I don’t believe this can answered with a definite “yes” or a “no.” The circumstances involved in a preacher being a millionaire will determine if it’s good or not. Let’s consider two scenarios to illustrate this, the first showing a case where it would be BAD and the second where it could be GOOD. As we think of these, it’s important to note that this would apply to every believer, not just to a preacher.

  1. A preacher has an earnest desire to be rich. If one desires to be rich to live in the lap of luxury and to show off his wealth to others, it will never be good. Listen to Paul’s words to Timothy in 1st Timothy 6:6-10: “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But THOSE WHO DESIRE TO BE RICH fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (NKJV). These words are simple and clear; if one is not content with having the necessities of life, but lusts after money, he will indeed be tempted and ensnared by “many foolish and harmful lusts.” In the case of an unbeliever, it may lead him down the road that leads to eternal destruction. In the case of a believer, they may “stray from the faith” and “pierce themselves through with many sorrows.” If the preacher is married it will also affect his family, for Proverbs 15:27 tells us, “He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house.” No matter how much material “gain” he experiences, in the end he will suffer “loss.” Solomon confirms this in Proverbs 28:20 & 22: “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished….A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him.”
  2. A preacher comes into wealth without desiring to be rich. I have personally known godly men (including those who labor in the gospel) who have either inherited a lot of money or through honest business practices became rich. Paul had those in mind when he went on to say, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1st Timothy 6:17-19). Paul knew that even a godly man of wealth could become proud or trust in his riches instead of in God, so he warns them of these snares. But then he admonishes them to use the wealth the Lord has given them for good…to “be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share.” If men can use their wealth for the glory of God and the blessing of man, they will be “storing up for themselves a foundation for the time to come.” The Lord Jesus referred to this in Matthew 6:19-21: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth or rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Let me add, in closing, that this does NOT mean a wealthy Christian shouldn’t own a nice home (or other earthly goods), for even a home can be used to glorify the Lord and bring blessings to others. I believe Aquila and Priscilla, who labored with the apostle Paul, was a wealthy couple who owned a large house, yet they used it in service to the Lord Jesus Christ. We read of this in Romans 16:3 & 5: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus…Likewise greet THE CHURCH THAT IS IN THEIR HOUSE.” (237.3) (DO)