Urantia Book 79. On Sabbath, January 28, Jesus preached on “Trust and Spiritual Preparedness” to a crowd of almost 3,000. Jesus said: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy, born of prejudice and nurtured in traditional bondage, although some of these Pharisees here are my disciples. That which is now hid from you will be made known when the Son of Man has completed his mission on earth and in the flesh. I admonish you to fear none, in heaven or on earth, but to rejoice in the knowledge of Him who has the power to deliver you from all unrighteousness and to present you blameless before the judgement seat of a universe. Not one sparrow exists without the knowledge of the Father, the source of all life. To the seraphic guardians the very hairs of your head are numbered. And if all this is true, why should you live in fear of the many trifles which come up in your daily lives? I say to you: Fear not: you are of much more value than many sparrows. Say what you want about the Son of Man, and it shall be forgiven you; but he who presumes to blaspheme against God shall hardly find forgiveness. When men knowingly ascribe the doings of God to the forces of evil, such deliberate rebels will hardly seek forgiveness for their sins. I came into this world to reveal the Father to you and to lead you to the Father. The first I have done, but the second I cannot do without your consent; the Father never forces any person to enter the kingdom. The invitation ever has been and always will be: Whosoever will, let them come and freely partake of the water of life.” When he finished speaking, many went to the Jordan to be baptized (165.3.1-9).********************* As believers were talking to Jesus, a young man said to him: “Master, my father died and left his property to my brother and me, but my brother is withholding my half. Could you please bid my brother divide this inheritance with me?” Jesus was mildly indignant that this material-minded youth should ask him a question about business, but he decided to use it as a teaching moment. So he said: “Man, what gave you the idea that I am interested in material business affairs?” Then, turning to those around him, he continued: “Take heed and keep yourselves free from covetousness. Happiness comes not from the power of wealth, and joy springs not from riches. Wealth, in itself, is not a curse, but the love of riches many times leads to such devotion to the things of this world that the soul becomes blinded to the beautiful attractions of the spiritual realities of the kingdom of God on earth and to the joys of eternal life in heaven.”**************** Jesus then told them a story about a farmer who had so many good crops that he had to build bigger barns. He was rich and he thought he was set for life. He started to party. But he did not provide for his soul; he had failed to lay up treasures in heaven and one night his soul was required of him. Robbers killed him and burned his barns. He had treasures on earth, but he was not rich toward God. Jesus knew the young man’s problem was covetousness, but, even so, he never gave advice of a worldly nature to his apostles, disciples, or any of his followers. ******************************* Then another man spoke up: “Master, I know that your apostles have sold all their earthly possessions to follow you, and that they have all things in common as do the Essenes, but would you have all of us who are your disciples to likewise? Is it a sin to possess honest wealth?” And Jesus replied to this question: “My friend, it is not a sin to have honorable wealth; but it is a sin if you convert material wealth into treasures which may absorb your interests and divert your affections from devotion to the spiritual pursuits of the kingdom. There is no sin in having honest possessions on earth provided your treasure is in heaven, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. There is a great difference between wealth which leads to covetousness and selfishness and that which is held and dispensed in the spirit of stewardship by those who have an abundance of this world’s goods and who so bountifully support those who devote all their energies to the work of the kingdom. At the judgment at least 3 questions must be answered by all who acquire great wealth: 1. How much did you accumulate? 2. How did you get this wealth? 3. How did you use your wealth? Fail not to recognize the danger of wealth’s becoming, not your servant, but your master.”

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