The bible states that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. If it is fairly difficult for the rich to go to heaven then why are there wealthy Christians?

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The bible states that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. If it is fairly difficult for the rich to go to heaven then why are there wealthy Christians?

Jesus was indeed talking about an actual needle. The Greek word translated “eye” is a word that literally means “hole”. The Greek word translated “needle” is the word for an actual sewing needle. It is not a matter of God being a respecter of persons, (i.e.: bring against rich people). Read the next few verses in the story and you will see the resolution, namely: NOTHING is impossible for God, (not even providing a way for rich people to enter Heaven). Further… there is no archaeological evidence for there ever having been a gate in Jerusalem called “eye of the needle”. Sorry, it’s just not there. My hobby is biblical archaeology, and I have many books on the subject. Also, I have been to Jerusalem, and around all the walls of the city. No such gate. Period. The idea was first proposed by a commentator in the Middle Ages, who (I presume) was so pre-occupied with the one verse’s statement that it was impossible for a rich person to enter Heaven, that he failed to read the next few verses, (see previous paragraph). Unfortunately the fictitious gate has been perpetuated unknowingly ever since. Lastly, by looking at the few verses preceding the verse in question, you can begin to rightly see the context, and hence interpret the passage. Doing so points us toward the key issue: Entry into Heaven is via faith in Christ, through HIS grace & power and through OUR faith and trust in Christ. Trusting in our savings account, jobs, pensions, and nice material possessions only makes it all the more difficult to trust in God. (Related to this are the two verses which say that we cannot serve both God and Mammon (money/riches)).

The bible states that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. If it is fairly difficult for the rich to go to heaven then why are there wealthy Christians?

There is no needle gate. There never was a needle gate. It was made up. The reason it was made up, is because once someone is rich, or is born rich, it is hard for them to let go of the wealth of this world, to come to Christ, which he commands us to do Mark 8:34-37. But since the church is hooked on wealth, how would they support their fix, without the rich. If they would admit the truth of what Jesus said, how many rich men would donate and build churches? The proof that Jesus meant and said eye of a needle, is in the response of the disciples, to what Jesus said. They were astonished, exceedingly amazed and said: well who then can be saved? Jesus said this is impossible IMPOSSIBLE with man, but all things are possible with God. I’ve heard numerous preachers preach about this so called gate, all are ear ticklers and assume themselves more literate, having an evolved understanding , wiser then the disciples who are to these modern Pharisees simple Galileans. That they couldn’t put the needle and camel together to figure out what he was speaking of is pure arrogance by a reader. No they knew exactly what Jesus meant, and it astonished them. Much like the parable of the wheat. As a warning I declare to any who read this. Anyone who says that this passage about the rich young ruler is about a needle gate is the following: A false teacher, a blind guide, a wolf in sheep’s clothing and a tare. They truly are ashamed of Jesus and his words. If they weren’t they would stop trying to rewrite them into a doctrine for gain, for hire and for mammon. So to the original question, is our Lord TRICKY, or are His enemies tricky?

I think we should not allow this to become a battle that is not worth the potential casualties it can produce. Whatever the facts about the actual terms “camel” and “eye of a needle”, we can clearly surmise that Jesus intends that we know that, if a rich man enters the “Kingdom of God,” it will be with extreme difficulty. It should also be pointed out that, because of God’s mercy, He cleverly provides a message of hope by the carefully crafted way in which the worded the proclamation. In it, we can deduce that even though it will be difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, because of his lust for worldly possessions and monetary wealth, it is possible that man can escape the inevitable consequence of greed by renouncing money (as it becomes his god) and accepting Christ in its place (which in actuality is the challenge). None the less, I am convinced that this passage of scripture does not insist that a rich man absolutely cannot enter the kingdom of God. After all, the gospel is the “Good News” - and Christ came into the world “. . . not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” I believe He is beckoning and praying for the rich man’s conversion!

It’s fun to watch rich Christians dance around this passage while defending their wealth. The number of rumours they come up with about gates and mountain passages… A rich man cannot enter heaven, because his riches could have been used to save people from famine, illness or any other number of ailments. But it hasn’t. A harsh, cruel example: “As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were the second-most generous philanthropists in America, having given over $28 billion to charity; the couple plan to eventually donate 95% of their wealth to charity.” In May 2013, Bill Gates was said to be worth $72.7 billion. Nobody else would donate 95% of their net worth to charity, but Bill would still be packing more than $3 billion once he’s done. That money could still do a whole lot of Christian good, but it won’t. It will fund Bill’s lifestyle. Now to you and me, that’s fair enough. He’s earned that money. It’s his to do with a he pleases. But from a purely Christian point of view, Bill Gates isn’t going to heaven with $3bil left in his pocket that hasn’t done any good. I remember a parable, not sure if it’s in the Bible. A rich man donated half his wealth to a charity, and a poor man donated everything he had. The poor man’s belongings made much less of an impact than the rich man’s, but the poor man was blessed.

Jews created a religious system whereby people were required to pay the priests for sacrifices at the alter. Rich people were virtually guaranteed Heaven because they could buy their way in. Jesus knew the heart of the rich man and saw his pride in his obedience to the false law system created by Jews. I believe he was telling the rich man that his God was his wealth but he was also telling his disciples that no one can buy their way into heaven. I think he meant to illustrate the impossibility of that fact by using the impossibility of a literal camel passing through the eye of a literal needle. I don’t think the passage has anything to do with having money. It’s about Jesus proclaiming there is but one way to heaven and God provided it through His Son (With the Father, all things are possible). When his disciples asked how anyone could be then saved, they were asking from the basis of their understanding of the religious system they knew. Jesus was saying that if you follow the law and the system, you must then be perfect in it. Can’t be done