Thursday, December 16, 2010

PREPARING A MANSION


Red Deer Advocate, September 8, 2007. This house seems to have it all, even “a 103-seat movie theatre,” the article says. Don’t you wish you had the money to create your own mansion? Are you worried you might never be able to pull it off? Don’t worry about it. There is coming a day when the earth will pass away “and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3.10.) Maybe you’d like to live in your mansion until then. Never mind that, too. Your life span is only about 70 to 80 years—if you’re lucky. And how many years have you already used up? “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” ( Psalm 90.10.)

We are soon cut off from the earth, the Bible says. Then we fly away. What’s the point of a mansion, then? Listen, Jesus is now preparing mansions that will last forever for ever lasting souls to live in. “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, ye may be also” (John 14.2, 3.) That’s Jesus speaking. But is Jesus preparing a place for you? That depends. Are you his disciple? I mean, are you trusting him to save you from hellfire? And have you quit the sins people go to hellfire for? Are you clean? Are you sleeping around? Are you being lazy? Are you using the soup kitchen just so you can spend your money on your sins? I want you to get a mansion from Jesus, not hell for your sins. Ask Jesus to save you. You don’t like being called a sinner? But “Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1.15.) I am come to call “sinners to repentance,” he said (Matthew 9.13.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

PYRAMID SCHEMES


The scene above is from The Edmonton Journal, February 15, 1997. Pyramid schemes are still as popular as ever. Schemers continue to invent schemes because people continue to be gullible enough to buy in. About these pyramids, the article says, “The funds promise wild returns…But such schemes collapse when no new investors can be found.” When the thing goes belly-up, late comers to the evil scheme get no returns for their investment.


The typical pyramid scheme exaggerates to a hyper degree the usefulness of an average product, or line of average products. These products are given clever-sounding handles like Mona Vie. The main emphasis to the one buying in is on signing others up, not selling the products he just bought to the public. Getting as many people as possible signed up below you is how you push yourself up the pyramid, where all the big money gets funneled to. The pyramid plan especially tempts persons who want riches without labor.

Now what’s wrong with all this? Exaggeration is lying; promoting exaggerated stuff is dishonest; making easy money off gullible people is robbery; and making money this way is a greedy, lazy species of inactivity. Does the Bible identify pyramid schemers? “He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him” (Proverbs 28.22.) What greater poverty can one come to than hell for a home for committing sins like these? On the American dollar there is a picture of a pyramid with an eyeball on top. This reminds us of the pyramid scheme: resting on money, overseen by an evil eye! These schemes are even popular among church members. In particular are they the rage in charismatic-type churches. If these members are really members of Christ, we expect they soon will, instead of lazily raking in money at the expense of gullible people, “with quietness…work, and eat their own bread” (2 Thessalonians 3.12.) That’s an exhortation by Jesus Christ through his apostle Paul. In fact, “if any would not work, neither should he eat” (verse 10.) Years ago I went to the Word of Life Centre in Red Deer to see if a certain ‘faith healer’ could heal me. When that failed, a man there who had, during this service, laid hands on me to no effect promised to visit me and see me through until I was a healed man. He was receiving, he said, about $5,000.00 per month in the mail for doing nothing. And so he would have all kinds of time to help me out. I never saw him again. You see the spiritual results of getting ahead without effort? Your promises will be as hollow as your pockets are deep. And Jesus will be as far from you as he is from hypocrites.