Sunday, November 30, 2014
Treasures in Heaven – Part 35 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
When we were last together I asked, “How do you receive a wedding garment?” Since I have interacted with many denominations for over forty years I have never heard this subject discussed. Those who follow my blog know that I ask a lot of questions about the doctrines of men, which causes me to delve into the scriptures for my answers – not a bad idea for everyone.
One day during my study of Isaiah I came to a sentence that peaked my curiosity…for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness…Is. 61:10. Wow…two garments…hmmm. Verse 10 goes on to say…as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. I know Jesus is the Groom and His Church is the Bride – but – two garments?
My research began that day. It was with a new perspective that I began a fresh look at the prophetic parables of Jesus Christ – trying to erase what I had been told they say – reading what they really say.
Let me give you an example – but when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment…so he said to him…friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment? And he was speechless…Matt. 22:11-12. This man was in the wedding hall – so he was in Heaven – but he didn’t have on a wedding garment, so he was kicked out…verse 13.
Before we get to the rest of this prophetic parable, we must lay the scriptural groundwork that brings understanding as to why this man is kicked out of the Wedding Hall – but he is not kicked out of Heaven.
Last week we explained that the reward that Jesus brings with Him when He returns is – Pay for Service. This means that the works, labor, or fruits of labor done by a believer while he lived on the earth will receive Jesus’ reward – Pay for Service.
The Apostle Paul said…for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad…II Cor. 5:10. Paul is explaining to these believers that all the works done by them, while they live on the earth, will be exposed at the Great White Throne Judgment. – deeds of righteousness that glorified the kingdom of Heaven – or – deeds of unrighteousness that glorified the kingdom of men on the earth.
How are deeds of righteousness evaluated? The Apostle Paul explains…may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints…I Thes. 3:12-13. All deeds of righteousness done by a believer while he lives on the earth have one common denominator – LOVE.
In this text, the word love in the original Greek language is agape – the God kind of love – unconditional – 70 x 7 kind of love…Matt. 18:21-22. In order to be blameless in holiness when we stand before Jesus Christ on Judgment Day, we must evaluate everything we think, say, or do on the earth according to the yardstick of LOVE. If we are deemed blameless on that Day – we will receive the reward that Jesus brings with Him.
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…Matt. 6:19-21.
Early in my Christian walk I asked pastors ‘what are treasures that can be stored in Heaven?” I was told that my good works were treasures – serving the institutional church, teaching the Bible, helping the poor, volunteering where needed in the church, mission society or any position in the church the pastor deems necessary. I worked myself to the bone serving the church before I realized that my personal relationship – intimacy with God – went begging. My research threw brilliant light on the true meaning of “treasures in Heaven.”
If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so through fire…I Cor. 3:15. After reading this scripture I was really perplexed, because it produced more questions like, “Can the works that I have been doing be burned up when I face Jesus on Judgment Day? Horrors! What loss will be suffered if my works are burned up? I must find out while I am still on the earth!
The Apostle Paul explains…if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is…if anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward…I Cor. 3:12-14.
What happens to the house built from gold, silver, and precious stones on Judgment Day? What happens to the house built from wood, hay, and straw on Judgment Day? How does this have anything to do with treasures in Heaven? Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question…