…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:20)
Matthew 6:20 is one of the many well-known verses from the teaching of Christ Himself. It is found in His famous Sermon on the Mount. Almost all Christians are at least semi-familiar with it.
In my opinion, among evangelicals, Free Grace people belong to a very small group. They take Jesus at His word here. Most people in Christendom do not believe there are going to be rewards in the Kingdom of God. There are a lot of reasons for this, one being that most people do not understand the idea that only believers will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and that judgment has nothing to do with who will enter the Kingdom but instead will deal with rewards in that Kingdom. There is a difference!
But certainly this is one of the most convicting verses in the Bible for Christians, especially for those of us in the West. It is so hard to not lay up treasures on earth. I really believe we need to think about this verse on a daily basis.
The movie Schindler’s List is based upon the true story of Oscar Schindler, a man that used his influence to save hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust in World War II. He did it by bribing and buying Jews from Nazi officials. He then used them as employees in his factories. These factories made military armaments. Such employment, however, was simply a way to preserve their lives. He purposefully produced defective armaments for the German army. All in all, it cost Schindler a great deal of money to save those lives.
He is a hero among the Jews to this very day. When we hear his story, we would certainly agree that his financial priorities were correct and his sacrifices were commendable.
However, at the end of the movie there is a very moving scene. Schindler has just said farewell to the hundreds of Jews he had saved. The group included men, women, and children. He then has to flee from the approaching Soviet army because he was, officially, a Nazi. Since he owned a factory that made military armaments, even one that helped the Allies, he would be considered a war criminal.
As he starts to get in his car and flee, he breaks down and cries. He asked the man next to him how many more lives he could have saved if he had been willing to let go of his personal car. He took off an expensive ring and asked the same question about the piece of jewelry.
Nobody today would accuse Schindler as being selfish. But when all was said and done, he saw things very clearly. So often, the things we value are not the things that are really valuable. I often wonder how clearly we will see things at the Judgment Seat of Christ.