Perhaps one of the things we will feel most silly about when we arrive in Heaven is the degree of importance we heaped upon our former earthly possessions. I’m of the opinion that the one truth American Christians are most reluctant to believe is that only the treasures we invest in the Kingdom will have any value in eternity. Take a look around and you will likely see little difference between Christians and non-Christians concerning perspectives on money and material goods. It seems as if we really believe that our accumulated wealth and stockpiling of tangible resources breeds lasting value or adds to our purpose for eternity. Perhaps the other possibility is that there is such a separation in our minds between the spiritual and material that they never meet in the corridors of our minds for serious contemplation. Many fail to assign eternal value to their paychecks and their property. Let me intrude into your life for a moment without requesting permission: have you given recent effort to seriously consider what you, as a follower of Christ, do with your money? This is not about guilt or manipulation because I rarely know who is reading my words, so I can’t come to you afterwards and demand that you give an account for what I’m posting here today. This call to consideration is for you. It is for the Kingdom. In essence, the answer to this question impacts the degree to which God is being glorified through your life and how seriously you do or do not take His lordship. Let’s go to the end of earth’s history and be reminded of what occurs. Peter is given revelation from God and takes us to the final moments of earth’s physical existence in the realm of time when he writes,
“The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” – 2 Peter 3:10-13
In these verses, God’s Word busts into my day-to-day reality to remind me that everything I have ever seen, heard or touched will be permanently removed and replaced with something different. I need to stop and think about this. I’m currently sitting at a very nice oak desk typing on a decent computer in a fairly new home in a beautiful neighborhood in my home state of Georgia. There is a point in time when there will be no more desk, computer, house, neighborhood or state of Georgia. The Southeastern United States will be gone because North America will be done away with because Earth will eventually be uncreated, due to the fact that the cosmos will be folded up, in order to be replaced with a newly designed habitation fitted for eternity by God. Not a microscopic trace of massive Jupiter will exist at that point. The Milky Way will instantly become evaporated milk. The sun currently has a mass which exceeds Earth’s mass 330,000 times over, but that burning ball of fire will be forever snuffed out and removed – not a single smoldering ash will remain. I could go on and on, but the singular point I’m trying to make is that, for those who live for treasures below, you have denied logical conclusions associated with very important portions of your bible. Nothing down here lasts. Every possession you might acquire comes with an expiration date. Satan offered Jesus Christ the entirety of Earth’s kingdoms and possessions in exchange for Christ bowing down before him. Our Lord flatly rejected the offer. Jesus deemed a life of sacrifice and His atoning death a far greater treasure than all that Earth could offer. Why? In part because all that Earth can offer is destined for destruction. Jesus Christ thinks with eternity in view. He speaks with eternity in view. He leads us with eternity in view. This is why the glorious Savior declares to us, “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
So let’s walk a little further through this lone door that so many believers keep locked, keeping Kingdom power on the outside of it. Why do some of us try to keep truth from crossing this threshold, entering this space and sitting down to talk with us about what’s in the room? Today I’m going to need to think a little more lastingly on my things. My stuff. What I own. What I hope to own. You should join me, fellow Christian, in lingering over where you invest your treasure and with what attitude you consider releasing yourself to faithfully committing it to Kingdom purposes. Is there a knot that forms in your gut when reading something like this – if so, why? Is it unreasonable for us to listen to what God’s Word says and give ourselves to it? Should there really be this kind of tug-of-war in the heart when it comes to releasing ourselves to eternity at the expense of the here and now? Go forward to the moment when you arrive safely and forever in Heaven. Let your mind go there. Now, in that future moment, is there anything which you will know that you have left behind on Earth that Heaven will not be complete without? Will you in any way sense a loss as all that you accumulated in life is forever gone? Will you, in that moment, miss your houses, cars, clothes, jewelry, investment portfolios, electronics, toys or trinkets? The answer, of course, is No. You will miss none of it in the slightest. So then we are left to address the reasons why we sometimes conclude that we cannot be complete without them now. My advice? Give away as much of your life as you can, not merely because you will never keep it down here but primarily because Jesus Christ says that, when you release it down here, it waits for you in immeasurable and increased value up there.