In light of the reality of eternity, how should we spend our lives? Jesus shares a compelling parable that helps us understand the most profitable way to live...
Last week, if you were here with us, we likened the entirety of Matthew Chapter 25 to a masterpiece that Jesus has painted for us, but he doesn't use any of the normal painting supplies that you can find at any arts and crafts store.
Jesus paints this picture of Matthew, 25, on the fabrics of our hearts and our minds, and he uses words, uses parables and similarly to paint this picture for us.
And like Bob Ross does or did, Jesus paints this picture in layers all throughout Matthew 25 really three successive layers with each added layer providing a little more detail to the overall picture. What's this picture that Jesus paints for us in Matthew 20?
It's a picture of King Jesus physically and literally coming back to this earth.
And when he does, it's going to set up his kingdom.
And it's in this picture that he details the reality that only some people are going to enter his kingdom when he comes and some people will be excluded at this point. There's something really important that I want you to keep in mind tonight and throughout the rest of our study in Matthew, Chapter 25, the scene that Jesus is painting for us takes place sometime in the future in the time leading right up to and including his second coming.
And we believe the Bible teaches that the church has already been raptured when the scene that we are looking at tonight unfolds. And so if you're a Christian today, you won't be in the scene that we're looking at. You will already be with Jesus. You will be coming back with him when he returns.
But the heart of this message, though, is applicable to the church that is alive today and is applicable to those who will be alive when Jesus comes back.
So I was you to tuck that information away and keep it in mind as we go.
Last week, again, Jesus painted the first layer of our painting for us In verses one to 13, the parable where the bridesmaids were waiting for the groom to come back so that they could go into the wedding celebration with him. But only five of the 10 bridesmaids went in and the other five did not. And what did the wives bridesmaids have? The foolish did not.
Do you remember the oil as the only distinguishing mark between the five that went in? The five that didn't they had oil. And what's the oil? What's the when you when you boil everything down, what's the only thing a person must have if they're going to enter the kingdom of heaven? So people are raising their hands. You can say it out loud. It's the Holy Spirit. It's the Holy Spirit which you receive when you repent of your sins and you trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of those sins.
When you do that, you get the presence of God in you.
This is the invisible presence of God living on the inside of every single child of God. And when you have Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit in you. And that's all you need to enter the kingdom. That was last week. This week, tonight. Jesus adds layer two onto his painting, Jesus gives us some more detail to the picture that he's painting for us. And here's the main question I want to ask and hopefully answer for us here tonight.
What does this kind of life look like, the life that has the invisible presence of Jesus in it? What does this kind of life look like? Is it even possible to tell who has Jesus and who doesn't? Some people will answer no. Some people will say it's not possible, these people will say that it's not possible for any human being to know what's in another human being's heart.
And so they say don't judge anyone because you can't actually accurately judge them.
Some people will say that, but others will answer, yes, it is possible to tell who has Christ in them and not. I'm one of those people, just so you know, these these people will say that we are able to judge whether a person has Christ in them or not.
And it's very important that we're able to tell.
We have to be able to tell who does and who doesn't have him. I want to give you a few reasons why it's so important, why we need to be able to tell who's going into the kingdom and who's not reason. No one is going to be the first fill in on your outline for the person in the mirror. For the person in the mirror. We need to know, like practically for our own sake and sanity and livability, if that's the word of this life, we need to be able to know if we're destined for a heaven or not.
We need to know to know in order to have any kind of peace of mind, any kind of assurance of the salvation that Jesus has purchased for us. I don't know about you, but like I have a hard time imagining, not knowing moment by moment if I'm going to be in eternal life or not. Like, maybe if I'm having a good day, like I'm a Christian and I'm on my way to go through the pearly gates, but if I'm having a really crummy day, maybe I'm not.
And that can have I can change oscillate from week to week, sometimes day to day, sometimes hour to hour, sometimes moment by moment.
And we just be living with our heads, spinning with no peace, no assurance, no stability for our life. And so for this reason, no one for the person in the mirror, for you and me, we need to know we need to be able to tell who's a Christian and who's not, for our own sakes.
Second reason we need to be able to tell the difference between those who are entering and those who aren't into the kingdom for the genuine believer who wrestles with their faith.
Now, we're not now we're not talking about ourselves now, but how we love our brothers and sisters in their journey of faith.
