In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Luke 16:1-9
Memorise This Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:18 ‘So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal’
Afterwards Talk About This: What do you think Jesus is talking about when he speaks of being welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Something To Do Before Next Time: Write down a list of all the people you have influenced for the gospel with your giving.
Written Diploma Work: Write one side on how we can ensure as bigger welcome in heaven as possible
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Daniel 12:3
We have seen previously that there are many benefits that we can experience during our time on earth when we are givers however, this list of earthly benefits doesn’t give the full picture of the benefits of giving, as there are also heavenly benefits as well. The bible constantly exhorts us as Christians to not only consider our time on earth but also our ultimate destiny of heaven. For example, Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 ‘He has also set eternity in the hearts of men’ Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:18, ‘We fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen’, and Philippians 3:20 says, ‘But our citizenship is in heaven’. Since we will spend much more time in heaven than on earth we will do very well to concentrate on the heavenly, as well as the earthly benefits of giving.
Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding about heaven is that everyone will be on the same level and experiencing the same level of blessings but the bible draws a much different picture. The first aspect about judgement day is that it will be the Lord Jesus himself who will do the judging in John 5:22 says, ‘Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgement to the Son, that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father.’
The second aspect is that Jesus declares he will reward each individual person for the way they have lived their lives on earth. For example, in Revelation 22:12 he says, ‘I will give to everyone according to what he has done.’
Moreover, he confirms this in Matthew 16:27 when he says, ‘For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.’
The Apostle Paul also confirms the teaching of Jesus regarding heavenly rewards as the 2 scriptures below show. Notice how he speaks of the fact that the judgement seat belongs to Christ, and how both scriptures speak about heavenly rewards.
1 Corinthians 3:12 ‘If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward’.
2 Corinthians 5:10 ‘For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad’.
In the parable of the Minas in Luke 19:11-27 Jesus expands this idea of heavenly rewards and makes the declaration that one of the basis of heavenly rewards will be our financial giving. For example, to the two faithful servants who had handled their master’s money wisely, they were rewarded and told to take charge of cities. This is a reference to the future eternal reign of the Kingdom of God where those who have served faithfully on earth will have places of leadership and pre-eminence. (This idea of heavenly rewards being based in part on our financial dealings is also expanded in the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 where the faithful financial stewards are told, ‘I will put you in charge of many things’ (verse 23)).
A second area that heavenly rewards are based on is the area of winning precious souls into the Kingdom of God – the more that we have used our time, prayers and money to see people saved from hell the greater our reward will be. The Old Testament basis for this can be found in Daniel 12:3, ‘Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever’. Therefore the more we give into the Kingdom of God and the wiser we are about where we give our money, the greater our heavenly rewards will be as our giving will have been a link in the chain of seeing someone saved.
For example suppose you regularly give to see missionary work and crusades in a country where the gospel hasn’t yet penetrated and as a result of their labours, the missionary workers that you are financially supporting see a harvest of souls. Due to the fact that the missionary workers couldn’t be in that country without your financial support your money has helped to see the harvest of unsaved souls and you will have a share in the reward of seeing the harvest. However, if you give to a church where missionaries are not supported and very few people get saved week in and week out then you will have few heavenly rewards on judgement day as you have invested your money in an unfruitful organization.
Consequently it is vitally important that you invest your money very wisely such that your money is converted into souls and you don’t give anywhere where you will see little fruit for the money that you invest. Jesus spoke of the need to use our money wisely to see people saved in Luke 16:9 when he says, ‘I tell you, use your worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings’.
When you enter heaven all the people that you have helped get saved through your financial giving will greet and thank-you for faithfully giving such that the gospel was given to them. What an awesome day that will be if you have spent your life investing your money in foreign missionaries – you will have white people, black people, brown people, yellow people from the ends of the earth greeting you and blessing you for financially supporting the missionary that brought the word of God to them.
This idea of being greeted into heaven is further picked up in 2 Peter 1:11 where Peter says, ‘And you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’. What would happen if you died tonight, what sort of welcome would you receive into heaven? would there be many people from many continents greeting you and thanking you for your financial support of foreign missions or would but a handful of people be there to welcome you home?. There is only a short time for all of us on this earth and we are to use our time and money to make friends for ourselves for eternity. You can invest in foreign missions and make many friends for yourself that you probably will never meet in this life but on judgment day you will finally be united with your brothers and sisters.
Ultimately, you will spend infinitely more time in heaven than you will in this earth in light of this we should seek to attain the highest level we can get to in heaven – even if this means foregoing pleasures on this earth. Sadly, Christians are spending their money in order to increase their status and pleasure in this life without a thought for the life to come – they will only have a few short years to enjoy it!. The wise Christian will seek to use their money to increase their level in heaven and earn as much heavenly treasure as possible – it is simply the best investment in the universe. The scripture below speaks of this and shows that as we give, we lay up a firm foundation for ourselves in heaven.
1 Timothy 6:18 ‘Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age’.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Egypt
68,469,695 people, 86% Muslim – 13% Christian.
The voice of extremist Islam is shouting and threatening at the church.
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.