Luke 12:13-21 [1 Timothy 6:6–10]
Suddenly the voice of God thunders His response to the rich man’s actions. In verse 20 Jesus portrays the folly of laying up treasures on earth. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’
God suddenly announces to the man that his earthly life is over. The man discovers that his life was on loan from God who was demanding His interest on the life He has loaned to him. God proclaims that the man was foolish (You fool!) because when he died that night his goods would do nothing for him. They would simply pass on to someone else.
The tragedy of this parable though lies not in what the rich man left behind, but in the judgment that awaited him, for he would enter judgment without any evidence of wise stewardship on earth. Rather than using some of his surplus to lay up treasures in heaven, he selfishly and greedily hoarded his world wealth with the result that in the end he does not even benefit from it. If you come to the end of your life and all you have is money, you die broke.
A band of gangsters in France got away with more than $35 million. But the thieves had a problem. The loot was in French coins worth only about $2 each and weighing a total of 17 tons! A Paris newspaper taunted the bandits with this statement: "You can't buy a chateau, a car, or even a pair of crocodile shoes with bags of change. And if you go out to celebrate your accomplishment, the owner of the smallest café will become suspicious before you drop the tenth coin on the counter." The article continued, "Their punishment is included in their success. They will have to spend their loot franc by franc. They can buy millions of bottles of soft drinks. But what else?"
Those robbers had what might be called a wealth of poverty. Although they were rich, they couldn't spend their money for anything worthwhile. Their situation reminds me of people who spend a lifetime accumulating things while making no provision for eternity. They have material wealth but are spiritually poor. How much better to heed Jesus' words: "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Mt. 6:20). Anything else is just a wealth of poverty.
The story is told of a NOBLEMAN WHO DIED VERY SUDDENLY. Immediately his personal servant ran to tell the other servants of the household that their master was dead. He asked with gravity, "Where has he gone?" The servants replied, "Why, to heaven, to be sure." "No," said the man, “I am certain he has not gone to heaven." Somewhat surprised, the others asked him how he knew their master had not gone to heaven. The man replied "Because heaven is a long way off, and I've never known my master to take a long trip in his life but that he talked of it beforehand and made thorough preparation for it. And I never heard him say a word about this journey, nor ever saw him getting ready for it.
It's true that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, not by how much we talk about it (Eph. 2:8). Yet it's strange when people think they're going to heaven but never mention it nor prepare for it.
The rich fool wasn't prepared when the Lord said, "This night your soul will be required of you (v.20). If you seldom think about heaven and never discuss it, could it be you're not going there? One way or another, you are going to meet God. Are you prepared? Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
To be continued.