Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

April 7, 1896

Treasure Laid Up in Heaven

By Mrs. E. G. White

“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead [to earthly pleasures and worldly attractions], and your life is hid with Christ in God.” What follows this experience?—“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.”

Truth languishes in our earth, and he that departeth from evil, maketh himself a prey. What shall I eat? and what shall I drink? and wherewithal shall I be clothed? are the questions which are occupying the minds of men, while eternity is dropped out of their reckoning. Men do not look upon the Lord Jesus Christ as the only hope of the world. He sees his purchased possession the sport of every kind of deception, and knows that the end thereof is eternal ruin. Those for whom he died are absorbed in providing themselves with temporal things that are not required. At the same time they are neglecting the preparation of character which would fit them for an abode in the mansions which he has purchased for them at an infinite price. Christ calls upon them to change this order of things, and to act as rational beings. He would have them use their God-given faculties in contemplating eternal realities. He lifts his voice in warning, saying, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.... No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

When temporal matters absorb the mind and engage the attention, the whole strength of the being is engaged in the service of man, and men look upon the worship due to God as a trifling matter. Religious interests are made subservient to the world. But Jesus, who has paid the ransom for the souls of the human family, requires that men shall subordinate temporal interests to the heavenly interests. He would have them cease to indulge in hoarding up earthly treasures, in spending money upon luxuries, and in surrounding themselves with those things which they do not need. He would not have them destroy spiritual power, but directs their attention to heavenly things. He urges that men should seek more earnestly and continually for the bread of life than for the bread which perishes. He says, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” It is the word of God that is essential for our spiritual growth. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Those who are doers of the words of Christ will bring heaven into their life.

Christ is our Redeemer, our owner, and he is intensely interested that we shall have peace in this world. He seeks to present before us the attractions of heaven; for where the treasure is, there will the heart be also. To lay up treasure in heaven is to use our God-given capabilities in acquiring means and influence that may be used for the glory of God. Every dollar we earn is the Lord's property, and should be used in reference to the time when we shall be called to give an account of our stewardship. No one of us will be able to evade the future reckoning. By choosing to lay up treasure in heaven, our characters will be molded after the likeness of Christ. The world will see that our hopes and plans are made in reference to the advancement of the truth and the salvation of perishing souls. They will see that Christ is all in all to those who love him.

The world is stirred to intense activity in seeking for earthly treasure. Men prostitute their God-given powers in devising and executing earthly projects; but Christ lifts his voice, like the trump of God, and calls the attention of men, saying, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

In securing treasure in heaven, we place ourselves in living connection with God, who owns all the treasures of the earth, and supplies all temporal mercies that are essential for life. Every soul may secure the eternal inheritance. The Lord opens the fact before his people that there is full room for the exercise of their faculties, for the fulfilment of their loftiest aims, for the acquirement of the choicest and most enduring treasure. They may lay up treasures where neither fire nor flood nor any manner of adversity can touch. It is the highest wisdom to live in such a way as to secure eternal life. This may be done by not living in the world for ourselves, but by living for God; by passing our property on to a world where it will never perish. By using our property to advance the cause of God, our uncertain riches are placed in an unfailing bank. But it is not riches alone that is accounted as treasure. We are to dispense our wealth of thought, to use our God-given wisdom in devising and executing plans to honor and glorify God. We are to make to ourselves friends by relieving the distress of the poor and by building up every interest we possibly can in the earth, to keep heaven and God continually in view, and to lift up the standard of righteousness among men. In so doing we are using the means and the influence that the Householder has lent us in trust to make for ourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness. The world may condemn us for using our means in building meeting-houses, in feeding the hungry, in helping the oppressed and suffering out of their difficulties; but the Lord says that this is the very work that should be done with his intrusted capital. Those who make friends with the mammon of unrighteousness will be received into everlasting habitations. Every sacrifice made for the purpose of blessing others, every appropriation of means for the service of God, will be treasure laid up in heaven.

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