by the Rev. Larry Wilson
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
Our Lord Jesus commands—Matthew 6:19–21—"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." It's not that wealth is wrong. It's that now is not the time to try to accumulate it. We are in the last days. Time is running out and there's an urgency about getting the gospel to the ends of the earth. So seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. John Wesley is said to have advised,
"Make as much as you can, save as much as you can, give as much as you can."
Why? "For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come" (Heb. 13:14). Therefore, set your hope on the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Know that the victory he was won through his death and resurrection is an assured reality. Therefore, "the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us"
(Rom. 8:18). For—if you are in Christ—you have "an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you" (1 Pet. 1:4). Orient your priorities toward the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The fact is, you are laying up treasure in the last days. It's inescapable. The question is—are you putting all your eggs into the basket of this earth which is passing away? Or are you putting all your eggs into the basket of heaven where they will be safe forever and ever?
Click here for background on the author of Are You For Real?: Meditations in the Epistle of James for Secret or Family Worship.