That Which He “Seemeth to Have''

Luke 8:18, “...from him shall be taken even that which he SEEMETH TO HAVE

By David J. Stewart

       Jesus makes an astounding statement in Luke 8:18 concerning riches, fame, pleasures, and prosperity which the wicked only SEEMETH TO HAVE. That is very interesting indeed. This earthly life is very short and will be over before you know what happened (James 4:14).

Luke 8:18, “Take heed therefore HOW YE HEAR: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.”

In Luke 8:18 Jesus says to be careful HOW YE HEAR the Scriptures. The Greek word for “how” in this Scripture is poce meaning (when used as an interrogitive particle of manner) “in what way.” Jesus is warning to take heed in what way ye hear the Word of God. Many people are only hearers of the Word, but not doers. This is what Jesus means here. James 1:22-25 speaks concerning this issue. We ought to be DOERS of the Word to please God, and not mere HEARERS of the Word. Jesus says to TAKE HEED THEREFORE HOW YE HEAR, admonishing us to make sure we listen intently with the heart's hunger to obey that which we hear. Amen!

Most of the things which people hold so near and dear in this earthly life are shallow, meaningless, and only temporary. 1st Timothy 6:7 says that you can't take any of it with you when you pass into eternity. All of one's multiple homes, timeshares properties, stock portfolios, retirement savings, boats and toys, swimming pool, and earthly possessions will be left behind for someone else to enjoy. You and I will stand before God. All that will matter then is how we heard the Bible. Did we take heed “HOW YE HEAR” as the Lord commanded, or did we hear in one ear and out the other like most people carelessly do?

Jesus plainly stated that all of the temporal fame, pleasures, and wealth of this earthly world are not permanent. People only SEEM to have them for now, but these things will eventually all disappear quickly and completely. I see Hollywood actors selling their souls to remain popular. When a celebrity's name pops up in the tabloids due to personal problems, in order to retain their fame, fortune, and wealth in Hollywood they do something wicked to reaffirm their loyalty to the system. It may be a lesbian kiss on MTV, or a pornographic spread in a dirty magazine, or taking it all off in their next blockbuster Hollywood movie; but one way or another they sell their soul to Satan again and again and again.

Ah, but all their fame, fortune, and massive earthly wealth is only temporal. Jesus said it is only what they SEEMETH TO HAVE, but it will all be taken away from them one day. Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” A well known musician died recently in 2010 of a heart attack at age 53. Life is what happens to you when you're making big plans. He never thought it would be his last day on earth.

Most people couldn't care less about the things which are Jesus Christ's (Philippians 2:21). How tragic and sad, for that is all that truly matters in this life and the very purpose for which we were created. Revelation 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” We were all created by Jesus Christ for the sole purpose of pleasing Jesus Christ. Are you living a life pleasing to the Lord? Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.

Jesus teaches believers how to make God happy in Luke 8:15, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” If we hear God's Word and become DOERS of His Word, then we will share the Gospel with lost sinners and bring forth fruit with God's help. 1st Corinthians 3:6-8,  “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.”

All of the Beverly Hills mansions, high-rise penthouses, worldly fame and fortune, extravagant living, pleasures and delights, designer clothing, imported wines and exquisite dining, and shallow friendships—will all suddenly pass away at the end of this fleshly existence. When this fleshly tabernacle is no longer suitable to house one's spirit, it will return unto God Who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Ecclesiastes 12:1,13-14, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them... Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

This earthly life is an illusion. It is not real, for the true life is that which is in eternity. Romans 1:20, “For the INVISIBLE THINGS OF HIM from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” It is this invisible world of which the Bible speaks that is the true world in which we live. The spirit is who we really are, not the flesh that houses the spirit. Satan is real and he wants to steal, kill, and destroy everything we hold precious in this life (John 10:10). Our battle is against the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

If we understand this as Christian believers, then it ought to compel us to become very active soul-winners, determined to reach the lost for Jesus Christ. 2nd Corinthians 4:4 teaches that Satan is the god of this evil world and BLINDS the minds of unbelievers in a desperate attempt to prevent them from being saved. The preceding Verse in 2nd Corinthians 4:3 says, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” It is our duty as Christians to warn others of coming divine judgment in Hell and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ (that is, the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord—1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Our part is simply to present the Gospel and then hope and pray that they'll receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (John 1:12). Only God can save a soul (1st Corinthians 3:6).

Whatever you may seem to have today won't be there when you die. The good news is that you can take something with you into eternity, and that is the changed lives of people. Amen and amen, hallelujah! This is why our precious Lord Jesus Christ told us to LAY UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN in Matthew 6:20 where neither rust nor moth doth corrupt, and neither do thieves break through and steal. Matthew 6:20, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” What a day that will be!!!

