A STUDY ON PREPARING FOR ETERNAL LIFE
Its time to invest your life for God’s Kingdom
Luke 19 SCC 10/15/17
The Christian life is a life of service until Jesus comes. The challenge is to keep this focus all throughout one’s life. Getting to heaven initiates this life. Preparing for the heaven one is now going to predominates this life. In this parable, the Lord Jesus discusses two groups of people at two separate judgments. Jesus’ servants will be judged first. The result of this judgment (the Judgment Seat of Christ) will be that praise and rewards are given or withheld. Jesus’ enemies will be judged last. The result of that judgment (the Great White Throne) will be that the enemies are slain, that is, excluded from Jesus’ kingdom altogether. Luke 19:11-27 is a key passage dealing with the accountability of Christians.
THERE IS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN GODS KINGDOM 4 EVERY BELIEVER
Verse 11: While they were listening to these things, ... because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately v 11. Jericho is the last stop on the ancient road. From there, they would climb up to Jerusalem, the focal point of biblical prophecy. As they got closer, their expectations grew. They thought the kingdom was just a few miles and a few hours away (in spite of all of the warnings Jesus had given them that He was about to be killed.)
Verse 12-14: Jesus went on to tell a parable ... So He said, a nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return v 12. He was already a man of great power, and he was soon to be a king and would soon return to rule his kingdom. Obviously, this refers to Jesus. And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, do business with this until I come back v 13. Notice they each got the same amount—one mina each about 100 days’ wages. This would represent the equal opportunity of life itself for each individual. Notice also, he did not leave anyone in charge. There is a sense in which every Christian has the same opportunity and accountability to invest his life situation eternally. The nobleman, of course, expected them to do business with the money, that is, make it earn something, even if just in a bank. But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us’ v 14 referring to the Jewish leaders who would soon kill Jesus. Many are not interested in this Kingdom. This will always be so. The Jewish nation did not want Jesus reigning over them. So they would crucify him. This band of haters only increases until finally at the battle of Armageddon it crescendos into we do not want this man reigning over us.
Application: Equal opportunity would include our life and all God has given us to fulfill our calling in life. We all begin at ground zero and build with this stuff from there. No one can say, “well, I was too poor, lived in wrong part of the world, had disadvantages.” God accounts for our place in life.
THERE ARE DIFFERENT DEGREES OF RULERSHIP RECEIVED IN GODS KINGDOM
When he returned, after receiving the kingdom v 15 as Jesus will from the Father (Phil. 2:9-11). He ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. He didn’t give them the money so he could get richer. The Nobleman already had all the kingdom. All will be accountable to Jesus for what they have done in their lives.
Wholehearted Faithfulness Results in Maximum Rulership v 16-17
The first appeared, Master, your mina has made ten minas more v 16. And he said to him, well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities v 17. The result of his faithfulness was to become a ruler in this kingdom. The first servant gives a very humble report: Master, your mina has earned ten minas. He does not boast that he had turned the one mina into ten minas. He recognizes that what he has was given to him by his Lord and he is just reporting on his stewardship. This is a ten-fold return on investment. In fact, as the parable unfolds, we see this is the best result of the three servants discussed. Believers are called ‘slaves of Christ’ Eph 6:6.
PT: Every Christian can and should be like this first servant (2 Pet 1:3). We can all maximize our lives for reward (1 Cor 9:24-27). The Lord’s response to this first servant is wonderful. Faithful service in this life will result in a position of authority in the Lord’s coming kingdom. It should be noted that the rewards mentioned are service rewards. Someone described this as the same sort of reward received after Presidential campaigns. After his election, the new President begins to appoint the members of his administration, including his cabinet and foreign ambassadors.
Halfhearted Faithfulness Results in Half Rulership v 18-19
The second came, saying, your mina, master, has made five minas v 18. And he said to him also, and you are to be over five cities v 19. Again, the result of his faithfulness was to become a ruler. The second
servant too is humble: Master, your mina has earned five minas. Since we’ve just heard that the first servant earned ten minas by his investing, we realize that the second servant was half-hearted in his service. Like the first servant, he had received one mina. While the man was faithful, he was far from the ideal servant. The second servant doesn’t hear well done, good servant and he doesn’t get ten cities to rule over. Yet the second servant does get to rule. The Lord says you also be over five cities. No praise and no rebuke. The reward is proportional to his return on investment. We are looking at a group of servants who had equal time, talent, treasure, and truth to invest. The first servant shows what was possible for all of them: ten minas. The second servant only gained five, hence five cities to rule over.
PT: Clearly the first two servants show that the Lord holds us accountable for what we do over the course of our entire Christian life, and that our reward will be commensurate with our productivity. Actually there is a huge allowance for failure here.
Unfaithfulness Results in No Rulership v 20-26
Another came, saying, Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief v 20; for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow v 21. He lost money for his master because there was no gain at all. He accused the master of being an exacting (lit. hard or harsh) man, and said the king would just take whatever the mina earned anyway, so what’s in it for the slave? The Master said to him, by your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow v 22? Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’ v 23. The master used the servant’s words against him.
Then he said to the bystanders, Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas v 24. And they said to him, Master, he has ten minas already v 25. I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away v 26. Since many people can’t conceive of a wicked servant spending eternity with the Lord and His people, they conclude this third servant must represent an unbeliever. There is plenty of evidence that the third servant is a believer and that he will spend eternity with the Lord.
First, the third servant is one of Jesus’ servants. He was given a stewardship by Christ.
Second, the third servant is not one of those citizens who hated Him v 14 and didn’t want Him reigning.
Third, the third servant is not part of the group slain (the 2nd death, in lake of fire Rev 20:14-15) v 27.
We know that some believers at the Bema Seat will experience shame (1Jo 2:28). Such people will experience emotional pain, most likely grief short lived in glorified bodies, even over a big eternal net loss like this. Here are three possible outcomes for believers, with a whole range implied between these.
PT: This would be a lesson for Zacchaeus to hear and learn (v 8). Invest what you have for eternal reward. Don’t be satisfied with what you have said here Z. There is an accounting and so aim for full approval and reward for what I have given you. Climb as high as you can on the spiritual ladder. After Jesus is long gone he can think about this encounter and story. Jesus repays himself again and again as he remembers this story. Be maximally faithful. Invest in your eternal profit.
PT: On one hand none of the slaves actually lost anything. They started with no minas and ended with no minas. Yet their faithfulness had been tested! Investment and reward was attached to each mina.
1. Jesus was to go on a “journey” to the cross and then back to heaven, where He received the right to the kingdom, but He is coming back and His reward will be with Him (Rev 22:12).
2. The delay of the kingdom provides a time for the king’s servants to be tested, so those who are faithful could be rewarded with greater responsibilities in the coming kingdom.
3. We will be judged by what we do with what He’s entrusted to us. Our mina is what we have been given by God to fulfill our calling in life. “Don’t be caught sitting on your minas” (Swindoll).
4. If the minas actually do represent money, then our eternal rewards, at least in part, will be a result of our faithfulness in being stewards of the money God has given us—it’s to be used to invest eternally. If you use it for your own pleasures, you already have had your reward. Invest in your eternal net worth.