Q. I wanted to ask you a follow-up question regarding treasures in Heaven. What does the Bible say these treasures are, and why do we need them? If our works are like “dirty rags” at the the feet of the Lord, and our salvation is based only on our acceptance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as a sin atonement, then how can we store up treasure? Wouldn’t that actually give rise to the sin of jealously if one individual has more than another?
I would think that being in Heaven and having the opportunity to commune with God in the way He intended would be enough to satisfy any Christian, so again, why do we need treasures and the belief that we can have greater favor with God through our actions here on earth? Wouldn’t we be better off just giving to the poor and helping those in need because it’s the right thing to do as a Christian versus doing it because we expect a sort of heavenly pay-back?
A. The only passage that really speaks of treasures in Heaven is Matt. 6:19-21. It doesn’t say what they are, nor does it explain exactly how to get them. It just tells us in the Lord’s own words that we should store them up. He doesn’t allow Himself to be in our debt, so He re-pays us for our obedience. That’s why people who give out of gratitude without any expectation of return always wind up with more for themselves. (Giving with the expectation of pay-back is a sign of greed not gratitude.)
In Paul’s description of the Bema Seat judgment it seems clear that some will receive greater reward than others (1 Cor. 3:10-15). Perhaps these are the treasures the Lord spoke of. In considering this, we should remember that in our perfected states emotions like envy and jealousy will no longer be a part of our make-up.
In summary, the Lord commanded us to use our excess here on Earth to store up treasure in Heaven so it must be a good thing to do.