Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

We Will Not Have This Man Rule Over Us

We continue our  study of the Nobleman and his servants in  Luke 19:11-27. 

   

THE MAIN CHARACTERS

 

First, we see the Nobleman who goes into a far country to receive a Kingdom. This Nobleman is a type or picture of Jesus who returned to Heaven after His resurrection. Before He leaves, He gives each of his ten servants a pound of silver to invest with plans to reward them according to their faithfulness when He returns.

 

Next we see a sampling of his faithful servants.  One earns ten pounds on the investment of his one pound.  Another servant earns five pounds on the investment of his pound.  When Jesus returns, He rewards his faithful servants with positions of responsibility when He establishes His Millennial reign, prophesied throughout the Bible.  For more on this I direct you to my series on PROPHECY on this web site.

 

Then we see the unfaithful servant who is fearful of investing his pound.  He wraps it in a napkin instead and hides it.  The Nobleman is displeased with this servant whom He describes as slothful and wicked.  His one pound is given to the servant who earned 10 pounds on his investment.

 

Finally, we see the wicked citizens who rejected the rule of the Nobleman when He returned to reign. 

 

THE FAITHFUL SERVANTS

 

The faithful servants in Jesus’ story represent His faithful servants who are not only saved, but living for Christ and serving  Him faithfully.  The New Testament repeatedly refers to these servants of Christ and the rewards that await them at Christ’s second coming.  Note I Corinthians 3:11-15,  6:1-3.   II Corinthians 5:9-10,  Romans 14:10-13,  II Timothy 2:12, Revelation 20:1-6.

 

Be aware of God’s grace; not only in our salvation, but also concerning our service and rewards. At the judgment the faithful servant does not says, “Wait till you see what I did, Lord!” Rather, He humbly announces,  “Thy pound has gained 10 pounds. He glorifies Christ who gave him the pound and prospered the investment. His only virtue was faithfulness and that faithfulness was simply the faithfulness of Christ working in and through him.  What makes any Christian great?  Psalm 18:35 reminds us that it is God’s gentleness in His dealings with us that makes anyone great.  Apart from His gentleness in His dealings with us, all of us would fall flat on our faces as failures.

 

Don’t ever forget this as parents or as teachers or mentors.  You make your children or your students great through dealing with them in gentleness and humility.   Maybe that doesn’t work for a Marine Drill Sergeant, but I’ll bet it does.  No matter how tough you are on your recruits, if you are going to make something of them, hidden beneath that tough exterior,  that recruit needs to know you care about him and that you want to see him succeed.  Beneath that harsh, tough exterior is a kind, gentle heart.

 

Christ’s servants do not all have the same responsibilities in life, but regardless of the responsibilities we have, we are required to be faithful.

 

THE UNFAITHFUL SERVANT

 

In Luke 19:20 we read of the unfaithful servant who because of fear and a bad attitude towards the Nobleman, wraps his pound in a cloth and hides it and, of course, earns no gain on it.  He has no love or concern for the Nobleman; but defames him as an austere, harsh, ungracious Master.  He hates and despises the Nobleman. 

 

Is he a picture of a Christian?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t say.   Perhaps Jesus is describing such people in His warning in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord,  shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven,  but he that doeth the will of God. Many will say unto Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name and in Thy name cast out devils and in Thy name done many wonderful works?’  Then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you.  Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” 

 

Perhaps he is a type of the carnal Christian who ignored God’s will for his life and lived a selfish, wasted life.  He is described in I Corinthians 3:11-15 as one who is saved so as by fire.  But all his works and service is burned up as worthless.

 

THE CITIZENS WHO HATED HIM

 

Who are His citizens?  Everyone in the world.  Understand that even though you are a lost sinner and even though you reject Christ as your Saviour and Lord, He still owns you.  Regardless of your religion, if you reject Christ and want nothing to do with Him, He still owns you.  He owns you because  you are His by creation; even though you reject Him and disown Him. 

 

You hate Him without cause, as John 15:25 describes the enemies of Christ who hated Him without cause as He went to the cross to die for sinners. As the crowds who shouted out in defiance, ” We have no king, but Caesar!”  so His enemies today defiantly shout as the citizens in our story, “We will not have this man rule over us!”

