By W. G. Guy
Recently, while reading about King David’s history as recorded in First and Second Samuel, it became obvious that the many conflicts he experienced were basically political in nature with his adversaries vying for positions of power, control, wealth and possessions. It was the very same kind of political conflict we are observing in America today, only with the exception of the heavy bloodshed from the numerous wars and battles fought by King David, ….(thus far). This raises the question, why all this conflict? The answer is in the Bible.
James 4:1-3 – From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
The reason of such conflicts is LUST: lust for position and power; lust for control over people; lust for wealth and possessions. Does this not sound like the conflict we see and hear about every day in the news concerning the sad state of politics in America today?
James 4:5-6 – Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Such conflicts are focused on acquiring the things of this world. This is the focus of those who are godless, those without the knowledge of God or who do not care about who God is or what He desires for us. Notice in the verse above that it is directed to sinners and those whose desires are worldly – (adulterers and adulteresses.)
1 John 2:15-17 – Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Such people have no awareness that their actions and lusts are meaningless and have no lasting value; that such actions will only put them in continued jeopardy for future challenges and conflicts. Notice that in the verse above that lust is not eternal, it will come to an end, but only those who do the will of God are eternally blessed. The ungodly or worldly people fail to recognize that it is all pointless; or as stated by the wisest and wealthiest of all men when Solomon said that it is all VANITY!
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
These vain people fail to see that all such efforts avail them nothing when they die. They cannot take anything with them: their position, fame, fortune and possessions mean nothing. They go into eternity with NOTHING! Also notice that there is a judgment that they fail to consider.
Hebrews 9:27 – And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Please understand that everyone dies; but that is not the end of all things for them. After death everyone must give an account before God of how he lived; of everything they did, of everything they said, and of everything they thought, …….(oh my)! Following are a few scriptures that prove that we all have to give an account of everything we did, said and thought as we face His judgment.
Matthew 12:36 – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2 Peter 2:9 – the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
Romans 2:16 – in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Psalm 94:11 – The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
Since there is an appointed time of accountability before Almighty God and His Son, Jesus Christ, how then shall we live this life?
2 Peter 3:14 – Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Unfortunately, too many people fail to consider eternity and what is of value that can be taken there with them or that for which they can be rewarded. People just live for today and for what they can get out of this life without taking thought about what lies ahead of them for all eternity, (which is a very, very, very long time).
Since there is nothing of this material world that you can take with you when you die, just what is it that you can lay up for yourself for all eternity? What are the treasures of which Jesus spoke about:
Matthew 6:19-21 – 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, 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.
The treasures stored up in heaven are: obedience to God and His Word; conforming to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ; and giving to the aid of others in need, and being the light of this world showing others the way to the truth of God and His Word through Jesus Christ.
Matthew 25:31-46 – When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
There are rewards in heaven laid up for those who earn them: remember, rewards are earned, they are not a gift. Rewards are based on our works of righteousness in how we live in obedience to Christ and the Word of God. This is not about salvation which is the gift of God through Jesus Christ. This is about what you do with your faith and how you live it. Do you live for yourself, or for Him and others?
Basically, the treasure that we can lay up in heaven for all eternity is LOVE. Not the worldly kind of love, but the God kind of love. This is the love that is giving and caring for others as much as you care for yourself and your own family.
Matthew 22:36-40 – Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
The God kind of love fulfills the law, the Ten Commandments. The first four commandments are about loving God, and the next six are about loving others.
Romans 13:8-10 – Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Can you imagine just how nice and peaceful our current political environment would be if all of our politicians were godly people and obeyed His commandments? There would be no conflict! There would be no envy or strife. There would be no liars. There would be NO WARS!
Remember, Love and obedience to God and His Word is the treasure that you can take with you into eternity! Think on that!
Read all of 2 Peter Chapter 1 and 2 for more information on what lies ahead and how we should live.