 110 million
12:54bucks what are they gonna do with it
12:57I mean at some point it just becomes
12:59absurd right
13:01you have more than you’re ever going to
13:03spend in your entire lifetime and you
13:05ask somebody who’s a CEO who’s got all
13:07these stock bonuses who’s making 10 50
13:11100 million 200 million a year
13:14how much is enough
13:17never is enough is it
13:20there never is a point where they say
13:22it’s enough scripture says this this is
13:28written by the man who arguably is
13:30probably the wealthiest man of the
13:31ancient world Solomon
13:34whoever loves money never has enough
13:37this is meaningless as Goods increase so
13:41do those who consume them and what
13:43benefit are they to the owner except for
13:45to Feast his eyes on them
13:48the sleep of a laborer is sweet whether
13:51he eats little or much
13:53that’s right the person who works for
13:55the rich man they sleep well at night
13:57but not the rich man but the abundance
13:59of the rich of a rich man permits him no
14:01sleep I think ant acids were originally
14:04made for the wealthy
14:07think about it
14:09I’ve seen a grievous Evil Under the Sun
14:11wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner
14:15or wealth lost through some Misfortune
14:18so that when he has a son there’s
14:20nothing left for him
14:22and then verse 15 naked a man comes from
14:25his mother’s womb and as he comes
14:29so he departs
14:30he takes nothing from his labor
14:33that he can carry in his hand
14:37I’ve never seen
14:40a funeral here where there was a U-Haul
14:42behind the casket
14:45right can’t take any of it with you none
14:47of it
14:49you think of King Tut yeah I remember
14:51you know seeing King Tut’s Treasures you
14:54know when they brought him to Los
14:55Angeles back in the 70s early 80s
14:58remember when that was on tour and it
15:01just struck me that the story behind the
15:04treasure the great treasure was all of
15:05that was put into his tomb because that
15:08was supposed to go with him to the
15:10well somebody forgot to come and pick it
15:13because it stayed here
15:16you can’t take any of it with you
15:20Proverbs 11 28 says whoever trusts in
15:23his riches will fall
15:26but the righteous will flourish like a
15:28green leaf
15:30and see that’s the thing
15:32money is a tool
15:34money can be and is often a gift from
15:37God we need it God knows you need it but
15:40to trust in it
15:42to set your heart and your mind on it to
15:45make it an idol
15:47that will send you to hell
15:51dangerous stuff
15:53think of what Jesus told this Parable in
15:55Luke 12 starting at verse 16. listen to
15:58Jesus told a parable saying the land of
16:00a rich man produced plentifully and he
16:03thought to himself what shall I do for I
16:05have nowhere to store my crops and so he
16:08said I’m going to do this I’m going to
16:09tear down my Barns and build larger ones
16:13big grain silos and there I’ll store all
16:16my grain and my goods and I will say to
16:18my soul soul you have ample Goods laid
16:22up for many years relax eat
16:24drink be merry
16:27the God said to him you fool
16:30this night your soul is required of you
16:32and the things that you have prepared
16:34for yourself
16:36whose will they be
16:38so it is with the one who lays up
16:40treasure for himself and is not rich
16:43toward God
16:45Ambrose of Milan commenting on this text
16:47once wrote that this poor fool of a rich
16:53was looking for a place to store all of
16:55his grain
16:57when the place he should have stored it
16:59was in the bellies of all the poor and
17:01the needy in his community
17:06Rich to himself poor towards God and
17:09poured towards God you’re poor towards
17:11others and you’re stingy
17:13so we return to our text
17:17Jesus said regarding salvation with man
17:20this is impossible
17:22but not with God
17:23With God all things are possible now
17:28whose mind is blown by everything that
17:30Jesus is saying
17:32kind of trepidatiously puts forward this
17:35idea well Lord we’ve left everything to
17:37follow you
17:39but so that you don’t think that leaving
17:41everything to follow Jesus is the thing
17:43you have to do to earn salvation Jesus
17:46notes this he says I tell you the truth
17:48no one who has left home or brothers or
