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Laying Up Treasures ?

Laying Up Treasures...

Matt 6:19 [Jesus said] Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Matt 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Matt 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

As Christians, sometimes we forget that our treasures are truly not in this world.
We are laying up treasures for ourselves in heaven by doing the will of the Father.
If we are not careful, it is easy to get caught up in the worldly mentality of materialism.

We live in a very materialistic society. Seems like many TV channels one can view these days is pushing this spirit of materialism to the viewers...secular or "christian".

Luke 18:25 [Jesus said] For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Many secular news TV channels devote much of the day talking about "investments" and "get rich quick" schemes. There are TV channels which feature the opulent lifestyles and vacations of the rich-- the resort spas the elite frequent. There are also Health channels, which feature the surgeries various celebrities undergo to look their "best". What about the Homeshopping channels which push things that most people really don't need?

Many men and women live for shopping. So many in this world live for money. They want the newest things... "the newest toys...live in luxury..." They see how the rich live and so they labor their entire life trying to acquire these worldly possessions. Yet, what will it profit them when they die?

Matt 16:26 [Jesus said] For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
Luke 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Luke 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

The Bible warns us of the materialism that will be prevalant in the Last Days:

Jam 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Jam 5:2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
Jam 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
Jam 5:4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
Jam 5:5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

The people of this world are heaping for themselves treasures. "Buy...buy...buy..."
Materialism radiates from many of the TV commercials as well, which push the luxury lifestyle and luxury vacations to the viewers. Meanwhile, many christians have bought into this mentality just like the rest of the world. There should be a difference in the way we live and the way we see things. We should have the mind of Christ. Christians should be looking at things from a biblical perspective.

Prov 30:8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:

1Cor 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Cor 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Cor 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he
himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Should we not lay up treasures in heaven? We, as christians, should not be laboring to become rich but rather to reach the lost by giving them the greatest treasure--the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let's talk about Christians and materialism. Many TV preachers and far too many ministries are just pushing their Holy Land vacations to their viewers and supporters.
Some of these ministries travel virtually for free, seeing that they have arranged the tours and the people they urge to go on their tours basically pay their way. Christians are charging up their credit cards (getting into debt) and flocking to the Holy Land for "spiritual renewal" and to view supposed traditional sites of where they think major Bible events occurred. Truth is that most of these "traditional sites" are based on speculation.

Does the Christian have to spend thousands of dollars visiting Israel to get "spiritually revived"? Did the Baptist preachers of the nineteenth century go to Israel to get spiritually renewed? Were the Gentile churches of Paul's day required to visit Israel to get spiritually renewed? Are we not supposed to hide God's Word in our hearts? Are we not to seek God's face and pray and turn from our wicked ways? Did God command the Christians to go to Israel to get spiritually renewed?

One ministry wrote to us asking for money in support of their ministry. In the same letter, they also want Christians to join them on their tour to Israel. Well, if they are going to Israel on vacation, it seems to us that they don't need money. A ministry wasting money on vacations is not preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing wrong with going on vacation. Certainly we all go on vacation. But for ministries to urge christians to charge $2999.00 per person on their credit card (money which many christian supporters simply don't have) in order to experience the Holy Land and get "spiritually renewed" is a grave sin. We get closer to the Lord as we pray without ceasing and as we read the Word.

I am not saying you will not be blessed by visiting Israel and I am not saying that it
is wrong to visit Israel. But for Christian ministries to ask for monetary support on TV and then urge people to spend money and to get into debt by going on vacation with them is not biblically correct.

My dear readers, from what the Bible says in Revelation, we are going to live in Israel someday-- when Jesus returns to this earth to save the Jewish People at the Battle of Armageddon. Jesus will reign from Jerusalem as KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS. This is the eternal picture.

Should Christians support ministries who ask for monetary support one minute and then the next, urge supporters to join them on luxury vacations? Should we support those who say, "Join us on our Alaskan cruise this summer." and in the next minute say, "support our ministry. We are in need of your support."?

Most would say that Christians should support ministries which obey the Lord Jesus Christ in feeding and clothing the poor and who preach the Gospel message to the lost.

