In Matt 6:19-21 the Lord commanded those who believe in Him to lay up treasure in heaven. But he didn’t just give the command. He explained why it makes a lot of sense for us to obey this command.
Remember the reason? Moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal treasure laid up on earth. The Lord’s point is that you can’t take it with you. The only way to transfer wealth from this life to the life to come is by sending it on ahead!
Treasure in heaven is not subject to decay (moth or rust) or to theft (thieves).
Recently Sharon and I discovered we have rats, big rats in our garage and attic. We caught one in a trap and one died in her dash and had to be taken out by our mechanic. We brought out an exterminator who put bait boxes in the attic, garage, and two outside. And we had to have a hole sealed in our eaves. Hopefully this fixes the problem without us ending up with dead rats or squirrels in our walls. We had a dead squirrel in our wall once and it stunk terribly until we had it taken out.
We paid off our house several years ago. You’d think it would be free to live there. Are you kidding? Property taxes are crazy high in Texas since we have no state income tax. We pay the equivalent of $500 a month for property taxes. We pay another $150 a month for home owner’s insurance. Repairs average around $150 a month, not counting new windows which we had put in a few years ago and new floors last year. That’s all pricey.
Things wear out all the time. We just got a new refrigerator. The old one was twenty years old and made noises, but it seemed okay. Sharon wanted a new one. Our microwave and stove are nearly thirty years old and really need replacing. It is always something. And I can barely change light bulbs. So it all costs money.
I like the idea of investments with eternal returns. That is what treasure laid up in heaven pays, eternal returns.
One misconception is that treasure laid up in heaven will be enjoyed in heaven. No. It is stored there. But we will enjoy it on the millennial earth and on the new earth.
In Matthew 6 the Lord explained how we lay up this treasure in heaven: we do things so as to be seen by God, not so as to be seen by men. We seek His praise, not the praise of men. The three examples he gives in that chapter are giving (don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing), praying (don’t pray so as to be seen by men), and fasting (don’t fast so as to impress men). We could include evangelizing, discipling, teaching, preaching, visiting the sick, etc. We lay up treasure by loving one another as God has commanded.
What is this “treasure in heaven”? My friend Zane Hodges thought it was some unnamed blessings in the life to come. Maybe. I am inclined to think it will be literal treasure. That is, I think it likely that there will be an economy in Jesus’ kingdom, just as there was in Israel and just as there is all over the world today. I think this treasure will be a sort of trust fund. The more treasure you’ve laid up, the more money you will have to glorify God each month forever. But whatever this treasure will be, it will be wonderful.
So the next time you have an expensive car repair, home repair, pest problem, or whatever, remember that treasure you lay up in heaven is not subject to decay, theft, or taxation. It is guaranteed. It will be there for you.
Isn’t God good? He gives us everlasting life as a free gift and then He also rewards with eternal rewards for any service we do for Him and His coming kingdom. And He is the one who gives us the strength and ability to serve Him.
Rats are bad. God is good. Amen.