Monthly Archives: October 2013

Turn to God or Burn in unquenchable fire.

Mathew 3:1-2, “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. “‘

 

John was such a preacher that he gave only two options to his hearers ‘Turn or Burn’. He did not put any of them in comfort zone where they could enjoy the pleasures of sin. He was the voice in the wilderness, a voice of God. He was sent to prepare the way for the Lord. Ministers go ahead and prepares the way for the king. But rather than preparing any road, John was preparing the hearts of the people for the Lord. God was preparing through John but before that, God prepared John. This is the very act of God and He always does it. Jonah was prepared and then he was sent to Nineveh to prepare. John was the son of a righteous priest and according to custom, John should have ministered in the temple as a priest. But he refused the customary priesthood and wore the purpose of God in his life. Though his parents had told him about the prophecy from God about him, he required a direct revelation from God to yield to the purpose. In some point of life, John received this revelation. Though he knew Jesus as his cousin, the revelation of God opened his spiritual eyes and that’s why he said  ‘the one coming after me is more powerful than me, whose sandal I am not worthy to carry’. John might have not received complete knowledge about Christ, but whatever he received was right enough to yield his heart to the purpose of God. Amen.

The King was born but not in the way Jews expected. They expected a political king who would overthrow the kingdom of this world, but the King was born to seek and save the lost. Jesus came as a lowly servant to the world, not to overthrow the Roman kingdom, but to finish the works of devil. Even Satan thought that Jesus came to take back the kingdom of the world but He had come to save the people from the hands of devil. How did John prepare the way for the Lord? By preaching the very heart of God. Repentance was not the only message of John, though it was the beginning. He also preached about the fruit that followed repentance, the blessing of the Spirit that gives birth to spiritual man and the blessed hope of eternity (wheat in the barn). John was such a genuine preacher who not only preached the blessing following a repentant heart, but also said about the outcomes of unrepentant heart. He said that those who do not repent remains under the wrath of God. …that they are cut and thrown into the fire. He gave only two options : repent and turn to God or disobey and burn.

 

Hearing John’s message, many tax collectors and soldiers came to him for baptism by confessing their sins to God. John was preaching in the fullness of Holy Spirit’s power and conviction. The Spirit convicted the heart of hearers which turned them to God, but there were some spiritual leaders who did not repent, because they found themselves more righteous and considered themselves as descendants of Abraham as per tradition. John challenged them to produce fruit keeping with repentance, because producing children for Abraham was not God’s aim. Instead, He wanted them to be  partakers of the kingdom of God. God can raise children for Abraham from stones. There was one rich man who never repented in his life. So, he found himself in the hell. But we see a chief of Tax collector who was also the child of Abraham as per tradition, but he found place in heaven. Its  because he gave his house to Jesus. Jesus not only came to his house, but also into his heart. That’s why he gave up the wealth of this world and received heavenly possession. The wrath of God remains in us if we do not repent. We cannot produce fruit for God, neither can we stand before God. We are under condemnation, but those who repent receives many folds of blessings, which no eyes have seen, no ear has heard and which no one has ever thought in his heart. John was given very little revelation about Christ but that was enough for him. Though he did not do any miracles, he revealed mainly two things about Jesus in Mathew 3. He said that  the one coming after him is more Powerful because He would baptize with Holy Spirit and Fire. Baptism means immersion. So baptism in Holy Spirit means to immerse one in Holy Spirit. John could immerse people only into the water, but Jesus  immerses people in the Holy Spirit. As water cleanses the body, likewise Holy Spirit renews our spirit which not only gives birth to spiritual man, but also empowers us to be more than conquerors. People were convicted by the Holy Spirit and they came to John for baptism of repentance. So now if the Spirit of God is convicting you through this message, then come to Jesus because He will immerse you in Holy Spirit. Holding on to your tradition will not bring fruit to your life. Hold onto God, because without His Spirit, you cannot bear fruit to God. Some scribes and Pharisees brought one woman to Jesus who was caught in adultery,  but when Jesus opened his mouth and spoke the Word,  the Holy Spirit started convicting each one of them from older to younger. But they did not yield their heart to the conviction of Spirit and words of Jesus. That’s why they all ran from Jesus. Their self righteousness,  spiritual pride and tradition did not allow them to submit to God. But the woman had nothing to say about herself. That’s why she stood and accepted her sins which turned blessings to her. What is holding you back from repentance? The moment the prodigal son came into his senses about his father and his house, he repented. Repentance means coming to senses, coming home. Those who do not repent is still under God’s wrath. He is under condemnation . But there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and those who do not walk according to flesh, but according to the Spirit. The prophesy of John was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit of Jesus came upon each of the 120 disciples  and filled them. They started speaking about the wondrous work of God. The manifestation of Holy Spirit empowered them to speak boldly about Christ and they all were fruitful to God.

