SPIRITUAL INDUSTRY

(PARABLE OF THE TALENTS)

Reading: Luke 19:11-27

 

INTRODUCTION

[a] I have entitled this message, SPIRITUAL INDUSTRY!

[b] It automatically raises the question -

“ARE WE BEING INDUSTRIOUS WITH WHAT THE LORD HAS ENTRUSTED TO US?”

[c] Yesterday, we saw the culmination of a tremendous effort on 'Comet Day', with over £1,000 raised! Phenomenal!

It naturally speaks of those who have worked  in  various  ways  to  raise money for the Lord’s work, in this place.

[d] Often the Christian Church has been guilty of blaming God  for  not financing His work, when He has entrusted this task to His people!

[e] An old GREEK PROVERB says,

“God gives the birds their food, but He does not throw it into their nests.”

[f] Leonardo Da Vinci has said,

“O Lord, Thou givest us everything, at the price of an effort.”

 

POINT 1  THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT

[a] Amongst the parables of  Jesus,  this  one  is  very  unusual,   to the point of being unique,  because it deals with an  event  which  the listeners would have been able to acquaint with the  recent  history  of the day.

[b] When Herod the Great died in 4 B.C., he left Palestine to be  ruled by Ar-chelaus.

But because of the Roman occupation, he had to go off  to Augustus in Rome to have his position ratified, before  he  could  take  up  his kingdom.

[c] The reference to the opposition he faced, was because the Jews  did not want him, and sent a deputation of fifty  men  to  Rome  to  inform Augustus, that they did not want Ar-chelaus to rule over them. However, Augustus did confirm him in his position, but without the title of king - a kind of wishy-washy compromise. So politics  were  just  as  rotten then as they are now.

[d] So here is Jesus, actually taking a recent event of  the  day,  and using it as an illustration - in much the same way that I would perhaps take some event surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, and use it to teach some spiritual truth.

[e] Obviously, in those days of time-consuming travel, Ar-chelaus had to trust certain individuals, and leave them in charge of his affairs, while he was away. 

[f] So it makes more sense of why the nobleman in the parable had to go into a far country, to “Receive a kingdom”, and then return.

POINT 2

[a] Jesus was of course placing Himself in the position  of  Ar-chelaus and in doing so, making four important points.

1. He would go away.

2. He would entrust others with the welfare of His kingdom.

3. He would return.

4. There would be a day of reckoning, with a reward for the faithful. 

[b] That seems so simple - maybe you think we should look for something complicated in the story!!

Sometimes people have such complicated minds, they miss the  simplicity of the teachings of Jesus - THEY ARE SIMPLE AND YET PROFOUND!

THEY ARE EASY TO UNDERSTAND, AND YET FAR  REACHING  IN  THEIR  MEANING, CONSEQUENCES AND EFFECTS.

[c] At that time, His listeners, had no idea that His going away, would necessitate the cross, the resurrection, and the ascension.  But now in retrospect, we can see the meaning so much more clearly. 

[d] Yet there is still a lack of understanding  in  the  hearts  of  so many, in what we are entrusted with.

[e] Do we really look at the TALENTS God has  given  us,  as  something with which we have been ‘entrusted’? Are they being wasted or  misused in the things of the world, instead of the things of God? 

[*] Just within the past few days, we received a CD in the post, and it is made by a young woman, who was an officer commissioned (ordained) with us.

The memory we all have of her, is of her fabulous voice, which was a centerpiece of our commissioning, as it echoed around the Royal Albert Hall.

The CD is beautiful to listen to - attractive backings - but there's something missing - there's no songs about Jesus, His love or His power - He who gave her such a wonderful talent - and called her into full time ministry over 30 years ago!

[f] Do we look at our TIME in this way, and ‘use’  it  effectively  for God? Realising that time is short, and there must be an urgency for the things of God!

[g] Do we look at our TREASURE,  our  income,  our  bank  account,  our possessions, as something we hold in trust, belonging to the Lord?  Or does He just get a little of the ‘leftovers’ after we have provided what we think we need for ourselves?

[h] Do we look at our TALENT, TIME & TREASURE, as something that is HIS by right, and to which He can have access when required? 