Many people wrestle with this in their life. They wrestle with being able to know if they're saved or not. This Christians wrestle with this. This may describe some of you here tonight. And we need a way to recognize who's a Christian so that we can encourage these brothers and sisters when we see that they're battling in this area. I need to know what this person is a Christian so I can honestly affirm their salvation. I can come alongside them and say, hey, brother, sister, here are some concrete reasons I can give to you that I believe that you're saved and then lay those out for them and to encourage them in their faith.
That's the second reason, here's the third reason we need to know the difference is the next FELIN on your outline. This is for the professing Christian. Who may not be saved? This is for the professing Christian who may not be saved, we were introduced to this group of people last week when we looked at the ten bridesmaids, they all professed to be going to the wedding, but only five went in and five didn't.
And today we know that some people profess to be followers of Jesus, but there's nothing in their life that actually indicates that they're born again.
And it would be unloving of me or of you to tell someone they're saved if you don't actually think they are.
It would be like a physician, a surgeon holding up the the X-ray of the patient who doesn't know if they're sick or not, but the physician can tell that there's cancer, I can see it plainly it's treatable. But if it's not treated, you're going to die. And if that doctor has that information. Comes to the patient and says to themselves, you know what, this patient looks like they're having a really good day. They don't need any bad news.
So I'm going to tell them they're OK. I want to tell you know what that is. That's wicked. That's malpractice to tell someone they're OK when you know that they're not.
And if there's ways that you and I can tell who's been born again, who can we if we can tell who has the spirit of Christ in them and we can tell who doesn't, we're not helping anybody by telling someone they're on a fast track to heaven if you don't actually think they are. Sit down with this person and you say, here are some reasons why I don't think you're safe, and you'd lay out those reasons for them gently, patiently, lovingly, with the hope that they would repent and turn and trust in Jesus.
But the third reason we need to know here's the fourth reason we need to know is for the unbeliever in the mission field.
The scripture is going to be on your outline. It's my favorite all time. Like really. Like I have a life verse is Matthew.
Twenty eighteen to twenty post resurrection glorify Jesus comes to his disciples and he says, guys, all the authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.
Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to observe or obey everything I've commanded you. And lo and behold, I'm going to be with you always until the end of the age. These are our marching orders as a church.
But here's a really important question. If Jesus tells us to go and make disciples and we do that by going to people who don't have Christ and we preach the gospel to them, how do we know who to share the gospel with if we can't tell who's saved and who's not?
You go to a new town, you go to a new country, you go to a place. And the whole purpose is you're trying to lead people who don't know Jesus into a saving relationship with Jesus. How do you just take a stab at it? In the dark? You may find yourself telling the gospel to the same person over and over again. And they were saved twelve weeks ago.
If you don't know what to actually look for when they are saved, we need to be able to know.
We need to be able to discern this in order to honor Jesus and the commands and the commission that is given to us.
And so it's for all these reasons I've just given you that we we have to be able to tell guys we have to be able to tell who has the Holy Spirit Spirit in them and who doesn't.
And so the next logical question is this, what are some of those marks? What can we look for in a person's life to see if Christ is in there? What can we look at at the outside of their life to see if the invisible Jesus is on the inside of their heart?
I'm going to give you four marks, four marks of a life that has Jesus in it and a way to use all of all four of these for the supreme confidence, not just one or two or three.
Use all four to know with all assurance that you or people that you know are indeed in Christ. Mark. Number one, do you have the right doctrine? Do you have the right doctrine? Last week's emphasis on doctrine with a little bit different than the emphasis I'm going to make this week, because last week I said that you actually need more than just the right belief in order to be a Christian. If you're here with us.
Last week, we said that we need to go beyond simply believing that Jesus, Jesus exists or that he is God. We have to go beyond simply believing that he died and rose again. We have to go beyond simply believing that he's coming back again one day soon. Why do we have to go beyond all those things? Because the devil believes all those things, he believes them better than we do and trust me, the devil is not going to be in the kingdom with us forever.
So you can actually believe the right doctrine about Jesus and yet not be saved.
That was last week's emphasis. But this week, I want to look at the flip side of it. This week's emphasis on rate doctrine is this is that you can't have anything less than rate doctrine.
You need more than rate doctrine, but you can't have anything less than right doctrine.
