In 2008, at the end of the Bush administration, the housing market collapsed in this country sending the economy into a tailspin. President George Bush, in an attempt to save the economy and the troubled financial institutions, signed into law the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act which gave 700 billion dollars of taxpayer money to the “too big to fail” banks. This move delayed, temporarily, what would have been a collapse of the US economy. Painful though it might have been, there are those who say that the banks should have been allowed to fail. In which case the private sector would have been able to slowly recover from the collapse. Instead, more taxpayer money was pumped into the failing system by Barack Obama just 4 months later. In February of 2009 Barack Obama signed into law The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act, i.e. the stimulus package – 800 billion dollars were pumped into the economy to mitigate the effects of the great recession of 2008.
As the head of my family, I have never advocated to my wife that we spend money when we are under financial constraints. On the contrary…whenever I have faced family debt and financial difficulty, we have always cut back and lived close to the chest until our finances were stable again. I’m not an economist but it seems to me that individual families are a microcosm of the many families that comprise this country, and if tightening the belt works for one family suffering from financial difficulty, it will work collectively for the many families of this country. It should be obvious to anyone that no person, no family, no nation has ever spent its way out of financial difficulty. Be that as it may, economic disaster was temporarily averted, and here we are almost 8 years later facing economic apocalypse again. Only this time the bubble is substantially greater, and the impending collapse will be an existential event.
It is not just America that is suffering financially. The economies of the world are interconnected by the petrodollar, and ripples of what is happening here in America is spreading out across the globe. What has kept America afloat is the reserve status of the dollar and the ability of the federal reserve to print money. Unfortunately, smaller economies can’t print dollars.
The economies of Greece, Puerto Rico, Venezuela are now circling the bowl. These countries, figuratively, are canaries in the world’s coal mines. Pouring worthless paper into the economy hasn’t and will not work, the jig will be up probably sooner rather than later. One doesn’t have to be a prophet to see the financial storm clouds overhead. Secular financial gurus like Jim Willie, Peter Schiff, and others are sounding a clarion call about the inevitable collapse of the dollar.
The problems that are coming upon the world are intractable and according to the Bible, the nations are in anguish and perplexed with the waves and the seas roaring - Luke 21:25.
If you are looking for political solutions, there are none. If your hope is in Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or any other world leader, then you are cursed according to the Bible – Jeremiah 17:5.
There is hope, but it can only be found in principles laid out in scriptures by the Lord Jesus Christ.
In stark contrast to the corrupt financial system I have outlined is a financial system that I call “Kingdom Economics.” The Kingdom of God operates totally independently of the world system. God does not need anything of the world to provide for His kingdom citizens. God supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:19. If the world’s economies failed today, God’s ability to supply the needs of His kingdom citizens would not be diminished in any way – Jeremiah 17:7-8. He is Jehovah Jireh.
There are prerequisites, however, to enjoying the provisions and benefits of the Kingdom of God. First, one must be born again of the Word and the Holy Spirit – John 3:3-5. Second, one must be obedient to and trust in the word of the King. Jesus said that no one can serve two masters – God and money – Matthew 6:24. Everything else Jesus said about finances falls under this rubric. You cannot trust God and money. A case and point is found in Mark 10:17-21. The rich young man came to Jesus inquiring about what he could do to have eternal life. Jesus informed him to keep the commandments. He had kept all of the commandments since his youth was his reply. According to Jesus, only one thing stood between him and perfection. Wow! Think about that for a moment. There was only one thing in his life that prevented his entrance into the Kingdom of God. Being an extremely wealth man, he choked when Jesus commanded him to give all of his money to the poor in exchange for treasure accrued in the bank of heaven. He was inextricably bound to a financial system that required his servitude to mammon/money. He therefore forfeited his entrance into the Kingdom and its subsequent provisions because he trusted in his vast wealth. What a sad story. The rich man choose to remain in a dog eat dog financial system serving uncertain riches rather than taking his treasure out of an earthly bank and putting it in a heavenly storehouse – Mark 10:21.
