A Bible study sermon by Albert Mohler started me thinking about the fact that we’re all going to leave our worldly wealth behind when we die. In the fourth chapter of James’ epistle, he describes our lives, compared to eternity, as a vapor that appears briefly and then is gone. Yet many people insist on amassing and hoarding wealth for themselves.
Rich people are particularly prone to thinking that the one who dies with the most toys wins. They tend to forget that it doesn’t matter if one dies rich or poor. Death is still death. They also seem to fail to recognize, as King Solomon did, that their heirs might squander the wealth they inherited because they didn’t work for it. I’m sure the tales of foolish waste by the children of the rich must be legion by now.
This isn’t a behaviour limited exclusively to the super rich. I’ve heard of people, like one woman in Edmonton, who hoarded money in her bank account while skimping on every luxury and pleasure. She died with nearly a hundred-thousand dollars in her account. I don’t know who got the money but she certainly didn’t take it with her.
There is a way that we can transfer our treasure to paradise. Jesus told a rich young ruler to sell all of his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor so he’d have treasure in heaven. Although this doesn’t mean that we too must live like paupers, donating our money and time to help the less fortunate is the way to use our wealth for an eternal reward. Helping to spread the gospel also deposits treasure, People in this case, in heaven.
Though I’m not much good at helping others, I believe I’ve contributed generously to my post-retirement fund. A day will come when those I helped will thank me, though we’ve never met in this life. Furthermore, I haven’t given to help spread the Gospel and help the poor for the sole reason that I wanted to amass a bigger stash after I die. I really care about the poor and that they hear the good news of the salvation Christ purchased for them.