You won't need to purchase any extended warranties in Heaven. You won't need to purchase any homeowners or renter's insurance in Heaven. No one is going to pressure us in eternity, borrow from us never to return again what they've borrowed, take advantage of us as they do hear on earth, nor swindle us—because God won't allow injustice anymore. You won't have to worry anymore while you're out fishing, wondering if someone is breaking into your home and stealing everything. You'll never need a lawyer in Heaven. What good would the Lord's PROMISE be that thieves will no longer steal from us if there's even the slightest risk of loss in Heaven.

Our possessions in Heaven will be safe and permanently ours, never to rust, break, nor be stolen. There will never be a time in eternity when you'll have to sell your home to pay for a lawyer. We'll be able to enjoy our heavenly wealth without worry, hurt feelings, nor having to look over our shoulder continually for evil people who want to do us harm, or are drunk and deranged, or are just plain good-for-nothing and up-to-something. We'll be able to walk down any street or pathway in Heaven without fear of being attacked, conned, or mistreated. There will be no evil in the heavenly city (Revelation 22:15).

All the things of this earthly life which people SEEMETH TO HAVE are only an illusion; for true possessions, lasting peace, and genuine happiness are only found by faith in Christ Jesus. Luke 8:18 warns that the things which people SEEMETH TO HAVE will be taken away from them the moment they die. You cannot take anything beyond the grave with you, except your soul. You can take your knowledge learned about the Bible. You can take memories of serving God. The Bible makes so many wonderful statements if you look for them, and Luke 18:8 is one of them, speaking of the things which men only SEEMETH TO HAVE. What a statement. The Bible causes us to look at life from a new and different perspective. Jesus said that it only appears as if people possess the things they posses, but in reality (eternity) they own nothing.

The Lukewarm, Naked and Poor, Miserable and Wretched, Church at Laodicea

How's that for a subtitle? This is exactly what Jesus said concerning the apostate church at Laodicea. In Revelation 3:17 Jesus rebuked the church at Laodicea for being rich and yet poor, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” My oh my how this describes so many people today, especially spoiled-rotten Americans. Jesus said that they falsely THINK they are rich and have need of nothing, “AND KNOWEST NOTthat thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Jesus taught that most people are not aware that they are spiritual naked and poor. The average person today errantly THINKS they are doing great. Many people have money, an education, a career, a family, a home, a retirement, and everything seems to be going their way; but God says that they are spiritually blind, foolish, destitute, poor, naked, miserable, and will be very sorry when they stand in judgment before God.

In Revelation 3:15 Jesus said to them, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.” Their worst sin was indifference, i.e., not caring one way or the other. Nothing really mattered to them. This is the biggest problem in churches today, like terminal cancer, like rigor-mortis that has set into a dead body. People just don't care, don't want to get involved, don't want to make a fuss, don't want to rock-the-boat. They go along to get along, and that is why God was so disgusted with the believers are the church of Laodicea. God said that He would vomit them out of His mouth, because they made Him sick to His stomach (Revelation 3:16).

Do you make God sick? They were LUKEWARM at Laodicea. My website ministry is anything but lukewarm. People KNOW where I stand on the issues, and it makes a lot of people mad. I have sought sincerely and diligently to take God's side in every controversy. So be it! The world hates Jesus Christ, Who is the manifestation of God the Father to the world (1st Timothy 3:16, King James Bible). In John 7:7 Jesus said that the world CANNOT hate Christians, because God is the divine Law-giver; thus, it is Jesus Christ Whom they truly hate.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to be lukewarm. I struggle like every other believer, each and every day, to overcome indifference. It is easy to become complacent in one's blessed assurance. It is easy not to care; but it requires taking time out to search the Scriptures and therein to “meditate day and night” as Psalm 1:2 teaches.

Nearly all Americans are living high-on-the-hog, having need of nothing in America; yet God says they are spiritually destitute, living in total spiritual poverty, being miserable, blind, and naked. This is America today!!! Droves of Americans hypocritically sing God Bless America while continuing to murder their children by abortion, embrace the homosexual agenda, selfishly file for divorce, and live in deliberate sin against the God of the Bible. Most people are sinfully silent concerning evil and corruption, letting others fight the battle instead because they don't want to get involved in anything controversial. God will reward those who do the work—fighting against evil, contending for the faith, praying continually, preaching the Gospel, and making a difference for God.

