Wednesday, February 14, 2024

What separates the rich from poor in heaven


What Separates the Rich from POOR in Heaven

Well praise Jesus today, brothers and sisters in the Lord. I want to speak about a very profound topic shortly here this morning, and that is what separates rich people from poor people in heaven. We know what separates rich people from poor people on this earth. It's money, it's the ability to have ideas that make you physical money in this world. Obviously if you serve mammon, if you serve wealth, you will get wealthy in this world. And there are certain things that allow you to get more wealthy quicker than other people. Obviously if you live in a third world country, you're not going to get as wealthy as someone that lives in China or in America or somewhere that allows for wealth. So we consider people to be wealthy on earth if they have a lot of money, if they have possessions, maybe if they have an amount of fame or power. So those things on earth are obvious, but what creates wealth in heaven? Because in heaven, guys, we are spiritual beings. God is spirit, and his creation is spiritual beings.

So in heaven, someone that is wealthy, it's not that they have a big house, it's not that you achieved all these good works on earth and now you have a bigger car, a bigger garage, you have more horses in heaven, you have more property, real estate. In the spiritual realm, you don't have this need for physical space the way you do in this physical realm. In the physical realm, you equate wealth with more space because you are an object that is in space. And so that's why you perceive it as houses and cars and things that are physical is because you are physical. But in the spiritual realm, what is wealth? So I want to speak about that for a moment because Jesus says, “do not store up for yourself treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

So we want to speak about what those treasures are. Now clearly, the true treasures are the things of the spirit that are valuable forever. The things that come from the Holy Spirit, love, joy, peace, these attributes that come from God, the knowledge that comes from God. I want to read to you from 1 Corinthians chapter 3, which is speaking about people who are building their spiritual house and then something gets stripped away from these people that don't build with the true value. So I want us to think about what those things are as we read through this. So this is 1 Corinthians 3. I want to start, say, in verse 9, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

So we know from what the Apostle Paul is speaking about here, that the foundation is Jesus. And then you can build on the foundation of Jesus with the truth, with the true word of God that comes from the Holy Spirit. You know those words that come from God. Or you can build on that foundation of Jesus your own principles, your own ideas and lies and all kinds of garbage.

“12Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire;”

So we know that Paul is talking about the refiner's fire that will burn up each of our works that aren't good. But what is good will be left.

And the fire will test each one's work of what sort it is.

“And the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”

So we understand that we are the true church, that we are God's temple, that we are a holy people. And if we disobey, reject him, then he's also going to eventually cut us off if we go on sinning. But what does it mean if you consider verse 15, “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”  I want to explain this mystery because in church a lot of Christians take this to mean that if you put your faith in Jesus and started to build on Jesus, in other words, if you said the prayer of repentance when you were 10 years old, then basically you could go on sinning the rest of your life and not really repent, and then when you die at age 50 or age 80, you will still go to heaven because when you were 10 years old, you put your faith in Jesus and then the rest of your life you built with hay and stubble, so all that will get burnt up when you go into heaven, but then you will still make it into heaven, but it will just be by, you know, all your hair will be burnt off, your clothes will be burnt off, you will go in naked, but at least you will make it in. That is what they preach in the churches because they don't want anyone to think that they will actually lose their salvation.

Obviously the apostle Paul didn't even think that because he said in verse 17 “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him”. So clearly Paul didn't even believe in this “one saved, always saved” hyper grace deal that the church teaches. So I want to explain to you what is going on with this, everything being burnt up. See if we do make it into God's kingdom, that means that we not only had faith in Jesus, that we put our faith in Him when we were 10 years old or maybe 50 years old or whatever age we came to faith, but it means we also demonstrated to the Lord that we did love Him and we endured with the Lord.

Now there are some people who backslide for a while, there is still hope for the backslider to repent, but there are other people who fall away from the Lord and never come back and those people, a lot of them sadly will be rejected at the gates of heaven because their names were blotted out of the book of life and you can read about that, Jesus speaks about that in Revelation. There are others who make it in fully clothed because they built on the foundation of Jesus in righteousness, but there are others who didn't really build on that foundation but they did truly believe and they are saved in the end. So what is the difference? This is the point I'm getting to guys.

What is the point? What is the difference between riches in heaven where we should be setting our treasure and a man who gets in very poor, who gets in naked, who gets in without anything? I'm going to tell you the difference here because once you realize what it is, you will realize that you don't have any room to boast, any room to think that by all your good deeds here on this earth you're going to just achieve a bigger house in heaven. Because I think in a lot of religions of the world there can become a lot of pride on the earth in their religions. Because they think the more religious things they do, you know the more women they'll have in the afterlife or the more physical possessions they'll have in the afterlife which is ridiculous to think about because in the spiritual realm it's not like the physical realm where you're fighting over land territory, where you're fighting over physicality.

So what is this treasure that we need to set our heart on in heaven that it's not the same on earth? And what that is are human souls. The demons are all fighting over human souls. God is fighting over human souls and you are also fighting for your own soul. At the end of the day, your soul is either going up or down and also the soul of your family is going up and down. The soul of your brother is going up or down. The soul of your sister, your mother, your grandmother, your friends in school, all the people at your workplace, all the people you have ever known in your life, all of them are either going to one of two places ultimately which is eternity with Jesus where you will spend eternity worshipping God or eternity in the lake of fire that is made for Satan and his demons and also becomes the place of all the human souls who reject God.

