Will you be rich or poor in Heaven?
Some people are rich and others are poor. That has always been true and always will be. Jesus himself said, “You always have the poor with you.” I wonder how many realize that even in Heaven there will be rich and poor.
Salvation is a free gift from God, not something we can earn by anything we do. But the goal of salvation isn’t just to get into Heaven.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
We are not saved by works but we are saved to do good works. Our salvation itself is a free gift but our works after salvation will be judged and rewarded.
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)
Those who receive a reward will by rich; those who don’t will be poor. But we won’t experience any of the conflicts between rich and poor that we have here on earth. The rich won’t look down on the poor and the poor won’t resent the rich because all will realize that it is only by God’s grace that they are in Heaven at all.
In spite of this I think most of us would rather be rich than poor when we arrive in Heaven. Jesus himself urged his followers to try to acquire heavenly wealth.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
Many who are extremely poor on earth will be rich in Heaven.
Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (Hebrews 11:36-38)
There are many places in the world today where Christians endure this kind of suffering. (If you are interested in helping them you can find out how here: opendoorsusa.org.)
Some Christians are rich. Here are God’s instructions to them.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Whether we are rich in this life if often the result of circumstances that are beyond our control but we can choose whether or not we will be rich in Heaven.