Street Evangelism | Soul Winning The Parable of the Talents
In the well known Parable of the Talents, we are clearly shown that the Christian is entrusted with the Lord's property and will one day give an account. Please take a few minutes and carefully read what Jesus taught:Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master"s money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. "Master," he said, "you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more." His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" The man with the two talents also came. "Master," he said, "you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more." His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" Then the man who had received the one talent came. "Master," he said, "I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you" His master replied, "You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mat 25:14-30)According to the Lord, it is a very serious act of irresponsibility not to be faithful with this trust. In fact, the seriousness of this sin of omission and neglect will cost a Christian his potential entrance into the Kingdom of God. [To be thrown into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth is to be thrown in the fiery furnace (Mt. 13:42,50), another way of describing Hell, where all of the wicked will be tormented.] Hence, being faithful to the Lord by being responsible in his service is of life or death in importance.
The same truth about this trust shows up at another time in regard to the Christian's judgment:But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:48)Whatever you might have thought about Judgment Day that doesn't parallel that truth, please reject it for your own good. All Christians have been given a very serious call and valuable trust - to bring forth gain or be thrown into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. In light of this, have you ever considered the wasted opportunities to serve God that slip through the fingers of many who profess salvation? Dearly beloved, we are going to have to stand before God and account for these! Now is the time to change and become what God wants before it is too late.
What did Paul think he was entrusted with? Carefully ponder the following and the answer will become evident:
Paul's TrustSo then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. (1 Cor 4:1)
On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. (Gal 2:7)
On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. (1 Th 2:4)
that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. (1 Tim 1:11)
and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior (Titus 1:3)
You are correct if you thought Paul was entrusted with the gospel. No doubt some might wrongly say, "But that was Paul. He was an apostle unlike me so I'm not entrusted with spreading the gospel like he was." If that is your understanding, please readjust your thinking! Notice the following Scripture written to all of the Christians in Rome:
You Have Been Entrusted TooBut thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. (Rom 6:17)According to Rom. 6:17, all of the Christians at Rome were entrusted with a teaching. What teaching could this possibly be other than the gospel, which the Lord spoke of in the following passage:Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Mat 28:18-20)After Jesus' resurrection from the dead, he commissioned the Eleven (the Twelve apostles minus Judas) to go and make disciples, then water baptize them and teach them to obey everything they themselves were commanded to do, which directly includes spreading the gospel. This both clarifies and supplements Rom. 6:17 regarding the teaching all saints are entrusted with. In other words, as the Eleven were entrusted with the gospel message, all other Christians are too. Or we might say it this way: As with Paul, all Christians with no exceptions have been given this same awesome responsibility of spreading the gospel, but few seem to be doing anything about it, to the detriment of other precious souls, as well as their own.
Another Scripture which reflects what Christians have been entrusted with is found in the following:
The Faith Has Been Entrusted To The SaintsDear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. (Jude 3)Here the faith is what has been entrusted to the saints. This includes you, if you are a real Christian. According to the very next verse we learn that the Jude 3 command is connected with grace:For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (Jude 4)The urgent message declared by Jude was about false teachers who distorted the message of grace into something very different - a license for immorality. (The true grace of God teaches holy living, Titus 2:12.) Hence, the urgent call for early Christians, as well as all in our day, is to contend for the true faith against the counterfeit grace teachings. That Greek word contend comes from two words, one of which means the following:agonizomai, ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee; from G73; to struggle, lit. (to compete for a prize), fig. (to contend with an adversary), or gen. (to endeavor to accomplish something): - fight, labor fervently, strive.If you are a real Christian, you are to get very serious about this trust you have been given as cited in Jude 3,4. It is a trust, which God will hold you accountable for, according to the Parable of the Talents.
In our day, the eternal security wolves have been wrongly exalted as great teachers of God's word, but the truth is: Christians are given a command to labor fervently against their dangerous version of grace. The Christian's life is a battle for truth and souls - your own soul, as well as others. Not to battle against the eternal security grace twisters will allow their poisonous message to spread more freely. We are to warn the righteous man about sin, as well as the wicked:When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself. (Ezek 3:18-21)
As in the days of the Apostle Paul, there is another gospel being spread in our day (Gal. 1:6-9). This counterfeit being proclaimed by well-known teachers is not the same as Paul's gospel of grace:
The Real GospelNow, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Cor 15:1-4)According to those Scriptures we know the following about the real gospel, entrusted to Paul and all Christians: It is the plan of salvation centering around Jesus' death, burial and resurrection, in which a righteousness by faith is revealed. But that is not all. The real gospel includes a conditional security for the Christian, according to the real grace teacher. Notice again what he wrote about the gospel:
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation - if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (Col 1:21-23)
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." (Rom 1:16,17)
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel (2 Tim 2:8)By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1 Cor 15:2)Also, the real gospel clearly excludes the immoral, impure, greedy, sinful and unholy from salvation:
If you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (Col 1:23)For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person - such a man is an idolater - has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Eph 5:5-7)According to the counterfeit gospel of eternal security, the immoral, impure, greedy, sinful and unholy, if ever saved, will still have salvation in contrast to the real gospel message.