So the man who puts his faith in Jesus Christ and he puts his faith in Jesus at the very end of his life, he hasn't built anything on that foundation of Jesus. He's never told his friends about God. His family is atheist. His friends have all lived to serve wealth of this earth and when this man dies, he dies a very poor spiritual man. But he is rich enough to realize that he needs God and God blesses him with salvation and when he walks into eternity, he walks in naked, having nothing. He doesn't have a physical brother in heaven or physical father. He has no flesh and blood in heaven. He has nothing to boast of for anything that he has done and when he gets into heaven, there is no one to greet him who is his fellow blood because he hasn't ever let anyone in his family to the Lord. All his works are burnt up. Everything he did on this earth is burnt up. He has nothing to show but in heaven, he is welcomed by the angels of God. He is welcomed by Jesus because Jesus' blood covers over this man and this man makes it into God's kingdom. And he is able to now share and partake in the things of God because he has received forgiveness by the blood of Jesus. That is a wonderful thing but everything else this man has done has been burnt up. That is why this man is poor.

Some Christians, their entire life, they live life for themselves and they live a lukewarm life and at some point, they truly come to the Lord and they establish that true rock, that foundation on Jesus yet because they have never built on that foundation with gold and precious stones, what they built with wood, hay and stubble, all that they built is burnt up. And many parents who have raised their families, they realize this. They realize after 10, 20, 30, 40 years of raising their families that they did not raise their children truly for the Lord. They raised them in dead religion. They raised them around the TV and around people that were evil and corrupt. And they realize that they have lost their children and these parents, their children have already grown up to be adults, these parents realize that their works have been burnt up. They realize that their money that they spent helping their children and helping their friends and helping others and doing ministry in church, all these works are being burnt up. But they themselves will be saved because they have not lost their foundation of Jesus. And it is very sad that in heaven when they make it in, they will be very poor. Their own children will not make it in. They will not have their own flesh and blood who they gave birth to on this earth and labored for on this earth in the kingdom of God with them because their children will be rejected by their Messiah.

If we want to build on that rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ, and have true riches in heaven, then we need to start not only preaching the gospel with our mouth but living the gospel with our life. And if we are truly building on the rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ, with the precious stones, we know that those precious stones are human souls. They represented originally the twelve tribes of Israel. They also represented the twelve apostles. Symbolically, they represent God's church. They represent you. They represent me. Spiritually, they represent all of the Jews who truly put their faith in Jesus and all of the Gentiles who are grafted in who put their faith into Jesus. And if we raise our children and if we teach our family and our friends and those around us to put their faith in Jesus Christ, and they do, then we will have great riches in heaven, not because we're such wonderful people, but because God will bless our family and our friends with the ability to repent and to be washed clean of their sins. And when they enter into the regeneration, the newness of life, they will have life eternal. That is what will separate the rich man from the poor man in heaven.

If you want great riches in heaven, you have to start building from the very beginning with those precious stones. You have to start building with righteousness and truth and everything that really matters. But if you want to be poor in heaven, forget to teach your children about righteousness and holiness, raise them in dead religion. If you want to be poor in heaven, forget that it's really about Jesus, forget that it's really about living for the Lord, and you will become so poor, you might even lose your own temple. We don't want to be poor in heaven. We want to be rich. We want people. We want to win souls. We want to be fishers of men, how Jesus made us to be. Remember that when Jesus called his disciples, they were fishermen. And Jesus said, I will make you fishers of men. We are to be lights of the world. We're to shine our light that other people can see our good deeds, that then they will glorify our Father in heaven. And our hope is that they see the light of the glory of God in us, that they also repent and put on righteousness and have on their white robes, that they accept Jesus into their life and that they're washed clean. We want our fellow brothers and sisters, our moms, our dads, our grandmas, our grandpas. We want those people in our workplace, our classmates, whoever is in our church, our people, whoever is in our life, we want them to be one into the kingdom of heaven, that when we enter into the presence of God, that we may have more brothers and sisters in heaven with us that can rejoice and give glory to our creator.

So guys, I hope this enlightened someone to what the difference is between a rich man and a poor man. A true rich man has their faith in Jesus and they're able to lead their friends and their family to the Lord. This is true riches in heaven. And I hope that you can see the difference between the false riches of this world compared to the true riches in the kingdom of God. So I want to pray for my fellow brothers and sisters who are wanting to live upright, who want to put their faith in the Lord. I want to pray for you that you would enter into the kingdom of God and that you would also encourage your family, your friends, your brothers and sisters on this earth that they might also make it into the kingdom of God as well.

“So Lord Jesus, I pray for my fellow brothers and sisters. I pray for the body of Christ. I pray that people may truly put their faith in you and that they would not be ashamed to be a light for you. You say to us that we are the light of the world and that we need to let our light so shine before men that they see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven. So we want to have the deeds of righteousness and we want to encourage those that are younger in the faith than us. We want to encourage those around us to be filled with your Holy Spirit and to put on the love of God and the peace that passes all understanding and that they would have the ability to walk with you in the newness of life and just partake in your new covenant, that they would be washed clean by your blood and that we would just walk in the newness of life with you. So I pray that those who are listening today could be set free from sin, that they could be set free from just the temptations of this world, that they would encourage those that are in their life also to repent and to follow you, Lord Jesus, with all of their heart. So we pray this in your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.