Let us for the moment assume Jesus is who He say He is, which is King of kings and Lord of lords having authority for ruling over affairs of Earth. Since Jesus went back to heaven after His resurrection, He committed exercise of His authority to Apostles — Peter, James, John etc. If Jesus is who He says He is, clearly His Apostles and their successors wield enormous authority and power over affairs on Earth.
But wait a minute. If Jesus’ apostles wield authority over affairs of Earth, why exactly is it there remains so much evil and suffering in the world? Why is it Jesus’ apostles do not command bread from heaven for feeding of the hungry? What good is authority or power for affairs of Earth that does not free people from evil and hunger?
Well, as the story goes, one thing authority bestowed on the apostles is not allowed to do is take away people’s right to choose. In light of absence of capacity for turning people into robots, no matter how much people may delight in the opportunity, quite unfortunately, maintenance of evil and hunger on Earth cannot be ascribed to negligence, or uncaring attitudes of the apostles. It is the responsibility of governments all over the Earth to produce societies within which basic necessities of life are afforded every legal resident or citizen. The resources for achieving of the objective are available, either of the wisdom or the will perhaps are lacking.
What Earthly good then is authority bestowed by Jesus on His apostles and their successors?
Christian Scriptures assert that authority bestowed on Jesus’ apostles and their successors is, ‘guaranteed capacity for becoming like Jesus in character and production of miracles, signs, or wonders, with outcome that in their lives at the very least, “God’s will is done on Earth as it is in Heaven.’” Since God’s will is that everyone be loved by everyone else, authority bestowed on Jesus’ apostles possesses potential for improving of life on Earth. After all, love is multiplied between people only because each person individually chooses to love.
Love gets multiplied on Earth only because each person individually chooses to love.
By now you probably are wondering about all of the cars, nice houses, beautiful wives etc. Christian pastors claim they receive by faith in Jesus Christ. Rightly so. If authority bestowed on pastors, apostles, and Christians relates to becoming like Jesus in character, relates to actualization of God’s purposes on Earth, how exactly are cars, nice houses, and beautiful wives evidence for demonstration of Jesus’ authority? How exactly are cars, nice houses, and beautiful wives evidence for faith in Jesus Christ?
The seeming conundrum in the preceding paragraph is rationale for existence of Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange (Matthew 6:33). Christians bring character and capacity for doing of God’s will into Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange, trade these ‘heavenly treasures’ for ability; ability received is applied to provision of goods and services to others, resulting in receipt of monies applied to buying of cars and nice houses.
We have then that Christians do not receive cars and nice houses from God by faith. Quite the contrary, it is capacity for doing of God’s will that is received by faith. This much is explicitly stated in Colossians 3:1–17. Cars and houses are not guaranteed as outcomes of faith, rather are guaranteed as outcomes of trades orchestrated on Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange. If Christians acquire heavenly treasure — as evident in character and doing of God’s will — ability (wisdom, energy, insights, strength) that enables generation of money for purchase of goods and services is guaranteed by Jesus Christ. Since non-Christians also make money by providing goods and services to others, Christians cannot be distinguished from non-Christians by either of how much money they make, or whatever legal items they choose to buy with money earned from productive activities.
Cars, nice houses, and ahem, beautiful wives are not infallible evidence for exercise of God’s authority on Earth by Christians. Without participation in Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange, non-Christians have capacity for acquiring of same items. Christians are distinguished by how much of God’s character and will they bring into Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange.
While Christians cannot be distinguished from each other, or from non-Christians by how rich they are, this is not to say riches in of themselves are bad. Quite the contrary, God promises to give those who desire to be like Jesus capacity for creating wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).
The way Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange works, there are righteous people in every facet of work life. Some Christians are very righteous and very rich because they use ability to the best of their advantage, and either work in industries amenable to generation of lots of money, or start their own businesses. Some Christians are very righteous and Middle Class, or Upper Middle Class because such is the typical outcome of their respective professions. In Jesus’ wisdom, there exist Christians whose professional experiences relate to those of some other people in society. Evidence that Christianity works is best gleaned from lives of others similar to ourselves.
Only Christians willing to locate in work professions as placed by their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ — with the conviction of placement theirs, as opposed to those of their pastors, elders, or fellow Christians — can gain entry into Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange.
Makes you wonder, what proportions of Christians really are taking advantage of Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange for acquisition of ability.
As is the case with non-Christians, whatever Christians make of ability received from Jesus Christ is entirely up to them. Jesus makes this clear in one of His parables (Matthew 25:14–28). If a Christian refuses to apply himself or herself to development of their ability, the ability does not experience any growth or development.
No hocus pocus is possible on Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange. It is raw ability that is received. Development of the ability is responsibility of the Christian.
If gaining entry into Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange guarantees access to already developed ability or riches, Christianity becomes fertile ground for magic or fetish, a space devoid of development of ability, a space for survival of the fittest. In such context, people attempt to become good, only so they can become rich. Love no longer is altruistic. Love becomes deformed, becomes about getting rich. We have then that contrary to God’s purposes, it is not interest in His will and character that induces people into Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange, rather people are drawn because entry guarantees riches, access to already developed ability, clearly a counter factual.
Note here that a Christian can make millions of dollars, yet give most of it away because he is so directed by His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Christianity, capacity for translating of ability into riches is evinced in how much of riches are created, not how much of created riches are retained by a particular Christian. As with all things, whenever Jesus asks a Christian to give away most of what he makes, it is because He desires to bless him or her with even more in future.
So then the kicker? It is the Christian who enters into Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange with focus on his or her relationship with Jesus Christ — for knowing of Jesus Christ, as opposed to mere exchange of his or her character and spiritual achievements for ability to make money — who is regarded to be the best example of Jesus Christ. Followers of Jesus Christ are distinguished by how much they bring into Jesus’ Mercantile Exchange, and how well they apply themselves to development of ability received from Jesus Christ.
Since a Christian who distinguishes himself or herself as a tennis player makes millions of dollars per tournament, and a Christian who distinguishes himself or herself as an Elementary School teacher makes about US$40,000.00 per year, distinguished Christians never can be identified by how much money they make, or how much money they have in their bank accounts. If every single person in the world were to be a Christian, greatness would in entirety be dichotomous from income or wealth, would in entirety be a function of character, a function of capacity for love.
Every society becomes whatever is celebrated. If capacity for love is celebrated, we all will have more of it in our lives over time.
Would you rather Jesus Christ be assumption or reality?