Many of you who are reading this treatise dutifully give a 10th of your income in obedience to Old Testament commands, (By the way, tithing is not a part of Kingdom finances. I’ll share more on the tithe in a following post) but what if God required you, like the rich young man, to give it all. Consider this….the things in the old covenant were written as types and shadows of the real of which we are partakers – 1 Corinthians 10:11. The tithe then is a type of a greater principle. Under the old covenant, God’s people owned the 90% and were stewards of the 10%. The reality is that Kingdom citizens OWN NOTHING. We are bought with a price - 1 Corinthians 6:20. We are loyal servants of our King and totally committed to Him. We are stewards of everything He blesses us with. If He calls on us to give it all away, we should gladly do so without hesitation. But I digress.
How do we lay up treasures in heaven? I’m glad you asked.
Jesus gave a startling command in Matthew 6:19-21. It goes against everything we have been taught about world finances. One of the first things we learned about finances is start a savings account. We are told to work hard in order to have the “American dream” i.e. nice home, nice car, financial security and after a productive work career, retirement. The whole world seeks after these things – Matthew 6:32. This may come as surprise to you; the Bible reason for working is not to provide for yourself and family. That is God’s job. We are not to even take a thought about our provisions – Matthew 6:24-34. The Bible reason for working is to have resources to give to those in need – Ephesians 4:28.
Jesus clearly commanded Kingdom citizens not to lay up money in the bank in contrast to those who are a part of this world’s financial system. The success of the heathen is tied to how much money they have laid up. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, and George Soros to name a few are the epitome of world success. They all have great wealth stored up in banks. Do you think they have anything stored up in the bank of heaven? Do you think they would be willing to give everything to the poor? If you have great wealth and are not rich toward God, I would refer you to James 5:1. Misery will soon come upon those who trust in money but in the midst of financial darkness, light will shine upon those who have placed their heart and treasure in heaven.
Friends, we are to lay treasure up in heaven by giving to the brethren and the poor – Mark 10:21. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 seals the fact that treasure can be stored up in the Kingdom of God by good works, by having a generous heart, and by being ready and willing to distribute. There are no storehouses on earth now, only in heaven, and the only way to accumulate treasure in heaven is by giving to the poor and good works.
Now, I’m sure that the first question that comes to your mind is whether or not having a bank savings account is biblically wrong. To answer that take a look at Luke 12:13-21. Luke gives an account of a man who had so much stored up he had to build bigger store houses for his goods. This kind of mentality epitomizes those operating in this world’s financial system. Whether it’s capitalism, fascism, socialism, or communism. The system is fueled by greed and selfishness. Luke’s view is a bit more nuanced than Matthew’s in that he concludes the discourse by saying that it’s foolish to lay up treasure on earth and not be rich towards God.
So, there is a balance here. The problem is not the bank account per se. The problem is a mentality of greed and selfishness. God is not opposed to wealth. He is opposed to greed and selfishness. Therefore, one should always be generous and ready to distribute everything if called upon to do so by the King.
Before I go further, let me say that giving money to buy some greedy preacher a Gulfstream Jet is foolish and does not accrue any treasure in heaven in my opinion nor does giving money to build and maintain multi million dollar edifices. God is not a part of such covetous endeavors.
If you give me one hundred, for these projects, God will give you one thousand, we are told. This kind of chicanery makes merchandise of God’s people and perpetuates covetous. We, my brothers and sisters, are the building of God – 1 Corinthians 3:9. Our energy and resources should be spent building each other up rather than enriching the coffers of crooked preachers.
The master key to provisions in the Kingdom is found in Matthew 6:33. If you are a Christian and you have been laid off work or if you are going through financial difficulty because of operating in a failing world system, begin to operate on a higher spiritual level. You may be temporarily without a paycheck, but you’re never without a job. Your job is go after the Kingdom of God with all your heart and in doing so, heaven’s resources will be brought to bear on your behalf.
- Finally, to operate successfully in Kingdom finances, one must love and worship the King rather than mammon.
- One must not lay up treasure in banks without first being rich toward God
- One must be generous and willing to distribute everything if called upon to do so by the King
- One must seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteous (right way of doing things).
If you put into practice these principle, It doesn’t matter how bad things get, you will flourish. You will be that tree whose leaves are always green no matter how hot it gets.
Your cup will overflow. You will be the head and not the tail. You will be blessed going out and coming in. Your basket will be blessed. Your store will be blessed. Your offspring will be blessed, and you will shine during the dark day ahead.