I always thought that Matthew 6:19-21 was more a passage about greed and focusing on the attainment of wealth. I suppose it does allude to that to some degree, but I was challenged recently to look at that particular passage from a different angle. When asked what my “treasures” were, I did not think about the possessions I’ve accumulated through my life but the precious PEOPLE I have invested my energy, time and all my love on: family, close friends, church friends, students and work colleagues.
I have said that Christians should always have an eternity focus and I believe wholeheartedly that heaven will be a gathering of all those people who have accepted the gift of salvation through Christ. My single purpose in life, if I believe that, is to ensure that I am surrounded in heaven by those people I care the most deeply about first and then concentrate on drawing others to God as is our mandate in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). My heartache as I grow older is knowing that there are loved ones who have rejected God and unless they repent and accept Christ into their hearts they will never join Him in the afterlife. I know heaven is supposed to be free of pain, heartache etc. but I wonder if I wouldn’t experience an eternal grief if one of my most precious loved ones were to spend an eternity separated from God.
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left“. Matthew 25:31-33
“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life“. Matthew 25:46
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation“. John 5:27-28
“But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness–indignation and wrath“. Romans 2:5-8
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord“. Romans 6:23
“So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth“. Matthew 13:46-47
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire“. Revelation 20: 12-15 (NKJV)
These are difficult passages of scripture to read, especially if I think about one of my most beloved being judged and then “cast into the lake of fire”.
So, I am devoting my energy to ensuring I am storing up my “treasures” in heaven. I couldn’t imagine heaven without them!