Missing Out on A Valuable Treasure

Mike Johnson

 “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”  I am confident that almost everyone has heard this expression.  We know that something which may seem worthless to one person may be viewed as valuable by another.  The popularity of garage/yard sales in our country attests to this.

An Associated Press Story several years ago told of a man in Texas who purchased a 1,905 carat sapphire at a gem show for $10.00.  How did this happen?  The purchaser bypassed the professional dealers and went to an area where the amateur dealers were displaying their merchandise.  He found the stone in a box of rocks priced at $15.00.  He realized that the rock was valuable and inquired about it.  The dealer then cut the price to $10.00.  The purchase was made.  The sapphire was later appraised at 2.28 million.

The above story is amazing.  The uncut sapphire probably passed through the hands of many people before it came into the possession of someone who recognized its value. The problem was that the original owner, and probably many others, did not realize the true value of the stone.

Today, many fail to recognize a treasure even more valuable than sapphires.  They have it within their grasps, yet do not realize its worth.  That treasure, of course, is SALVATION.

Salvation is much more valuable than any earthly treasure.  One reason that salvation is more valuable is that earthly treasures, at most, can only last for our short lifetime.  They simply do not endure for us past our time here on earth.  The old expression, “You can’t take it with you,” is certainly true.  Note what Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-20:

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”

Another reason that salvation is more valuable than earthly treasures is that in our own lifetime our treasures can lose their value.  The above passage reminds us of this.  While it is true that a child of God can fall from grace (I Cor. 10:12, Gal. 5:4), his salvation cannot be taken away by another person unless he allows it.  A Christian who falls does so because he chooses to serve the devil instead of God.  Another important reason that salvation is more valuable than earthly treasures is that earthly treasures, by themselves, cannot bring happiness.  We often read and hear about wealthy people who are not happy.  Salvation, on the other hand, can bring happiness in this life (Phil. 4:4,10) and in the life to come (Mt. 25:23).  This happiness is enduring.

Paul spoke of preaching the gospel in the latter part of I Corinthians 1.  He said that the Jew asked for signs, and the Greeks sought after wisdom.  The Jews had received many signs (or miracles) by Christ and others.  However, they were not satisfied.  The Greeks were only interested in the philosophy of this world, not in the preaching of Christ.  Consequently, the preaching of Christ crucified was “unto the Jews a stumbling block and unto the Greek’s foolishness” (V. 23). These two groups had access to something very valuable.  They heard the preaching of Christ and could have responded by becoming Christians.  They could have been saved.  Instead, they rejected the preaching of God’s Word which is described as “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16) and as that which is “able to save your souls” (Jas. 1:21).  Many others, however, that Paul preached to realized the value of the teaching.  They viewed Paul’s message of the crucified Christ as God’s power for salvation. (I Cor. 1:24).

The preaching of Christ crucified was incorrectly assessed by many of the Jews and Greeks.  They misjudged its value when they thought that it was worthless.  On the other hand, its proper value was seen by some in Paul’s day and continues to be recognized by those with honest hearts today.

The man who sold the sapphire worth several million dollars for $10.00 lost quite a sum of money.  However, let us not look down on him.  Millions of people today are doing the same thing, but with something that is much more valuable than that sapphire.  They have an opportunity to obey the Word of God and become Christians.  Instead, they reject God’s Word and follow their own interests.  People who reject God’s Word not only lose out on heaven but are doomed to hell for  eternity (Mt. 25:46).  Have you recognized the value of salvation?