Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching the principles of God’s Word and assisting the church in ministering to the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled, and unsupported people around the world. His ministry focus is communicating the strategic importance of using our earthly time, money, possessions, and opportunities to invest in need-meeting ministries that count for eternity.
We were able to talk to Randy about Money, Possessions, and Eternity and how to have a biblically centered mindset regarding our treasures. Because of Randy’s rich answers to each of our questions, we’ve broken this interview into a four-part miniseries on finances. This is the fourth and final piece in the series—enjoy!
Vyrso Voice: How would you describe the process of weaning yourself off your dependence to stuff? Are there withdrawals? A detox process?
Randy Alcorn: I think one of the most basic ways we can begin weaning ourselves from our dependence to stuff is by realizing that you can’t take it with you. You’ll never see a hearse pulling a UHaul. If that point is clear in your mind, you’re ready to see the paradigmshifting significance of what Jesus is saying in Matthew 6. He takes that profound truth “You can’t take it with you” and adds a stunning qualification. By telling us not to store up treasures on earth, but instead to store up treasures for ourselves in Heaven, Jesus is saying, “You can’t take it with you—but you can send it on ahead.”
Matthew 6:19-24 shows us that we’re to avoid storing up treasures on earth not as an end in itself, but as part of a life strategy to lay up treasures in heaven. A person may give up all earthly treasures without ever investing in heavenly treasures. Jesus is not looking for ascetics or hermits, but eternity-wise investors. Jesus is not speculating, he’s speaking of sure things. When he warns us not to store up treasures on earth, it’s not just because wealth might be lost. It’s that wealth will definitely be lost. Either it leaves us while we live, or we leave it when we die.
Whatever treasures we store up on Earth will be left behind when we die. Whatever treasures we store up in Heaven will be waiting for us when we arrive.
If your treasures are on earth, each day you are moving away from them. If your treasures are in heaven, each day you are moving toward them.
He who spends his life moving away from his treasures has reason to despair. He who spends his life moving toward his treasures has reason to rejoice.
It’s a revolutionary concept, this great adventure of giving. If you embrace it, I guarantee it will change your life.