A few days ago the global stock market began to “correct” itself. You are probably aware a correction in the stock market is a rather abrupt return to a more realistic valuation. In other words, when stocks are valued too highly, sooner or later something happens to stop the momentum and they come crashing down.
On Monday morning of this week I saw a news headline that predicted a “brutal” stock opening. It was indeed brutal.
It has always been difficult to determine a true value for things in this world. What is something worth? Whatever people are willing to pay. And what is a “rock bottom” price? Zero! Everything in-between is a matter of personal preference and perspective.
The Bible predicts an ultimate world-wide devaluation. In a passage on the end of time Peter writes, “That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.” (2 Peter 3:12) Regardless of one’s view of future events, it is obvious we should not put stock in this world from an eternal perspective.
But what about those things that are eternal? How safe are they?
We know for certain, whatever form our treasures have in heaven, they cannot be taken away. Jesus said, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20) The book of Revelation gives us this picture of the New Jerusalem: “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27)
While this may seem like an irrelevant subject for the “here and now”, it certainly is important for kingdom servants who are following Jesus’ directive. If we are storing up our treasures in heaven, we want to know it will be there when we get there. Otherwise, we might as well live for ourselves here.
It might be good to remind ourselves of the nature of our heavenly reward. It is, of course, eternal. And it is spiritual. But it is also tangible and real. We are inclined to think heavenly things are created with fluffy clouds and dazzling starbursts. However, the Bible tells us we will have new bodies (1 Corinthians 15:32). We can also assume if God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden to find fulfillment by caring for His creation, certainly He will have a meaningful role for us in heaven.
Will our rewards in heaven be received all at once, or be revealed throughout eternity? Will we be organized into teams for ministry, or will we be free to follow our heart, unencumbered by duty? Some people speak of their rewards in terms of those things we will receive and others those things we will not endure. For example, we will have plenty of joy in heaven, and there will be no trouble or trials.
During the most recent downturn in the stock market someone told me, “Well, you can’t take it with you.” He was right. I can’t take money with me to heaven. I can’t even be sure how long I will have it here. Come to think of it, my reward systems here on earth and in heaven are both matters of trust. I trust I will have what I need here to sustain me, and I trust I will have what I need in heaven.
The uncertainty of this life doesn’t stop me from preparing for the future here. Therefore, nothing should stop me from preparing for eternity. I haven’t seen my reward, but I know who is managing it, and have total confidence in His ability to keep me safe and secure. In fact, He will do more than keep me safe and secure. He will pour out His blessings on me and fill my existence with everlasting peace.
Heaven won’t crash. Our eternal investments won’t disappear, and we will receive more than we can imagine.
I understand the anxiety we have when the market here is down. We just can’t let what happens here keep us from getting ready for what will happen there.
The “futures” for heaven always look good. The kingdom will crash…”crash the gates of hell,” that is. Nothing has or ever will stand in its way.