Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Perils of Prosperity

Now, for a few minutes, I wish to address myself to believers in Christ who possess much of the goodness of God in providential matters. All the saints are not poor. Lazarus is a child of God on the dunghill, but Joseph of Arimathea is no less beloved, though he hath great riches. Many were converted to God from the poorest classes in the apostles’ days, but the Ethiopian eunuch, who had great possessions, was none the less a genuine disciple.

Now, there are some of you whom God has always prospered in your business, who have a healthy family growing up around you, while you enjoy excellent bodily health — indeed, you have the comforts of this life in profusion. I beseech you above others to fear the Lord for all this goodness. The tendency of prosperity is too often injurious; it is much harder to bear than adversity. As the fining pot to silver, and the furnace to gold, so is prosperity to a Christian man. Many a man will pass through trouble, and praise God under it, who, when he is tried with no trouble, will forget his God, decline in grace, and grow almost a worldling. Believe me, there is no trial so great as no trial, even as an old divine used to say that there was no devil so bad as no devil; there is no state in which a man is in such great danger as when he can see no danger.

From a sermon entitled "The Silken Fetter," delivered August 29, 1869. Image by Jennifer under Creative Commons License.

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