2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
One of the sin that will exclude a person from heaven is covetousness. It is the root of some other forms of sin and the Word of God class it among the very gravest and grossest crimes. Covetousness has always been a very serious menace to mankind, whether in the Old Testament or New Testament period. It was one of the first sins that broke out after Israel had entered into the promised land (Achan, Jos. 7); and also in the early Christian church immediately after its founding (Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5); hence, so many warnings against it. No wonder the command “Thou shall not covet” has been repeated in the Ten Commandments. The word for “covetous” describing men in the last days (2 Tim. 3:2), is the same as that for “love of money” (1 Tim. 6:10).
A. To covet means to desire inordinately; to desire that which it is unlawful to obtain or possess; excessively eager to obtain and possess (Webster); to be dissatisfied with one’s lot; to be greedy.
B. Covetousness is to desire that which is not my own or that which is forbidden (Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21; Jos. 7:21)
C. An intense desire to possess something (or someone) that belongs to another person. The Ten Commandments prohibit this attitude (Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21). Covetousness springs from a greedy self-centeredness and an arrogant disregard of God’s law. The Bible repeatedly warns against this sin (Josh. 7:21; Rom. 7:7; 2 Peter 2:10).
II. The sin of covetousness comes from the heart
A. Mark 7:22-23 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
B. Ezekiel 33:31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
C. 2 Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
Illustration: Men fall into two categories:
1. “Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous” (2 Tim 3:2); or
2. “Men of truth, hating covetousness” (Ex 18:21). With Achan (Joshua 7) coveting began with his eyes (“When I saw”), went deeply into his mind and heart (“then I coveted them”), and ended up in his hands (“took them”). The end result was death.
III. Scriptural truths about covetousness
A. Covetousness is abhorred by God Ps. 10:3. For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. The word abhorred here means extremely hated by God. The Lord hates the sin of covetousness and it’s one of the mark of the end times (2 Tim. 3:2).
B. It is a characteristic of false teachers (2 Pet. 2:3, 14; Jude 11).
There have been over 1,100 religious leaders in different parts of the world and in the last fifty years who have claimed to be Christ and the Saviour of the world. Most of these false christ have risen in Africa, in India, or in the Orient and have spread into the West. All of them enriched themselves and lived in luxury and prosperity while their followers lived in poverty.
C. Covetousness is idolatry (Mt. 6:24; Lk. 16:13; Col. 3:5; Eph. 5:5). Idolatry is something that comes between you and the Lord. It’s not just the false gods anymore but money, fame, pleasure, women, cars, or other material thing.
D. Covetousness is never satisfied (Eccl. 5:10, Hab. 2:5).
One of the riches man on the world, oil tycoon Paul Getty was being interviewed in London. “If you retired now”, asked a reporter, “would you say your holdings would be worth a billion dollars?” Getty faced up and down the room mentally adding. “I supposed so”, he said. “But remember, a billion dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to”.
A teacher had just related to a class of boys the story of rich man and Lazarus: then asked, “Now what would you rather be boys – the rich man or Lazarus?” One boy replied “I’d want to be the rich man while I’m living and Lazarus when I die”.
E. Covetousness renders one disqualified for leadership (Ex. 18:21).
F. It is required of pastors that they not be covetous (1 Tim. 3:3).
Despite of this warning, Pentecostal pastors like Oral Roberts, Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Peter Popoff, Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, Kong Hee, and others committed the sin. ( Way of life Literature’s Recent Pentecostal Scandals by David Cloud clearly records their deeds).
IV. Covetousness leads to:
A. Lying ( 2 Kings 5:22-25). Lying and deception of Gehazi
B. Murder (Prov. 1:18,19, Ezek. 22:12) . Sin committed by the Jews
C. Theft. (Josh. 7:21). Sin of Achan
D. Poverty (Prov. 28:22).
E. Departure from the faith ( 1 Tim. 6:10)
V. How to have victory over Covetousness
A. Incline the heart toward Gods Word (Ps. 119:36).
B. Be content with one’s own things and station in life; do not desire that which belongs to others (Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21; Heb. 13:5).
C. Fear the wages of covetousness (1Cor. 5:11; 6:10).
D. Mortify the old nature and put on the new man (Col. 3:5-10).
In this materialistic world where people wants only gain and profit, would you choose God rather than wealth? The Bible says you cannot serve two masters, would you be willing to serve Christ? Be content of what the Lord had given you.