Bible Question:

Are the greatest people those who share all their income (socialism)? Greatness is achieved when socialism and communism is achieved.

Bible Answer:

Most people think that greatness is a position of honor  such as the president of a country or a high paying profession which a person achieves by hard work. Others think that a father is in a position of honor as is the mother of a family. Many businesses create organizational charts and the most important person is at the top. Some believe that the chairman of a non-profit organization is an important person. Are these individuals examples of great people?

Are the greatest those who make communism and socialism possible?

Is Greatness Giving Up Your Money So Everyone Is Financially Equal?

There is a movement in the United States that is pushing for financial equality among everyone. The movement believes that socialism has moral virtue because it wrongly believes that financial prosperity is available to everyone by taking from the wealthy and giving to the poor. Some believe the Bible teaches that those who sacrifice to make this possible are supposedly worthy of great honor. Unfortunately, they are wrong because the Bible does not teach this.

God tells us in 1 Samuel 2:7 that He makes both the poor and the rich. He exalts one and puts another down? 1 Samuel 2:7 answers the question.

The LORD makes poor and rich;
He brings low, He also exalts. 1 Samuel 2:7 (NASB)

That is, God cares for the financial well-being of those who are righteous and godly. In the Lord’s prayer Christians are encouraged to ask that our daily needs are fulfilled and God does that, for those who do His will. God does not make that promise for everyone.

Acts 14:17 gives non-Christians great news that He cares for them as well. He seeks to satisfy their hearts, but He does not do that for those given to wickedness.

Additionally, Jesus said, “For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me” (John 12:8). The message is simple. The poor will always be with us, because some individuals will always have less than the majority. No matter how prosperous a nation may be there will always be those who have less. A nation may attempt to eliminate the poor, but it will never be successful. Therefore, no individual or individuals can ever be made “great” by pooling their income and other resources so that all are equally prosperous because the end goal will never be achieved. Additionally, no society that has tried socialism has succeeded.

How To Be The Greatest

The study “Who Is The Greatest?” explains that of the disciples wanted to be the greatest in the kingdom. But Jesus taught them that the greatest in the kingdom of God are not the wealthy, the poor or those who have positions that we honor. Those who will be greater in the kingdom are those who humble themselves as a child and serve others (Matthew 18:1-5; Mark 9:33-37 and Luke 9:46-48).

The question of who is the greatest continued to be an issue with the disciples. For example, in Matthew 20:20-23 the mother of James and John asked Jesus if her two sons could sit on Jesus’ right and left side during the kingdom. Jesus told her that the decision was not His. The decision belonged to the Father.

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to  Jesus with her sons,  bowing down and making a request of Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine  may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able  to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They  said to Him, “We are able.” He said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been  prepared by My Father.” Matthew 20:20-23 (NASB)

When we hear that the mother of two of the twelve disciples had asked for this special privilege, we are incensed. We feel sorry for the other ten disciples and are disappointed with James and John. But when we read Matthew 20:24-28, we discover that the other ten disciples were upset. They wanted the same position!

Therefore, Jesus replied that this is what the Gentiles want. They want positions of honor. But Jesus said that is not the way it was to be with them. They were not to desire to be rulers and be the greatest. Instead they were to become servants of everyone. Christ was their example.

And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His  life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:24-28 (NASB)

How does a person become great? By serving and helping others! Jesus stated the same message in Luke 22:27.

For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. Luke 22:27 (NASB)

The same principle is repeated in Mark 9:35.

Did Jesus Teach The Rich To Give Up Everything?

While it is true that Jesus said it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Luke 18;25), it is important to note that Jesus never told the rich to give up everything. In fact some of Christ’s disciples were wealthy and Joseph of Arimathea was wealthy (Matthew 27:37).

Later in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 the apostle Paul instructed the wealthy to share but they were not told to give up their wealth.

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to  fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may  take hold of that which is life indeed. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NASB)

In the Old Testament Abraham was extremely wealthy. Job had more wealth than anyone in the East (Job 1:1). King David and King Solomon were extremely wealthy. Wealth is not evil. How we respond to wealth is the issue. The desire for or the love of money is the root of evil – not possessing money (1 Timothy 6:10). Socialism is motivated by a love for money and things money provides. Socialism is motivated by greed. That is evil.

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10 (NASB)

Those who try to make socialism possible will not be great since they are appealing to and satisfying the greed of others.

Socialism Promotes Dependence Upon Others

Socialism appeals not just to the greed in every man and woman but may also promote laziness. God sharply rebukes the lazy with these words,

For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and  exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12 (NASB)

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8 (NASB)

The book of Proverbs contains a series of rebukes for those who are lazy or sluggards.

Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise . . . Proverbs 6:6 (NASB)

How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”
Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man. Proverbs 6:9-11 (NASB)

The sluggard does not plow after the autumn,
So he begs during the harvest and has nothing. Proverbs 20:4 (NASB)

As the door turns on its hinges,
So does the sluggard on his bed.
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
He is weary of bringing it to his mouth again.
The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can give a discreet answer. Proverbs 26:14-16 (NASB)

Conclusion:

Are the greatest people those who give up all so everyone is equally prosperous? The answer is no! Those who promote socialism, the first step toward communism, and help it become a reality promote dependence upon the government or upon the earnings of others (becoming lazy or a sluggard). Socialism appeals to greed and laziness in the general population. No one who contributes to the sin of others can be great. However, we must remember, as we discovered above, that the wealthy are to help those in need.

Those who humble themselves and repent of their sins, believe Jesus Christ died for our sins and returned to life and yield themselves to Christ will be in heaven. Those who do will not care about positions of honor because they will be with God and not be plagued by the self-centeredness that desires honor and recognition.

Reference Links:

Who Is The Greatest?
The Transfiguration
Expel Some Only By Prayer
Stumbling Blocks and Milestones