Full text of Bible teacher Derek Prince’s teaching on stewardship titled ‘The Christian and His Money’.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Derek Prince – Bible teacher
This will be the first in a series of three short talks on the theme: The Christian and His Money. And this particular first talk, the subtitle which I have given it, is Money is Important.
I think it’s necessary to stress that, because some religious people talk, at least in church, as if money were not important. Very rarely do they act that way when they get outside church. But it’s a kind of religious fashion to pretend that money isn’t important.
Let me say that money plays such a large part in the lives of all of us, that if we do not order our money according to God’s will and Word, our whole lives must be out of line with the will of God.
WEALTH IN TWO LEVELS (Heb. 11: 24–26)
Now, I want to begin by establishing a very important point, which is the Bible acknowledges and recognizes two levels of wealth. The first is one that we’re all familiar with in some degree, what you would call Material Financial Wealth. And we need to bear in mind it’s temporary, it’s not going to last. One day we’re going to leave it all behind forever.
The other kind of wealth is spiritual or Eternal Wealth. And of course, that is, in the last resort, more important. But we cannot act as though material wealth is unimportant, because the Bible makes it very clear that what we do with our material wealth will have a lot to do with how much eternal wealth we end up with.
I’d like to begin by referring to a passage which makes this distinction rather vivid and clear. It’s a passage in Hebrews 11, verses 24 through 26, and it speaks about Moses making one of the most difficult choices of his life, when he decided to turn his back on all the wealth and the luxury and the privileges which he had in Egypt.
And bear in mind, he was being trained to be the king of Egypt. He was being brought up as Pharaoh’s son — Pharaoh’s daughter’s son. But at a certain point, at the age of 40, he turned his back on all of that and found himself in the remote corner of a barren desert looking after some sheep. But this is what the writer of Hebrews says about his decision.
Hebrews 11:24: ‘By faith Moses, when he came to age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ, (or the reproach for Christ or for the Messiah), greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.’
You notice Moses didn’t settle for poverty. He chose greater riches. And to be reproached for Christ, to suffer persecution and affliction for His name’s sake, is true spiritual wealth.
So let’s bear that in mind, there are two levels of wealth. There’s the material, which is temporary. There’s the eternal, which is on a higher level.
Now, all we’re going to deal with in these brief talks is the material level. But I would be giving you a very unbalanced picture if I didn’t begin by reminding you of the higher eternal level of spiritual wealth.
Now, the question that we need to ask ourselves is this: IS MONEY, OR IS WEALTH GOOD OR EVIL?
Lots of Christians speak as if money were evil, as though it’s something, it’s regrettable that we have to deal with money, but there it is, it’s an evil, but we can’t avoid it.
I don’t believe that’s what the Bible teaches. I’d like to turn to Revelation, chapter 5, which is a picture of the glorified Christ, Messiah receiving the worship and adoration of heaven.
And in Revelation 5:12, all the angels and the heavenly beings and the elders offered this declaration concerning the Lamb of God who is Jesus. And it there lists seven good things which He is worthy to receive. Let me read the list.
‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!’
Seven: the number of completeness, of perfection, the complete list of things that He’s worthy to receive. And notice the second thing in the list is ‘riches’. And it goes together with wisdom, strength, honor, glory, blessing.
We acknowledge that all those other things are good. It would be totally illogical and inconsistent to suggest that the Holy Spirit and the worshippers in heaven have inserted something evil in that list. So that proves to us that riches are essentially good. They go together with honor, with strength, with glory, with blessing.
Now, quite a number of the things in that list can be misused. We can misuse strength to oppress people, to be cruel to them. But the fact that strength can be misused does not mean that strength is evil.
We can misuse wisdom to cheat people, to deceive them, but the fact that wisdom can be misused doesn’t mean that it’s evil. Likewise, we’re all very well aware that people can misuse riches or money, but the fact that it can be misused does not mean that it’s evil. That is really a snare of Satan to make us unpractical and often to get us out of faith in our dealings with money.
So here it is riches, wealth, money is something good. Just heave a little sigh of relief. You’re not wicked for having money in your pocket or even in your bank account.