Saving faith goes beyond it does go beyond simply believing the right thing, but it's never less than believing the right thing.
And here's an example. Someone who professes to be a Christian, they'll tell everyone at work, they'll tell their family whatever they say. I'm a Christian, I'm a Christian.
Yet that person doesn't believe that Jesus is God. Or that Jesus is the only way to eternal life or that Jesus didn't really die and he didn't really rise from the dead, this person, if they believe those things, is more than likely not a Christian. Christian in the word is this main root word, which is Christ, Ian, where Christ is Christ, we follow Christ and Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Muslims all confess a belief in Jesus Christ.
They all do. But they're not saved. Why not? Well, because they don't believe in the actual Jesus, the one who has revealed to us in the Bible, they believe in a different Jesus, one that cannot save.
And so if you don't believe the truth about Jesus, then you can't be a Christian. But if you believe the truth about Jesus, what the Bible says about him, then that's the first way that will encourage you, that you actually know him.
You believe the right things about him. That's Mark. Number one. Mark. Number two. And it's going to be the next fill in on your outline. Do you have the internal witness of the Holy Spirit? Do you have the internal witness of the Holy Spirit? When you believe the gospel for the very first time, when you repented of your sins and you trusted in the finished work of Christ on the cross, his life, his death and his resurrection, when you believed that the moment that you did the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you, and guess what?
He's a person and he ministers to you. He speaks to you.
He's alive. He's not an impersonal force. He's not like lightning. He's a person dwelling on the inside of you. And he confirms that you belong to him. He says, you're my beloved child. He makes sure that you know that you are his. It's what the apostle Paul says in Romans eight, verse 16 on your outline, as well as says the spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
And that's so sweet. That's so sweet. When you can know the sound of God's voice and he speaks to you and that's all you need to hear to give you the assurance that you need.
Now, don't underestimate the power of this, of God speaking to you. God confirms to you that belong to him. A small number two number three is this do you have the external witness of the local church, the external witness of the local church? Belonging to a local church is so important for so many reasons, if you know anything about me, you know that I'm passionate about the local church and there's lots of reasons to be. But one reason one reason is that the local church affirms the salvation of those who are members in it, the local churches where you have your salvation affirmed by other people who are also filled with the Holy Spirit.
Here's how the process works. The church goes out and preaches the gospel to unbelievers. Many people don't believe, but guess what? Some people believe.
And when those people believe, they profess to believe the church, the local church baptizes those new Christians solely upon their profession, their right profession of who Jesus is and who they are in light of them.
And know what we don't baptize anyone we don't believe is saved. We only baptize people we believe are saved. And then from that point on, for the rest of their life, inside the context of the local church, we together as brothers and sisters in Christ, teach one another how to obey Jesus.
We teach one another how to obey Jesus. That's what Jesus has commanded us in the great commission. The local church then affirms the salvation of believers in the local church by participating in the communion meal, together we bat, we get baptized one time and one time only, but we take communion as often as we're able to, as often as we're able to gather together. And that is exclusively for those who belong to the family of God.
If you have visitors coming in or people who are checking out Jesus, they're warm to Jesus.
They're asking they want to learn more, but they're not yet Christians. They don't participate in the meal that marks those who are saved. The local church, also no one's favorite stuff, but really important, administers church discipline to those who profess Jesus. But maybe begin to refuse to obey him. I didn't put this on your note, but you look at Matthew, Chapter 18, verses 15 to 20, and Jesus tells us how to love each other in the context of the local church.
Because if someone says, I love Jesus, Jesus is in me, I'm going to obey Jesus, you'd expect them to grow in their love and obedience and devotion to Jesus.
But sometimes we say, now, put all this together.
The local church says of its members, this one's a Christian, as far as we can tell, and that's a powerful mark on a person's life.
I'd be concerned if a person claimed to be a Christian and there was no local church also affirming that there are Christian. At the same time, I don't need anyone else to tell me my relationship with God.
I'm good with God. And like there's no one else actually think you're a Christian.
It doesn't matter what does matter. That's the point of the church. One of the reasons the church exists now. Does the church get it wrong? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes we get it wrong.
And that's why we want all the marks of saving faith in our life, not just one of them.
