Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Either you're rich in Christ, or not in Christ at all

I've made a mistake.

In the process of writing this blog over the last 18 months, I've come to the conclusion that I've misnamed my blog. I no longer think that it's even really possible to be a poor Christian. I would then be acknowledging that you can be poor in Christ which I certainly do not believe! You're either a rich Christian or you're not a believer. There's no middle ground.

Francis Chan addresses this very issue in his book, Crazy Love, but instead of using my language of "poor Christian," he calls this type of person "lukewarm." In fact, he devoted a whole chapter to this particular topic entitled "Profile of the Lukewarm." Here's an excerpt from that chapter:
... When the seed is spread among the thorns, it is received but soon suffocated by life's worries, riches, and pleasures. But when the seed is sown in good soil, it grows, takes root, and produces fruit.

My caution to you is this: Do not assume you are good soil.

I think most American churchgoers are the soil that chokes the seed because of all the thorns. Thorns are anything that distracts us from God. When we want God and a bunch of other stuff, then that means we have thorns in our soil. A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it.

Most of us have too much in our lives. As David Goetz writes, "Too much of the good life ends up being toxic, deforming us spiritually." A lot of things are good by themselves, but all of it together keeps us from living healthy, fruitful lives for God.

I will say it again: Do not assume you are good soil.

Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God's kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world?

From Chan's writings, we can gather from his interpretation of Scripture that his conclusion is that either you are a Christian or you're an unbeliever that wants just a little bit of Jesus in your life. But there's no middle ground. You're all in or you're all out. You're rich in Christ or you're just plain flat broke!

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that through his poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).

So, where are you at, today? Does your life appear to be more in line with the "profile of the lukewarm" or are you rich in Christ? Are you all in or are you all out?


  1. Great post and I would definitely concur. The western culture church is far from the doctrines of scripture and yet we find ways to proclaim the bible as that what makes us comfortable, or luke-warm.

  2. I found this site and it reminds me of the biblical parable of the rich man and the poor woman who were making charitable donations. The poor lady quietly put in one penny and hoped her good deed would help someone else in need. The rich man boastfully put in a quarter and let everyone know what a wonderful person he is. He also mocked the poor lady for putting in so little.

    It goes to show that God smiles on those who make donations out of goodness rather than hoping for appreciation from others.

    Thanks for the site! Cheers!