Do you see all these things? It includes practical instruction on how the disciples were to live after Jesus left. In Matthew, Jesus uses parables to illustrate these teachings. The parable of the talents is one of these stories. The parable of the talents describes what our work should look like while we wait for the return of Christ and the final consummation of his kingdom.
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The preceding parable, the parable of the ten virgins Matt. The parable of the talents illustrates what that readiness looks like.
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It is not to be passive waiting, but getting on with the job and making the most of the opportunities entrusted to us. As Christians we have a mission which our Lord expects us to accomplish in the here and now. As the parable of the talents makes clear, the Master expects us, as his servants to do more than passively preserve what has been entrusted to us. He expects us to generate a return by using our talents toward productive ends.
Live actively. Carpenter writes this concerning the parable of the talents:. In the most general sense, we can conclude that talents are the tools God gives us to carry out the cultural mandate. In this context we can be assured that whatever the Lord gives us now, he will ask us about later, expecting us to diligently work with these resources for the furtherance of his kingdom.
What has the Lord given us? Everything we need in order to do what he has asked us to do!
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The servant who received five talents had everything necessary to produce five more; the servant who had two had everything necessary to produce two more; and the servant who had one more had everything necessary to produce one more. So then, men out to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.
It is the Lord who judges me. Our attitude should be the same. We are to steward well that which Jesus has given us in time, talent, and treasure. Live faithfully.
Waiting on Jesus
Calvin and the Reformers taught that our talents are given not merely for our personal joy but for the common good. According to Scripture, Christians will be held accountable not only for how we have loved our neighbor Matt. Scripture also teaches that one of the primary ways we glorify God and love our neighbor is through our vocational calling to work. Live with a focus on others. We take responsibility for contributing what we uniquely have to contribute to the Kingdom, joining with many others from across the world who are striving to be faithful, to add the work of their hands and minds to the eventual triumph of God.
In both Noah's generation and Lot's, the prevailing cultures were so wicked, so vile, violent, and immoral that God destroyed every living person, save for the families of Noah and Lot. Of Noah's day we read, "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence" Genesis Jesus chose these two cultures to describe the conditions of the last days, saying, " Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed ".
The folks who preach dominion know these verses are in the Bible. They prove a tremendous inconvenience to them, but they often attempt to solve the problem by suggesting that Jesus has already come. Yes, you read that right — they have somehow managed to convince themselves that Jesus has already come! They don't always put this out for general consumption, knowing that many Christians just couldn't stomach such an idea, but if you listen to them carefully you will catch bits and pieces of this bizarre doctrine.
They suggest all the exhortations to watch for Jesus and all the dire predictions of perilous times and calamities in the last days were fulfilled historically in AD 70 when the Romans came and destroyed Jerusalem. In their view this was the coming of Christ. There is no more return of Jesus to look for — forget about the Rapture and go out and convert the world. Often if they speak at all about the return of Jesus, they will refer to it in a mocking tone.
How they love to use the phrase, "sitting around and waiting for Jesus to come.
There is an accusation of spiritual wimpiness here: Real men change the world, wimps sit around and hope to escape the world. If you are excited about the return of Jesus you must not be a real man — or real woman! Again, the basic question to be answered here is what does the Bible say? Is it a good or a bad thing for Christians to give serious thought to the return of Jesus Christ? Is it recommended or condemned in the Bible?
Of course this is the ultimate no-brainer. Anyone who has read the Bible the least little bit knows the answer to that. The New Testament is absolutely inundated with exhortations for us to watch for Jesus' return. Paul writes, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Is there a danger of Christians sitting around and doing nothing as they wait for Jesus? Perhaps so, but in my experience I find that those who have the greatest passion for the return of Jesus Christ are far more likely to be out sharing the gospel and active in their churches than those cold hearted believers who never give it the slightest consideration.
The classic example of this was the apostle Paul. Here was a man who was constantly on the go for Jesus.
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He was evangelizing non-stop, building churches, healing the sick, and getting himself thrown in jail for his aggressive style of Christianity. Yet Paul could never stop talking about the day of Christ. The return of Jesus fills his epistles and obviously filled his heart. There is no need to try to reconcile evangelism with eschatology.
They are best friends! You may ask, "But if you believe you can convert the whole world, won't that serve as a greater motivation than believing that the world is going to fall apart? Imagine a Christian businessman who tells you, "I don't think I will ever share my faith with anyone in my office.
I know I could never convert the entire office, so why should I even try?
Waiting For Jesus
So what if you can't convert your entire office? You may be able to win that depressed lady in the cubicle next to you, or that young man you sometimes eat with at lunch. The fact that we don't expect to win the entire world for Christ will never stop us from witnessing.
Jesus told us from the outset that the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many will take that path. But He also tells us to go and preach the gospel to all creation, and His love and His Spirit compel us to do just that, regardless of which direction our world is moving. One of the cardinal doctrines of the church is the return of Jesus Christ for His people. For a full listing of all devos written and audio go to our Devos Catalog Page. A major part of Spirit of Grace Ministries is our ministry in the great continent of Africa.
There is a tremendous harvest going on in the world these days, and we are privileged to be a part of it. Above is a brief music video featuring video clips and pics from our recent mission in Sengerema, Tanzania.