sermonette: Investing in Eternal Life
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the Protestant notion that "a person's works are of no avail" asserts that this is a faith -killing prescription because faith without works is dead. Protestants also feel that any thought of reward taints the whole process of salvation. When all of the scripture are not brought into the equation, one comes up with a distorted picture of the place for works. Works done right now are important for right now and for the future as well, beyond the resurrection. God is not beyond offering incentives as is seen in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. There is a blessing attending overcoming. What we do now is an investment that will pay dividends beyond the grave. Paul cautions people who have wealth not to put their trust in wealth because it erodes their trust in God, making them stingy, haughty, and arrogant. If they generously share their wealth (not as a part of a coercive commune) with others, God promises they will accrue abundant spiritual rewards- a win -win proposition, applied to eternal life worth living. We are commissioned to be generous in good works, whether it consists of money, time, or talent. Conduct now lays up treasure in Heaven. Paul instructs people to invest in the Kingdom of God. Generous giving is an investment in the Kingdom of God. Nobody out-gives God. We need to get the right set in our character, making the best of our resources, emulating Him.