TREASURES IN HEAVEN
BY L. O. STANTON
“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. Matt. 6:20.
Make to yourselves friends by means of money, that. when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” Luke 16:9.
The chief lesson to be drawn from these Scriptures is that we can use money to make friends for ourselves. Our Lord brings out of the parable in Luke 16 the wonderful truth that the friends who reach heaven because of our gifts will be our “welcome committee” when we go “sweeping through the gates.” Let us keep in mind these three things–money, friends, heaven; and to keep from wresting the Scriptures these
thoughts must be so related that it will mean money used in a particular way, to produce a particular kind of friend, who succeeds in getting to heaven by this means.
S. D. Gordon has said, “money comes nearest to omnipotence of anything we handle.” It is certain that money must have SOME power, when it actually can transport people to heaven! Our dictionaries speak
about “treasure” as “something valued,” “prized,” “hoarded,” “in reserve,” “for future use.” These words agree with Matthew 6. It is to be “laid up.” We find that neither the shipping companies nor the airplane services have advertised mails going to heaven, so how are we to send our money there for our future use? When we went to the Orient, via the United States, we had to change our pounds and shillings first into dollars and cents, then later into yen and sen in Japan and Korea, and into Mex dollars in China. In the same way the money and possessions that God has entrusted to us have to be changed into “friends.”
The most thrilling spectacle in all the gloryland, next to our blessed Savior, will be the jubilant throngs who will compose songs on the spot to declare to angels and to a redeemed multitude that they are our treasure–that they are actually there because we used our money in the right way. It may be they will be our ticket to give us the ‘authority over cities” that our Lord spoke about. A comparison of Scriptures on the subject seems to suggest that this is so. This will be a real surprise party for some self-sacrificing saints that we know down here.
Several things are quite clear. We must get our money to heaven, but pounds, shillings, dollars, cents, yen and sent will be of no use there, so we must change our coins into “friends.” “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.” This method of exchange keeps us near the Lord, and we shall not wander. “For, where your treasure is there will your heart be also ” Note the connection: Selling, giving, friends, heaven–the divine method of making sure that our money does not get stolen nor our property eaten by moths or borers. The currency gets to heaven in a changed form, purified and made perfectly safe. No truth could be clearer than this. Then just why do we put money into banks and into “things”?
Some time ago an offering was being taken up for missions and a wealthy man present was heard to say, “I must give the widow’s mite.” The listener said, “No, don’t do it, brother; the widow gave all; if you give half of what you have it will do!” What would happen if every Christian in the world gave even half of his possessions] What would happen if every Christian gave to missions five shillings a month for five years? Every last one of the 600,000,000 or more precious souls in Japan, Korea, China, Manchuria, and Formosa would have the gracious message of salvation in less than five years, and we make bold to say,
on the law of averages, combined with the law of divine multiplication, that literally millions would be converted and swell the treasure in the heavens that faileth not. Money would have been so profitably
exchanged and so carefully banked, that it would be beyond the reach of thieves and moths and governments
Another parable says that a rich man prospered (Luke 12:16-22), but does not suggest that his prosperity was against the will of God. Pathetically the story says he planned for himself, he did the very thing he was told not to do and failed to use his money to bring poor lost souls to Christ (verse 21). The parable itself was suggested by a family squabble about money (verse 13) clearly teaching that the failure to get our treasures to heaven is at the bottom of our worst troubles.
We are to watch constantly for the coming of the King of kings (Matt. 25:13). For the kingdom of heaven is like what? Read the context and find another story about the correct use of money. Someone once said, “Why do you people say so much about money?” Because the Bible does. The man who went away gave five, two, one talent, that is, five times 187.10.0 pounds, which equals 937.10.0. A fairly large sum with
which to start business for God. Yes, beloved, business FOR GOD! The world is in an awful mess because we have acted for ourselves (Luke 12:21) instead of for God (Matt. 25:27).
It is gloriously true that PRAYER CHANGES THINGS, but it is also true that real prayer is a divine science. It “works” according to divine laws. The person who prays must not lay up treasure ‘for himself,” but must exchange that treasure for “friends,” and get these friends’ names written in heaven. Then he will actually prove that what he saved he lost, and what he gave to lead heathen souls to Christ, he still has as “treasures in heaven.”
You sent the money across the sea
That bought a Bible for young Sing Lee,
And young Sing Lee, when he’d read therein,
Proceeded to turn his back on sin.
Then he rested neither night nor day
Till his brother walked in the narrow way.
And his brother worked till he had won
Away from their gods his wife and son.
The woman told of her new-found joy,
And Christ was preached by the happy boy.
Some of the folks who heard him speak
Decided the one true God to seek.
It wasn’t long until half the town
Had left its idols of wood and stone
And the work’s not ended yet, my friend.
You started something that ne’er shall end,
When you sent the money across the sea
That bought a Bible for young Sing Lee.
Amelia Price Ayers
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