Christian Responsibilities · Parables

PARABLE OF THE TALENTS and the Lukewarm Church

As I was sitting here reading and explaining Matthew 25 (THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS) to my daughter as part of her home-school lesson, I thought ‘wow, I should write about this’.   It’s AN AWESOME parable, and one I fight for every day; warning others of the dangers of NOT doing what Christians are called to do in the Great Commission.   There IS a grave price to pay for not following your calling as the Lord asks you to.  Read on….

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.  15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

Here in the above verse (15), Jesus explains that to each believer, He gives/asks more or less through the Holy Spirit, depending on someone’s abilities.  For example, I was given the gift of writing, and teaching, and dreams as a child repeatedly that I would defeat evil with a simple writing utensil.  This was MY calling.  Yours may have something to do with the gift of prophecy, or giving, leadership or administration; any of the 40+ spiritual and numerous physical and mental gifts.   To each of us He has given “talents” according to our abilities.

The word “talents” in this entire parable has numerous meanings: physical gifts or talents, spiritual gifts, and then at the end, rewards in Heaven.

16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.

Here these talents are referred to as our gifts we are given from Him, which includes our salvation, as well as our calling(s).  He in other words is saying; “I have invested in you, now go, and do what you will with that investment.”  As Christians, we have been ENTRUSTED with a commission; a duty.

The first two servants in the story invested wisely their gifts, and doubled Jesus’ (the masters) money, or in a literal sense, believers.  They went out and USED their gift for His gain.

We are given a responsibility as Christians.  We have been called to share the Good News to all the world, to anyone we can touch with it, planting seeds as we go.  We are given a “secret” that is not meant to be held inside.

18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.

This verse refers to those who receive the gift of salvation, but hide it from sight.  They say they believe, but live their lives not showing it, not sharing it.  Their Christian lives are what the Word calls “fruitless”; a barren tree.

19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

This verse is referring to Jesus’ return in the future.  He IS coming to settle accounts with his servants.  He is coming to see what they have done for Him in their time here as believers in Him.  This would insinuate EVERY BELIEVER has a calling; that EVERY BELIEVER is called to the Great Commission.  Not just some, or a few, but EVERY one of us.

If you are one that sits back and says “there are enough preachers in the world” or “I could never do that” out of your own fears, you aren’t getting the big picture about what you profess to have faith in.

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Here the verses show the servants answering to their master on how they invested what He gave them.  And since they were able to return His investment WITH interest, He was VERY pleased with them and REWARDED them for their dutiful and successful attitudes.  This is no different than the same concept we apply in our jobs every day.  Whatever we are doing as “work” in life, we work to GAIN SOMETHING.  Jesus is saying in faith, it is NO different; except for the Christian work is based on love, not dread or guilt.  It’s based on our love for Him.

When I think of this, I think of those of us who are sharing the gospel, sharing HIS truths, helping others understand the Word, the grace, the mercy that He has extended to us; changing lives and hearts through our testimonies.  If we can find it acceptable to work for a man here in the physical and get paid according to our diligence and hard work, would it not be acceptable to do the same for Jesus?  It’s the same concept, work hard, reap what you have sown, receive your rewards.

But then we have another story…..

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

The third servant hid away the talent.  He didn’t work towards growing it.  He didn’t do anything but dig a hole, bury it, and forget about it, only to pull it up again when he had to answer for it.  My dear friends, I see this attitude among Christians SO MUCH!  They “believe”, but they don’t love Him enough to share the greatest gift we’ve ever been given.  They don’t SHARE and INVEST by working hard to make gains on the very gifts they have been given from the very Man that gave them their very salvation.  If we loved Him with all our being, as we are commanded, wouldn’t we WANT to please Him by wisely investing and growing what He has graced us with?

If your boss had to leave town for a few weeks on business and he asked you to hold down the fort (so to speak), would you be lazy while he was gone, or would you treat the business as your own and makes sure all orders were met, all customers satisfied, and profits continued?  One way says you aren’t trustworthy and that you are lazy, possibly not worthy of keeping your job in that company; the other says you are worthy of your job, your pay, your benefits, and a possible promotion.

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

Here Jesus is showing us what we can expect as we believers are judged.    Jesus is CLEARLY pointing out here that the believers who mouth the words, but don’t love Him enough to try to share His grace and mercy with others are wicked and lazy.  He stresses here there are NO excuses acceptable.  And then we also see here as well that the word “talents” now refers to rewards in Heaven.  The wicked and lazy believer loses his reward to those that worked harder for the Lord.  Can you imagine the SHAME in that?

And here’s the kicker:

29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

PERMANENT SEPARATION FROM THE LORD OR LOSS OF SALVATION: that is the ultimate price for being a “spoken but not heartfelt” believer; a Sunday Christian so to speak.

I know some will argue this and say “grace by faith, not of works….” which ironically is the old faith of the Laodiceans (those referred to as the Lukewarm Church) – which Jesus in Revelation says He hates.   The Bible tells us that faith alone is dead without works:  James 2:17  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  It further spells out in James 2:18 that we SHOW our faith THROUGH our works.   Those works show our love for Him, and our love for each other; the first 2 commandments of the New Covenant.

Revelation 3 refers to the “Lukewarm” church and how Jesus will vomit them out of His mouth.  We either love Him and what He did for us passionately (hot), or not at all (cold).  It’s those “Sunday Christians” who say the words but don’t follow them that are the “Lukewarm”.

The Lukewarm Church  14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,  ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

Vomit you out of his mouth/casting the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness:  BOTH ONE AND THE SAME.

Listen, Jesus doesn’t ask much of us.  He truly doesn’t.  He wants our devotion, our attention, our love.  He wants our minds, our hearts, eyes and ears fixated on Him above all else.  THIS IS LOVE and His First commandment.  If you aren’t passionate about your salvation and sharing it, then you aren’t following the first commandment.

God gave you talents, gifts, and a calling.  He also wishes to reward you for those; nothing would make Him more pleased.

If you feel you aren’t using the gifts you have been called to, pray on it.  If you aren’t following your call in the Great Commission, ask HIM to show you, lead you; to guide you, and He will.  He wants nothing more for you and from you.   I personally cannot wait to hear His praises on my hard work when all is said and done.  To hear those words “good and faithful servant”; there can be nothing better!

Peace to you all, today and everyday.  God bless you all in your walks.

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