The wise man of old wrote: “Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it for the man that will come after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored for them. This too is vanity and a great evil. “(Eccl. 2:18-21).
The book of Ecclesiastes is a documentary on the vanities of life. The preacher affirms that it is right for a man to enjoy the fruit of his labors, but it is folly to put his trust in those riches for his salvation. Man labors that he may furnish the needs of his life and for those that depend on him (1 Tim 5:8). If a man can supply the necessities of life he should learn to find happiness therein. We should be as Paul was who “learned in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content” (Phil. 4:11).
But in our day of good wages and retirement benefits, of homes with two wage earners and long life expectancy, it is not unusual for a man to accumulate a “nest egg” beyond necessities. With this, a Christian may be able to amass an estate of several thousands of dollars, including property, stocks, life insurance and savings accounts. While he is able to determine what is to be done with such “wealth” while he is alive, what will be done with it after he is dead? He is likely to keep some of it where he can use it while he is alive, but he needs to make arrangements that it will be disposed of in a righteous manner after he can no longer use it or have need of it.
The above passage from Solomon suggests that it is vanity to labor and leave it for another to control, especially when we know not whether that one will be foolish or wise. What will happen to your estate? Will that for which you have labored be left to one who is not a Christian and has no interest in spiritual things? Then will that wealth be used for everything under the sun but the glory of God?
You are a Christian. You should be seeking first the kingdom of God and laying up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20, 33). Every possession you have is given you of God and should be used with His glory in view. All things should be used in some way that will contribute to the spread of truth and enhancement of righteousness. Solution: Make a WILL! Let it be understood that no one should neglect the needs of their family, especially those who are of the househ0ld of faith, in order to supply the needs of the church. Allow not your family to go in want in order to give to the church. However, if you have more than enough to supply their needs, then let not this money be cast to fill the wicked. Let it be used to help the needy saints, preacher’s support, the needs of the local church, and for the furtherance of the gospel. Put it in the hands of men in whom you have confidence to use it rightly, the elders of the church. So many good works are needing assistance.
Then make a will for the disposition of what you retain for an emergency or retirement. Be sure that it will be in the hands of those that you are sure will use it in harmony with God’s will. How could it be pleasing to God for your estate to be left in the hands of godless relatives who will only spend it to further the Devil’s cause and for their greedy desires?
Heed the advice of the Lord that concluded the parable of the unjust steward, “So I say unto you, use your worldly wealth to win friends for yourself, so that when money is a thing of the past you may be received into the eternal home.” (Luke 16:9). The lesson here taught is: use your earthly possessions to please God so that when you can no longer use them, you will be granted eternal wealth; And it might be added that we are responsible for how we dispose of our estate after death. This is putting the kingdom first, laying up treasures in heaven. Paul said, “I know him whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12).
Jesus also said, “If you have not proved trustworthy with the wealth of this world, who will trust you with the wealth that is real?” (Lk. 16:11). The point is that if we do not use rightly our earthly possessions, how can we expect God to give us heavenly wealth? Have you made your will?