Luke 18 v 22. “When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

The rich man asked Jesus how he could inherit eternal life. In reply Jesus told him how he could have not only eternal life but treasure in Heaven. But when he discovered he had to choose between treasure in Heaven and all his earthly possessions, he finally decided that the latter was more valuable than the former.

Now it must be said that there are many rich people who have used their wealth wisely and enabled many Gospel initiatives to take place, and who have honoured God with the wealth He entrusted to them. Nevertheless, it remains largely true that riches often prove to be a snare. Firstly, some wealthy people become pre-occupied with their possessions and are unprepared for eternity, but worse still, their present earthly possessions can make the Kingdom of God appear very much less desirable than what they now have. In fact, eternal life seems to be less than that one supremely important thing. Some would like to have it, but not if it has to be chosen to the exclusion of all else. They will therefore never enter eternal life.

Notice how the rich man is presented by Luke as a moral and upright person. What is Luke saying to us? He is pointing out that entry into eternal life is not a matter of mere good morals and decent living. It is in fact not a matter of doing anything at all. Rather it is placing a value upon Christ that makes him to be the supreme treasure of life. It is putting everything we own in subservience to the Lord. It is in fact a willingness to lose everything in order to gain Christ.

Let me reiterate this most important point. Unless we see the need of salvation as preeminent, we will never seek salvation. The reason why you are saved now, as you read this, is because at some point in your life, your awareness of your soul and its eternal destiny became real enough for you to seek for an answer. When you heard the Gospel message you instinctively realised that this was the message your soul needed, so you turned in repentance and faith to Christ. But it is that one defining moment that is so important, that moment when you realised that Christ is worth all the treasure of the world and by God’s incredible grace, He became your treasure.