 

By the way, have you ever noticed how public figures who express their love and devotion to Christ are hated and reviled.  It has nothing to do with politics.  The hatred goes far beyond political disagreement.  It is the kind of hatred that froths at the mouth.  It all boils down to hatred of Jesus which is poured out on those who belong to Him and stand publicly for Him.

 

 

Nevertheless,  Jesus is coming back again to reign.  Then every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord.  Jesus is coming back again to rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.   He is returning, not only to reign, but as Judge to pass judgment on all sinners whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  He is coming back again as executioner to confine His enemies to eternity in Hell Fire, along with the devil and the anti-Christ and his false prophet.  You can read that dreadful news in Revelation 20:11-15

 

As Luke 19:22-27 states, Jesus’ enemies will be judged by their own words and deeds.  Many of his enemies are people who today claim to be Christians and servants of God and are involved in their churches.  When Christ returns to judge,  they will be stripped bare and exposed as phonies. Read that warning again in Matthew 7:21-23.

 

Are you His faithful servant, using the gifts and talents He gave you for His glory, or are you an unfaithful servant who will lose all rewards when Christ returns?

 

Are you a true citizen of Heaven, or are you an enemy of Christ and rejecting Him as Saviour and Lord?  I challenge you and urge you today to trust Him as your Saviour from sin and then bow before Him as your Lord and King.  Trust Him now and bow before Him now and one day you will hear Him say of you,  “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of  thy Lord.”

 

April 1, 2006 Posted by | Faithfulness | Comments Off on We Will Not Have This Man Rule Over Us

For God and Country

Jesus’ Kingdom is a heavenly kingdom. He spoke of it in John 18:36 at His mock trial before Pilate.  His life on earth was Heaven-centered on doing His Father’s will.

Jesus was also a Roman citizen by birth. In fact,  His mother, Mary,  and step-father, Joseph, were doing their civic duty by going to Bethlehem to be registered for Roman taxation. Palestine was part of the Roman Empire.  While there, Jesus was born in a stable because there was no room in the inn.  Thirty  years later that same Roman Empire would give orders for Jesus’ crucifixion. 

Jesus also taught  others to pay their taxes. Matthew 22:17-21.  As an Israelite, He also  paid the temple tax and taught others to fulfill this responsibility; although in Matthew 17:24-27 we see His humor in handling this responsibility.  

As Jesus, so we Christians have a dual responsibilities and privileges  as citizens of Heaven, as well  as citizens of our nation. 

CITIZENS OF HEAVEN 

Two thousand years earlier God called Abraham , the Father of the Jews, to go to a land that God would give him forever.  Abraham went in obedience to God, dwelling in tents in his Promised  Land with his son, Isaac and grandson, Jacob,  as pilgrims and strangers. Somehow Abraham understood his eternal purpose and that His eternal Home was Heaven.  See Hebrews 11:8-10 

So we as Christian citizens of our nation, understand that our citizenship is in Heaven.  We live in this land, understanding this is only temporary.  Our eternal Home is in Heaven.  Philippians 3:20-21 and Ephesians 2:18-19 speak of our Heavenly citizenship which far transcends our earthly citizenship. Our Heavenly citizenship unites us in spite of  our differences of races and nationality.  That Heavenly citizenship is being lived out in churches now around the world.  It will continue perfectly in Heaven throughout eternity. 

Jesus In John 17:14-23 prayed for His Church that though we live as citizens in  earthly nations, we would not forget our far greater privilege and responsibility  as citizens of Heaven.  It is our desire as Heavenly citizens living in this world as citizens of our native lands, to live in such a way that the unconverted world will listen to our message and see Christ in our lives and join us in Christ’s Kingdom.   

OUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS AMERICAN CITIZENS 

Though we magnify our  Heavenly citizenship we are very much aware that we still live in earthly bodies in earthly political units known as nations. We don’t belittle or ignore our humanness. We take care of our bodies. We enjoy our family relationships and we  enjoy fellowship. We are rightfully proud and rejoice in our American citizenship and the Christian foundation upon which our nation was built. We don’t belittle our nationality.   

