Does The Bible Say Rich People Can’t Go To Heaven?
For 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.” And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”
But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” NKJV
We have heard so many people share this story of the Eye of the Needle and say, ‘See, rich people can’t go to heaven’. If that were true, then wouldn’t that make God unfair to limit rich people from heaven? We have to be certain that when we hear people make comments like this to make sure they are taking the Word in context.
We are supposed to love God with all we are. Deuteronomy 6:5 says
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
God loves you wholeheartedly, and He desires that we return that love to Him. God is love. Picture this, a religious guy comes to Jesus and says He wants to follow Him. The guy is probably from a rich family, because the Word says he has wealth. This rich leader came to Jesus expecting to be commended or honored as that is what he was used to receiving from people. He was known because of his possessions. However physical things don’t matter in the Kingdom of God so much. The question is not what you have it is who you have. How is your relationship with Yahweh?
Jesus tested this guy because He knew his heart. The guy said he has obeyed the law, but we all know that no one is perfect. So Jesus challenged him saying, okay, then all you have to do now is give away everything you own. The guy left there with his head down because he didn’t want to do that. If he would have just shown that His relationship with God was more important than his goods, the story would have changed. His response disappointed Jesus as well.
When he left Jesus said, it is more difficult for a rich man to enter heaven than you can imagine. His illustration was that of a gate called ‘The Eye Of the Needle’. It was a gate within a gate. At night, cities would close their gates to protect from attack. Individuals would have to come in one by one through a smaller gate. You would have to demount the camel, unload all the luggage, and lead the camel through the little gate on it’s knees. Once on the other side of the wall, you would carry all your luggage through and eventually reload it on the camel on the other side. It was a lot of work for the traveller to bring the camel through the eye of the needle if they arrived at a city after dusk.
Jesus’s statement shocked His friends as they thought he was saying it was impossible for rich people to get into heaven. He clarified by saying that nothing is impossible with God. God is not a respecter of persons. He sees all of us equally. When we confess our sins, repent, and turn from them He sees us as perfect because Jesus is perfect. His blood has washed us clean. However, we have to be careful that our earthly things don’t become spiritual baggage that holds us down and prevents us from attaining His plans.
God wants you blessed so you can be a blessing. He doesn’t want you tied down by what you have. He wants you to use what you have for His glory. Tithe to your local church, give to those ministries that are helping people, become a giver and watch what you have increase. That is God’s plan as He wants people know that He loves them and has a wonderful plan for them.