Warnings to the Wealthy

Artwork for James: Hands-On Christianity

It is reported that F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway once engaged in the following interchange:

Fitzgerald: “You know, Ernest, the rich are different from us.”

Hemingway: “Yes, I know. They have more money than we do.”

It is debatable that this conversation actually occurred, but the humour based on the obvious fact brings a smile to our lips. The more notable significance in the interchange is the part that is left unanswered, namely, how are the rich different—or are they? Secrecy shrouds the inner life of the wealthy. Gossip, legend, and imagination surround the subject, so it's next to impossible to uncover the truth. The rich are notoriously private people.

In this message, we shall hear what God says about and to a certain percentage of the wealthy—at least, the wealthy of the first century. Then we'll consider how it relates to the wealthy of today. The basis of our thoughts are James 5:1-6.