You Can Take it With You

Matthew 6:19-20, Acts 16:25:31

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Have you ever been obsessed with something? Maybe you were a kid and you’re obsessed with your favorite teddy bear or your favorite bike. I remember when I was a kid, I was obsessed with some things like that. I remember my brothers and sisters at times telling me, well, you know, you can’t take that with you when you die. Sometimes I wonder if maybe they just wanted to spoil my joy a little bit, but how true it was that that toy that I loved so much, I couldn’t take it with me when I died.

Now, I think for us as adults, there are maybe also things that we can be obsessed with in this life. Whether it’s a car or a house or a boat or maybe even a retirement account. But the truth is, you can’t take it with you when you die. Jesus reminds us of this in Matthew, chapter 6, when he says these words.

“Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20

There Jesus is reminding us of the stuff here on this earth, the material things that we can have, they don’t last forever. Moth, rust, destroy. People can come in and take those things. And so what’s the alternative? What’s he encouraging us to do? Really to make our treasure, not the stuff on this earth, but to make our treasure in heaven. Heaven, which lasts forever. Heaven, which is eternal. And so he encourages us to store up treasures for yourselves in heaven. To be concerned, especially about our life forever and ever in heaven. Make that the most important thing right now.

In Acts chapter 16, we are confronted with this man, we often refer to him as the jailer of Philippi. He’s a man who was about to commit suicide because he thought all of his prisoners were running away. But God caused a miracle to occur, and none of them did run away. And so he falls down on his knees before Paul and Silas and he asked them, sirs, what must I do to be saved? As he realized what was most important for him is to be ready for the eternal because he hadn’t been ready to die at that point.

And they tell him, believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. They told him what was the most important thing for him right now to believe in Jesus and he would have salvation. Eternal salvation would last forever. But they said something interesting right after that, they told the man, believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. They went on to say, you and your household.

Kind of interesting to think about that. Now, getting back to that statement that my siblings made to me, you can’t take it with you when you die, how true that is with so much of the stuff we have here on this earth and the material things that we enjoy. But that’s really not entirely true for everything. There is one exception to that rule.

We can actually take people with us when we die. See, the message of salvation wasn’t just for the jailer Philippi, but it was also for his household. And for that reason, we hear that the apostles then shared the word of God with them. In fact, that family was baptized that very night because the jailer wanted not just himself, but he wanted his family in heaven too.

What an awesome thing that is, so we think about everything that we enjoy here on Earth. Yes, many blessings poured out to us from our gracious God. How big of a blessing our friends and families in so many other people that we come in contact with? How awesome is that to know that they can be with us in heaven forever? And so it’s important for us ourselves, of course, to be concerned with the eternal, but not just ourselves, we want others to know the same truth, that we can also bring them with us to heaven. As the apostles told the jailer at Philippi, believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. That amazing truth isn’t just for you. It’s for your family, for your friends, for everyone. Share it. Amen.