Not Much up There

    A friend of mine was once taken by an old man to see his riches. He took him to a splendid mansion, and said, "This is all mine." He pointed to a little town, "That is mine; it is called by my name." He pointed to a rolling prairie, "That is all mine; the sun never shone on a finer prairie than that, so fruitful and rich, and it's all mine." In another direction he showed him fertile farms extending for thirty miles, "These are all mine." He took him into his grand house, showed him his beautiful pictures, his costly gold plate, his jewels, and still he said, "There are all mine. This grand hall I have built; it is called by my name; there is my insignia on it. And yet I was once a poor boy. I have made it all myself."

    My friend looked at him. "Well, you've all this on earth; but what have you got up there?"

    "Up where?" said the old man.

    "Up in heaven."

    "Well, I'm afraid I haven't got much up there."

    "Ah," said my friend, "but you've got to die, to leave this world; what will you take with you of all these things? You will die a beggar; for all these riches count as nothing in the kingdom of heaven. You will be a pauper; for you have no inheritance with the saints above." The poor old man (he was poor enough in reality, though rich in all the world's goods) burst into tears. He had no home for the future. In four months' time he was dead; and where is he now? He lived and died without God, and without hope in this world or the next.