We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers - and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. (1 Tim 1:9-11)
Jesus actually exalted the one-and-only message which brings salvation, called the gospel, on a par with himself in the following passages!
The True Gospel is Supremely ExaltedFor whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35)
"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields - and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life." (Mark 10:29,30)
The gospel is a unique one-of-a-kind message of good news. It is so highly valued and precious because it alone can bring salvation to those who receive it. Since salvation itself is so awesomely important, then the message that brings it about is of equal importance. (It is not surprising then that the devil would have various counterfeit "gospels" to confuse and discourage people in coming to God or even staying with him after they find salvation.)
Why is the Gospel Message so Exalted?
Notice the following that resulted from the real gospel going forth by Paul:Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. (1 Cor 4:15)Paul became their spiritual father through the gospel message. Then we have Peter declaring the following:After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe." (Acts 15:7)Peter spoke that Scripture regarding what happened when he delivered the gospel to Cornelius. See Acts 10:43-48. The result was they got their sins forgiven. (That occurred before and without water baptism!)
Both of these Scriptures are actually in fulfillment to what Jesus said would happen, that is, people saved in the future would come to believe on him through a message (the gospel):My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message (John 17:20).So the only way to enter Heaven and escape Hell fire is through the salvation found in Jesus Christ, and that salvation comes about by hearing the message of the gospel. Hence, the gospel is the most valued message which Christians have been entrusted with.
The Christian's free will and human responsibility after initial salvation is to hold firmly to the word or believe in vain (1 Cor. 15:2). This is the original gospel of grace, which has been twisted and distorted into something very dangerously different, as it was in Jude's day. Today these false teachers are called eternal security teachers. Such have taught a license for immorality under their version of grace for so long and without adequate challenge it has now been widely accepted as gospel truth! Their false gospel has so saturated the established so-called church of our hour that even denominational churches that are to stand opposed to this teaching are openly teaching it to the harm of all who will accept it. This is irrefutable evidence that we are in a deep, dark apostasy.
Dear saint, what are you personally doing to: (1) combat or contend against the counterfeit gospel of eternal security that is nothing more than a false hope and lie from the devil and (2) spread the genuine gospel, which is still hated in our day as it was in Paul's? Please, for the sake of souls take these commands seriously. There is much more you can be doing regarding your Christian responsibilities. Earnestly seek the Lord and ponder your own situation to recognize more that you can do.
What Are You Doing?
(Since the word of God sometimes closes eyes (Isa. 6:10) as well as opening them (Acts 26:18), we cannot correctly interpret the gain in Parable of the Talents to always mean new converts. While it certainly includes converts, it can also include other things as well.)
As serious as all of that is, it is even magnified for pastors. Notice the following:
The Pastor's TrustTimothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge (1 Tim 6:20)A pastor or shepherd is to be a guardian of the sheep they are to watch over:
Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you - guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (2 Tim 1:14)
Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless - not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. (Titus 1:7)
Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. (1 Cor 4:15)Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Heb 13:17)But at the same time, the following also applies to pastors:Not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. (1 Pet 5:3)So a pastor's trust is with the gospel message itself, as well as the people who sit under his spiritual care. Notice the following directive about final salvation for the pastor and the souls entrusted to his care:Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Tim 4:16)All teachers will have a more strict judgment, including a pastor:Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1)Hence, teaching is to be reserved for reliable men, sound in doctrine and who are living holy. See Titus 1:6-9 and 1 Tim. 3:2-7. This is so because their influence will affect all who hear them.
Why then are so many pastors preaching mini-sermons that are filled with stories, jokes, psychology and other things rather than the word of God, which they are to preach (2 Tim. 4:2-4)? Whatever the reason is, no doubt many pastors need to repent and start taking their responsibilities much more seriously since eternal souls are at stake, including their own! If the hours wasted in front of the TV and reading joke books were spent in the Bible and prayer, the sheep might be fed something wholesome instead of a burnt, dried, spiritual bread crumb that can't build anyone up spiritually. The sheep are starving to death in the churches for lack of wholesome, spiritual food, while the pastors are going golfing, vacationing, seeking entertainment and amusements! (If you are a pastor and this is describing you - stop at this moment and wholeheartedly repent before Almighty God and return to your first love.)
As for Christians who are not pastors, please know that your time, money, knowledge, abilities and everything else you have - all of which have been given to you by God, will have to be accounted for. It is time to get zealous as well as deadly serious in this battle for eternity, which will mean drastic changes for many:
Your Time, Money, Knowledge
and God-Given AbilitiesNever be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Rom 12:11)GOD BLESS YOU.
Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Phil 3:16)
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. (Acts 20:24)
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