The members of the church in Jerusalem were generous in helping members who were in need.
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
In doing this they were following the command of Jesus to lay up treasures in Heaven. But what would have happened if they had decided to keep their possessions for their own use? Shortly after this a severe persecution broke out.
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
If they had kept their lands and houses they would have had to leave them behind when they were forced to flee persecution. They would have had neither their property nor any heavenly treasure.
A missionary named Jim Elliot once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” If God has given you material wealth there is one thing you can be sure of; you will not own it forever. You might have unexpected expenses that will for you to spend it. It might be taken away by fraud or theft. If you manage to keep it for your whole life you will have to leave it behind when you die. The only way to keep it forever is to use it to advance the work of the kingdom of God and so replace it with a heavenly treasure that you can keep forever.