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QUESTION: Jesus said to His disciples: Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, 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.

I am a rich man.  What shall I do to enter heaven?

ANSWER: Hi Doug,

thank you very much for your question and your kind feedback.
this IS the answer :)
Indeed it is difficult for rich people to enter heaven since they mostly rely on their money instead of relying on God. This is why Lord Jesus explained the verse you mentioned by saying: "Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God"
Many rich like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job (who had his wealth doubled by God) are with the Lord now.
God made many people rich, not to make traps for them or to deprive them from heaven, but to give them a chance to do more good and show that they love God more than money and trust him more than wealth. Below are clear examples in the scriptures telling us what to do with worldly belongings:
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St. John the Baptist says in Luke 3:11: "Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same."
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St. Paul says in 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."
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What St. Paul says above is not just to give money but to live a godly life that includes much giving because the rich have much more. Also this giving should be with a happy heart that trusts there is a heavenly reward for giving and that God is the source of wealth not our strength or intelligence.
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your questions and follow ups are always welcome.

in Christ,
ashraf

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you very much for your Answer.  You stated:

Indeed it is difficult for rich people to enter heaven since they mostly rely on their money instead of relying on God. Sorry you are wrong God gave me the mony and I rely on him.

God made many people rich, not to make traps for them or to deprive them from heaven, but to give them a chance to do more good....THIS IS YOUR OPINION!!!

Churches go after the rich to take their money for free by scaring them (NOT TO ENTER HEAVEN)  AM I CORRECT?

ANSWER: hi again,

thnx for the follow up.

you say:
Indeed it is difficult for rich people to enter heaven since they mostly rely on their money instead of relying on God. Sorry you are wrong God gave me the money and I rely on him.
+++(it is good that you rely on God but mostly this doesn't happen with the rich.)

God made many people rich, not to make traps for them or to deprive them from heaven, but to give them a chance to do more good....THIS IS YOUR OPINION!!!
+++(This is not my opinion. The Holy Bible teaches us in 1 Timothy 4:14 saying "Do not neglect the gift you have." The verse is originally about priesthood but applies to all gifts. Money is a gift and the example of the holy rich people in the Bible teaches us how to use it. Lord Jesus taught against the love of money not against money itself. He himself used money and accepted money as offerings. Money itself is not evil: it is a good servant but an evil master. )

Churches go after the rich to take their money for free by scaring them (NOT TO ENTER HEAVEN)  AM I CORRECT?
+++("Churches" are so many and their teachings vary. If you know of a certain case where this is happening you can report it to the metropolitan. If you find that a "Church" has false teaching you can join one that teaches the word of God and does not suffer from the love of money.)

in Christ,
ashraf

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: YOU STATED:
Churches go after the rich to take their money for free by scaring them (NOT TO ENTER HEAVEN)  AM I CORRECT?
+++("Churches" are so many and their teachings vary. If you know of a certain case where this is happening you can report it to the metropolitan. If you find that a "Church" has false teaching you can join one that teaches the word of God and does not suffer from the love of money.) OK OK WHAT ABOUT THIS: IS THIS TRUE OR NOT???

Does the Bible require us to give 10% of our income to the church??????????

Old Testament:

"Tithe" means a tenth or 10 percent. The Old Testament law required that a tenth of all produce, flocks, and cattle be given to support the Levites (the priestly class in ancient Israel). In turn, the Levites were to give a tenth of that for support of the high priest (Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18:21-28).

An additional tithe, collected every three years, was to be used to meet the needs of the Levites, foreigners, orphans and widows. (Deuteronomy 26:12-13). Additional tithes were taken for festival purposes.

In addition, everyone was to be generous with those in need:

If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. (NIV, Deuteronomy 15:7-8)

New Testament
The New Testament does not give any specific rules about tithing, and most aspects of the Old Testament Law do not apply to Christians. (See What Does the Bible Say About the Old Testament Law?)

However, Jesus made it clear that we are obligated to be generous to those in need (Matthew 25:31-46).

Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (NIV, Matthew 5:42)

Giving is to be done cheerfully, rather than as an obligation (2 Corinthians 9:6-7), and not for the purpose of public recognition (Matthew 6:1-4). The amount to give is not necessarily ten percent (Matthew 19:21, Luke 18:22, 21:1-4, Hebrews 13:16, 1 John 3:17). Generous giving is an acknowledgment that everything we have is a gift from God, and is to be used in His service (Luke 12:33, Acts 20:35, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, James 1:17, 1:27, 1 Peter 4:10).

Rather than give a certain amount as an obligation, Christians are urged to share generously of whatever talents, abilities and wealth God has entrusted to them:

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. ( NIV, Romans 12:6-8)

         There is nothing in the Bible saying we should give a certain amount or a certain percentage to a church.

Conclusion
The tithing rules in the Bible were based specifically on the religious and social system of ancient Israel and on an agricultural economy. Modern day questions about what percentage we should give and whether it should be computed on gross income, net income or wealth are not answered in the Bible. Nor does the Bible tell us how much of our giving should go to a church and how much to help the needy. In today's world, we must pray and listen to our consciences and consider the needs of ourselves and our families (1 Timothy 5:8) when deciding how much to give and to which organizations or individuals. No one should feel pressured to give a certain amount of money to a church or other ministry.

Also, there is no requirement in the Bible to give "seed money" to a church, preacher or ministry, and no promise that any blessings of any kind will come as a result.

Answer
Hi,

Thank you very much for the follow ups.

Lord Jesus taught us that: "... unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:20

therefore we should do more and give more to the needy and the Church as well. When the poor lady gave a small offering to the temple Lord Jesus praised her. What was usually given in the Old Testament is now considered a minimum.

St. Paul taught that we should support servants of the Lord and give them their needs. In his Epistles he asks for offerings and he accepted them gladly.

The usual way to divide your offerings is to give a portion to the Church, a portion to the poor of non relatives, a portion to poor relatives, a portion to the poor non-Christians. Still this may vary according to your environment and your preferences. Maybe you find a good cause that you feel is worth support. you can always pray for guidance from the Lord and seek the guidance of God fearing servants.

in Christ,
ashraf  

Eastern Orthodox

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Ashraf Nisseem

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Peace be with you. I am an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox. I can answer questions about the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox beliefs, especially Coptic beliefs.

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