A Treasure Worth Living For

If news reports are to be believed, approximately $2 million in gold and other precious items are buried somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. And it could be yours for the taking—provided you can find it!

According to one report, New Mexico author Forrest Fenn offered a cryptic clue to the cache's location: "Begin it where warm waters halt/And take it in the canyon down/Not far, but too far to walk/Put in below the home of Brown." The clues were found in a 24-line poem included in Fenn's memoirs, published in 2011, and say the treasure was hidden somewhere above the 5,000-foot elevation between New Mexico and the Canadian border.

So far, at least four people have lost their lives while looking for the hoard. The latest victim to be identified is 53-year-old Jeff Murphy of Illinois, who went missing in June 2017. Murphy, who leaves behind a wife and two children, died in Wyoming—though Fenn says he had never been there.

And there are those who doubt Fenn even hid the treasure. Linda Bilyeu, the ex-wife of Randy Bilyeu, who died in 2016 while on the search, insists the "treasure" is nothing more than a "hoax" designed to bring publicity and attention to Fenn.

At least one woman has perished while searching for the Fenn fortune. Among the verified victims was the pastor of a church in Grand Junction, Colorado, near the Utah border, who also went missing in 2017. Pastor Paris Wallace went to New Mexico in search of the treasure, and, like Murphy, also left a wife and two children behind.

The idea of a sudden, massive windfall of cash is enticing enough to have drawn perhaps thousands of people to the mountains seeking this hidden wealth. Fenn, according to media reports, published the clues in an effort to inspire people to go into the outdoors and to "get the kids off the couch and away from the [video]game machine."

Sometimes, however, it isn't necessary to climb mountains or consult cryptic clues to find buried treasure. Just ask the northern California couple who, in 2013, found 1,427 gold coins—most in uncirculated, mint condition—buried on their property. Some of the coins were believed to be so rare that they could command close to $1 million each at auction.

But whether or not there's buried treasure on your property, the fact that so many people have gone out hunting for the items supposedly buried by Forrest Fenn somewhere in the Rocky Mountains tells us something about human nature. Many of us are looking for something that would make a dramatic change in our lives—something we believe could solve all our problems and place us on "easy street."

Well, the Bible offers a gift that it describes—in one place, Matthew 13:44—as a "hidden" treasure so valuable that the finder "sells all that he has" to buy the field where the treasure was found. That gift is the kingdom of heaven, which means eternal life with God. As Pastor Doug says in an episode of Bible Answers Live, who wouldn't want to accept God's gift and give Him their lives in return? Click here to listen now.

And unlike a hidden chest of gold and relics, God's gift is real and available to those who will believe!

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