We must not forget that we are to labor on this earth for the Lord, keeping in mind that God's vacation packages and tours are going to be "out of this world". We should be looking and setting our affections on the things above. God does bless us and His children do not lack any good thing. He has blessed us beyond measure and the money we earn is all His. We are to be good stewards of the things the Lord has given us.

2Cor 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

When the apostle Paul was speaking of ministry, he was not referring to vacations. Ministry is not about "party time". It is about reaching the lost with the powerful message that Jesus saves, caring for the hurting, reaching out to the community. There are many ministries who obey the call from God and help those in need and preach the Gospel. Some ministries struggle from week to week and they are certainly not traveling to Greece or Alaska. Other churches are very wealthy and they do help their community and preach the Gospel. These are the ministries we support...those which preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! Those who are serious about fulfilling the Great Commission.

Our protestant forefathers would be shocked if they came back today to see the materialistic christianity, "churchianity", the love for material possessions that this generation of believers has become. If Martin Luther would come back from the grave to see this generation, he would be posting not only 95 theses but 950 theses on the doorposts of the major denominational churches in this country and abroad. There are some pastors driving Cadillacs and Mercedes and living high on the hog and yet every week saying, "give to my ministry. We are in desperate need of funding." Or "give and we will send you this prayer cloth." Or "When you give, I
will say a personal prayer for you." Or the rich pastor telling his poor low income flock, "It is time for ANOTHER offering. This one is to pay the light bill this month." And yet he, with one stroke of the pen, could pay the light bill for a whole year but he needs his money to go on a tropical cruise. The wealthy preying on the poor. Is not the church supposed to share and give to those saints in need?

1Tim 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
1Tim 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
1Tim 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

The church is not supposed to ask money from those who have nothing. In fact, the church is supposed to support those who have nothing and help them get back on their feet so that they too will be able to prosper and to help others. Those within
the church who have been blessed should share with those who are struggling. We are to help our brothers and sisters within the Body of Christ. God is the one who prospers us and we should help others. But for many, this is simply not the case. They choose materialism and have bought the lie that the world sells.

Is this not one of the same problems that the early Protestants had with the Mother Church? The rich lifestyle of the clergy? Did not Jesus address the rich lifestyle of the religious leaders of His day? Is this not the generation that Jesus speaks to when he says,

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that
thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Years back, when we resided in Michigan, we had heard of a charitable organization that supports homeless families to get back on their feet. This organization allows these families to live in their housing until they can acquire a job (because one
cannot get a job unless one has a residence) and once the husband has a job and
has saved one month's pay, this organization then finds the family their own apartment and pays their first month's rent. We made a donation to this organization and gave tracts and supplied presents for many of the children who resided there.
At the end of the year, we received pictures and a list of all the contributors for the year. The grievous part is that not one prominent church was listed in the giving. How can these large churches say, "give" and yet they themselves do not give? There were less than 200 names on the list and most were private citizens who gave. Where were the richly decorated churches to give to a worthy cause? They were nowhere to be found. This is a sin. Christian churches should provide for their community and their parishioners. Christian churches should have provided bible storybooks for those homeless children and money for the homeless parents. They should have been backing up their talk by walking the walk and showing the love of Jesus.

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Jam 2:15-20 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou
believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

If the local church will not help the poor in their community or help their own parishioners that are struggling financially, their sermons are useless and their works are dead. If there is a Pastor who lays heavy burdens upon his own congregation to give and yet he himself lives in opulent wealth, where is his faith? His sermons are dead.

1Tim 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
1Tim 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
1Tim 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Laying up treasures in heaven...We are on this earth for a short time and God certainly provides for His children. He does not want us to waste the money He has given us on needless things. We need to have the mind of Christ. We need to see things the way God sees them. Let us not succumb to the lies of materialism. Most of us have been guilty of this mentality in one way or another and we need to pray that the Lord would give us grace and reveal to us what's in our hearts so that we may repent.

Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luk 16:14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
Luk 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Don't give your money to waste. Give your money and plant your money in good soil. By good soil, we mean giving to the spreading of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for God's guidance to lead you to that good soil.

We should be laying up treasures in heaven. All of our earthly possessions will someday be no more. Only those things done for Christ Jesus will last!

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

1Cor 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Cor 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the
Spirit of our God.

Are we laying up material wealth or eternal wealth?

Luke 12:34 [Jesus said] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

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