Which brings us to our number for next fill in on your line. Do you have the evidence? Of a changed life. Do you have the evidence of a changed life? Once you become a Christian, does your life begin to look any different than it used to be before you became a Christian? That's the test.
And I'm going to give you one of my favorite all time illustrations is not one that I came up with as when I've stolen from a from a preacher, but it's my favorite anyway. So there's all the copyright stuff out of the way, not mine. I'm going to give it to you. Now, I want you to rewind in your mind a few moments, about 20 minutes in the past to the beginning of this church service where Pastor Jeff finishes leading us in worship.
He gives the announcements. And I want you to imagine that I'm not here. I'm no, I'm not in the building. I'm supposed to be preaching and I'm not here. I'm late. And he's doing a great job of stalling and giving some great dad jokes and keeping everyone kind of calm. And then I come through the door ten minutes late and I come in just looking like there's nothing wrong with me. But I come in and I apologize profusely.
But then I begin to give you a reason for why I was so late. And here's the reason that I give you. I was walking across the street on the way to on the way to church, on the way to preach and then out of nowhere pummeling down the down the road, going 100 miles an hour was a semi truck.
And I was crossing the street the moment that it was coming and it hit me.
They hit me, and so I'm that's why I was late. That's why I was late. And if I was saying that to you and looking. Like, I'm looking now, what would you say to yourself? There's no way there's no way that that happens, there's no way that you, as frail as you are, would come into contact with something, with that kind of force and ferocity and power.
And that would impact your life. And you would remain unchanged with not a scratch or a dent, it doesn't make any sense. Now, I want you to imagine your life and I want you to imagine the power that spoke words and the entire cosmos came into existence. I want you to imagine the power that was displayed with the ten plagues being levied on Egypt as judgment for what they were doing to God's people. I want you to imagine the power that when Jesus walked this earth opened, blind eyes loosened, paralysed legs, cast out leprosy and demons.
I want you to imagine the power that would raise Jesus brutalized, tortured body and glorify him on the other side of death. That the jaws of death had Jesus. But there was a power that went in that opened up the grave and Jesus came out. And I want you to imagine a power that second to no other power in all of the ends of the universe, and that power comes into a person's life the moment they become a Christian.
And you're going to tell me that that happens. And nothing will change. And nothing will change. No way. No way I'd argue with you that it's impossible to become a Christian and to begin to live the same exact kind of life that you were living prior to your new profession of faith.
Impossible. Now, is this power that comes in, is it going to produce a perfect Christian life in you? Of course not. Of course not. It's not going to be perfection. We will not become perfect, but we will become different and we will be able and it will be able to be seen by others.
Others are going to be able to see the effect of Christ in my life and in your life. So way those four things always believe the right doctrine, they are the internal witness of the Holy Spirit, they have the external witness of the church validating your profession of faith. And do you live a changed life, not a perfect life, but a progressively changed life that's more and more looking like Jesus all the time. What is it specifically? That others will be able to see in a life that's changed because of Jesus, what should we be looking for?
This brings us finally, finally to our text for tonight's longest intro maybe I've ever done, Matthew. Twenty five Verse is, 14 to 30.
And it's here where we're going to see what marks the person's life, who will enter the kingdom versus who will not. So let me just read our text for us, Matthew, 25 versus 14 to 30. This is Jesus speaking. And he says for it, which is the kingdom of heaven, will be like a man going on a journey who called his servants and entrusted to them his property to one. He gave five talents to another, two to another, one to each, according to his ability.
Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents, more so also he who had the two talents made two talents more, but he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now, after a long time, the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them, and he, who had received the five talents, came forward bringing five talents, more same master you delivered to me five talents.
Here I've made five talents more, his master said to him. Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little. I'll set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. And he also, who had the two talents, came forward saying Master, you delivered to me two talents. Here I've made two talents more. His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little.
I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. He also had received the one talent came forward saying, Master, I knew you to be a hard man Repin where you did not so and gathering where you scattered no seed. So I was afraid and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have. What is yours. But his master answered him, you wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I repro I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed.
Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers and that might come in. I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him as the ten talents for to everyone who has will more be given and he will have an abundance.
But from the one who has not even what he has will be taken away and cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. That's God's word. Now, here's the main thing we want to understand for the sake of our conversation here tonight, what visible Mark differentiates the servants who entered into their masters, joy from the servant who doesn't enter or said another way, what marks a person today who will enter the kingdom verse is the person who will not.
