The deceitfulness of riches

SERMON TOPIC: The deceitfulness of riches

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 5 May 2024

Topic Groups: PROSPERITY

Sermon synopsis: Then Jesus said to his disciples, Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again, I tell you; it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. (MATT 19:23-30)

- Download notes (3.56 MB, 39 downloads)

- Download audio (50.24 MB, 38 downloads)

- Download Video (59.66 MB, 38 downloads)

- All sermons by Ken Paynter

- All sermons on PROSPERITY

- All sermons in ENGLISH


Matthew 13:18-23.

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

Time to prune

Then Jesus said to his disciples, Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again, I tell you; it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. (MATT 19:23-30)


Matthew 19:16-21

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life? If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

“Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony,  honour your father and mother, and ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’

All these I have kept, the young man said. What do I still lack?

 Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

{he loved his money more than JESUS}

Matthew 19:23-30

Then Jesus said to his disciples, Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again, I tell you; it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, Who then can be saved?

Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Peter answered him, We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?

Matthew 19:23-30

 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Never take someone for granted because someday you will realise that you lost a diamond while you were collecting stones


ISAIAH 55:6. Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

Jesus looked at him and loved him.  “One thing you lack,” he said.  “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mar10:21)

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down,  and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,  then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”  But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.



If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.  Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.    


There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.  At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

Luke16:19-24. The time came when the beggar died, and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.  In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So, he called to his Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.

1 TIMOTHY 6:17-19. 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. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life

Mark 7:8-8 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!  For Moses said, Honour your father and mother, 'and Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)  then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 

Love of money makes you selfish

In answer to the Pharisees’ question, Jesus told them that they had rejected the commandment of God to keep their own tradition (Mark 7:6-9). Jesus gives the proof of their corruption of the Law by citing their use of “Corban.” Moses had instructed God’s people to “honour their father and mother” (Exodus 20:12), but the Pharisees negated that command by teaching that they could give money to the temple in lieu of helping their parents in need. Whatever money might have been used to provide for aging parents could be dedicated to the temple treasury instead. Saying, “It is Corban” would exempt a person from his responsibility to his parents. In other words, the Pharisees took a legitimate Corban offering and used it in an illegitimate and devious way to defraud their parents (and enrich themselves). Thus, the Law of God was nullified

Maybe this explains why in the parable of the good Samaritan WE HAVE THE PRIEST AND LEVITE IGNORING THE WOUNDED MAN

Love of money makes you selfish

Luke 16:10-15.

 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 

He said to them, You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Maybe that is why gold is used for paving stones in heaven.

People kill each other and fight over paving stones that we are going to walk on one day.

Luke 12:13-21.

Then someone called from the crowd, Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me. Jesus replied, Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that? Then he said, Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own

My own experience: (PEOPLE FIGHTING OVER THINGS even before the funeral)

SAM ENNIS had a saying that has stuck in my mind, he said that money has a way of climbing out of your pocket and into your heart.

People can be pushed to their moral limits in pursuit of money. They can be pushed beyond them, forget their true values, and perform heinous, desperate acts out of fear of lack of money.

Contrary to George Bernard shaw, the BIBLE STATES THAT “THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL” (1 TIMOTHY6:10).


We see even in our own country that people make excuses for stealing and coveting what others have even though the Word of God forbids these actions, since creation, mankind has been blaming others and their situations for their own bad behaviour.

Deuteronomy 6:10-12.

When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant, then when you eat and are satisfied,  be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Proverbs 30:7-9.

Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, Who is the Lord? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God.

LUKE 12:13-21. And he told them this parable: The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.

Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.

But God said to him, You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?

This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.

Psalm 49:15

But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself. Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendour of their houses increases; for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendour will not descend with them.

Though while they live, they count themselves blessed and people praise you when you prosper, they will join those who have gone before them, who will never again see the light of life. People who have wealth but lack understanding are like the beasts that perish.

I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold I'd rather be His than have riches untold I'd rather have Jesus than houses or land I'd rather be led by His nail-pierced hand

Than to be the king of a vast domain And be held in sin's dread sway I'd rather have Jesus than anything This world affords today

Bev Shea commented, “Over the years, I’ve not sung any song more than I’d Rather Have Jesus, but I never grow weary of Mrs. Miller’s heartfelt words.”

He allowed these words to guide and direct him as a young man, and we are better off for it. Otherwise, he may never have teamed up with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusades and shared such a powerful message with the world in song. Since George Beverly Shea turned down a lucrative offer to become a secular singer, it is fitting that this song became his most used song. This hymn is a testimony of his life.

HEBREWS 11:24-27. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.  By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 

The prosperity message that swept the Church in our recent generation, has taught that Godliness was a means to financial gain despite the clear warning in Scripture to the contrary. 1 Timothy 6:5-19.

