Despite what most people say and think, you really can take it with you when you die. It all depends, of course, on your definition of it.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
The ancient Egyptian pharaohs literally tried to bring it all with them as they built huge tombs like the pyramids to house not only their material wealth, but their loved ones and even their pets. Ouch, if you happened to still be alive and a loved one when the pharaoh died. History shows us how unsuccessful their attempts to take it with them were as the tombs were found and plundered–often within a generation of the particular pharaoh’s death.
In the New Testament, Jesus tells a parable saying, the land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, “What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’” Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21)
So if putting stuff away for when we die doesn’t work and constantly trying to add to what we now have doesn’t work, how can we take it with us?
Billy Graham tells the story of an old man, a great man of God as he lay on his deathbed. He called for his grandson to come to his side. Calling the boy’s name, he said, “I don’t know what type of work I will be doing in heaven, but if it’s allowed, I’m going to ask the Lord Jesus to let me help build your mansion. You be sure to send up plenty of the right materials.”
We can’t take our money, our houses, our cars, our insurance policies–because we won’t need any of them there anyway. It really consists of living a holy life, leading others to Christ as we share our faith, doing good works in Christ’s name–all these things can be sent on ahead and can never be touched by the fluctuations in the earthly economy, by natural disaster, or by thievery.
So what kind of materials are you sending up to heaven? And in what kind of mansion will you live when the building process in completed?