And so let's see if we can understand the parts of this parable together, which takes place in a 1st century Jewish context, much like the marriage parable that we looked at last week did so. We have the master in this parable. He owns everything, including the very lives of his servants, this master. He goes away after delegating some of his possessions to his servants so that they can work to bring him a return on what was entrusted to them.
And when he comes back, he's going to settle his accounts with the servants to see what they've done with what they were given. The master has every right to bring them into his joy or to destroy them. This is consistent with a first century relationship between a master and his servants. Then we take a look at the servants in this parable.
When you when you hear the word servant, I don't want you to think on the face.
Tattered clothes, gaunt. I don't want you to picture like a scene from Oliver Twist. The servants are like, please, sir, I'm going to have some more.
Don't think that. Think think. Valued employee who was entrusted with his master's possessions.
There were servants in those days who actually live better lives than some of their free counterparts.
Now, everything the servant has in their possession, everything belongs to their master, their spouse, if they have one, their kids if they have them, their clothes, their food, their own bodies, their dwelling, their hope, their future, their life, their everything is the masters.
The servants know what the expectation is of them. They are expected to work for the benefit of their master. Again, this is on par with what took place back then in the 1st century. The parent, this parable also talks about something called a talent, a talent is a confusing coincidence that our English word talent is used to translate the Greek word that's used here in our text. See, the talent is not a skill or a gift.
When you think about the word talent, the master didn't give special abilities.
When he gave up these talents, he didn't say, OK, I'm going to give you the ability to juggle. That's your talent and you're going to be able to do magic tricks and you can rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time. He didn't give out talents like that. This talent is a waste of money, depending on what was being weighed with silver or gold or other precious metals, the value of these talents would be in the thousands of dollars, very, very valuable possession.
And we see that Jesus highlights faithful stewardship in this parable, the master entrusts his possessions into the care of his servants, and he's expecting that they use what he gives them for his sake, not for their sake. The servants don't go with all their talents, all the money or the loot that they've been given by the the master. They don't get in a little circle and look at each other and say, oh, my goodness, we've never had this much money in our possession at one time ever.
Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking? Vegas road trip, baby, that's nice, but it's not for them. It wasn't a gift for them to use for their own pleasure or their own benefit or to their own ends.
No, the towns are not theirs, not for their benefit before their masters.
Another thing you might want to notice here, the master doesn't entrust each servant with the same amount he did without his possessions, according to their differing abilities in Verse 8 15 or in our text, it says to one, he gave five talents to another, two to another, one to each, according to his ability.
The master knows his servants. He knows exactly what to give to each one, he doesn't give too little to the one who would be capable with more. He doesn't give too much to the one who would be overwhelmed with that amount. He gives the proper amount to each servant. This tells us something very important about this parable. Each servant was set up by the master to succeed. Each servant was able to do with the talents when he was supposed to do.
All three of the servants could have succeeded with what their master gave them. Then we get to the point where there is judgment in this parable, the master eventually comes back one day, the first two servants come back and show their master what they did with what they were given. Notice the joy almost. You can tell, you can feel it and the anticipation of his return.
These servants aren't afraid of their master. They love him. You can tell it's like they want the master to see what they've done while he was away. They each used what they were given and produced a return and they each received the same commendation from their master, even though they both received differing amounts of talents versus twenty one and twenty three, both say the same thing their master said to them each well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little.
I will set you overmuch enter into the joy of your master. This shows us that is not what we are given that matters, but what we do with what we've been given that counts and all three servants could have received at the same reward. But then the third servant comes along, he's lagging behind for probably a reason that we can all assume, and he digs up his master's talent that he had hid in the ground and gives it back to him.
I hope he cleaned it, at least gave it back to him. And the master was furious.
Why? Because the servant didn't use what was given to him, he didn't live for his master and said he was lazy. He lived for himself and he justified to himself that he was right in not doing anything for his master while the master was away.
He justified that to himself.
And then the master comes back and he blames the master for his own inactivity.
Listen to what he says, In verses, 26 m. I knew you to be a hard man, Repin, where you did not so and gathering where you scattered no seed. So I was afraid and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what's yours. It's really your fault. They are so harsh.
