I. "LAY NOT UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES ON EARTH, BUT LAY UP TREASURES." IN HEAVEN."
A. This begins a new section of the Sermon, where Jesus is now going to talk about treasures, earthly and heavenly.
B. The believer must guard against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
1. In this next section Jesus is going to be dealing with the battle against the world.
2. He will look at two issues, the love of the world, the anxieties that the world creates.
C. These could be subheadings under the whole section of the believers relation to the world and the Father.
1. We have just been looking at the spiritual life of the believer.
a. His giving,
b. His praying,
c. His denying himself.
2. In each case we saw that these things should not be done in such a way as to draw the attention, and thus the adulation of the world.
3. These things were all to be done in such an unobtrusive way that they will be noticed by the Father only. We live before God.
4. As we move into this new section, we will be looking at the material life of the believer. We will see his attitudes toward the temporal things that the world offers, and the eternal things that the Father offers.
5. We are in the world, but not of the world. Jesus prayed,
I do not pray that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep them from the evil.
6. We will find that the real issue is not, how much of the world do you possess, but how much the worldly things possess you.
D. The basic principle that is stated is, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, but lay up treasures in heaven."
1. The rest is all the reasons and the rational for the principle.
2. As Lord He could just lay out the command,and that is it, no questions, no argument. But as a friend, He gives us the reason for the order.
II. THE REASONS.
A. Moth and rust can decay, and thieves can steal your earthly treasures.
Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
B. James said:
Go to now, [ye] rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon [you].
Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
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.
C. There is real danger with prosperity.
When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
Lest [when] thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt [therein];
And [when] thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
D. Worldly riches bring their share of woe.
1. My good friend that would walk the streets at three in the morning because he could not sleep as he worried over the riches that he had amassed.
2. Solomon worried about who would inherit all of his wealth that he labored so hard to amass. He feared lest he should just waste it in foolish expenditures.
3. My grand kids spend more money for clothes and shoes than I do. They spend more for their cars. I sacrifice and go without in order to save money, for what reason? So I can leave it to them to spend.
4. Solomon said:
Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun [is] grievous unto me: for all [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool yet he shall have rule over all my riches which I have laboured, and have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is vanity.
5. The Psalmist observed,
Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up [riches], and knoweth not who shall gather them.
6. Luke's gospel records a parable of Jesus on this subject.
And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
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.
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?
So [is] he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
E. Note that Jesus is talking about treasures, we usually think of treasures in terms of money, but if we do we are missing the whole point of the words of Jesus.
1. We have things that we say that we treasure. It is often said of certain possessions that they are priceless.
2. We sometimes treasure our jobs, we can get so absorbed in the desire for success that the eternal things are set aside, they take a second place in our lives.
3. It can be said of family.
4. It can be said of our homes.
5. It can also be said of success in the ministry.
6. We can become so absorbed with building a large church, that this ambition becomes the consuming passion of our lives.
7. The real issue however is our attitude toward these things.
a. Jesus makes reference to our hearts.
b. Are our hearts in the things of this world, or are they on heavenly things.
c. This is the bottom line. Not how much do I have in my bank account, but what is the attitude of my heart towards what I have.
III. JESUS TELLS US TO LAY UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN.
A. How do we do that? Is Jesus speaking salvation by works?
1. As to the second issue, no He is not suggesting that we can earn our salvation.
a. Our justification is by our faith in Jesus alone.
b. Paul's words to Titus and the church of Ephesus still stand,
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
c. Salvation is not a reward, but the gift of God.
d. There are rewards however given to the servants of Jesus Christ for their labor for Him.
e. Jesus has spoken much about the rewards in heaven, as well as the loss of rewards.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold [water] only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward [is] great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. This corresponds very closely with the prophecy of Isaiah
Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong [hand], and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before him.
2. How can I lay up treasures in heaven? David said:
For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.
a. Solomon said:
As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.
b. Paul said to Timothy,
For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out.
c. It is obvious that I cannot take them with me.
d. That means they must be sent up in advance.
e. Jesus gave a very interesting but often confusing parable on this subject.
And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
So he called every one of his lord's debtors [unto him], and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?
And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true [riches]?
f. Note He did not commend him for his honesty, but for his wisdom.
g. His wisdom was manifested in his using his present position to his advantage in securing his future.