(August 11, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, challenges…
In Luke 19: 11-27 Jesus shared a powerful principle shortly before his crucifixion.
He told his listeners the parable of the ‘Ten Pounds’ and spoke of a prince who gave each of his servants the same amount of money with the instruction to ‘invest’ on his behalf. And that he made it clear he expected a return from each of them.
Then Jesus told his servants that the people of the prince’s country hated him and had sent messengers to say they did not want him to be their king.
After the prince’s appointment as king he returned to where he had left his servants to invest on his behalf. He called for them to appear before him to see what the investment had returned and asked each one, ‘How much have you earned with the money I gave you to invest?’
The first servant came and said, ‘Sir, with the money you gave me I have earned ten times as much.’ ‘That’s fine, my good servant!’ the king said. ‘Since you have shown that you can be trusted with a small amount, you will be given ten cities to rule.’
The second one reported, ‘Sir, with the money you gave me, I have earned five times as much.’ The king said, ‘You will be given five cities.’
But another came saying, ‘Sir, here is your money. I kept it safe in a handkerchief. You are a hard man, and I was afraid of you. You take what isn’t yours, and you harvest crops you didn’t plant.’
‘You worthless servant!’ the king told him. ‘You have condemned yourself by what you have just said. You knew that I am a hard man, taking what isn’t mine and harvesting what I’ve not planted. Why didn’t you put my money in the bank? On my return, I could have had the money together with interest.’
Then he said to some other servants standing there, ‘Take the money away from him and give it to the servant who earned ten times as much.’ But they said, ‘Sir, he already has ten times as much!’ The king replied, ‘Those who have something will be given more. But everything will be taken away from those who don’t have anything. Now bring me the enemies who didn’t want me to be their king. Kill them while I watch!’
In just one blog it is impossible to open all the truths and future events that Jesus was unfolding. I do however focus on the important principle of investing for eternity. The significance of using what he has given his servants so that when he returns he will be honoured with the results he planned long ago.
For quite some time I have believed that this parable has a valuable application to Christians now and eternally. What we do with what God has entrusted to us in this life, has a bearing on what he will assign to our care in the new heaven and earth for eternity. When Jesus comes again he will reward every faithful believer. His rewards include reigning on earth, under his authority.
I see the possibility of the parable of the pounds applying in the lives of all those who have been tested and proved worthy.
Investing now for eternity is a glorious reality for committed followers of Christ…
- Giving ourselves to the work of God
- Obeying God’s word, worshipping him
- Seeking his daily guidance
- Walking in the Spirit
- Backing the missions’ programs of our church prayerfully and financially.
- Helping in extending the kingdom in whatever way God calls us to work.
These are essentials now and for our future responsibilities in the eternal kingdom of God (Reigning on earth, under the authority of the Lord Jesus , over one city, two cities or five cities, in his name and by his authority: some great servants of God may well reign over many more).
O what a joy! Investing our lives, our all, in eternity is the safest of all forms of investment! The following scriptures affirm what I have written…
- ‘I am coming soon! And when I come, I will reward everyone for what they have done’ (Revelation 22:12).
- ‘You have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth’ (Revelation 5:10).
For many years I have loved the passage in Isaiah 46: 9-10 where the prophet records this declaration of God, ‘I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me; Making clear from the first what is to come, and from past times the things which have not so far come about; saying, “My purpose is fixed, and I will accomplish all my purpose”.’
- Our mighty God is fulfilling his purpose on earth.
- All that he has planned will happen in his time and way.
- He has given us a commission to go and make disciples of all nations.
- Matthew 28:18-20 is our charge, our responsibility!
The best way for us to invest in eternity is to share the gospel. Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing a friend or loved one come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Your blessing will be two-fold: you will experience the joy of playing a role in that person’s salvation, and you will earn heavenly rewards at the same time.
Revelation 5:9-10 is the song of the redeemed – ‘And they sang a new song, saying, “You… were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation. And you made us kings and priests to our God, and we will reign over the earth”.’
The scope of this song of the redeemed to their Saviour and Lord is worldwide and all encompassing… it speaks of every kindred, every tongue, every people and every nation.
‘Every’ is all encompassing. None are left out. None are ignored or cast aside. They will all have the opportunity to call on the name of the Lord. The truth expressed in the words of Jesus, found in John 3:16, declares God’s love for the entire world. All humanity, all peoples. Both Jews and gentiles, both bond and free. His love, mercy and grace are extended to whoever believes in him.
Matthew 11:12 Jesus declared, ‘Since the days of John the Baptist the kingdom of heaven has been advancing with force. And forceful people are taking hold of it.’
I have often quoted this verse for I believe with all my heart in the truth it declares – the power and advance of the kingdom of heaven (the kingdom of God).
As the forerunner for Jesus Christ, John prepared the way for his Lord. He then gladly stepped aside because the Messiah had come. From that time on Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 4:17).
John the Baptist heralded the kingdom of heaven. Then Jesus demonstrated it and opened the door at the cross, so that all who called on his name and repented of their sin, believing in his death and resurrection, could enter the eternal kingdom of God. Since that momentous time the kingdom has advanced with force. Millions upon millions have been born again into citizenship in the kingdom that will know no end.
Church history is full of the stories of the great company who have participated in the forceful advance of the kingdom. As with Jesus, so with these heroes of faith. The world could not contain the books that could be written. Though many have been put to print, urging the next generation to continue the advance until Jesus comes again.
One of my joys has been to visit more than fifty countries, many for a life-changing visit to see …
- The advances of the eternal kingdom in many parts of the world.
- Missionaries at work, side by side with indigenous church leaders.
- The fruit of conversions, churches planted, and nations turned to God.
- Good servants of God in continent after continent and finding them quietly serving the Lord with no fanfare, but an abundance of fruit for his kingdom.
- Unassuming men and women of faith who are making a powerful impact for time and eternity.
This is what God is doing now In different places in the world he loves – not establishing mere buildings, but born-again followers of Christ who gather in fellowship to break bread, share testimony of the blessings of God and above all share the word of God with one another in their new place of opportunity for eternity.
Advancing with force surely means the force of God’s love, the active ministry of the Holy Spirit and the power of the living gospel of Jesus Christ. Not human force, or military force, but the mighty force of the gospel alone. It is surely the most powerful life changing force on earth.
The challenge back home is our commitment to be involved, to invest in whatever way the Spirit leads us.
The wisest and most enduring investment you can make is the one that affects a person’s eternal destiny with Christ. Remember… Jesus is the coming king who’ll be expecting returns on his investments in us.
Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary spokesperson with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: firstname.lastname@example.org