Recently I was working on a book project that involved my reading through messages Charles Spurgeon preached on Heaven. I was delighted to come across a passage in which he affirms some of the same teachings I lay out in my books The Treasure Principle and Money, Possessions and Eternity. While writing those books years ago, had I been aware that Spurgeon had said what follows, I certainly would have quoted from him!
I love the premise of his little story, about how someone coming back to earth from Heaven would view and handle money and possessions. Listen to Charles Spurgeon, from his sermon #1778, entitled “A Heavenly Pattern for our Earthly Life,” preached on April 30, 1884 at Exeter Hall, where he addressed the Baptist Missionary Society.
Suppose any one of you had come from Heaven…Some would be curious to see what his bodily form would be like. They would expect to be dazzled by the radiance of his countenance.
However, we will let that pass. We want to see how he would live. Coming newly from Heaven, how would he act? Oh, sirs, if he came here to do the same as all men do on Earth, only after a heavenly sort, what a father he would be, what a husband, what a brother, what a friend! I would sit down and let him preach this morning, most assuredly; and when he had done preaching, I would go home with him, and have a chat.
I should be very careful to observe what he would do with his wealth. His first thought would be, if he had a shilling, to lay it out for God’s glory. “But,” says one, “I have necessities to buy with my shilling.” So be it, but when you go pray this: “Oh! Lord, help me to lay it out to your glory.” There should be as much piety in buying your necessaries as in going to a place of worship.
I do not think this man coming fresh from Heaven would say, “I must have this luxury; I must have this nice outfit; I must have this grand house.” But he would say, “How much can I save for the God of Heaven? How much can I invest in the country I came from?”
I am sure he would be pinching pennies to save money to serve God with; and he himself, as he went about the streets, and mingled with ungodly men and women, would be sure to find out ways of getting at their consciences and hearts; he would be always trying to bring others to the bliss he had enjoyed.
Think that over, and live so—so as he did who really did come down from Heaven. For after all, the best rule of life is, what would Jesus do if he were here today, and the world still lying in the wicked one? If Jesus were in your business, if he had your money, how would he spend it? For that is how you ought to spend it.
Now think, my brother, you will be in Heaven very soon. Since last year a great number have gone home: before next year many more will have ascended to glory. Sitting up in those celestial seats, how shall we wish that we had lived below?
It will not give any man in Heaven even a moment’s joy to think that he gratified himself while here. It will give him no reflections suitable to the place to remember how much he amassed, how much he left behind to be quarreled over after he was gone; he will say to himself, “I wish I had saved more of my capital by sending it on before me, for what I saved on Earth was lost, but what I spent for God was really laid up where thieves do not break through and steal.”
And, related to giving, this past weekend I spoke at Solid Rock on the treasure principle. Click here to listen to the service.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.