I would have done it if had more encouragement maybe or more more joy. Now, what are the lazy servant do instead of using the town and working for the the master? But we have no idea, we did go to Vegas, we don't know. Did he binge watch a few series on Netflix? Did he take extended naps? We don't know what he did, but we know what he didn't do. He didn't live for his master. He didn't live for him.
And then Verse is 30 happened. And cast the worthless servant into the darkness in that place where they'll be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
So let's apply this to our lives right now. Who's the master in our lives? And this next villain on your outline, the master of our life is Jesus. The master of our life is Jesus. Once Jesus coming back, the master is coming back soon. Jesus is coming back soon. What's he going to do when he comes? You're probably just finishing the last fill in.
Here's the next one.
When Jesus comes back, he will set up his kingdom and he will divide up his servants into two groups.
When Jesus comes back, he will set up his kingdom and he will divide up his servants into two groups.
Group one will hear the same words that the servants heard in verse twenty one and twenty three. Well done, good and faithful servant. You've been faithful over a little.
I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. So what we want to hear, but in group two, we'll hear what the third servant heard, Verse 8 28, so take the talent from him and give it to him, who has the 10 talents for everyone who has more will be given and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not even what he has will be taken away and cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.
In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Who are the servants in our parable, like we saw with the 10 bridesmaids last week, the servants are those who profess to be Christians, the servants of those who profess to be Christians in our texts, they're professing to be Christians in the time of the Great Tribulation, immediately preceding the second coming of Christ.
But in our day in the church, this is everyone who professes to be a follower of Jesus.
We are servants. We are servants. Now, what do servants, if you remember from earlier, what do servants own for themselves?
Well, let me ask you let me ask you this question another way and make a little more personal. And it is not a trick question. I want you to think about everything that you have in your life, I want you to think about it all and I want you to ask I to divvy up all those things. How much of what you have is yours and how much of what you have is Jesus is.
And I want you to think of everything you have, everything you could could possibly have even one day have a spouse or your signal singleness kids or an empty nest, clothes, food, body, home time, energy opportunities, hope future. Your life, your everything, everything. Think about it all. And how much of all of that in your life belongs to Jesus? All, yes, all, all, listen to the apostle Paul and Colossians, chapter one, verse 16 on your outline as well, for by him is Jesus.
All things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether throne's or dominions or rulers or authorities.
All things were created through him and for him, for him, everything we have in our lives, including our very lives, everything belongs to the master, to Jesus.
He owns it all.
And for the time being, we are just using his stuff. Which is your next fill in, everything we have in our life belongs to Jesus, everything in our life belongs to Jesus. And has a servants', what are we supposed to do with what we've been given? Well, we are to use whatever we've been given to serve the purposes of our master Jesus. We are supposed to spend our entire lives and everything in them for the sake of Jesus, for his sake, taking everything we've been given and yielded up to him and use it for his business, not ours.
But what is some of the servants do instead?
Some live for themselves only, and this would be those today, I would suggest, who confuse the idea that attending a church service for one hour a week and tossing a few bucks into the offering, they confuse that with the idea of what it means to live for Jesus, like just those things and then the rest of their life. Them, them, their time, their calendar, their pleasures, their decisions, them them tossed Jesus a bone on the weekend.
Appease them. But then it's all about us now, those are good things that Christians do keep coming to the fellowship, keep honoring God with your money and your tithes and your offering. But Jesus wants more than that from you.
He wants that one hour on the weekend every week. Yes. But he also wants all the other twenty three hours of that day.
That same day.
He wants your twenty four seven sixty five. He wants it all. And some who professed Christ will give him all of it and some who profess Christ will not give him all of it. Your next fill in, that's your next fill in on your outline, only some of us who claim to be Christians will spend our lives looking for Jesus. The others will make up excuses to not live for him. Only some of us who claim to be Christians will spend our lives living for Jesus, the others will make up excuses to not live for him.
And this comes all the way back. Full circle to our main question, what marks the life of the servants who entered into the joy of their master when he returned?
And when we layer as this parable on top of the previous one from last week, how can we tell who has the oil of the Holy Spirit in them or not?
How can we tell who has the invisible presence of the Holy Spirit on the inside of them or not?
