Gospel Culture  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:23
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Which of these subjects did Jesus preach on the most; Heaven, Hell, or Money?

Jesus talked more about money/possessions than He did Heaven and Hell combined. Why did Jesus put such an emphasis on money and possessions? Because there’s a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle money. We may try to divorce our faith and finances, but God sees them as inseparable.


All humans are born bent towards greed or pride when it comes to money. Greed is obvious. It is an unwillingness to be charitable towards others. Pride is not so obvious. It is those who are charitable for the sake of status, self-esteem, and/or satisfaction. Both types need the gospel. The greedy needs bending toward generosity, while the prideful needs bending toward godliness. Only the power of grace can effect such change.


Luke 3:7–14 ESV
He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

Proof of Repentance

Three different groups asked him how they should prove their repentance. John gave three answers:

Everyone should share clothes and food with the poor.

Luke 3:11 ESV
And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

Tax collectors shouldn’t pocket extra money.

Luke 3:13 ESV
And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”

Soldiers should be content with their wages and not extort money.

Luke 3:14 ESV
Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

Our approach to money and possessions is central to our spiritual lives.

No one had asked John about finances! They wanted to know how to demonstrate spiritual transformation. So why did John’s response center almost exclusively on money and possessions? John wanted his audience to know: Our approach to money and possessions is central to our spiritual lives. This truth is not isolated to John the Baptist.
Luke 19:8 ESV
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”
Luke 19:9 ESV
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.

Jerusalem converts eagerly sold their possession to give to the needy.

Acts 2:45 ESV
And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
Acts 2:32–35 ESV
This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” ’

Ephesian occultists proved the authenticity of their conversion in Acts 19.

Acts 19:19 ESV
And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.

The experience of grace triggers graciousness towards others. Grace reshapes the greedy.

Listen to Jesus words concerning the greedy.
Luke 12:20 ESV
But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’


The greatest indictment against him—and the proof of his spiritual condition—is that he was rich toward himself but not rich toward God.

Greedy Christian?

Can such a person exists? Christian’s can struggle with greed but they cannot live a life of greedy.
1 Corinthians 6:10 ESV
nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.


Jesus isn’t altogether against storing up - only storing up treasure on earth. He commands us to store up for ourselves treasures in eternity.
Matthew 6:19–21 ESV
“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.

Treasure in Heaven?

Heaven and The New Earth are not immaterial or intangible places. They are as material and tangible as anything on earth. It’s true that when Jesus speaks about “treasures in heaven,” we don’t know the exact form those treasures will take. Treasures in Heaven could be of material or spiritual nature, but either way they are real, meaningful rewards for God’s people who give generously.


William Borden 1887–1913

Borden, a Yale graduate and heir to great wealth, rejected a life of ease in order to bring the gospel to Muslims. Refusing even to buy himself a car, Borden gave away hundreds of thousands of dollars to missions. After only four months of zealous ministry in Egypt, he contracted spinal meningitis and died at age twenty-five. I dusted off the epitaph on Borden’s grave. After describing his love for God and sacrifices for Muslim people, the inscription ended with this phrase:

“Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation for such a life.”

When the news of William Whiting Borden's death was cabled back to the U.S., the story was carried by nearly every American newspaper. "A wave of sorrow went round the world . . . Borden not only gave (away) his wealth, but himself, in a way so joyous and natural that it (seemed) a privilege rather than a sacrifice" Borden had written six words on the last page of his Bible . . .

No reserves. No retreats. No regrets.

Eternal Rewards

If you imagine Heaven as a place where you will strum a harp in endless tedium, you probably dread it. But if you trust Scripture, you will be filled with anticipation for your heavenly home. Heaven will be a place of rest and relief from sin and suffering; but it will also be a place of great learning, activity, artistic expression, exploration, camaraderie, and service.

Jesus notices our smallest acts of kindness.

Matthew 10:42 ESV
And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

God keeps a record of all we do for Him.

Malachi 3:16 ESV
Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name.

God keeps a record of all we do for Him.

Imagine a scribe in Heaven recording each of your gifts. The bike you gave to the neighbor kid, the books to prisoners, the monthly donations to the church, missionaries, and pregnancy center—all are being chronicled. Scrolls are made to be read. I look forward to hearing your giving stories and meeting those touched by what you gave.
Luke 16:11 ESV
If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?

If you handle the Lord’s money faithfully, Christ will give you true, eternal riches.

After speaking of the shrewd servant’s desire to use earthly resources so that “people will welcome me into their houses” (Luke 16:4), Jesus told His followers to use “worldly wealth” (money and possessions) to “gain friends” (by making a difference in their lives on Earth). The reason? “So that when it is gone [when life on Earth is over], you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (v. 9).

Friends in Heaven

Our “friends” in Heaven will be those whose lives we’ve touched on Earth, who will have their own “eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9 seems to say our friends’ eternal dwellings are places where we stay and fellowship, perhaps as we move about the heavenly kingdom. The money we give to help others on Earth will open doors of fellowship in Heaven. Now that’s something to get excited about!

Whatever good thing you do for Him, if done according to the Word, is laid up for you as treasure in chests and coffers, to be brought out to be rewarded before both men and angels, to your eternal comfort. - John Bunyan

Is this a biblical concept?

Absolutely! Paul spoke about the Philippians financial giving and explained
Philippians 4:17 ESV
Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.

God keeps an account open for us in Heaven, and every gift given for His glory is a deposit in that account.

Isn’t it unspiritual and selfish to talk about eternal rewards?

If it were wrong to want them, Christ wouldn’t offer rewards as motivation. Rewards are God’s idea, not ours! Love for God, love for people, and compassion for the poor are all vitally important. But these motives for giving are in no way contrary to the fact that God also calls us to be motivated by rewards. Our instinct is to give to those who will give us something in return.

Jesus directs our giving

Luke 14:13–14 ESV
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Jesus directs our giving

If we give to those who can’t reward us, Christ guarantees He will personally reward us. He’s talking about treasures that await us in Heaven, rewards for caring for the poor, including our efforts to reach the unreached with the gospel of Jesus. Giving is a giant lever positioned on the fulcrum of this world, allowing us to move mountains in the next world. Because we give, eternity will be different—for others and for us.

Rewards as Old as Moses

Hebrews 11:26 ESV
He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.

Moses laid up because he was going up.

He who spends his life moving away from his treasures has reason to despair. He who spends his life moving toward his treasures has reason to rejoice. Are you despairing or rejoicing?
1 Timothy 6:17–19 ESV
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

As base a thing as money often is, it yet can be transmuted into everlasting treasure. It can be converted into food for the hungry and clothing for the poor; it can keep a missionary actively winning lost men to the light of the gospel and thus transmute itself into heavenly values. Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality.

God owns it all. I’m His money manager. God cares what I do with the money He entrusts to me (I’d better ask Him).


It creates earthly and eternal joy.

2 Corinthians 8:1–7 ESV
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
2 Corinthians 8:9 ESV
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 9:6–15 ESV
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
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