THE MATTER OF MATERIALISM
Our world is craving luxury items and isn’t satisfied until it has more and more things. But is that the way God wants us to live? Can we ever get our country back to simple living in trust in God? Are we personally having a difficult time curbing our lust for more? Let’s study God’s Word and find out that godliness with contentment is great gain! (1 Tim 6:6)
Let’s set the stage for talking about materialism by saying a few important things: Money and material things are not evil in and of themselves. (1 Tim 6:10) For the LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil . . . God has promised to meet all our needs, from salvation to our daily bread. (Phil 4:19) And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (see also Gen 22:13-14; Mat 6:11)
What does the Bible say about greed and materialism? IT IS FORBIDDEN. (Exo 20:17) “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” IT IS IDOLATRY. (Col 3:5) . . . covetousness, which is idolatry. It will bring ruin to a person’s life. (1 Tim 6:9-10) But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Examples of greed in the Bible include: ACHAN: (Joshua 7:21) When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.” GEHAZI: (2 Kings 5:26) Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? SIMON: (Acts 8:20) But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
During the Tribulation the Antichrist will establish a one world government and economy. A person won’t be able to buy or sell unless they have the mark of the beast on their right hand or on their foreheads. The world will see prosperity as it has never seen before. Luxury goods will be commonplace for all. But towards the end the entire market of the beast will collapse, and the world will lament and suffer ruin. (Rev 18)
So how do we counter this tendency toward materialism? Live in simple dependence upon God. (Mat 6:25-34); Tithe (Mal 3:8-11); Save (Pro 10:4-5); Live within your means. (Pro 22:7) God has promised to meet all our needs, so we don’t have to be greedy. Let’s live in simple dependence upon God and focus on the real matters of the heart!