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Date: 16 August, 2018
Text: Luke 20:9-19
Title: Entrusted with Eternity
Theme: The privilige of knowing Jesus carries the enormous responsability of tending the Vine of eternal life.
question: Children - do you like stories? I enjoy reading with Mac on Sunday afternoon before our Sunday afternoon nap. He gets interested in stories because they stimulate the mind and heart.
Jesus often used stories to awaken the mind and heart of people. He does so in our passage this morning.
9 Then began he to speak to the people this parable;
def. Parable - Earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
parable of the sower - earthly story of sowing seeds - heavenly meaning sowing God's Word to bring up the fruit of eternal life.
parable of the wheat and tares - earthly story - a crop always has some bad seed. Heavenly meaning - God can tell the difference even though they are growing together and seem to be the same harvest. There is a harvest of heaven and a harvest of hell.
Jesus used this parable in Luke 20 to rebuke the Jews for the failure in their stewardship of the Word of God which bears eternal fruit. It is a story of a vineyard and they are the stewards.
The Jews were a priviliged people.
1.) Descendants of Abraham who had entered into a covenant with God.
2.) The people of God.
a.) Given God's law.
b.) Given God's blessing.
c.) Given God's chastening.
3.) Given further revelation through the Jewish judges, some of the Jewish kings (King David, King Solomon) and the Jewish prophets.
4.) Looking for the promised Messiah who would come through their seed.
5.) Given the first opportunity to repent and follow Jesus.
The Jews in a spiritual sense were entrusted with eternity. They tended the vine of eternal life. They had an incredible stewardship.
I can't fully apply this passage this morning to the church - as you will see. However, I would like to remind us that THE PRIVILIGE OF KNOWING JESUS CARRIES WITH IT THE ENORMOUS RESPONSABILITY OF TENDING THE VINE OF ETERNAL LIFE.
You are to be a good steward of the Gospel. Are you a good steward of everlasting life? Luke 20
I. The responsability.
exp. God gave an incredible stewardship to the Jews and then to the church.
ill. Man in Vanceuver who stole a plane. He had security clearance, access to the cockpit of the plane, ability to take off and some ability to fly the plane.
exp. He was a steward of the airline. They had entrusted him with some pretty valuable things. People are wondering if he was over priviliged. He certainly violated his trust.
app. When you take up God's Word - you are handling eternal life. Every pastor ought to realize that every time He speaks he takes eternity in His hands. We hold in our hands the ONLY WAY TO EVERLASTING LIFE.
Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
app. We need to fulfil the trust which God has given to us.
A. God planted the vine which bears eternal fruit.
9 A certain man planted a vineyard,
exp. God's message of imputed righteousness through faith - first mentioned in the Word of God with regard to Abraham (the father of the Jews) and passed on through the Jewish believers was God's fruitful vineyard. It was God's vine of eternal life. He planted it. (It represents His eternal people.)
ill. There is something wonderful about gardening. You are handling life. A serious gardener has great pride in his garden. God has a wonderful eternal vine. He is very jealous of His garden.
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
Deu 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
Deu 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
Deu 6:15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
app. God is jealous for that which is of eternal importance - His (people) vineyard. It is a VINEYARD WHICH HE PLANTED.
B. The jews were entrusted with God's vineyard.
and let it forth to husbandmen,
exp. The vineyard was leased not owned. It was still God's vineyard. However, the care of it initially was in the hands of the Jews.
note: Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition party (Labour) in Parliament has been accused for the last several months of being anti-semitic. (Pictured laying a wreath near the graves of those who killed the Israeli olympic athletes and who were assassinated by the Mossad. (IDF) Pictured beside a senior member of a palestinian terrorist organization that the following month attackd a jewish mosque.
exp. Anti-semitism has no place in the life of a believer. We have a Jewish Bible and serve a Jewish King who is going to come back to reign in Jewish land for 1,000 years.
note: I often share with unbelievers that Revelation says Israel will be back in the land - and they are. What other nations has been dispersed, lost their home land, and returned while keeping their national identity?
question: Why did God chose the Jews of all people?
Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
app. What a privilige to be chosen of God to be the steward of the OT Gospel and us to be stewards of the NT Gospel! We've been entrusted by God. 1Co 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
C. God gave them space to develop His vineyard.
and went into a far country for a long time.
exp. There were some very precious times when God led the children of Israel - but then they rejected him for an earthly king. God in His mercy continued to work with Israel though more distant from them. (They may have thought that His distance gave them liberty to do as they wanted to do.)
Jdg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
exp. How often Israel departed from God as she was left somewhat alone with her stewardship.
Ecc 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
note: Our Lord's words to Israel are reminiscent of His words to the church. (Parable of the Talents)
Matthew 5:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
exp. I believe like our parable - the talents have to do with being entrusted with divine revelation. The stewards had every opportunity to benefit from this trust by investing it in their heart and the hearts of others.
app. God has given us a great responsability. That responsability will lead to a day of reckoning.
