About four years ago, Tom Deuschle, a pastor missionary in one of the world’s poorest countries, came to my church and delivered a Bible and money sermon, which changed my life.
The message: Neutralizing the Poverty Spirit.
My wife and I left that Sunday morning service with profound thoughts, perplexing puzzles.
A silent, not knowing how to respond to this kingdom of God and money message as our five kids in the back of the van acted just as normal as every other ride home.
Something shifted, we had to stare in the face, a lingering evangelical condition that we were both unaware of, and it has taken years to unpack what has happened.
Like your body and your time can be used to glorify and please yourself, money is a resource that can be a kingdom of God asset or a resource to possess and use in building an empire of self.
This conclusion brought a question to my mind.
What if Christians, real disciples, were the wealthiest people in the world? What would that mean?
Today you will see five shifts that would happen in the earth. “On earth as it is in heaven” would occur a little more each day if Christians possess immense wealth.
And it begins by understanding what money is, let’s dive in.
Money is Not Like Pie
What is Money?
Money is a human-made system deemed by other men to have a value.
It is a resource that you possess and use to accomplish a desire or need.
But money is a very different resource than oil, your twenties, and pie.
Money is Unique:
When there is a pie at a party, only nine people can eat a piece of that pie before that pie no longer exists.
It appears that there is a fixed amount of oil in the earth, and once we use all of the oil, there is then no more oil.
Your twenties, once you live through them, you can never get them back.
In contrast, money is technically limited or fixed, but when used, it is very different.
There is an economy of the world, a fixed amount of money available to be used at any given point in time.
- When you buy a TV, the money you had before the purchase is then handed over to someone else to use for their ends.
- When you get paid for working at your job, the money in your employer’s hands is then dispersed to you to use under your control.
Once used, money does not go away; it is not like a pie.
The Ultimate Money in the Bible Passage Reveals More
A few years ago, I began to read the Bible differently. Many passages started to open up as I read them new each day.
One of those passages seen in a new light was the parable of the talents.
In this money in the Bible passage, Jesus says this.
- “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Matthew 25:29
When you dive into the meaning of this “talents” parable, you then see:
The one who has more money will be given more. Stewards that do not have money, even what he has will be taken away.
- Once money exits your possession, someone else then gains control and use of that money.
Money doesn’t disappear. Its power exchanges hands.
If you have money, you extend your kingdom.
If Christians (real disciples) Were the Richest in the World…
If real disciples possessed and used the most money, the world would be turned upside down.
Better said, the upside-down situations of our times would be turned right side up.
You would be working with God.
On earth, as it is in heaven, would be experienced in these five ways and more.
1. There would be no need for Government Assistance.
Welfare, established in 1935, is “new.”
When disciples learn others’ needs, they automatically respond, eliminating the need for government programs, often crafted to keep people stuck.
2. Every Humanitarian Effort would be Fully Funded.
From eradicating human trafficking for sex and organs to ensuring every soul has more than basic survival needs.
Every legit not for profit or charity would have ample money to accomplish what God has put in their heart to do in taking care of the world’s needs.
3. A Revolutionized Zoological World
What was man’s first “to do” list given by God in Genesis?
“Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.'” Gen 1:28.
Govern the earth? Become a “just judge” over the sea, birds, animals, and their habitats in the next verse?
That requires a lot of money and time.
4. Consumerism empires would feel it.
When disciples embody the self-control of money, gluttony begins to fade away.
Industries like beauty products, beer, restaurants, soda, coffee, clothing, organic, and Christian books would feel this revenue loss and either need to shift their marketing or double down on marketing to individuals still addicted to consuming.
But more and more of those addicted to consuming would be liberated as well, here’s how.
5. Compelling Leaders would be Abundant.
Disciples that learn how to direct their time and money while making a profit are immediately elevated as a compelling leader to follow, of which the world is desperately in need.
In addition to many compelling leaders to follow, there would be a plethora of unique bosses.
Jobs are not the way to build wealth; neither is the average way of the self-employed freelancer.
Systems, processes, and teams need to be built and sustained to generate assets and wealth.
In “The Spirit of the Disciplines,” Dallas Willard says it this way:
“Holy people must stop going into ‘church work’ as their natural course of action and take up holy orders in farming, industry, law, education, banking, and journalism with the same zeal previously given to evangelism or to pastoral and missionary work.”
The Numbers are Easier than You Think
If 10% of the professed Christians in the United States endeavored to be “wealthy” for God’s kingdom, instead of their domain, this would mean in the U.S. 2.4 million people would take this weight on as their cross to bear.
If eleven men could do that?
What if 2.4 million disciples (10% of professed Christians) earned, possessed, and used one million dollars every ten years, a very doable $100,000 annually in our time.
240 billion annually, (240,000,000,000) would spread around. Every 10 years, 2.4 trillion dollars. (2,400,000,000,000)
What if these numbers would double, triple, or quadruple in either the amount of participating disciples or the amount of annual income?