Hank Hanegraaff, the host of the 𝘉𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘈𝘯𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘔𝘢𝘯 broadcast and the 𝘏𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘜𝘯𝘱𝘭𝘶𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘥 podcast, reads from Matthew 6:19–21 and 22–24. Said Jesus, “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 moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (vv.19–21). Christ’s message in the Sermon on the Mount is crystal clear. Rather than fixate on earthly vanities, we ought instead to focus on eternal verities. The heart that is fixed on eternity will never lose that which it treasures. Therefore, it may well be said that the heart of discipleship lies in disengaging ourselves from earthly vanities and attaching ourselves to eternal verities. Says St. John Chrysostom, “for the righteous, both the life hereafter and this life provide great pleasure; but the wicked and greedy are punished both here and hereafter. They are punished even here by the expectation of the retribution thereafter, and by the evil suspicion of everyone, and by the very fact of sinning and corrupting their own souls. After their departure from here, they endure unbearable retribution. In contrast, even if the righteous suffer a multitude of troubles here, they are nourished by good hopes, and have a pleasure that is pure, secure, and permanent; and hereafter the multitude of good things will welcome them—just like Lazarus [see Luke 16:19–31]….So let us call fortunate not the wealthy, but the virtuous. Let us call miserable not the poor, but the wicked. Let us not regard what is present, but regard what is to come. Let us examine not the out garments, but the conscience of each person. Let us pursue the virtue and joy that come from righteous actions; and let us, both rich and poor, emulate Lazarus.” Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22–23). The mind is the spiritual eye of the soul; it illuminates the inner man and governs all that he says and does. As such, the spiritual eye must remain pure and undivided. Healthy in its view toward food, money, and valuables. For if the eye is enflamed by sin, the light of eternity goes dim; and the bobbles of this world cause it to sparkle inordinately. Then the very organ that ought to furnish light, instead manifests only darkness—a darkness that brings forth slavery rather than spiritual emancipation. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (v.24). As Jesus makes plain, any attempt to maintain an attachment to both earthly vanities and eternal verities is foolishness. Why? Because it is impossible to serve both Messiah and money simultaneously. This ought to be a self-evident truth that requires no further elucidation.
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