II. The reckoning. (God anticipates a great harvest.)
10 And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard:
exp. It is a very reasonable thing for the Master of the vineyard to send servants to take account of His investment. If things were not being run well - these servants had the Master's authority to demand changes which would make the vineyard fruitful.
ill. Parable of the talents
Matthew 5:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
app. Sadly, the worst use of the trust of divine revelation is to bury it where it can not even benefit the one to whom it has been given.
Ill. The Catholic church has done this. They claim to be a Christian church but have buried the Word of God by their tradition.
Ill. Sadly, the church of Scotland is burying the Word of God by their rejection of the authority of the Word of God and false interpretation of it's truths. DON'T BURY THE WORD OF GOD WITH YOUR RELIGION WHERE IT IS WORTHLESS TO YOU AND THOSE WHO NEED TO HEAR IT!
III. The rebellion.
exp. The jews failed in their stewardship and rebelled against God BEATING HIS SERVANTS.
Ill. When men have rejected their stewardship of divine revelation it has always led to the persecution of those who would uphold God's revelation! (Cain and Able)
but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.
11 And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.
12 And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.
ill. Stephen's message of condemnation to the Jews summarizes this truth.
Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
app. Friends - if we are going to honor God with our stewardship - those that do not are going to be characterized by the actions of this passage - send you away, beat you, shamefully treat you, wound you, cast you out. WHY - BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY THEY HAVE REJECTED THE SON!
IV. The rejection.
exp. The jews so violently rejected God that they turned on His own Son.
13 Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.
14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.
15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
exp. Jesus did not come in judgment upon the Jews or mankind. He didn't come predetermining the rejection of His people. He came knowing they would reject Him - but not desiring their rejection.
Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
ill. Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
note: They did not reverence the very Son of God because they were so proud of THEIR RELIGION - THEIR VINEYARD!
question: Does it matter to the church of Scotland that the Word of God condemns homosexuality? Does it matter that the Word of God teaches that a minister is to be a man?
Does it matter that God's Word teaches the inspiration and authority of every word in the Bible?
app. Careful - the Jews got where they were by exhalting their religion above the revelation of God.
V. The retribution.
exp. The price of their rebellion far exceeded what they thought possible.
What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?
16 He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.
exp. They were so comfortable and confident in their religion they thought they were in charge. They were no longer stewards but masters. To think otherwise was inconceivable to them. BUT THEY WERE WRONG!
ill. Church of Scotland drafting new laws to allow for same sex weddings. 'Speaking before the vote, the Rev Tom Gordon said: “I have two daughters, both of whom are married. I have one gay daughter in a same-sex marriage. When my older daughter got married she had a choice – to ask me to conduct her service as a minister or for me to walk her down the aisle as her dad. But when my younger daughter got married, she had no such choice.
“Give people a choice: allow their marriage to be conducted by a minister. With God’s blessing.”
exp. Here is God's blessing upon same sex marriage - Leviticus Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
note: The problem within in the church of Scotland is the same as in the Jews rejection of the Messiah - THEY ARE NOT RIGHTEOUS MEN AND THEY HAVE VIOLATED THE TRUST GIVEN TO THEM OF DIVINE REVELATION. HOW DO WE KNOW THAT?
ill. Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
app. Just like in our story - The problem with the Jews was that they rejected THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE - by exhalting their religion above the revelation of God! So has the false church of our day - and they have shown themselves worthy of the wrath of God!
VI. The reality.
exp. Men do not get to pick and chose. They have the opportunity to believe and obey God.
note: They have just cried out with shock at what Jesus has said!
17 And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?
18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.
20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.
exp. You aren't going to push agains the authority of God and break Him. His Son is going to break you.
app. Friend, if you find yourself on the other side of the page from God - you had better change your views and agree with God.
ill. My article for the Midlothian Advertiser.
Can God Save Me?
The simple answer is, "Yes." However, to be saved you must say from your heart, "God, I'm sorry. You are right. I am wrong. Please forgive me as I put my faith in Jesus." You must agree with God.
Are you wondering if you are in agreement with God? Please mark the statements below with which you agree in your heart.
God is your Creator. Genesis 1:27 So God created man... male and female created He them.
God is your Law Giver. Leviticus 18:5 You shall therefore keep My statutes (laws)....
God is your Judge. Genesis 18:25 ...the Judge of all the earth.
You broke God's law. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned....
You must turn from your sin. Luke 13:5 Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
The punishment for your sin is death. Romans 6:23 For the wages (payment) of sin is death;
Without Jesus you will go to Hell which is why you need to be saved. Revelation 20:15 ...whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Jesus died for your sin. Romans 5:8 ...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus came back to life. Matthew 28:6 ...He (Jesus) is risen, as He said.
Jesus is the exclusive way of salvation. John 14:6 Jesus said... I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.
Your good works (religion, baptism, kindness) will NOT save you.
Galatians 2:16 ...for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified (made righteous).
Faith in Jesus ALONE brings salvation. Acts 16:31 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved....
Do you agree with God? Will you pray right now in faith and ask Him to forgive you and save you? Romans 10:13 Whosoever (anybody who) shall call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved. (Please look up the above Bible references in your own Bible.)
Friend - where do you find yourself today?
God has entrusted us with divine revelation.
There is great accountability for what we have been given.
May God help us to be good workers in His vineyard!