The plain, simple, and true answer is; God doesn’t care if you are rich or not. God is not concerned with our individual wealth. He is concerned with our faithfulness, our purity, our character; and He certainly wants us to be rich in all of those things, but physical, though important to man, is meaningless to God. Then why do so many preachers in the world preach God wants us to be wealthy? I don’t know about them, but I do know what Christ taught.
Consider the following teachings of Christ. In Luke 18:22 Jesus told a rich young ruler to “…sell all that you possess, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” On the sermon on the mount Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal…” (Matthew 6:19) And also, “For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his own soul.” (Matthew 16:26) These certainly don’t sound like condemnations of the poor, and neither do they sound like encouragements for us to seek out riches; or that God favors the rich in any respect.
But also consider these strong difficulties and warnings to the rich. “But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.” (Luke 7:25) Jesus also said, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15) He goes on to tell the parable of the rich man who intended to tear down his barns to build bigger ones to which Jesus concludes, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared? So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Again, God is much less concerned about how wealthy you are, as He is how you use the wealth you have. Jesus said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” (Luke 18:24) My question to all those gospel of wealth preachers is; if it’s so hard for a rich man to go to heaven, why would God want us all to be rich since He does want us all to go to heaven? (II Peter 3:9)
God is not opposed to the rich; He is opposed to the proud, to the selfish, to the greedy, to the sinner who trusts in his own riches rather than serves in obedience to God. God expects those who are rich to use their wealth for service in His kingdom. It’s what we read about the saints doing in Acts 4:34-37, and what God encourages in I Corinthians 16:1 and II Corinthians 8:14-15, and as well in Romans 12:8. God has a great track record of encouraging physically wealthy saints to use their wealth for His kingdom and service.
What richness God desires and encourages for ALL mankind is to be rich in good works. Again, God is not condemning physically wealthy saints here, but listen to what He says, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (I Timothy 6:17-19)
Does God want you to be rich? If you can handle it, and handle it properly He’s not against it; but if you can’t handle it, be a good steward, be a light for His kingdom, use that wealth in His service and dedicate yourself in trust to Him then no… no He doesn’t. What we should really ask ourselves though is, “Do I want God’s riches?”