A few years ago I was visited by a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. She asked, “Are you concerned about global warming and the eternal damage that we are doing to the earth?” When I said, “No” She was visibly stunned and taken aback. “No? How can you not be concerned?” I answered, “Because the earth is not eternal; it’s a temporary creation of God and will be burned up.” “Oh no,” she replied, “the earth is God’s ultimate creation for his glory and his children will live here forever.” She badly proof texted some passages from Psalms, pulled out of context.
There are several religious groups that promote a materialistic view of God and life. The so-called health and wealth gospel, widely broadcast on national TV, says that God wants you to be rich and if you are doing the right things (according to them) God will make you rich right here and right now!
That is appealing to lots of people. It is compatible with worldliness. But it is NOT compatible with a Christian world view. Yes, Jesus promised that God’s children would be provided with food, shelter and clothing (Mat. 6:33) and Paul said having these things we should be content (1 Tim. 6:8). In the same context where Jesus promised basic physical needs would be provided to us by God, Jesus also warned against viewing the things of the world as treasure (Mat 6:19-21). “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Those of us who have been raised with the Lord in baptism are to set our mind on things above, not on things of the earth (Col. 3:1). Our “treasure” is not in this world and our things are not our treasures! That does not mean we are not involved in life, raising children, having businesses, etc., but it does mean that our values, focus and goals are not in the material world.
The “things” we have are only tools and must never be allowed to become treasures of the heart. Even physical life itself is not ours to possess. Ps 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
- Tim Orbison