[i] They are very telling questions, which we have  no  option  but  to answer, as the light of God’s Word shines into our hearts.

 

POINT 3

[a] I have no doubt that those left in charge of the ‘talents’  in  the parable, had no idea when their lord would return, but were obliged  to live in a constant state of readiness.

There would have been no point in saying, “But Lord I didn’t know  you were coming back yet, I was going to do something about it tomorrow!!”

WHY? BECAUSE IT WAS TOO LATE!!

[b] Yet again, Jesus is emphasising, not only the fact,  that  He  will RETURN, but also that there will be many who WILL NOT BE READY. 

Some will not be ready, because they were going to GET SAVED TOMORROW!

 

 

i.                     Some will not be ready, because they will be ashamed. They  always  had other more urgent things to do, than the Lord’s  work!   So   what   if they didn’t turn up? They could always do that - TOMORROW!! 

ii.                   Some will  not  be  ready,  because  they  were  so  busy  spending  on themselves,  that  they  never  seriously  looked  at  their  financial commitment to the Lord’s work! 

iii.                  Some will not be ready, because they NEGLECTED to use, or  MISUSED  the TALENTS God entrusted to them for the  extension  of  His  Kingdom  and the glory of His Name.

ARE YOU READY?? IF JESUS CAME JUST NOW, ARE YOU REALLY READY??

[c] The great D.L. MOODY used to say, “I never preach a sermon without thinking that possibly the Lord may come before  I preach another.”

Dr. Campbell Morgan said, “I  never  begin  my  work  in  the  morning without thinking that perhaps He may interrupt my work  and  begin  His Own.”

Billy Graham said, “If we could live every day as though it  might  be the very last one before the  final  judgement,  what  a difference  it would make here on earth.”

[d] My dear friends, when we see the THRONE of the ANTICHRIST being set up before our eyes, through a UNITED EUROPE, and THE NEW  WORLD  ORDER, then if we dare to open our eyes, we must see the clouds, almost  begin to part in preparation for His return!!

DO WE DARE  TO  LIVE  LIVES  THAT  ARE  NOT  IN  CONSTANT  READINESS  & EXPECTANCY??

POINT 4

[a] We are reminded in this parable, that there IS A DAY  OF  RECKONING, both for Christians and for the sinner!!

[b] The Christian will be called to stand before the JUDGEMENT SEAT  OF CHRIST, where the worth of their service since the day they were saved, will be measured, and examined.

[c] RECORDS are being kept at this very moment in Heaven,  of  how  you and I are LIVING OUR  LIVES,  USING  OUR  TALENTS,  OUR  TIME  AND  OUR TREASURE!!

[d] There will be many who will stand before Him ashamed - but it  will be forever too late!!

CONCLUSION

[a] There is perhaps someone here tonight, and you have at this  moment a TERRIBLE DREAD IN YOUR SOUL, because you know if Jesus came just now, you would NOT BE READY - perhaps everyone in this hall would be  caught up to meet the Lord in the air - everyone that is -  except  you!! 

You would be left behind! Because you are NOT  SAVED!  Your  sins  are  not forgiven, even though Jesus went the whole way to  Calvary’s  Cross  to bear them for you.

But  you  have  NEGLECTED  TO  ACCEPT  HIM  as  your personal Saviour, thinking you had ‘FOREVER AND A DAY’.

[b] The Bible tells us very clearly, that if you  remain  unsaved,  you will appear before the GREAT WHITE THRONE OF JUDGEMENT, and there  will be a double check to make sure your name is not IN THE LAMB’S  BOOK  OF LIFE, containing the name of everyone who has accepted Jesus  as  their Saviour.

[c] The Bible says, in Phillip’s translation of Revelation 20:15, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book  of  life,  he  was thrown into the lake of fire.”

They are solemn words, and God doesn’t want to see it happen!  Jesus loves you so much, He died in your place to  stop  it  happening, but it is all to no avail, unless  you  ACCEPT  HIM  AS  YOUR  PERSONAL SAVIOUR.

THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO THAT IS YOURS JUST NOW!!

CHRISTIAN, IF YOU’RE NOT READY - YOU COME NOW ALSO!!