Jesus began a period of His ministry in which He spoke only in parables. His most famous of these is the Parable of the Sower. Most of us are familiar with this teaching, as we’ve likely heard it preached on many times. There is one verse that is probably less known in this account. In Matthew 13:12, Jesus makes a incredible statement that has likely confused many people over the years:
“For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
One way to consider what this means can be in the area of faithful tithing. When we give to God’s kingdom by bringing the whole tithe into the storehouse, i.e. by not withholding from God that which is already His, then He blesses us. Luke 6:38 relates this principle like this:
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
In other words, through our obedience in bringing 10% of all that comes into our household, God will return that 10% to us and more. To the one who has, more will be given. In contrast, when we keep all 100% of our income and don’t give back to the Lord, that entire amount will always be short at the end of the month. Even what he has will be taken away.
This is a significant truth about God’s kingdom as we make our way through life’s journey, but there is a deeper meaning to this parable. It is one of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven that is actually well known because it deals with salvation.
When we are born again through the blood of Christ, we become children of God and heirs to the throne along with our brother Jesus (Romans 8:17). God gives us everything; all that He has is ours in abundance. We have the Spirit of the living God dwelling within us in this life – His presence in the midst of all we face. Better yet, we have eternal life with the amazing promise that we will rule and reign with Jesus (2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:6). In our present physical state, we cannot truly imagine what this will be like – but it will be glorious!
The promise for those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior is much darker and foreboding. Someone could have all the riches of this world, but if he doesn’t know Christ, he is doomed. He can live in luxury and direct the fate of millions, but without being covered by the blood of the Lamb, he will amount to nothing when he dies. Because he can’t take it with him, it will all be lost. Even what he has will be taken away.
This is the reason it is so vital that we believe in Jesus and make Him our King. There is life after death, both for believers and unbelievers. For those who follow hard after God, that life is one of abundance, the Lord’s favor, His blessings. For the ones who reject Him, those who choose to go their own way in unbelief, there is nothing but eternal torment.
Why choose disaster when the kindness of God leads us to repentance, and through that the kingdom of heaven?