Secondly, John spoke about Jesus that He will baptize with fire. Now this fire is not Holy Spirit as per my view, because just after that, he said ‘ Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.‘ Jesus will burn or immerse those who have not repented into unquenchable fire. God appointed Jesus to judge the world. What a wonderful revelation he got about the savior. Note the verse, His hand, His floor and His wheat. We know that the wheat are those who are born of God. That’s why it says ‘ His wheat’. The fan of Judgment is in his hand and He will judge the righteous and non-righteous. He will thoroughly purge his floor by separating the godly and the ungodly, and after purging, He will gather his wheat into the barn but the chaff who are ungodly, disobedient and  who drink sin as water, will be burnt in fire which will never quench. Turn from idols and to God, because God wants to fill you by His Spirit so that our barrenness will turn to fruitfulness. At the end, He knows how to separate his wheat from the chaff and gather the wheat to barn and chaff to fire. Do you want to be his wheat? Then come to Jesus Christ. Confessing your sins by knowing that you are nothing but a wretched sinner in the eyes of God. He will wash all your sins if you go to Him today and by His word you will have a new life renewed by the Holy Spirit. You have only two options Turn or Burn…choice is yours.

 

May God bless you

 

 


Role of the servant

Luke 19:11-28

Here is the beautiful representation about the coming King and His workmen. This parable speaks about a lot of things and we can understand it only by His grace. It speaks about the role of a servant and his reward. The theme of this parable  is that Jesus Christ is the King & His kingdom will never end (Luke 1). Every kingdom of this world and of the hell is going to end very soon. Every dictator, king, ruler and satan church will see their kingdom fall and we will see Jesus Christ in the clouds. ‘For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.’  Halleluiah!!

There was a mis-conception among the people and  the disciples. They  thought that Jesus Christ will establish His kingdom on this earth very quickly. Luke 19:11, ‘ while they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.’ They thought that Jesus came to Jerusalem to overthrow the earthly kingdom and establish a new kingdom. But Christ explained as to why he was near to Jerusalem Luke 18:31-34..Jesus took the twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33 they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” 34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.’ He was going to Jerusalem not to become a King, but to die for our sins and rise up on the third day. See, how people thought about Jesus. He went to Jerusalem as a Lamb but He is coming back to Jerusalem as a King.

Now to remove this misunderstanding, He told one parable. There was one noble man who was going to another country to become a King. He called his servants and gave each of them minas and told them to do business with it until He returns. We learn certain things here. Firstly, Jesus Christ is not going to Jerusalem to become a King. Rather, He is going to be a sacrifice. But after he rose from the dead, He went to heaven and sat at the right hand of the Father, waiting until He puts all his enemies under His footstool. After that, He will come back to this world as a King. Secondly, He has designated his servants with the responsibility of working for Him until He returns. Minas was given equally to all servants (pls do not compare this with the parable on talents). Each servant had equal minas. We who are saved are also like these servants. We all know that this minas is the Gospel of Christ, which is handed over to all believers in common. We have not achieved it. Rather, it has been given to us by His grace, just like the servants received minas from their Master. Now what are we supposed  to do with this Gospel of Christ? The Master has asked us to work with it until He returns.

