Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Non-series Sermons by Year 2021 Sermons . Is money the root of all evil?

. Is money the root of all evil?


We are looking at verses, either wrongfully quoted or quoted out of context. The purpose of our study is to correct our own ways, and to make sure we handle the Word of God correctly. Let me quote today’s verse. “Kaching kaching makes the devil sing.” I guess you all knew that I am a poet. The statement appropriately demonstrates the following statement so often heard as a Biblical statement: “money is the root of all evil.”


If you ask people who said that, who made that statement. Some will say Jesus said it, others will say Paul said it, others will say it is somewhere in the Bible, but they are not sure who said it, or whether it is in the Old or the New Testament, but it is there. Some, rightfully claim that their pastor often quotes the verse from the pulpit. The irony is that we then send ushers around with bags to collect the ‘root of all evil’ for the ministry. Well, people, it is in the Bible. Turn to Imaginations 3:14 and there it is in all its glory: “money is the root of all evil.”


This is simply a misquoting of 1 Timothy 6:10 (ESV) 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.So, we will notice that there are two omissions in the normal, popular quote.  The words ‘the love of’ and the words ‘all kinds’ are normally not quoted, and this makes a major difference to the text.


Now, we will all agree that by simply adding those few words makes a major difference to the text. The KJV version in the English language omits ‘all kinds’ and renders the text: “1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV) 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Based on this rendering I heard a sermon by a pastor who claimed that the original sin by Satan in heaven was a desire for heaven’s riches, and so the root of all evil was right there in heaven.


The Greek word here helps us to understand why all the other translations either use the words ‘all kinds’ or ‘all sorts’. The Greek word is (panton) which is an adjective indefinite genitive neuter plural from the root (pas). The word changes in its English rendering depending on if it is used with a noun, with a noun in the singular or without an article. Now, without boring you with the language arguments, while the KJV is accurate to simply use the word “all” as a direct translation, this is not implied in the language structure and ‘all kinds’ or ‘all sorts’ is in mind as used by all the other translations.


Theologically, the argument also fits.  We should all be aware that sin is the root of all evil and that evil is treasured from the heart and expressed in our desires. Scripture is clear about this in Matthew 15:19; Romans 5:12; James 1:15.


So, in Paul’s statement to Timothy, money as a neutral commodity is the root of some of those evils, which are all born out of sin. So, theologically speaking we can say, that money can be the cause of certain sins or money can be used in a sinful way.

However, we must not ignore the fact that the broader context around the verse illustrates it for us even better. Again a section that must be read and re-read.

1 Timothy 6:2-11 (ESV) 2 …Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10

Now, we will remember that in our previous study we saw Paul’s theology on contentment in Phil 4. We saw that Paul learned to be content in all circumstances because he learnt the secret that he can do all things through the strength Christ gives him. So, whether he has much or little it does not throw him, either way. So, in 1 Tim 6:6 he says: 6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment…”

So, in a real sense, we saw that in Phil 4, Paul says he has learnt to be content, now he tells Timothy to be content and he challenges him to teach his people to be content, and he warns him against the false teachers and others who are not content, but who see godliness as a means to gain, or in other words, some see their position in ministry as a means to get rich quickly. They simply crave money, or they love money. All you need to do is to switch on TBN to see the love of money. They will justify it from all angles, but however you look at it, it is all about ‘money, money, money, we are living in a rich man’s world.’


So, money is neutral and in itself, it is not sin. The rich will always be among us, and the poor will always be among us. The love of money, or the craving of money is the issue. We all know that the love of money is what motivates people to lie, steal, cheat, gamble, embezzle, and even murder. People who have a love for money lack the godliness and contentment that is true gain in God’s eyes.


Money can be a stumbling block; it can cause sin. It is more difficult according to Christ for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. But money can also be used to spread righteousness. It can be used to build the Kingdom. That is why Jesus says we must not gather our treasure where moths destroy, thieves steal, and rust destroys, but we must gather our treasure in heaven. Jesus ends the section where He talks about the above in Matthew 6:24 (ESV) "24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money." That is why false teachers give themselves away. They are all the time seeking to parade their supposed love for God and His Word, but it is always overshadowed by their love for money.


I need to say something about some of the great spiritual leaders in the world today and their love for money. Remember Paul warns Timothy about false teachers who will seek to warp and pervert the content of sound doctrine for their own greedy gain (1 Tim 6:3–5). I am astounded how people today flock to these great TV personalities. They have no real responsibility for your soul. They are not around to council you. They are not around to walk with you when you go through your trials. They are not around to sit with you with the Word of God and to help you really understand it. They are not there when you are sick or dying and will not walk with your family after death. They are not there to open the Scriptures and to answer your questions. But they need millions for the sermon they give you on TV, and then they make millions out of their clever marketing of their material. Now again, not all that these teachers teach are bad and false, and not all TV personalities are bad. It is not being on TV that is the problem but using the name of Christ to exploit the poor and to rob the rich with false promises on behalf of God for own glory.


My concern as a pastor is that we protect our pulpits by not just allowing anybody behind it, but it is difficult to protect those pulpits in our lounges. These preachers that make the big time are all extremely charismatic in their personalities, they speak with great authority and know just how to control their audience and to make them happy. In Philippians 1 Paul talks about people like that who live in his time. Philippians 1:15-18 (ESV) 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,…”

In one sense we all need to have the attitude, that at least Christ is preached to a lesser or greater extent by some of these Tele Evangelists, and some people really come to saving faith despite them, but at the same time, I personally have no desire to listen to them or to promote them. There is too much bad and out of context teaching amongst them. Saying the name of Jesus does not make the rest you say okay. Sure, they have a lot of good practical advice to give, but not from the Word of God and not from the pulpit. They must rather promote themselves as motivational speakers.


You can simply google the richest televangelists in the world and see what makes them tick.


Somebody once remarked. "The church began as a movement in Jerusalem. It became a philosophy in Greece, an institution in Rome, a culture in Europe and, when it came to America, it became a business... a highly profitable business. But God is coming back for a movement.”

While some donors are living in extreme poverty the likes of Joyce Meyer and others are enjoying great luxury. Google and look at the compound where she and her children live. So, not only do they benefit, but somehow these kinds of ministries become family beneficial ministries. The ministry does not become one called by God for the purposes of the gospel, but it becomes a family empire. You be the judge! Let me say in defence that Joyce Meyer is one of 100’s who live in this lap of luxury due to their ministry. I simply mention her because I have posted a picture of her homestead. I do not know where the cut off is, at least in American dollars.


The million Dollar question (pun intended) is simply this. Is this the example set by Christ and the apostles? Over the years many have died as martyrs. Nobody denies that a pastor and teacher who teaches is worthy of double honour. 1 Timothy 5:17-18 (ESV) 17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The labourer deserves his wages.”

Nobody denies that the ox must share in the grain and in the same way a servant of God must live from the gospel if full time employed. They must also live, and they must also be able to retire. But are these extravagant lifestyles on the back of the donations by others who are living in poverty justified? Money is not the issue, but the love thereof and it shows. What the heart is full of the mouth overflows of. You be the judge.


1 Timothy 6:10 – 11 says: It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 11 BUT as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”

In closing: To get everything in balance Jesus makes a statement that develops the right mind-set regarding money.

Matthew 6:33 (ESV) 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”