Treasures in Heaven
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His followers, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
The Son of God taught that the citizens of the kingdom of heaven should make wise investments of their time and resources. For treasures in heaven are permanent. They don’t get affected by the enemies of earthly treasures and the elements of time. In fact, investments in heavenly treasures appreciate with time, whereas those in earthly treasures depreciate in value. Therefore, the Lord gave practical advice: “Sell what you have and give alms…” (Luke 12:33).
The Rich Young Ruler
When the Rich Young Ruler asked Jesus, “What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”‘ (Matthew 19:16). Jesus answered him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven…” (verse 21). The rich young ruler could not advance in his Christian walk because of his love of money and earthly treasures. This weakness may vary from person to person.
When Peter, Andrew, James, and John were called to follow the Master, He did not ask them to sell their boats because these things did not stand in the way of their following Him. Nevertheless, when called, “they forsook all” in order that they might follow the Master (Luke 5:11).
Whatever a person loves more than God, makes him unworthy of Him (Matthew 10:37, 38). Anything should take second place to following Christ (Luke 9:61, 62). Paul “suffered the loss of all things” in order to “win Christ” (Philippians 3:7–10). In order to have the heavenly treasures or to buy the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44–46), a person must be ready to sell “all that he has.” Sadly, the rich young ruler could not give up his material treasures.
Seek the Kingdom of God
Jesus taught His faithful, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Most men are busy working “for the meat which perishes” (John 6:27), for the water for which, when they drink, they will thirst again (John 4:13). They “spend money for what is not bread” and work “for what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2).
All accumulated riches and treasures will be all destroyed at the coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). The only thing that the believer will be able to take to heaven is his character and the souls he has saved. Jesus told the “Rich Fool” that spent his entire life accumulating wealth and didn’t share it with those who were in need nor to advance God’s kingdom, “‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” (Luke 12:20). And He added, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (verse 21).
Grace to Overcome the Love of Money
Money can be a great obstacle to gaining the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19: 24). But when His disciples wondered, “Who then can be saved?” He assured them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (verse 26).
Jesus meant that salvation is impossible for anyone on the basis of their own personal efforts. Only a miracle of divine grace can help save a rich man from the love of riches, or any weakness (Hebrews 12:1). Anyone who is willing to allow God to control his life, will be able to triumph over the love of money and every sin (Philippians 4:13).
In His service,