As Christians, we are very much aware that to continue to enjoy our freedoms and  privileges as Americans, we  must also bear our civic  responsibilities as citizens of our nation.  The Bible teaches us: 

To pray for our leaders.  I Tim. 2:1-4    

To respect our leaders. Rom. 13:1- 5

To pay our taxes   Rom. 13:6-7

To enjoy and take full advantage of our privileges and rights as citizens. 

The Apostle Paul did that.  In Acts 25 it tells us how he appealed to his rights as a citizen of the
Roman Empire for protection by appealing to Caesar. He appealed to government to  protect him from the Jewish leaders  wanting to kill him.
 

As Christians, we are instrumental in blessing our very secular, anti-Christian nation. We understand Ps. 33:12  “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”   

How do we bless our nation?1. We seek to win the lost to Christ.2. Many Christians enter  military service to make a difference  and to protect our nation. 3. Though we are warned in Scripture to avoid seeking great things for ourselves, some of us ought to be seeking God’s will about running for political positions as  God fearing office holders. 

Look at a few biblical examples of outstanding political leaders. 

Joseph, a young man, became Prime Minister of Egypt. God took him through some very painful and discouraging circumstances.  Without seeking any fame or glory for himself, God brought him to his high office. God gave him wisdom to prepare for famine that would affect Palestine as well as Egypt. God used him to bring blessing to his family, as well as to the world. 

Daniel is another young Israelite man who through suffering as a slave of Babylon, influenced emperors of
Babylon and later Persia. Note in Daniel 1:9 his character as a young man.
 

Nehemiah, another Israelite slave,  was a servant, a  cupbearer of the  Persian Emperor,  Artaxerxes. Read the book of Nehemiah for a wonderful story of how God blessed Nehemiah and of how God caused Artaxerxes to help Nehemiah rebuild the ruined city of Jerusalem.  

The book of Esther tells the intriguing story of beautiful Godly Israelite woman, Esther, who became the wife of the Persian Emperor, Ahasuerus. Through her position she was able to save the Jews from destruction by an evil man, Haman.  Esther’s uncle Mordecai, made an astute statement to his niece, “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  

Seek to serve 

Let us as Christians not seek fame or fortune, but let us prepare ourselves and be available for God to use: wherever He wants to use us.  For some it may be political.  God has a prepared place for a prepared person. God may open the door for you to public  service  in the legislative, judicial or executive branches of government. Why not you? 

Remember, Christ’s plan for us is not to whisk us out of this sinful world system right now, but to use us to glorify Himself within the world system. Read His intercessory prayer for His own in John 17.  No doubt, that’s the same concern He has for us today as He intercedes for us in Heaven.  

OUR PURPOSE AS CITIZENS OF OUR NATION 

God’s purpose for us is that we might be a blessing to our nation.  According to  II Chronicles 7:14 God blesses a nation through His people.  We Christians are called to lives a righteous life. Christians, don’t blame the heathen for our ungodly nation. When Christians are right with God,  He blesses our  nation. When Christians are not right with God, He curses our nation.  That principle was true for Israel in Bible times and it is true for us today, no matter where we live.    

Proverbs 14:34  teaches us that Righteousness exalts a nation.  Unsaved people are not righteous.  Only Christians can live righteous lives.  The responsibility for our nation rests on us as Christians.  God has us in our nation to bless it  and make a difference.  Not only will He bless our nation, but Psalm 67:1-7 teaches us that He will bless all the nations of the world through us. How do you like that for responsibility?   America is a prime example of a nation that was founded by godly pioneers. For over two centuries we have brought blessing to the world.  May God help us as Christians to walk closely with Him and may He continue to use us the bless our nation and the world.  Satan and God are in a continual battle and that battle is being played out on the political scene.  May God help us as Christians to confess our sins and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways.  He promises to hear our prayers and heal our land.  Only as Christians are right with God can He bless America.  The alternative is unthinkable; perhaps demotion to the rank of a third world nation or perhaps oblivion.

April 1, 2006 Posted by | America | Comments Off on For God and Country