Why did Jesus say it was hard for the rich man to enter Heaven?
We all know that being born again is something that's impossible for man but truly possible for God. When we believe in what the Lord Jesus Christ, we can be saved and be given entry into the Kingdom of God. Why did Jesus, then, say that it's hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God?
Choosing God over riches
The Bible often warns us about the dangers of desiring money. While money in itself isn't wrong and can actually be used for things beneficial to many including the people of God, the love for money is something that's dangerous and can spell doom for many, if not all, of us.
The Lord Jesus Himself told us that we have to make constantly make the crucial decision to choose God over money. We can't pursue both – it's either we pursue God or riches.
In Matthew 6:24 we find the Lord's sobering instruction:
"No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."
It is from this background that we find the reason why the Lord said it's hard for a rich man to enter God's kingdom.
Riches over God's Kingdom
In Matthew 19:16-24 we read Jesus' conversation with a rich young man. This rich young man simply asked Jesus how he could attain eternal life. Jesus, responding according to what the Law of Moses taught, gave the man a short list of commandments God gave for us to obey. Probably proud of himself, this young man responded, "All these I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?"
Jesus then gave him a reply no rich man who enjoys the comforts and influence of his wealth brings:
"If you would be perfect, go and sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And come, follow Me." (see Matthew 19:21)
We know the rest is history. The young man went away discouraged because he had great possessions. He went away because he couldn't part with his riches. With his actions, he was saying "let me do all sorts of good things, just don't take away my riches."
His riches became the god he relied on. He'd rather have temporal riches than eternal bliss with God.
Friends, we should ask ourselves in light of what the Lord Jesus told the young man. Do we truly serve God, or do we just use Him as a means to gain greater blessing and riches? Do we love God above all, or do we hesitate to let go of the little riches we have?
Think about it. Christ became poor so that we could be made rich (see 2 Corinthians 8:9). It's but right that we respond in kind.