1 Timothy 6:2-19.

These are the things you are to teach and insist on. if anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. they have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain

but godliness with contentment is great gain. for we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.


In our modern-day churches, there are many preachers that have promoted a Gospel that stands in stark contrast to the one that Jesus and His Apostles preached.

The message they preach is the very opposite to the example of the lives of the Apostles and of the lives of many great men and woman of God who in recent centuries have sacrificed all to go out as missionaries to an unevangelised world.

William Borden.

William Whiting Borden was born on November 1, 1887. His father was a millionaire. When he graduated high school, his parents gifted him with a trip around the world. This experience was instrumental in motivating Borden to become a missionary.

While in college (Yale), his godliness impacted his fellow students significantly. He not only started Bible study and prayer groups that eventually involved the majority of the students but was also known for ministering to the most oppressed in town—including the disabled.

After graduating from college in 1909, he attended Princeton Seminary. After finishing seminary, Moody Church (Chicago) ordained him on September 9, 1912, to be a missionary.

 The public couldn’t understand his decision because his dad had died in 1906, leaving him more money than he could ever need. They wondered why a millionaire would ever want to become a missionary. A friend of his even told him that he would be “throwing his life away as a missionary.” Borden replied, “You have never seen heathenism.”

Matthew 6:19-21 & 24-25.

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?

Hebrews 13: 5. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. 

Mark 8:36. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Thoughts on today’s verse.

We chase after so many different things. Only one thing is needful. Having a fistful of dollars, a great estate, and lots of prestige doesn't mean a whole lot if you've gone to your ultimate address without the Lord. Even worse is to find that in the middle of your busyness, you awake to find yourself in the barren land where Christ does not dwell, and life is not found. Let's not lose our life, our soul, our meaning, chasing after what is not lasting.

My prayer: Father help me to keep my priorities right, my life holy, and my heart open to your will rather than being blinded with my own self seeking. In Jesus precious name I pray. Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:11-16

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.

Haggai 2:8. The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty.

Psalm 50:7-12.

Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel: I am God, your God. I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.

I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.

Each Christmas, Christians tell stories about the poor baby Jesus born in a lowly manger because there was no room in the inn. But the Rev. C. Thomas Anderson, senior pastor of the Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, Arizona, preaches a version of the Christmas story that says baby Jesus wasn't so poor after all.

Anderson says Jesus couldn't have been poor because he received lucrative gifts -- gold, frankincense and myrrh -- at birth. Jesus had to be wealthy because the Roman soldiers who crucified him gambled for his expensive undergarments. Even Jesus' parents, Mary and Joseph, lived and traveled in style, he says.

"Mary and Joseph took a Cadillac to get to Bethlehem because the finest transportation of their day was a donkey," says Anderson. "Poor people ate their donkey. Only the wealthy used it as transportation."

In reading the Gospels, we can focus on Jesus’ poverty. There is a sense in which Christ’s incarnation itself was an impoverishing act. Indeed, in order to take on human flesh and dwell among sinful people and the filth of this world, Jesus had to set aside the wealth of heaven. This was Paul’s teaching in Philippians 2:7, where he wrote that Jesus “emptied himself [of his privileges], by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

We can also see the level of poverty that Jesus experienced by looking at the material state of his family. Most people are familiar with the details of Christ’s birth since they are recounted and celebrated every Christmas.

Jesus’ nativity story includes being born in a foreign city (presumably without family and friends), being placed in a manger (literally a feed trough) and being visited by shepherds, strangers who were considered by most people to be the outcasts of society.

Jesus was born into a poor family.

In describing Jesus’ circumcision, Luke reports that Mary and Joseph offered two pigeons as a temple sacrifice for Mary’s purification.

Luke 2:22–24. When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord as it is written in the Law of the Lord, every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord  and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: a pair of doves or two young pigeons.

Leviticus 12:7–8. These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl. But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.

Apparently, then, Jesus’ parents were too poor to offer the customary lamb.

Matthew 17:26-27.

Then the children are exempt, Jesus said to him. But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.

When a man wanted to follow Jesus, this was His response:

Matthew 8:20.

Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.


preached from borrowed boats,

multiplied borrowed food,

rode on a borrowed colt,

and was buried in a borrowed tomb.

In fact, most of Jesus’ material needs,

as well as those of his disciples, were apparently met by donations from a group of devoted women who accompanied him.

In his Gospel, Luke refers to “Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for [Jesus and his disciples] out of their means”

(Luke 8:2–3; Mark 15:40–41).

Luke 8:1-3.

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. 

The Twelve were with him,  and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others.

These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

Mark 15:40–41.

Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. In Galilee, these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

Matthew 27:35.

When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 

PDF sermon