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Has the Church failed to get the faith/works issue right, and thereby failed to thrive? (Part 6)

11/19/2014

In the last post, we were considering the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25:14-30. I ended the post with the following questions.

Who might the landowner represent?

Who might the servants represent?

What might the valuables be that the servants received?

Backing up for just a moment, we must remember that the first parable of the trilogy in Matthew 25, taught us that when we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we receive his gift of his spirit, the Holy Spirit, to live within us. We begin a very exciting journey of a personal relationship with the Lord, our Savior.

Now in the second parable of the trilogy, we read about valuables being entrusted to servants, and the results of their care of the valuables. Read this section with the understanding that the master (landowner) is Jesus, the servants are you and I, and the talents/valuables entrusted to our care are people.

“Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.  The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’  His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’

“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.  Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 25:19-28, 30 NASB)

God’s greatest treasure, the thing he gives highest honor in his creation, is us, people. He wants all to be with him eternally.

Consider this as you read these quotes from Jesus and from the New Testament scriptures.

And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17 NASB)

“Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’” (Matt. 9:36-38 NASB)

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18-20 NASB)

“He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts 1:7-8 NIV)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28 NIV)

“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thes. 2:10 NIV)

“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1Peter 1:7 NIV)

God has called his Church to speak the truth to his treasured people, sharing the good news, that through their choice to believe in faith, and accept Jesus as Savior, none will be lost.

What about you?  Is Jesus your Lord and Savior?  If not, why not?

M.

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