Here, we are trying to glean pearls from this parable. We can understand that there are three major parts in this parable (a)  Why Jesus came?  (b) Role of the servants and (c) Coming of the Son of Man as King and Judge. Today,  we will look at the second part of this parable i.e. about the role of the servants. While we were under satan’s yoke,  we were servants of sin. But now as we are under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we are servants of righteousness. We have been entrusted with responsibilities, and God wants us to be faithful in what we have been given. There were ten servants, but account of  only three is mentioned in this parable. Now in these three servants, we see two groups: 1. Good servant and 2. Bad servant. Good servant understood his master well but the bad one never knew him. Good servant realized his responsibility and so worked hard to please his Master,  but the later one did not. I would like to make three parts about the servants for the purpose of study.

  • The responsibility of the servant
  • The faithfulness of the servant
  • The reward of the servant

The responsibility of the servant – Each servant was given a responsibility, and that was to put the ‘minas’ in the work until the Master returns. We all are not prophets, evangelists or pastors,  but we all are witnesses of Jesus Christ. The minas of Gospel is handed over to us and we have to put this minas in the work of God. We do not need to put power in the gospel, because Gospel itself is the Power of God that is able to transform a believing heart. If we are witnessing Christ, we are just doing our duty. How is our business going on ? Has the church forgot her responsibility? Let us examine ourselves today. If we see the life of Jesus…fulfilling the Work of Father was his food. We have to reach that level by taking our responsibility as our food that brings joy to our soul. He was weary and thirsty because of the long walk,  but through all this, Jesus did not forget to do the Work of His Father. Let us not forget our responsibility . We are witnesses and ambassadors of Christ. We were not worthy to receive this mina from the Master, but He went to Jerusalem to die in our place and on the third day, He was raised from the dead. He destroyed the works of the devil and removed the sting of the death by making them, a public spectacle. He purchased us by His own blood and made us children of God. This Good News is the Mina which the Son of Man has handed over to us. Let us submit to God today and put the mina into His work. How  should we put the minas of the Master into work? Paul tells that beautifully… 1 Thessalonians 1:3 we remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. It should be done in faith, love and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is produced, prompted and inspired through our Lord.

The Faithfulness of the servantThe subjects of the noble man hated him and protested against him. They did not want to see him as a king. If they have hated him, they have hated his servants also. Let us connect this with our Master and ourselves. Jesus said that the world hates the disciples because it hates Him. But in the midst of the persecutions and hatred, the good servants were faithful to their Master. They continued to put Master’s mina in the work and labored. Though they went through depression, frustration and pain, they continued the work of God faithfully.  1 Thessalonians 2:1-2 you know, brothers and sisters that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. They were beaten badly, but still faithfully put the Minas of the Master into work. And by the help of God, they found results. Many souls were saved through the Gospel. If the master would have declared the rewards to each individual, they all would have worked more effectively. The one who  gained 5 minas would have labored more. What if God tells us that if we work for Him for 1 year, He would pay large amount to us? Then, I believe everyone would join in witnessing but that witnessing would be only for the reward. There will be no sincerity and faithfulness. God is calling the one who gained 10 more minas as ‘faithful servant’. He was faithful in suffering; he faithfully labored without seeking rewards.

The Reward of the servant – The noble man came as a King and called only three of his ten servants. We don’t know what happened to the rest 7, but the Lord did not even remember them. According to the scriptures, in the Day of Judgment many servants will say that they worked for Jesus, but the Lord will say “I never knew you”. Why did the Lord refuse to acknowledge these servants?  Because they did the work of God and committed sin in parallel. Lord called them ‘evildoers’.  Three of them gave their account to the Lord. Among these three servants, there were again two groups a) servants who labored and b) servant who did not labor. So, there rewards were also different. The one who made 10 minas became the governor of 10 cities and the one who made 5 minas became the governor of 5 cities. But the one who did not put the mina in the work was rebuked by the Lord. His mina was taken from him and given to the one who made 10 minas. Some people will be ashamed forever but some will shine like the stars in the heaven. The greatest reward is the appreciation of God in front of all mankind. How would you feel when God calls you…’Good and faithful servant’..Though everyone received the mina freely, but their rewards were different due to their service. God remembers those who work for Him and He will surely reward them on that Day.

We cannot take anything from this world . But the souls which we have won for Christ will become the reason for getting crowns. Let us not forget our responsibility. Let’s do our responsibility faithfully, without seeking  rewards, but only the will of God and His purpose.  God bless you.