Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 3

The dangers of wealth

Revelation 3:17

Laodicea was a rich city, and its Christians were wealthy, too. Because they were wealthy, those Christians had a special opportunity to serve God. They could use their money to support Godís work, and to help poor Christians, like the Christians at Smyrna (2:9). However, the money and possessions of those rich Christians actually had a much worse effect on their lives.

The rich Christians at Laodicea began to depend on themselves and not on God. They saw no reason to trust God; they considered themselves already to have everything that they needed. So they allowed their faith (trust in God) to become weak. They were becoming selfish and greedy, and they did not even realise it. Their relationship with God was in a bad state, and they did not know. Instead, they considered themselves successful Christians.

Christ saw the real state of those Christians, and he felt sorry for them. They were ruining their lives by wrong and foolish attitudes. Real wealth is not money or possessions; real wealth is a right relationship with God. At death, we will lose all our money and possessions, if we have not lost them already. However, a right relationship with God begins in this world, and it continues always.

Wealth might give a feeling of satisfaction, but that feeling is not the reality. Without a right relationship with God, we do not really have everything that we need. In fact, without God, we have nothing that we need. We do not need money and possessions, but we need God. He gave us our lives; he helps us through our lives; he alone can bring us to heaven and to the New Jerusalem. Only Godís work in our lives can give us satisfaction that is real.

Next part: The valuable things that Christ offers (Revelation 3:18)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.