Luke 16:9 “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”
Jesus tells us two things to consider about the future as we use worldly wealth. The first is this: the day comes when it is gone. Jesus doesn’t say “If it is gone.” He says “When it is gone.”
We all know this is true. Not only do we know “You can’t take it with you.” So often it doesn’t even last until we are ready to leave. None of our possessions, money, hobbies, investments, titles, or offices have truly lasting value. That car you were so proud to be seen in just a few ears ago suddenly has the water pump, alternator, and transmission all go at once, and the trim on the outside is falling off. The home that was your dream house needs new shingles and paint, but the greater concern are the cracks starting to appear in the foundation. The doctor tells you they could operate, but this is a problem you probably have to live with. All the worldly wealth we throw at our problems can’t keep up with them. Some day the money is gone, too. By and large, our investments in this world and this life are an exercise in futility.
There is one investment that has lasting value. The second thing about the future to consider is that the friends we make in Christ, the people we lead into the family of faith, will some day welcome us “into eternal dwellings.” The investment of our worldly wealth we make into spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to others is something that we can enjoy forever in heaven.
In other words, the money you put into driving through rush hour traffic Monday through Friday, and the time you put into your job through the week, gives you a little cash that isn’t going to last. But the money and time you put into driving yourselves and your children to worship and to Sunday School, and the time you put into telling them about Jesus, has benefits that last for all eternity. The money you put into mortgage payments, and the time you put into decorating and maintaining your home, may keep you safe and comfortable for a few decades–if your company doesn’t transfer you somewhere else sooner. But the money you invest in world missions, and the time you give for your church at home, make it possible for hundreds, or even thousands of people to share eternal mansions with you where there is no more danger, no more pain, and no more tears.
The gospel is forever. Forgiveness is never used up. The cross will never become obsolete. Consider what the future holds if you want to invest your Savior’s gift of wealth for returns that never end.