Those who sit on the sidelines and gossip, criticizing those who are faithfully running the race, will receive nothing except shame and reproach at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1st Corinthians 3:10-15). And to those who laid obstacles in the path of faithful believers running the race for Christ, by sowing discord and attacking them, God will deal harshly with them for hurting the cause of Christ. Proverb 6:16-19 says that God hates those who sow discord amongst brethren (i.e., God hates the sin). It is bad enough that many believers aren't doing anything to win souls to Christ, but then to make matters worse they work against faithful Christians who are getting the job done.

This is what the Judgment Seat of Christ is all about, that is, every individual believer will give account for the GOOD and the BAD done in the body. There won't be any finger-pointing on Judgment Day; but rather, God is simply going to recompense everyone for their words and deeds, good or bad (1st Thessalonians 4:6; Romans 12:18-21; Romans 14:10-12). Since God is omniscient (all knowing) there won't be any need for witnesses nor juries. No doubt many people are going to start pointing fingers, just like Adam and Eve did, but they were both punished and it didn't work. God will not be mocked, a man will reap that which he sows here on earth (Galatians 6:7). In 2nd Corinthians 5:9, the Apostle Paul realized this and it compelled him to labor for Christ that he might be ACCEPTED OF HIM (well-pleasing) by the Lord on Judgment Day. Those who don't care will instead face the TERROR OF THE LORD (2nd Corinthians 5:11). 1st Peter 5:7 teaches that God cares, and a Christian who is right with God will care also.

I have been fighting the good fight of faith by God's grace since 2002 on the internet, electronically waging a war against all the forces of Satan (which blind men's minds and hinder them from being saved by faith in Christ Jesus). Satan has retaliated against me relentlessly, like a trapped wild animal desperate to make his escape. I have Satan right where I want him, pinned down with the inspired and powerful Word of God. I'm certainly no match for Satan, but 1st John 4:4 says greater is Jesus Who lives in me than Satan who lives in the world. That's where Satan lives, in the world (1st Peter 5:8).

Thus, I can defeat the Devil with the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:12). When Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4:1-10, each time Satan used the Scriptures in an attempt to deceive Christ; and in each instance Jesus used the Scriptures to defeat the Devil. Be not deceived friend, if the Lord Jesus Christ needed to use the holy Bible to defeat the Devil, then so do we. There is no other way. The Scriptures are critically important! That's why we ought to make a fuss over which Bible we use, because they're not all the same. Satan has corrupted all modern Bibles, in an attempt to diminish the deity of Jesus Christ and lead people into false religion away from God and truth.

Conclusion of the Matter

Again, in Revelation 3:17 Jesus rebuked the church at Laodicea for being rich and yet poor, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Jesus said that they falsely thought they were rich and had need of nothing, “AND KNOWEST NOTthat thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Most people are not aware that they are spiritual naked and poor. The average person today is woefully ignorant of Biblical truth.

The truth is that no amount of worldly fame nor fortune can substitute for genuine salvation and serving God. Hundreds-of-millions of people have received notable awards, honorary recognitions, and have made great achievements in this life; just to die and perish into the fires of Hell beneath. What does it matter if a man gains the whole world, but then loses his soul? What does it matter if you are filthy rich, famous, and SEEMETH TO HAVE everything in this temporal earthly life, if you end up miserable in eternity?

I speak to Christians and non-Christians alike. If you are not a Christian, then I plead with you to receive Christ before it is too late. Confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, believing in your heart upon Him to forgive your sins and save you. If you are already a Christian, then get busy setting your affections on things above where Christ is seated on the right-hand of the Father.

Colossians 3:1-5, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

What a wonderful and practical passage of Scripture! Since Jesus has risen and is in Heaven, then that is where our affections (thoughts, interests, and passions) ought to be. Yet, nearly everyone is saturated with this earthly life, setting their affections on sports, pleasures, the stock market, worldly pursuits, hobbies, and a hundred other things that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the things which are Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:21).

I am already a citizen of Heaven. I already have eternal life. So I might as well set my mind and heart on home in Heaven, where the Lord has PROMISED to prepare a place for me (John 14:1-3). I want to preach the Gospel and do my best to get people saved, so that I may please my Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:3 says that we are already DEAD as believers. Isn't it interesting, we were spiritually DEAD in trespasses and sins before we were saved (Ephesians 2:1); and now we are DEAD to the flesh in Christ, and our life is hid with Christ in God the Father. Oh, listen my friend, that which you have in this life you only SEEMETH TO HAVE. Our true wealth is only that which we lay up for ourselves in eternity as Jesus said in Matthew 6:20. Every word we speak. Every work we do. Everything about our life will determine our rewards in Heaven as a Christian.

Of course, for those who reject Jesus Christ, then none of the good you've ever done will be remembered in eternity (Ezekiel 18:24)... NONE! You will be punish in Hell forever. Please read, The Seriousness of Salvation!

Proverb 28:14, “Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.”

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