Summary: Everyone is chasing after wealth. There’s all kinds of get rich quick schemes. But there’s only one way to make your wealth last forever, and I will tell you how.
In my last post, I talked about how generosity is the gold standard for the disciple of Jesus. In this post, I teach on how to have treasure that lasts for eternity.
There are a ton of pyramid and get rich quick schemes out there. It seems every other commercial on TV is about how to get rich. Everyone you talk to who has a business has seen these schemes come and go. Is there a way to be rich forever?
Most rich people pass their wealth on to their children when they die. This tells us in irrefutable truth of life and death – you can’t take it with you. It’s one of the age-old questions of existence. How do you take your hard-earned wealth with you?
There’s a way to take your treasure with you, but it’s not the kind of treasure you think. The disciple of Jesus has only one treasure here. Our true treasure is the inheritance Jesus won for us at the Cross. This is one of the most significant post of the Christian Perspectives miniseries. Let’s get started.
Spinning Your Wheels
We’ve touched on this in an earlier post, but I want to mention these things again because they are so crucial for us to understand as Jesus’s disciples. If you don’t get these Christian perspectives, you will be living your life for all the wrong reasons.
Paul hit hard the danger for any disciple to think that loving money in this life is okay. In 1 Timothy 6:9-10, he describes one of the pitfalls of worldliness any of us could fall into. Listen to the words Paul writes, imagining him writing this with tears in his eyes.
“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. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:9 –10, ESV)
We’ve talked at length about how our fleshly desires from the past makes this world full of temptation for us. Money is one of the most abused temptations for Christians. Jesus talked the most about money. The apostles and the rest of the New Testament weren’t far behind. If money is a temptation for you, your priorities and perspectives are all wrong.
Money is a direct gateway into materialism. Rich people have all kinds of temptations those who don’t have money cannot afford. It’s not that money is all bad. Money is a resource or tool. The moment it becomes more than that, you will have trouble. As a resource, you must manage it well. Like everything else in your life, think of how you can glorify God with your finances.
If you fall for the desires of this world, you will be spinning your wheels to gain things unattainable in this life. If you do obtain them, they will not make you happy, even for a long time. You will be beating the air, constantly searching for empty things that you think will fill you. Worst of all, you will be wasting your life on things that don’t matter in light of eternity.
It Won’t Last Forever
Paul tells us with tears that there are disciples of Jesus in his day who want to get rich. It is one of many harmful desires that can destroy you. Many Christians misquote verse 10, saying that money is the root of all evil. It is not. The love of money is the root of all evil. We can use money without loving it, living our lives for it, and making it our number one idol.
Look at what Paul says has happened to many disciples of Jesus in the that put money above Jesus. It is a painful experience for them. It causes them pangs, like childbirth for women (which I gather is an extremely painful experience). They have wandered away from the faith, they are eternal inheritance in Jesus, just to pursue money that doesn’t last. They’ve given up their greatest inheritance for a fading desire. They have wandered away from the faith.
Nothing in this world is worth losing your inheritance in Jesus. Nothing! The things of this world are passing away (). Every treasurer on this earth pales in comparison to what Jesus offers. We are not His disciples just to get things, either. I see all these commercials with these rich people telling you to invest in gold, silver, platinum, etc. While these things last longer than paper money, they will burn up in the Earth’s passing.
We place great faith in the physical things of this world, and we are tied to them as physical beings. But there is a spiritual part of us that lasts forever. All these pursuits, as the writer of Ecclesiastes noted, are vain pursuits that come to nothing. Most of all, you can’t take anything on this earth with you.
A person can tell people an advance what he wants to be buried with him. Egyptian pharaohs had their wealth buried with them, including their embalmed body parts! They thought that they would travel to the stars with all their possessions. The only thing that goes to the afterlife is the spiritual part of you. Don’t waste your life only to arrive in eternity and see how your fleshly desires have robbed you.
An Eternal Safe
How do you keep your treasures safe from corruption and theft? You can put it in the bank. You can keep it under your mattress. You can hide it away so no one sees it. Most people put their treasures in a safe. This is one of the best ways to keep your treasure.
There’s all kinds of safes. Most of them are fire retardant. You can get a simple safe with a key or a number system to unlock it. Some of the hardest safes to crack are ones with multiple entry protection. When you watch TV, they are always trying to crack the dial entry safes.
It doesn’t matter what kind of safe you have. Every one of them can be cracked or broken open. It’s fairly secure, but nothing can keep your earthly treasures completely safe. You need something that lasts forever. The problem isn’t the safe. The problem is that treasures are perishable. You put them in the safe to protect them.
What you need is an eternal treasure put in an eternal safe. There is a story about a rich man who had a lot of gold. He took it to heaven and got to the pearly gates. Peter chuckled to himself and then asked the man, “Why did you bring so much pavement for our streets?” What we value here on earth in this life is not what God values.
What You Can Take with You
I’ve been saying so far in our teaching on eternal values that we need to take the right kind of treasure with us to heaven. What we have as physical treasure, the metals and things of this world, we cannot take with us. But there is treasure you can take with you to heaven.
The only thing you will see in heaven is people. God supplies the rest. I guarantee you are not as rich as God. Souls are the eternal currency of heaven. When you get there, only the lives Jesus changes through your testimony will be with you. So that’s the key. Your internal work on earth is to affect the people around you with the gospel of Jesus and the power of your changed life as their inspiration.
You cannot save people. That’s the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. But Jesus uses your life, the gospel transformation in your life, and your testimony to open the hearts of people around you. Your work for Jesus’s Kingdom is to minister to the people around you and bring them with you to heaven.
Laying Up Treasures in Heaven
Jesus teaches about earthly and heavenly treasures. ““Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and 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.” (Matthew 6:19–21, ESV)
Our treasure is where our hearts will be. Is your heart storing up eternal treasures of great worth for eternity? Are you affecting and influencing the people around you? We have a lot of work to do it as the days are evil and we must make every opportunity out of them ().
The time is short. We are in this moment of God’s grace to anyone with faith to receive an eternal inheritance and a life with Jesus that lasts beyond death. We must do the work of Jesus’s Kingdom and values while we still have the opportunity. The day of judgment fast approaches. That will be a time too late to bring people into God’s Kingdom.
How are you spending your time on earth? Are you using your influence to tell your story about how Jesus has changed your heart and life? Are you making the gospel so interested to people that they cannot resist Jesus in you? That’s the work of His Kingdom that lasts eternity.
Now that you have learned how to be a rich disciple of Jesus, we will next look at the Christian perspective of living in the spiritual realm.