17:52sisters or mother or father or children
17:54or fields for me in the gospel will fail
17:57to receive a hundred times as much in
17:59this present age God does reward us by
18:03the way
18:04those of us who have faith the one who
18:06has left home or brother or father or
18:09mother has done so because of their
18:11faith in Christ but Jesus says this in
18:14this present age you’re going to receive
18:16Holmes brothers sisters mothers children
18:18and Fields and here’s the caveat and
18:21with them
18:26all of God’s blessings in this life come
18:28with a cross
18:30that’s the reality of the situation and
18:33I’m glad that they do
18:35lest we love the gift rather than The
18:40we love the reward rather than the one
18:42who rewarded us everything comes with
18:44persecution and then in the age to come
18:47comes eternal life
18:49where the streets are laid with gold
18:53ghost from something that we hoard to
18:55something that we use and treat like
18:57asphalt which I think is a wonderful
18:59thing to do with gold can’t stand the
19:01stuff anyway never have any of it
19:04and then Jesus says many who are first
19:07will be last and the last first toppling
19:12Again The Whole World’s system and way
19:14of looking at wealth where we sit there
19:16and say that person is amazing look how
19:19wealthy and successful they are you at
19:22the bottom your scum you’ve got nothing
19:25look at your clothes they’re dirty and
19:28have holes in them you Vagabond you’re
19:32and Jesus says no blessed are the poor
19:36theirs is the kingdom of heaven
19:39remember the story of the rich man in
19:41Lazarus who was the one who was blessed
19:43well according to the world system it
19:45was the guy who was wealthy
19:47but there’s Lazarus that poor man
19:50needing medical attention who’s begging
19:52for money every day longing to be fed
19:54from the crumbs that fall from the rich
19:55man’s table when they die the rich man
19:58ends up where hell
20:01for eternity
20:04and yet the poor cursed Vagabond Lazarus
20:08he had faith in God
20:10he trusted Christ
20:12he was forgiven and he spends eternity
20:14in heaven
20:16the last
20:18will be first the first
20:20will be last
20:23so with man salvation is impossible
20:27but With God all things are possible
20:30now if you think about it there’s this
20:32wonderful little Gizmo I’ve discovered
20:35this a few years ago it’s this thing
20:37that has like a a tiny little paperclip
20:40looking thing and you can actually stick
20:42it through the eye of a needle take a
20:45piece of thread put it into the bigger
20:47Loop and then you can pull the thread
20:49through right this is a handy little
20:51device and I want you to think of the
20:54Cross like that
20:56with man it’s impossible it’s easier for
20:59a rich man camel to go through the eye
21:00of a needle big camel small eye and a
21:03needle then for a rich person to enter
21:05the kingdom of heaven and with you
21:06salvation is impossible but what the
21:09cross does is it puts it right through
21:10the eye of the needle Jesus grabs you
21:13and then he pulls you right through it
21:17that’s how salvation is possible because
21:21Jesus bleeds and dies for you
21:23your righteousness will never be good
21:26you always have fallen short from the
21:29moment you were conceived because as we
21:31confess we were born sinful and unclean
21:35everything that you do thought word deed
21:39the things you do and don’t do all
21:41tainted with sin
21:42but God is merciful and kind and
21:46and he has not left the impossible for
21:49you to accomplish he has accomplished
21:52the impossible for you and so he is the
21:55one who grabs you and pulls you through
21:57the eye of the needle in to eternal life
22:01and all of this he does by Grace as a
22:05gift because of God’s mercy
22:07what a great Jesus that we have
22:11so that we he became poor by the way
22:13left all of the treasures of heaven and
22:18was born in a barn
22:20for you so that you might be rich
22:23in him rich in God
22:26but never Rich to the point where money
22:29is your deity
22:31if money is your deity I recommend
22:34getting rid of it all of it
22:37and coming and following Jesus
22:40in the name of Jesus Amen
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