Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 1, No. 9 Page 6 September 1999

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Spiritual Annuity

By Kevin Rhodes

Dictionaries define an annuity as an investment from which one receives an income over a long period of time. The most important aspect of an annuity is that it is a long-term plan. But listen to the apostle Paul's words, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). Paul had a long-term plan spiritually. He treated any suffering or sacrifice that he endured while upon the earth as an investment that would reap dividends beyond compare in the future.

A short-range plan concentrates on the here and now without worrying about the possibility of a coming depression. It guarantees quick gain with nothing planned for the future. A short-range plan is easier and more affordable by most. It is easier to see because that is what everyone else has. A short-range plan of life guarantees sin for awhile and nothing for eternity.

"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:24-25).
On the other hand, a long-range plan considers benefits that are not immediate but are of better quality and of lasting value. As Christians, we can look toward heaven (Revelation 21:1-4), a place that has quality beyond any comparison. Too often we get caught up in the rat race of every day life and forget that this life is not the end of everything. When a Christian has a long-term plan, he can see heaven as the end instead of looking at the long narrow path full of obstacles that still lie in the way (Matthew 7:13-14). A long-range plan emphasizes the beauty and glory that can be shared after a short time of waiting, hoping, and investing in that plan.
"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: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).
A long-range planner will trust the bank he is using because of the confidence that bank has earned. A long-range plan is for those who are committed because if you withdraw your money too soon, you will never see the benefits.

There are two plans from which we can choose. We can choose the short-term plan of pleasure and sin and bank with Satan, or we can choose the long-term plan that looks toward heaven and bank with God.

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
We have the choice of investing our souls in either one of these banks. Are we going to invest in the short-term plan of sin or the long-term plan of Christianity? Warning: Invest wisely!

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