Have you ever dreamed of finding treasure you can keep? Many people have. Treasure enthusiasts spend millions in the pursuit of hidden treasure, and some have even lost their lives in the quest. But most return empty-handed.
The few who actually succeed usually discover that their treasure ultimately leaves them dissatisfied.
Countless books and movies recount stories of the hunt for treasure. Even the Bible speaks about finding treasure. If you search the Bible, you will find code words for treasure. They are clues to tell you how to find it: “A valuable pearl”, a “storeroom”, treasure in a “clay jar”, “treasure buried in a field”. And, if you should happen on a treasure, the Bible tells you how to protect it from insects, corrosion, and thieves.
There are different kinds of treasure: tangible treasures such as: gold, silver, money, and precious stones. Also, there are intangible treasures such as wisdom, and knowledge.
One day when a large crowd gathered around Jesus, he compared the kingdom of heaven to a treasure buried in a field. One day a man found the treasure by accident. He reburied it. Then, in his great joy, he went and sold all his possessions and bought that field. The point of the story is this – the kingdom of heaven is a treasure of great value. Its value is so great, that it is worth more than all the material goods that a person might possess.
Since Jesus told that story, countless millions of people have found such a treasure, but it still remains hidden to most of humanity.
A hidden treasure does not always consist of buried coins or precious metal. For example, the treasure could be a compelling lifestyle. If so, one might even give up their old lifestyle to enjoy what the newly discovered one has to offer.
FINDING THE TREASURE
Valuable treasure can still be found. One simply needs a treasure map and someone to point to the way. So let’s go on a treasure hunt. Don’t expect that the path to the treasure will be easy. Jesus said that there is a small gate across a narrow path that leads to life, and only a few find it. Note that Jesus said that the narrow path leads to “life”. Life is the code word for the hidden treasure. Keep that in mind as we continue our search.
The reason only a few find their way to the treasure is that most people drive right past the small gate in their pursuit of the good life. They are on the wide road, and the traffic is heavy and traveling fast. But the wide road is a dead end. It leads only to destruction. The narrow path that leads to the treasure is not as well traveled and consequently it is a little harder to find.
FOLLOW THE CLUES TO THE TREASURE
So we know two things about the treasure. The code word is “life” and the way to the treasure is easy to miss. But then Jesus makes a curious statement. He claims that he is the path, and the truth, and the ‘life’ (i.e. treasure).
Jesus seems to be saying that if we would follow him, he is a trustworthy guide and he will lead us to the treasure. In fact, leading his followers to the treasure was his very purpose in coming to this earth.
THE VALUE OF THE TREASURE
Jesus never put a dollar value on the treasure. One way of comprehending the value of a treasure, with inestimable value, is to consider the consequence of failing to find it. Jesus told the religious leaders that if they did not believe that he was who he claimed to be, then they would die in their sins. It was their sin that kept them separated from God. Consequently, unless they believed, the religious leaders were going to die separated from God. This would mean that they would die without having a relationship with God, and without forgiveness for their sins.
To “die in your sins” is to die without finding the treasure. Your body dies but your spirit remains forever in a state of conscious awareness in a spiritual place of darkness and suffering. There, in a place the Bible calls hell, there is nothing to see, nothing to do, and no purpose or meaning for existence. The Bible compares the spiritual pain of hell to living forever in physical flames.
All the money in the world will not be enough to buy an escape from that awful place. Only the treasure is of sufficient value, and it must be acquired while you are still alive. So, whether or not you find the treasure has eternal consequences. Nothing you could acquire or achieve in this life is more important than finding the treasure called “the life”. The treasure has more value than all the riches on earth.
THE END OF THE QUEST
The Bible is full of clues to the treasure. The writer John maintains that he wrote the gospel of John for the sole purpose that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and by believing you might receive the treasure. Can it really be that simple? Just believe? Well, yes and no.
Belief is not just the intellectual acceptance of a fact. The Bible says that even demons believe God exists, and it scares them to death! Real belief is ‘faith in action’. The apostle Paul told Christ-followers in Galatia that it was their faith in Jesus Christ that made them part of the family of God. Faith is multi-faceted. Here are a few of faith’s characteristics:
True faith believes that God loves you so much that he accepted the death of his sinless Son Jesus Christ as payment in full for your sins, so that you can have the treasure of eternal life.
Faith is belief in the Good News that, not only did Jesus die to pay the penalty for your sin, but that he was buried, and that God raised him from the dead on the third day to prove that he has power over death.
Faith is belief that trusts the promise of Jesus to save you from eternal condemnation.
Faith is belief that prompts you to confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Faith is belief that prompts you to repent of (turn away from) your former sins and become a new creation in Christ.
RECEIVING THE TREASURE
The apostle Paul says, even though we don’t deserve it, God’s offers the treasure of eternal life to all those who put their faith in Jesus Christ. No human effort can contribute to this salvation in any way. It is totally a gift from God.
You started out on a treasure hunt. You found the most valuable treasure in the world and it is offered to you absolutely free. Now, you are left with a decision. Either you will accept the gift, or you will reject it.
The Bible says that to all who received Christ, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be part of God’s family.
If it is your desire to receive Christ and accept God’s gracious offer by faith in His Son Jesus Christ, I suggest you pray a simple prayer. The prayer will not save you. Only faith can do that. This prayer simply helps you to begin a conversation with God.
“Dear God, I now realize that, as a sinner, I am without hope of eternal life. Today I desire to turn from my sin. Please forgive me and make me your child. I confess Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. From now on I plan to follow him. Teach me to be the kind of person that honors you above all else. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer today, we would like to send you the gift of a New Testament. If you read through it, a portion each day, you will quickly learn more about the fabulous treasure that Jesus offers to you as a member of the family of God.
To request your New Testament please send an email. Click on “Need Answers?” in the main menu above, and follow the instructions to email your request.
Add your name, complete mailing address (street address, city, state, zip), and write “Free N.T.” in the “Subject” space. Add your comments, with a brief message requesting your free New Testament.
In the meantime, while you are waiting for your free New Testament to arrive, you can click the link in the header above (First Principles/Interactive Bible Study) to go to our interactive web page and learn more of what the Bible teaches about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, Baptism, and the Certainty of your Reward in Heaven.
If you have a question, or would like to make a comment on this article, please click on “Need Answers?” in the main menu above, and follow the instructions to email your question or comment.