And the answer is those who have the invisible presence of the Holy Spirit in them, who have the oil will evidence that they do have him. By the way, by the way, they lived their lives, totally surrendered to their master Jesus, God in us, changes our lives, changes the way that we live. We live for him and not for ourselves. We use everything that's been given to us in the service of our master.
Jesus is not an add on to our lives is the whole thing the center that our lives actually revolve around. And you can only live for one master.
You will either live for Jesus or you will live for yourself or for some other master.
This is Christianity. This is Christianity, this is what having Jesus on the inside of us looks like, this is the distinguishing mark. They ask you, does this sound extreme to anybody, everything for Jesus? Does it sound radical even because it is.
It is. But I want to show you this, this is the life that Jesus died to save us into this kind of life and no other life. Your next fill in is this radical Christianity. Is the only real Christianity. Radical Christianity is the only real Christianity. A Christian, are you are you feeling at all heavy at this point in the message? I hope not. I hope not. But if you are, let me encourage you a couple of things.
Jesus has set you up to succeed. He has set you up to succeed. He's rigged it so that you can win, OK? He made you he gave you the abilities that you have. He gave you everything that you have in your life according to the abilities that he's given you. And he's come to live in you by way of the Holy Spirit, his power, living his life in you and through you. He is what you need in order to be faithful.
You have everything that you need. In order to be a faithful servant, you will be overwhelmed. On the other hand, if you think that you have to muster up what you need in order to be a good servant, if you live like that, you will be crushed because you don't have what it takes apart from Christ. So don't focus on you. Focus your attention on Christ. Philippians, one six says, and I'm sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
So, Jesus, I set you up to succeed.
Secondly, here, I don't believe the faithful servants in our parable have the Midas touch, if you know what I mean. I don't think that everything he touched turned to gold. I don't think there is winning all the time and no losing ever, because that's not the way that life works. I don't think every decision that they made was a success. I think there would have been ups and downs in their life, too, as they used the towns entrusted to them to produce a return for their master.
Our Christian life will be like that, too. It will be like that ups and downs littered with imperfections.
And just because there are some downs, that doesn't mean you're not a faithful servant. There is only one perfect servant ever and you get one guest to know who's what his name was. Jesus, and none of us is him. But all we are doing is becoming more and more and more like him. So why don't more Christians live radical lives like this all in for Jesus with everything that they have? Big question. That's a big answer with lots of parts to it.
But let me give you what I believe. The one one of the main reasons is the church in the West, in my opinion, is built upon a weak, incomplete, impotent gospel, which is really no gospel at all.
We don't tell unbelievers to turn their entire lives over to Jesus when we share the gospel with them. Historically, here in the West, we've just asked them to pray a nice little prayer to invite Jesus to come into their heart. And then we send them away and say, just continue to live, however which way you want to live. But now we send them away with a nice get out of jail free card, which is Jesus.
No power, no change, no sacrifice, no counting the cost, no nothing. And then they continue to proceed to live the very same life they lived before they became a Christian life that is focused on themselves rather than being focused exclusively on Jesus. And that's why I think many today think what I'm telling you here is extreme, because many people have never heard this part of the gospel before. He gave his all for us on the cross. We give up everything in order to follow him.
That's the gospel.
So let me leave with you. Let me leave you with a question.
What do you have in your life that you're not yielding up to the service of your master? And why aren't you? Why? Why aren't you? Let me encourage you to lay it all down at his feet, saying here, Lord, this is all I have. Take it and use it for your glory. Show me how to do that. I'm yours. Wherever you are on your personal journey of faith, wherever you are, turn all of your life over to him tonight.
Mm hmm. When I ask. Just by show of hands, is there anyone here tonight who wants to give all of their lives to Jesus, either for the very first time or for the one thousandth time, this by show of hands, you want to live, you want to live totally surrendered. All in for Jesus. Praise God. I'm going to pray for a church in light of that. Father. God, thank you for your word.
Thank you, Jesus, for just shooting a straight thank you for giving us the real gospel. Thank you for telling us.
It's rigged. You've saved us. You've made us. You've failed us. You've apportioned gift to us. You've given us the ability to use them.
All we have to do is say yes to you, live for you. And we're going to hear those words when you come back one day. Jesus. Well done. Good and faithful servant. Bolster our faith, increased our faith. Inspire us, encourage us. Help us, Lord, to live for you with everything we have until we see you face to face all these things in your name. Jesus. Amen.