Don’t Play Favorites! – Part 3
“Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” (James 2:5 NKJV)
As he exhorts believers not to show favoritism based on a person’s outward appearance, James in his New Testament letter gives us an important truth. He puts it in the form of a question: “Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he promised those who love him?” This utterly destroys the false prosperity teaching so prevalent today that says that if you have faith you’ll have a lot of money, and that if you “name it and claim it,” you’ll be rich in this world’s material goods. Notice: the people James is talking about are poor only in this world. But our earthly life, it says elsewhere in Scripture, is but a vapor. We live here only ninety to a hundred years, if we live a long life. What is that, compared to billions of years on the other side of eternity? The poor of this earth will be rich in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy. They will never lose their inheritance there, unlike what happens in this life when we have to leave behind everything we have accumulated before departing this earth.
Let’s think about this further. If only rich people were Christians, how many Christians could there be, judging by the limited number of wealthy people in this world? The fact is that most of the world is poor! In fact, many are making efforts just to get clean water. And some of these people are the dearest people in the world. God made it a point to say that he has actually chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith! And, unlike earthly riches, faith is something that remains (1 Corinthians 13:13).
So if you are upwardly mobile and really into hanging out with those whom the world considers to be the “beautiful people,” you will never be happy as a Christian. If you’re looking to be in with the up-and-coming instead of the down-and-outers, you will not like being a Christian. If you’re into being very hip and cool, you will not be a good Christian. If, however, you want to be with really beautiful people and see the beauty that is inside a person, you’ll really love being a follower of the Lord!
Read James 2:5-6.