Relation of Possessions to Eternal Life
85. Relation of Possessions to Eternal Life
To enter into the kingdom of God, we must be free of all attachments. We have seen this teaching repeatedly throughout the book. We saw it in Discourse on Standards of Righteousness (Chapter 5, #26), Discourse on the Kingdom of God (Chapter 7, #34), Some Costs of Discipleship (Chapter 10, #49), Some Tests of Discipleship (Chapter 11, #57), The Way of Eternal Life (Chapter 11, #58), Teaching About Reliance on Wealth (Chapter 12, #67), The Costs of Discipleship (Chapter 12, #73), God versus Mammon (Chapter 13, #75), Relations of Possessions to Eternal Life (Chapter 14, #85), and The Rich Publican of Jericho (Chapter 14, #88).
Too much money, it seems, is a huge liability when it comes to entering the kingdom of God. Money brings power and prestige, comfort and acceptance, opportunity and status – all things that people, once they have it, are loathe to give up. The problem, of course, is that all of those things are food for the ego, not the soul.
The promise, however, is that if we are willing to detach from all things temporal – and therefore temporary – we stand to gain much more than we ever loose: we gain our own soul, which is to say our true identity as human beings. What’s more, we stand to inherit not temporal but eternal life – which we interpret not in the apocalyptic sense of living forever in heaven, but in the evolutionary sense of inheriting, and then passing on to subsequent generations, the knowledge that will keep the human species viable into the future.