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The Prosperity of Fools

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The Prosperity of Fools

Proverbs 1:32-33
32) For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

The Problem with Prosperity

The problem with material prosperity is that it can easily become the way we measure ourselves. If we have been fortunate enough to prosper financially then we can see ourselves as being successful with God; if prosperous then all must be well with our soul. The problem with this view is that it is not true.  Real prosperity has to do with eternal life, not with an abundance of things. It is not true that prosperity is the measure of ones life.  The Scriptures teach that all are spiritually impoverished (sinful) until made rich (forgiven) by Christ. True prosperity is eternal and given by God. If material prosperity blinds us to our need of forgiveness then Proverbs 1:32, "the prosperity of fools shall slay them" is especially relevant. Listen to Jesus in Luke 12.

Luke 12:15-21
15) And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16) And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17) And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18) And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19) And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20) But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21) So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Jesus taught a parable about a man who  during his life had become very wealthy. He had many possessions and at retirement planned how to wisely manage his riches. But Jesus did not refer to this man as wise, but a fool. He was a fool because during his life he made no preparation for his soul. On the very day of his death he was making plans to store his wealth; he was a fool because he did not see that he had stored up a lifetime of sins; he did not know his covetousness would follow him into eternity.

How Foolish!

How foolish to make no preparation for our sins! How foolish to spend a lifetime storing up material riches while completely ignoring our soul; how foolish to make no preparation at all, absolutely none, to meet the Lord Jesus Christ. On the very day of his death the rich man was planning for his future prosperity! He failed to "see" and prepare for the last day of his life. His riches blinded him to his mortality. On the last day of his life he was counting his money. He carried nothing into eternity but his idolatry. His energies, his time, his priorities, his passions, and his heart, were not given to the Lord, but to the love of his money.

Material Prosperity Can Be Our "Savior"

Money becomes an idol and prosperity becomes our “savior”. We can see money and prosperity as "salvation". We can be captured emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually by the many "blessings" that accompany material success; we can fill our lives with this world and be blinded to spiritual poverty.If we find meaning only in our riches, and not in the riches of Christ, then we have much in common with the rich fool, and according to Jesus, we will perish in our sins.

1John 2:15-17
15) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

We are told to turn from the love of money, success, achievements, and accomplishments for they all have the potential to turn the heart from the love of God. If God gives success then be thankful, but never allow success to turn the heart from God. To love God first is to be truly successful.

Where is the Profit?

Matt 16:26
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Jesus asks the question, if a man gains the whole world but loses his soul, then what has he profited? This question is for all. If, in the process of gaining everything I want, I lose my soul, then what have I gained?

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
Pro 23:4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
Pro 11:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

Only Salvation Makes One Rich

If we are going to be wise, we must make a decision that we are not going to be owned by that which cannot save. To be truly prosperous, we must possess the riches of heaven through the forgiveness of our sins. 

Riches are deceptive. People will honor you and riches will give you a sense of achievement. Our heart can take material success and spin it into God's blessings. We can imagine we're secure, but in reality, only the redemption found in Christ secures the soul. Neither riches nor personal success will atone for ones sins and for sure money cannot buy your way out of Hell.

God bless you,


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