A closer look at the Bible refutes the popular myth and proof that the rich can go to heaven
A few people in my bible study class recently argued about whether the rich can get into heaven. It's a tough argument to approach. Although I know what I believe, interpreting my belief into words is a little more complicated.
The most famous bible verse, Matthew 19-24, states it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven's kingdom.
From just that single verse, it would seem the odds are stacked against the materially wealthy. But reading more of the passage, along with several other verses in the Bible, may offer some hope of heavenly treasure for those with earthly riches.
Proof that the rich can go to heaven
Reading further into Matthew, we find another popular quote, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For with God all things are possible.”
Just as [with God] a camel might pass through the eye of a needle, it seems possible the rich can go to heaven.
For those that need a more literal interpretation, many of the chosen people in the Bible were very wealthy. God promised great wealth to many of his followers. Genesis 13 talks about how Abraham was already rich in livestock, silver, and gold, and God blessed him with much more as the story unfolds.
David, King of Israel, and his son Solomon were rich and powerful. After King Solomon asks for an “understanding of heart,” in Kings 3:5, God replies, “I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again. I will also give you what you have not asked for: all your life you will have wealth and honor, more than that of any other King.”
Even after losing everything, God rewarded Job with more material wealth than he had previously because of his faith.
So if so many blessed men in the Bible were wealthy, why do so many interpret it as impossible for a rich man to go to heaven?
The rich can go to heaven: rich but not greedy
We find the answer in one of the other famous money-related bible verses. Matthew 6-24 reads, “No man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. So one cannot serve God and mammon [Arabic for money].”
The curse is in the love of money itself, the pursuit of material wealth on its own. I've always thought this was an odd desire anyway, what good is money itself anyway? Money only has value if you spend it, so pursuing money without regard to what you can do with it seems a little pointless.
God does not condemn anyone for having money. On the contrary, he warns against boundless greed above all else, but that doesn't mean you can't strive to be successful and have nice things.
Of course, it's always good to share your success with others. But, whether you believe in heaven or not, making your community a better place through charitable giving will offer priceless rewards. Use money as a tool for a prosperous and abundant life rather than the end goal.
I'm not a biblical scholar, just someone that reads the Bible and believes in the word of God. I would love to hear from others that have wondered whether the rich can go to heaven. Share in the comments below.
So, Can the Rich Go to Heaven?
The answer is yes, it is possible for a rich man goes to heaven. As written in the Bible, there were testimonies of rich people who faithfully obeyed God, and there are many of them. Understanding that money is not the root of all evil, but the love of money that brings about sin is the absolute awareness. It's greed. There's an obvious difference in the context. Rich people can go to heaven, and the Bible records several wealthy people who found favor with God, like King David and his son, the wise ruler, King Solomon.
As said in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
It is clear in the Bible that God only means that a person who devotes himself to wealth and gains more cannot be a servant of God because that kind of person is proof that money is their master. He can never serve two masters at the same time. If a person comes to know the one true God in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of status, he can go to heaven.
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About the Author
Joseph Hogue is a financial expert and investment analyst. After serving in the Marine Corps, he started his career investing in real estate before becoming an investment analyst for some of the largest private investors. He's appeared on Bloomberg and on CNBC as an investment expert and has published ten books in personal finance. Now he helps investors reach their financial goals and invest in the stock market with some of the same advice he used when working for the rich.