One can be simultaneously wealthy and of the Christian faith.

Essay by lucas_bHigh School, 12th gradeA, June 2006

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The world is filled with both poverty and prosperity. While many people in North America would not consider themselves "rich," the fact is that on a global scale, we really are very wealthy. We have many more possessions than a large percentage of the rest of the earth's population. Many people argue that it is wrong for Christians to have a lot of wealth, and that they should give it away. They think that you cannot be a Christian and follow Jesus Christ if you are rich. However, the size of a person's bank account does not determine whether he or she is a Christian or not.

In Matthew 19: 24, Jesus told his disciples, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Many people may look at this single verse and believe that you cannot be a rich person and be a Christian.

However, we must remember to take the stories of the Bible into context, and pay attention to what was said both before and after a certain verse. Jesus was referring to the man that approached Him and asked what he must do to achieve eternal life. Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions, give to the poor, and follow Him. After hearing that, the man walked away saddened, since he was a very rich man. In this case, the man loved his money and possessions much more than he did the poor. He was not willing to give up his wealth to follow Jesus. Christ is saying that one cannot enter heaven if they are selfish and keep their riches for themselves. However, if a rich person is very generous with his or her money, and do...