Materialistic Mirage: Born With Nothing, Leave With Nothing

Category: Excerpts

Here’s this proverb in 1 Timothy 6:7: ‘We brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.’ You know what? Sometimes we just need a good dose of common sense. Don’t you love the proverbs? Common sense? Here’s a basic truth we know in theory, but the real question is, practically, where the rubber meets the road, do we show by the decisions we make, the actions we take, that we actually believe it? The problem is we know things like this. How many of you know that babies are born naked? Does anybody not know that? Did any of your children pop out with full clothing and toys already?

You know, brethren, sometimes you just have to stop and absorb the common sense of something: babies are born naked. And, you know, the Bible doesn’t just say that in the New Testament, in First Timothy; it says it in various places in Ecclesiastes. ‘As he came from his mother’s womb, he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.’  ‘I came from my mother’s womb, naked shall I return.’ What a proverb. You didn’t bring anything in. You aren’t taking anything out. You like that, brethren? That has implications.

And is it just some stupid empty saying, like, ‘Well, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade,’ or something? Brethren, look at babies. Look at newborn babies. They’re naked. You know what that ought to tell you? Wow, that’s the way I’m going out. I didn’t bring anything in, and I’m not going to take anything out. You’re not going to take a single thing, not physical, not of this world. You’re not taking it out. So, what’s the point of it all, brethren? The point is this: Don’t invest in what’s going to remain here. That’s the point of it. If you lay up treasure here, you die, and you lose it. That’s it. It’s gone. Lay it up here.

What was that? It looked like a moth. You leave something outside, and it gets wet, right? Rest on the side of that vehicle out there. Where’d that come from? If you’re on the east side, I can’t talk about what part of town you are on, but have you ever noticed? There are thieves here and there. If you’ve taken the stone blocks that I didn’t have glued to my wall, well, that was a bad investment, right? The thieves carried it off. And here’s the problem: When you lay it up here, and the moth comes and gets it, then it’s gone. I mean, you lost it, and then it’s not like you can empty your pockets out on judgment day and barter with God. We know this: riches do not profit in the day of wrath. Righteousness delivers from death. ‘Is there silver in there? Gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord.’ Psalm 49 says, ‘Truly, no man can give to God the price of his life. The ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice.’

Brethren, you know what it’s basically saying? You do not want to trust in that which is going to fail you in the hour of your death. Don’t go there. At the greatest crisis of your existence. Can you imagine this? You are on your deathbed. You are gasping for the last gasp of breath in this world. You are going out. And what you don’t want to do right at that point, brethren, is to panic. That is a crisis point. If there was ever a crisis point for any human being, it is those moments right before they step into eternity. The implications of what this is saying is, at that greatest point, a crisis right there, when you need confidence, when you need contentment in God, when you need some sort of safety, some sort of hope more than ever, what is your money going to be to you then? What is all the wealth you hoarded up?

You know what? You’re going to enter eternity with the level of contentment you had. I mean, if you find your contentment in God, and now you’re coming up to that brink of eternity, you’re not looking back over your shoulder like Lot’s wife. Wow. I got my planner back there, and I invested all that time in this, that, and brethren, if you die today, would you take with you a heart of contentment and satisfaction? You know what you don’t want to be? You don’t want to be that fool who, right at that time you step into the presence of God, has just this empty hole right here where covetousness used to be. Because I’ll tell you what, covetousness will fail you in your hour when you need the greatest help. And all there is is this empty hole, a spiritual hole. Covetousness will fail you right at that point.

How wretched it is when our lives are constantly being measured, constantly being weighed, and the value of our lives are constantly being put in the scale. How wretched when it’s stuff that matters, when the stuff and things become necessary to us, and God’s gifts take the place of God himself. What a horrible, monstrous substitution. We begin to live for what God has given us. His gift for me to use. If you would know God in greater intimacy, you have to recognize this is huge, because oftentimes we get Christians and they’re like, ‘I want revival. I want more.’ But do you realize that one of the great paths to discipleship, to being a learner, to following, to nearness, is renunciation? You can’t get away from that unless you forsake all that you have. ‘You cannot be my disciple,’ and you think, what Jesus said to that rich young ruler, ‘Yeah, you’ll have treasure in heaven.’ It’s a renunciation. ‘I want it all.’ And here’s what I want you to go do with it: Give it to the poor. Any others? Treasure. But you don’t want to miss and follow me.

Matthew got up, and he got to go with Jesus. I mean, does that appeal to anybody? Could you imagine if he actually walked up here and he said, ‘Follow me’? What are you to do? Hesitate. It’s him, the chief desire of my soul. Folks, that man who has God for his treasure, Christ for content, satisfied as death lays its cold grip. That man has it all!