This sermon is part of the sermon series "Global Preaching Voices ". See series.
Friends, the text before us is in Luke's Gospel. You have it in your books. Nowadays in Nigeria, young men and women have it in their phones, so I get in trouble when I say the text and I see the phones. But that's what's happened to this generation.
Paul had encouraged Timothy, who by now is a leader of the churches in Ephesus, to urge everyone to use their gifts—particularly those who are financially buoyant—for the future. "For the future," underline that in the epistle. Because the future here is looked upon not in this life, but you're storing up for yourself where Jesus is.
Over the years I have heard people talk about the rich man in this text in Luke, and they immediately conclude that it is about wealth. So the wealthy people are going to perish but the poor people are going to go to heaven. And I don't think that's a correct reading; that's not the mind of Christ. Because in my encounters in life as a local pastor in northern Nigeria, I have met poor people who are very rich in wickedness. They have nothing, but their heart is full of evil. They are very rich in it, they can't release it; they enjoy seeing people suffer. And you should note here that when Jesus was teaching his disciples, he was giving them what they should learn. And he was giving them his heart and how they should follow him.
Do understand here, too, that the word "disciple" is critically important. He was not talking to the crowd; he was talking to those who have decided to follow him. And he's going to go away very soon—going to be crucified. He's warning them, giving them caution of how to follow him, how not to allow other distractions to ...
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