Preparing for Eternity
1 Timothy 6:3-19
Put Your (Trust) in the Right (Person)
Wealth can be a deceiving thing.
It can cause you to put your trust in the wrong places.
For example, you can be tempted to trust in yourself.
V17 reminds us not to be conceited.
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited…
It can be tempting to think, “Everything will work out for me.
It always does.
I can get my way out of anything I face.
After all, I’ve certainly been successful at making a living.
I’ve been a good provider.
I know how to stretch a dollar.
What else is there to worry about?”
But *Luke 12:18-21*
"And he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
19'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years /to come;/ take your ease, eat, drink /and/ be merry."
' 20"But God said to him, 'You fool!
This /very/ night your soul is required of you; and /now/ who will own what you have prepared?'
21"So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
Some people see their wealth as a sign that they’ve been accepted by God.
They reason that the reason they’ve been given so much is that they’ve found favor with God.
They say, “God must be pleased with me.
He must like the way I’ve lived my life, because look at all that I have.”
And it is true that the reason you have so much is because God has blessed you, but rather than seeing that as a confirmation number that God has already accepted you, perhaps you should see it as a sign that tells you how to get to God.
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
So, it’s futile to put your trust in yourself, and it’s foolish to interpret your wealth as a sign that you have eternal life, and it’s even more pointless to put your trust in riches as if they will always be there to deliver you.
Your money can make you comfortable, but it can’t keep you alive.
Money can provide a living for you, but it cannot give you a life.
Money can buy this world’s goods, but it can’t make you good enough for heaven.
Money can purchase the best this life has to offer, but it cannot purchase eternal life.
Money can buy a house…but not a home!
Money can buy sex…but not love.
Money can buy a vacation…but not peace.
Money can get you into a university…but it cannot purchase wisdom.
Earthly money cannot be taken to heaven…and many times, it doesn’t even last on this earth.
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.
5Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
So, instead of trusting in money…The Bible comes to tell us to put our trust in God.
Look again at verse 17.
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
Now, I want you to notice that putting your trust in God does not mean living in poverty.
The end of verse 17 indicates that God richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
ILL: Have you ever had a friend who had a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend?
And that person consumes their time, energy, and attention.
Perhaps they have many good qualities about them, but they are so demanding!
Many people have a view of God as if He were a jealous boyfriend.
Now, I know the Bible does say that our God is a jealous God…but when the scripture says that, it means that He is jealous for our worship…that there be no other gods beside or before Him.
But it does not mean that if we put our trust in the Lord, He will take away all of the things we enjoy.
ILL: As a parent, it’s so special when your kids come to you and say, “Oh, Mom and Dad, I love you.
I just want to be the best child I can be.”
But what do we say?
Do we say, “Oh, great,.
Let’s go take everything you have away from you…” No!
Look again at the kind of God you’d be trusting…Verse 15-16
Verse 3 says He’s the One whose teachings lead to a godly life.
Verse 13 says He is the One who gives life.
That’s what was happening at the cross.
He gave His life, so that new life, eternal life, could come into our lives!
Heb 2:15 says that Jesus came that He…
… might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
And you can be prepared for death…prepared for eternity by putting your trust in Him, and saying in a simple prayer, “Lord, I’m taking you as my Savior…”
Put Your (Talents) toward the Right (Purpose)
There is a double-edged warning to us in this passage.
On the one hand, we’re told, “Don’t make getting wealthy your focus.”
Look again at verses 9-10.
Some people put their focus on trying to make money.
They have talent, but they are using it for the wrong thing.
But there’s more to it really…You can’t be neutral…by virtue of the fall of man, we are all to a greater or lesser degree “trapped” and we’re told to flee from this love of money.
Flee carries with it the idea of escaping…freeing yourself and running away…like a kidnap victim who has been tied up and taken hostage and the see their chance to get away and they seize it and they run as fast as they can.
By the way, that’s one of the great values of tithing.
It breaks the bondage of materialism.
In fact, the only way to escape the grasp of materialism is to give.
Instead of spending your time, talents, and energy chasing after wealth, Verse 11 tells us what we are to pursue.
to pursue without hostility, to follow, follow after,” said of righteousness, Rom.
9:30; the Law, 9:31; 12:13, hospitality (“given to”) lit., “pursuing” (as one would a calling), the things which make for peace, 14:19; love, 1 Cor.
14:1; that which is good, 1 Thess.
5:15; righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness, 1 Tim.
6:11; righteousness, faith, love, peace, 2 Tim.
2:22; peace and sanctification, Heb.
12:14; peace, 1 Pet.
3:11; (c) “to follow on” (used intransitively), Phil.
3:12, 14, rv, “I press on”; “follow after,” is an inadequate meaning.
APP: And perhaps this is big problem in the American church…Not only are we NOT fleeing from the things that we should, but we are half-heartedly “following after” the things that we should be.
ILL: I don’t get the deer hunting craze…but I do ice fish….(You
really just wait for a fish to come along…) And you know it…but sometimes you fish without the hut and you can’t tell it…so when do you know that one of these good things has come around that you can pursue it?
It’s usually when there’s a crisis…
So, the Bible says, “Put your time and your talents to sue…not in chasing after money, but in getting away from the love of money.”
That’s the negative command.
But if we stop there, that’s not enough.
We are to.d:
Make sure you are being Rich in Good Deeds.