I don’t know if I will be able to articulate what I’m feeling about this second thing as well as I would like. I’m nervous and trepidatious to even think it, must less to put pen to paper or whatever it’s called now that we type words and post publicly. Here’s the second thing I’m feeling:
2. There will be a wealth shift
I believe there will be and is perhaps already happening a shift of wealth and property. Again, it’s difficult for me to articulate what I’m feeling, but perhaps it will help to define at first what I’m not talking about. There is an eschatological belief in some circles that money and finances will transfer from the kingdom of the world to the kingdom of God at the end of the age. If my understanding of this belief is correct, I’m not sure it is, it comes from the idea of Israel plundering Egypt before making their exit. Scriptures like Revelation 11:15 which states the kingdom of the world have become the Kingdom of our God help reinforce this view. Also, Proverbs 13:22 which states “the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous.”
For the sake of clarification I’m not advocating that there will be a mystical transfer of funds in the world as a great sign of the end times. I’m not for sure that Joe Blow sitting in the church pew is going to be flush with cash anytime soon just because he loves Jesus, Momma, and America too. I’m also not advocating that merely believing for money by pulling an imaginary lever of faith and chanting “money cometh” is going to produce those dollar, dollar bills y’all.
My feeling is more nuanced than that. On a personal level I believe the wealth transfer will happen because the principles of God’s kingdom are far superior to the value system of the world. As long as the USA is a capitalist and free market society there will be money to be made. Increasingly the values of the world are oppression, entitlement, and victim hood. The idea of oppression being celebrated means we are championing the oppressed instead of championing those who overcome oppression. Entitlement is the sense of being owed something. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life and that is no one owes us anything and an entitled attitude does not lead to blessing. The reason these values are being promoted is because the wealth of our nation is being taken for granted. We’ve had wealth so long we don’t really understand how wealthy we are and we assume it will always be there. If there are those that succeed in transforming the economic systems of our nation and removing the ideas of personal property and individual rights then the wealth we’ve known will begin to dry up. However, my hope is in Christianity as a whole. The principles of God’s word teach us to be overcomers, more than conquerors, to take personal responsibility for our lives, to value and be appreciative of the things we have, and here’s the big one, be generous. In a world that says everyone owes me, the Bible teaches a principle that releases blessing and it’s the principle of generosity. Again, the principles of God’s word are vastly superior to the ways of the world. Here’s short list of what I believe it takes to be set apart and ultimately blessed:
1. Take personal responsibility for your life
It seems every week there is a legislation that is promised to solve all of the problems of the world. Nearly every week there is someone complaining about Big Business and those that have extreme wealth. The sooner we realize that the Government and other people’s money aren’t probably going to make me successful, the sooner we can start working on improving our own circumstances
2. Work hard at whatever you do
Have a Joshua mentality. If you are sold out by your brother’s to Potiphar’s house then go ahead and work with excellence. If you are betrayed by Potiphar and get sent to prison then shine in prison. The Bible is full of stories of people like Joshua, like Daniel, like David who were given extremely adverse circumstances yet had a prevailing and overcoming attitude even in hard times. The company you work for, the city you are trying to start a business in, the university you teach at may feel like Potiphar’s house, Babylon, and Saul’s Palace all rolled into one. Work hard, be excellent, stay in faith. God’s favor is on you. The world that hates you will also be inexplicably attracted to you because of the principles you live by.
3. Steward your money in a biblical way
There are a ton of resources out there. My best recommendation is to attend Financial Peace University. Many churches offer it as a small group, but you can also find ways to participate online. Jesus had more to say about money than he did heaven and hell. It’s not that heaven and hell are unimportant topics to discuss it’s just that’s how important money is. Maybe Jesus talked about it so much because the direction of your money in a lot of ways sets the direction of your life. When you have a God focused, heaven directed, biblical view of money your life will follow.
4. Practice the principle of the tithe and be generous
I can’t passionately type this enough. Don’t take the bait of entitlement. Don’t take the bait that church only wants your money and it’s just a corporate power structure that needs to be deconstructed. The windows of heaven still open when we tithe. The hinges aren’t broken just our culture. Tithing isn’t an escape all. You still have to work, endure, and handle money well, but the blessing of God will find your life.
5. Get out of debt (See number 3)
The borrower is slave to the lender according to the Bible. One of the ways you can escape the victim hood mentality of the world is to be debt free.
6. Make solid investments
Believe bigger than just paying bills. Think legacy, think blessing your children’s children. I’ll clean this up for the kids, but you need some “screw you” money. When your company demands you do something unbiblical or be fired, you need some screw you money. When a business says they won’t allow you to work with them because of your biblical beliefs (literally the spirit of antichrist at work), you need some screw you money. Even when schools and universities reject our children because of their values, we need some screw you money. That’s money to be able to take care of ourselves, start our own business, and build our own schools and universities. God’s given us the power to do it.
In conclusion. Is this a blog or a book? Who knows? The last thing I “feel” in regards to this is that property matters. I have a strong feeling to the point of conviction that churches need to physically own property in the US. We need to take physical terra firma. As believers we need to give towards buildings and properties. As leaders we need to cast vision for churches owning property and land. The church doesn’t need to be at the mercy of another organization over whether or not it can meet. To truly be free to preach the Gospel we need to hold the keys to the facilities we meet in. It’s not wasteful to build houses of worship for Jesus. It’s not poor stewardship to put buildings in the middle of cities that are solely dedicated to expanding the Kingdom of God. We need growing, thriving churches owning property in the hearts of every community. Part of this shift will be churches merging with other churches. I believe God is serious about his church and will sovereignly begin to move on churches that are struggling and unproductive to join with churches that are experiencing growth and revival. I see it as a type of pruning in order to cultivate more fruit production. The days of churches gathering together as denominations are gone, but the days of churches being international incorporations are here and still on the way. Don’t give up on gathering, and don’t think “the 4 walls” don’t matter. When Jesus brings a New Heaven and a New Earth the meek really will inherit the earth. Until then, churches owning property, Christians owning business, believers owning culture, and Jesus owning the hearts of those that own all those things is the establishment of God’s kingdom in our nation.
That’s a lot. Thank you if you stayed with me. I’m not taking a doctrinal or theological stance on this. Just sharing some thoughts and feelings. I’m excited to share part 3 with you soon.