Treasures in Heaven
by Mark Roberts
HAVE YOU BEEN to the funeral home? Does your car break down? Has anything ever been stolen from you? Do you ever get sick? Have you had the frustration of buying something, and it quit working the day after the warranty expired?
All of these questions illustrate one truth: this world is a decaying, rotting, disintegrating place in which to live. No matter how hard one tries, things still break, robbers continue stealing, and people still die. This world is, quite literally, going down the drain.
Amazingly, mankind chooses to ignore the obvious. What many people seek the most, work the hardest for, and put at the top of their priority lists are all the things that shall surely decay and waste away. This world is in a mad rush to acquire and have things it cannot keep. Sadly, many Christians are no better. We know Jesus said, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:19–20), but has this verse become part of who and what we are? How can I daily live out the truth that I have an unchanging reward?
First, I need to understand what the Bible promises me about heaven. In 1 Peter 1:4, we are told that through Christ we obtain “an inheritance in corruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” Heaven is not transitory. It doesn’t break down, have maintenance problems, or wear out. It will not end, be destroyed, or decay and die. There will be no sin or wrongdoing there. In fact, we may safely say that heaven is everything that this world is not. Perfect paradise will go on for all eternity.
Yet, it is the last part of 1 Peter 1:4 that really catches my eye: “reserved in heaven for you.” Peter confidently affirms that God wants you to go to heaven. He has a place reserved for you, and He will be greatly disappointed if you are not there. There have been many important social functions that I would have liked to attend, but I was not invited, nor was any place reserved for me. But in heaven you and I have a place (John 14:1–3). You can go, you are invited, and you are wanted. We have a reservation, made for us by Christ Jesus Himself!
Secondly, I need to think about heaven more. Why is it that only older people contemplate our eternal home very often? Dee Bowman wrote of a moving scene where Floyd Thompson read the Bible at breakfast only a few months before he died: “he passed out the Bibles and began to read from Revelation, chapter four. He was so overcome by the awesomeness of the scene about which he read that he could not finish. We all wept unashamedly. It was a rich and rare moment” (Christianity Magazine, October 1984, p. 26). With age comes a clearer understanding that immortality on this planet will surely elude us all. Unfortunately, younger people often refuse to focus their minds on heaven, choosing instead to be caught up in this present life. Death and heaven seem far away—and our lives reflect this feeling. How long has it been since you read Revelation 4? When was the last time you thought about going to heaven? We need to reflect on these things because thinking about such a grand place creates the desire to go there, and to live the life necessary to obtain this great inheritance.
And that leads us to the third point: live to go to heaven. Paul calls is “walking worthily of our calling” (Ephesians 4:1). We need to decide what we want (our goal), and then reach and strive for it. Don’t be distracted by minor and insignificant things along the way. Keep your eye on the prize (Colossians 3:2) and go for it! Do not be afraid to deny yourself anything or anyone that would prevent you from reaching the goal. If you falter, re-center your thoughts on the unchanging prize of heaven and you will find it to be a powerful incentive to re-dedicate oneself to reaching the goal of eternity with God. Press on, never quit, and obtain what God has for you (Philippians 3:14).
The transitory nature of this life and the surpassing value of heaven are equally obvious. Now, the question: “This world is going down the drain. Are you going with it?”
SOURCE: Roberts, M. (1991). Treasures in Heaven. (P. Earnhart, Ed.)Christianity Magazine, 8(4), 17.