1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We’re glad that you have tuned in to this broadcast,
3. and, today, I want to talk to you about one of the commands of Jesus;
4. but, before I get to this, I want to remind you of the fact that it is always good to be thinking about the imminence of the return of Christ;
5. but, ultimately, what really matters is how the imminent return of Christ motivates us in life.
6. Does the fact that Jesus is coming back to take the believers to Heaven motivate us to work for Jesus now?
7. Does the fact of Jesus’ return motivate us to be faithful and stay busy working for God,
8. or, does the imminent return of Christ cause us to sit down and do nothing?
9. That is the question that has occupied the minds of believers for 2,000 years.
10. History is full of examples of both groups:
11. those who are compelled by the imminent return of Christ to work diligently --
12. they used every God-given opportunity --
13. and, those who did nothing.
14. In Luke 19:13, Jesus gave us a clear mandate to occupy till He comes.
15. To "occupy" means to be busy.
16. In other words, "Do business till I come..."
17. or, "Work hard till I come…"
18. or, "Give My work your full attention till I come..."
19. but let me tell you what Luke 19 says.
20. Jesus was telling a story.
21. Listen to the story from Luke 19.
22. He said, “A man of noble birth went to have himself appointed King and then return.
23. So he called ten of his servants and he gave them ten minas.”
24. That was about three months’ wages.
25. "Put this money to work," Jesus said, "until I come back..."
26. or, you can say, "Invest this money until I return."
27. The rest of the story goes like this:
28. many of the citizens revolted against the King and were taken into judgment;
29. but, for those who had received the money, or the believers,
30. some of them worked hard and invested the money wisely;
31. but some of them did not invest wisely,
32. and, while the story does not tell us about all of the ten servants, but only three,
33. those three are enough to tell us what Jesus wants us to know.
34. What does Jesus want us to know?
35. That these three represent the only two possible categories of Christians:
36. those who occupied themselves with God’s work,
37. and, those who did not;
38. those who worked hard for the Lord,
39. and, those who did not;
40. those who took advantage of the opportunities that God gave them,
41. and, those who did not;
42. those who were faithful, and, those who were not;
43. those who have given themselves, and, those who did not;
44. those who served God with all of their heart, and, those who did not;
45. so, the first servant returned a ten times on the investment.
46. The second servant
47. brought 5 times return.
48. The third servant returned only the principle amount and no interest whatsoever.
49. My listening friends, listen carefully.
50. In Heaven, there are only two categories of Christians.
51. There will be rewards for those faithful servants;
52. and, then, there will be those who will just barely make it to Heaven.
53. Listen to what Paul told the Corinthians, in 1 Corinthians 3:11:
54. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
55. What does that mean?
56. It means that everyone who will make it to Heaven
57. will make it on the foundation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that’s all.
58. No one will get to Heaven by good works.
59. No one will get to Heaven by keeping some holy days.
60. No one will get to Heaven by keeping some rules.
62. The basis on which you get to Heaven is your salvation through Jesus Christ;
63. but, when you get to Heaven,
64. your reward will be based on the level of your faithfulness.
65. Your reward will be based on the level of your service.
66. Your reward will be based on the level of your sacrificial giving to the work of the Gospel.
67. Listen to verse 12 of 1 Corinthians 3:
68. “If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is because the Day will bring it to light.
69. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.”
70. What is God’s Word saying to us?
71. It is saying that, if you have not taken the opportunities that God has given you to serve the living God,
72. you will miss out on your reward.
73. Those who do nothing with their Christian faith,
74. on that last day, all they will have to show for their Christian life is the smoke of smoldering hay.
75. Jesus did not say, "Just go to church till I come."
76. Jesus did not say, "Do a lot of talking till I come."
77. Jesus did not say, "Hold hands and sing hymns and do nothing till I come."
78. Jesus did not say, "Fight among yourselves till I come."
79. Jesus did not say, "Debate the finer issues of doctrine till I come."
80. No, no, no, no. He did not say any of that.
81. He said, “Occupy till I come.”
82. "Do business till I come."
83. "Work diligently till I come."
84. "Be faithful in your use of gifts till I come."
85. "Share the blessings I have given you till I come."
86. "Tell others about me till I come."
87. "Serve others till I come."
88. "Take advantage of the opportunities I have given you till I come."
89. Jesus said, “Give and it will be given to you.”
90. What does that mean?
91. It means that God notices your faithfulness and He enlarges your capacity;
92. and He increases your responsibilities;
93. so, my listening friend, Jesus said to the man who returned a ten times of his investment,
94. he was appointed over ten cities;
95. and the man who brought 50 percent return on his investment was appointed over five cities;
96. but the poor guy who did not return even a little earnings on his gift lost what he had.
97. Please listen to verses 23 to 25 of Luke 19.
98. You say, "This is not fair.
99. This is not equitable."
100. Oh, not at all, my listening friend.
101. Jesus said it over and over again.
102. Those who are faithful with little will be faithful with much.
103. Once, I asked several people this question:
104. "What do you think about your heavenly reward?"
105. I had two types of responses.
106. One response was, "I seldom think about my heavenly reward."
107. Another response was, "I don’t serve the Lord for reward."
108. The truth is the Bible tells us to look forward to our reward.
109. I am looking for, and looking forward to, and eagerly expecting, my reward.
110. The Bible tells us about five crowns that we may expect for serving the Lord.
111. I’ll tell you more about these five crowns in the next message.
112. I don’t want you to miss it.
113. Please tune in next time so you can hear this message on the five crowns,
114. because Jesus taught us about the importance of receiving rewards.
115. Jesus, Himself, taught us to look forward to the reward, as we see, here, in Luke 19.
116. Listen to Hebrews 6:10 to 12.
117. “God is not unjust;
118. He will not forget your work and the love that you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.
119. He wants each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.
120. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”
121. My listening friend, I think all of us work hard on our jobs,
122. and that’s very good.
123. A student studies hard for a test,
124. and that’s very good.
125. A mother works hard to see her children do well in life,
126. and that’s very good.
127. A craftsman works hard to master the skills of his trade,
128. and that’s very good.
129. We all want to win in the game of life, right?
130. What Jesus is saying is this:
131. "Work as diligently in My Kingdom as you work in your world.
132. Work with that same intensity when it comes to My work as you do for yours."
133. Jesus said, “Occupy till I come.”
134. Many of you are listening today, probably saying,
135. "I want to put away laziness and slothfulness and work diligently for the Lord.
136. I want to stop being occupied with silly, unproductive arguments and serve my Lord.
137. I want to take up the cross and diligently serve and sacrificially give and faithfully work."
138. My listening friend, that’s exactly the longing of the heart of Jesus,
139. and He wants to help you be faithful.
140. Will you ask Him?
141. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.