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Opportunity Lost

Luke 19:26-27
‘He replied, “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them – bring them here and kill them in front of me.”’ (NIVUK)

Most people assume that the processes of life will continue more or less predictably (2 Peter 3:3-4); and that there is no final end point at which everything will be disclosed, assessed, rewarded or punished.  Even some followers of Jesus know He will return but get on with their lives as though that fact does not matter (2 Peter 3:11-13).  So Jesus teaches in this parable (Luke 19:11-27) about the dangers of unproductive faith and of being an enemy of Christ.
The unproductive servant is called to account and stripped of his privileges, which are given to others.  The Apostle Paul puts it like this in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved – even though only as one escaping through the flames."
But the enemies of the king in this parable suffer a far worse fate than the lazy servant who despised his royal command. The definition of 'enemy of Christ' is given here: those who do not want Him to rule over them.  They may be serving themselves first, or their families, or their work, or some philosophy or religion; but they all have this in common - they do not want Jesus to be Lord of their lives.  All those people have only the prospect of eternal destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
That is why the gospel was given to the church and explained by the apostles: so that the believers might know how to live to please Christ and that 'enemies of Christ' may hear the gospel, believe and be saved (see www.crosscheck.org.uk to know more).  That is why the gospel is so important: Paul says in Romans 1:16, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile." Because the King is coming back, giving no extra warning of His arrival (1 Thessalonians 5:2), the message for us today is straightforward, and has urgency - if you believe the gospel, do it wholeheartedly; and if you know the gospel, share it unashamedly!

Sovereign Lord. Thank You for telling us that You will assess everybody's response to the authority of Christ the King when He returns. Forgive me for my lax attitude to the certainty of His coming, and please help me to review my willingness for Him to be the Lord of my life. Please help me to see, with refreshed eyes, the real plight of those whose faith is lukewarm or who are enemies of Christ; and give me a renewed desire to explain the gospel to them. Help me to see my family, friends and colleagues in the perspective of Christ's demands upon them; so that I will pray for them and enable them to understand the gospel. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams