During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled ‘My progress is evident to all’ (1). Her verse was from the Book of 1 Timothy 4:12-16; and Luke 19:11-27. “The Almighty God says: “I will teach your children and make them successful” (Is 54:13; CEV).
We shall study Biblical principles of good success and godly prosperity. By faith we declare that we shall make progress in life, spiritually and naturally. By God’s Grace, we declare that we shall stayed anchored in the Word of God and we shall be led by the Holy Spirit. We reject all distractions, the wisdom of this world, and the false doctrines of religious spirits. Our desire is to give glory to God alone and to be transformed into the image of His Son, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ! Amen!
BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS TO HAVE GOOD SUCCESS
“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7-9)
Joshua is a humble, faithful, and courageous man of God. He led the people of God into the Promised Land. He was a slave in Egypt, a servant to Moses for 40 years in the wilderness, and later he became the leader of the nation. God was with him as he conquered 31 kings and took over their domains. He divided the land to the tribes of Israel. The Book of Joshua is not just history. It is a prophetic book that applies to all believers to the end of time. By faith we shall identify with Joshua. God gives him two ‘positive’ and one ‘negative’ command. God commands him to be strong and courteous! He commands him to study and obey His Word. He commands him not to be afraid or dismayed! In other words, to excel like Joshua you must be strong, courageous, love God and the Bible. You must reject fear and all weakness of the spirit, soul, and body. The word ‘dismayed’ means to suddenly lose courage. You are responsible to keep the ‘courage tank’ filled always. The Word of God will give you wisdom and strength to experience godly prosperity and good success. Joshua is a type of Christ. The name Joshua in Hebrew is the same as Jesus in Greek. The success of his life points to the greater Joshua, our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ. The conquering of Canaan is a type of spiritual maturity that is possible in Christ alone. There is no true prosperity or success outside a relationship with Christ. We shall remind ourselves of the power of the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. Many Christians live in defeat. We shall rise above that. By God’s Grace we shall make progress and experience a greater level of godly success in life. At the end of his life, Joshua could declare that God has kept all His promises! That shall be our testimony! Glory of God!
God has plans for us, including the works we should do. “For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]” (Eph 2:10; AMP).
The word ‘workmanship’ means God’s design, God’s masterpiece. He created each one of us with a special pattern in mind. We must find not only our identity in Christ, but what is called ‘the good works’ God prepared in advance for us to do on earth. This is a proof that salvation is by grace and by faith. It is not by works. The works are the result of salvation and not the cause of it. In the Old Testament, God promised His people that one day they will have rest. In their case, it was to enter, conquer and settle in the Promised Land. But now, in Christ, rest starts in the spirit, and it manifests as peace, godly prosperity and progress in life. “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Heb 4:8-10). We too must die to the flesh and its works. We must walk and work in the power of the Holy Spirit. These are the works that remain and are rewarded by God! In the Book of Genesis, we see that God works and God rests. We must cooperate with Him; work with Him and rest with Him. “My dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ]” (Phil 2:12; AMP). Entering God’s rest comes from entering the realm of doing God’s good works. It is not something you acquire but something you become. It is spiritual maturity. That is when you make fast progress. You exercise authority. You go boldly to God’s throne to receive mercy and grace. This life has minimal anxiety or fear, and it is full of peace. In other words, to enter God’s rest, is when a believer, finds God’s will for his life, aligns with God’s timing for events, lives at the place very God has planned for him, and uses God’s resources to accomplish the design, the purpose of God for His life. He is a mature believer and uses the authority of Christ to bring into subjection all things around him. This is the spiritual conquering of the Promised Land. Few attain to this maturity. But the lives of these few saints, give glory to God beyond imagination and they inspire us all! May we fulfill destiny and live to praise the Lord!
THE GOSPEL WORKS
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom 1:16). The Gospel is the story of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected as described in the Bible. The Gospel is God’s idea and His free gift to men. It is the gift of King Grace! The Gospel is unique and supernatural. There is no story like it. No man could have invented such a love. The Gospel is the power of God to convict men of sin and to change their lives. The Holy Spirit gives the power to make the word of God effective in our hearts. The Gospel is the only method that changes the hearts of men. The wonderful thing about the Gospel, is the proven fact that it really works. This is not magic, ‘brainwashing’ or the product of an active imagination. No! Faith in the Gospel totally changes them who believe. The Word of God changes sinners into saints. Their lives are totally changed. Anytime you see a change of character and personality that gives glory to God, the Holy Spirit is at work. The believers become wise, strong, and joyful. They have peace in the midst of the storm. They stop complaining. They lose their fears. They see God in all situations. They apply the Word of God in their lives and see changes in their circumstances. They become champions and ‘more than’ conquerors. In this difficult world, they always rise above the tide of despair.
There is a vast difference between natural and spiritual strength. There are some people who naturally are able to endure hardship. These are naturally patient people. They do not complain but keep quiet during painful events. They use their natural strength to be strong in difficult times. But these natural strong people lack something. They lack joy! They cannot rejoice in trials. They cannot praise and sing in a prison cell like Paul and Silas. To be joyful in affliction is the special mark of the children of God. Listen to Apostle Paul: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom 5:1-5). He is in a prison in Rome, but he doesn’t complain. He has peace with God. He stands in the Grace of God. He prays to God always. He says that he ‘glories in tribulations.’ Why? Because God uses all situations to build up his godly character. Paul is not just enduring afflictions. He rejoices in them. He sees God in them. The Christian is not mad. He does not deceive himself. He knows that life is hard. But by the power of God’s Word is able to find God’s purpose in the pain and he rejoices in it. Only faith in the Gospel can produce this radical change in a man’s heart, manifested as powerful faith, joy, and hope. This mystery is called ‘salvation’!
The Gospel produces a lifestyle that is unique. The sinner becomes born again. Then, he starts the process of sanctification that lasts a lifetime. It is not just a religious feeling. Salvation is not just an addition to the former life. It is a deep change that starts in the human spirit and affects his soul and body. Soon, the changes in the believer are seen, heard, and felt by others. The Gospel affects not just a part of your life, but all of your life. Only faith in the Gospel can make you whole! The change in your person is much deeper than morality. It is spiritual, deep, and has permanent results. The Christian understands who God is, and who the devil is. The Christian is the only person who truly knows himself. He sees life and death in relation with eternity. He knows that God works thru all things, even thru the difficult things. As a Man on earth, Jesus, “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb 5:8). The Christian following Jesus allows suffering to be his teacher. He learns how to submit to God’s will and obey His Word thru painful trials that are permitted by His Father in heaven. He is not alone in his pains. By the power of the Holy Spirit, thru faith in God’s Word, by prayer, the Christian lives triumphantly. He moves from one level of victory to another. No unbeliever has this stable constantly supplied strength, wisdom, and peace to make profit from all situations of life. The world seeks for happiness. The Christian does not seek happiness. He seeks God and His Kingdom. As he makes spiritual investments by spreading God’s Word, he finds true joy in it. Prosperity is a byproduct of Christianity and not the purpose of it. The Gospel never changes. We change. To His glory and for our good. Christianity is spiritual and practical at the same time. It gives an answer to life and to death. It is a power that none can manipulate or destroy. It is God reaching man, changing sinners into saints. There is no love story greater than this! Selah!
MAY YOUR PROGRESS BE EVIDENT TO ALL
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:12-16)
We shall study how to become spiritual mature Christians, faithful workers in His vineyard. Salvation is free for us because Christ paid for it. But to make progress, to become a fruitful believer, there is a price to pay. The scripture above is part of Paul’s advice to his spiritual son in Christ, Timothy. When he wrote this letter, Paul was on the death row, awaiting execution, in a prison in Rome. Timothy was a younger man, a pastor of the first church in Ephesus that Paul founded. He was a young man, maybe in his twenties. He was a shy man, having inferiority complex about his age. He had a chronic sickness. He tended to be easily worried. The fact that his father in Christ and mentor was waiting to die, added to his anxiety. Spiritually and emotionally, Paul was much stronger. He writes these letters from prison without any fear of death. He was sure of heaven. To Paul, to live or to die, made no difference. All he wants is that Christ is glorified in him. He writes to Timothy to encourage him as a man of God, and pastor. He is telling him to be strong and do God’s work in his absence! We need to apply his word to our lives!
Here we see that spiritual maturity manifests as ‘progress’ that can be seen by others. Progress is defined as a slow forward movement towards a goal, to an improved condition in life, on the path to perfection; it also means to increase knowledge, to develop your skills and gifts so that you can apply them better. It means to advance in life, closer to the place where your dreams are fulfilled. For example, a student makes progress when after taking a B, he now has an A. Later, he finishes his school, and he also becomes a teacher. This is all progress in life. The opposite of progress means to go back, to become worse, to sink, to lose benefits, or to waste away. May we pay the price for godly success!
In the world, the general progress in life is seen mostly thru material gains. You feel that you make progress when you graduate from school, marry, buy a house, and have children. But in the spiritual realm, the progress is measured by greater faith and more authority. It is heard in your voice and seen in your behavior. It is also called fruitfulness, increase or profit. It affects all who see and hear you. A leader in the home or in the church is expected to make progress. The faster the progress, the more God will use you to mentor others. No leader should remain satisfied to stay stationary, comfortable to be in a place of no growth. In that case, the leader loses the respect of his followers. By leader I mean, all believers, husbands, wives, parents, pastors, teachers and all who have a platform to influence others. Progress or lack of it cannot be hidden for long. It will soon be manifested. Honor or dishonor will be the result. Let us be faithful in the secret place. God will reward us openly!
The same word ‘progress’ appears two more times in the Book of Philippians. “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Phil 1:12-14). He also said: “I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless, to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith” (Phil 1:23-25). The word ‘furtherance’ is the same as the word profit or progress. Paul says that his imprisonment has advanced and spread the Gospel to the most unlikely people, to the prison guards in Rome. He also says that he is not worried about selfish materialistic preachers. All he cares is that the Gospel should be preached and spread to the whole world. He rejoices in the spread of the Gospel. He also says that he doesn’t know what to choose. To die and go to heaven or the stay on earth and help the brethren. He says that by staying on earth he will help them to mature as believers, witnessing to the increase and progress of their spiritual life with joy and faith. May we be busy working for the furtherance of the Gospel, for the progress of joy and faith among the brethren!
THE PARABLE OF THE MINAS (Lk 19:11-27).
A parable is a simple story that has a deep spiritual meaning. When Jesus teaches with parables, He uses things that people are familiar with and draws their minds towards the mystery of His Kingdom. In this parable we see a nobleman who became king. He deals with three groups of people: his faithful servants, his fake servant, and his enemies. Each one of us belongs to a group. The Parable of the Minas (or Pounds) reveals Jesus as the King who gives opportunities to His servants, who rewards and who punishes. This parable was spoken at the time when Zacchaeus, the hated tax collector became saved and proved his salvation by his deeds of generosity. Jesus also spoke the parable to correct the error of His followers who thought that He will enter Jerusalem, defeat the Romans, and immediately become the new King of Israel. Once their Master becomes King, they will all benefit from that Great office. Lesson: the natural religious mind is always impatient and materialistic.
The ultimate King in the Roman Empire was Caesar. He ruled overall. Rome was wise allowing the local kings to rule over their people. Herod was not a Jew. He was a descendant of Esau. He was very ambitious. He went to Rome and negotiated with the Caesar to rule as king over Israel. Caesar confirmed his appointment. He came back to Israel and became King Herod the Great. The Jews hated him and his sons. After he died, his son Archelaus also went to Rome to ask for the confirmation to be king in place of his father. The Jews hated him even more and sent a delegation that Caesar should not make him king. But he was a smart politician. He succeeded in his ambition. He came back as king and killed all the people who rejected him. This is history and all the Jews knew about it. Jesus uses this popular story in the parable of the Minas.
In this parable, Jesus is the Nobleman. The truth is that He is the most noble of all Men on earth. “You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore, God has blessed You forever” (Ps 45:2). This nobleman has to go to a far country to meet a greater King to receive the confirmation for his crown. Indirectly, Jesus is telling them that He will go to heaven for His Father to give Him the Crown of King of kings. Later, the nobleman will return to rule over his subjects as their king. Here we see that Jesus will come back again. There is a delay between the first and the second coming of Christ! The nobleman calls ten of his servants. He gives each of them one Mina, or one Pound. He commands them: “Occupy till I come… Do business till I come” (Lk 19:13; KJ, NKJ). This word ‘occupy’ is found only here in the Bible. It means to do business, to gain in trading, to be busy, work and invest the money and make profit. In the olden days, ‘an occupier’ is a trader who makes profit. Each servant receives the same amount of money. One Mina is about three months wages. The amount is relatively small to start a business. The nobleman wants them to have faith that this small amount, like a seed, when combined with their diligent work, will multiply exceedingly. Little is much when God is inside. The master promises to come back. The servants were to do business with his money and live a life that honors their master in his absence. Each will give an account for their faith and labor. These faithful servants stand for the born-again believers. The nobleman was sure that he will receive the crown. He gave his servants the minas to test their faithfulness and zeal in his absence. In his new Kingdom he needs faithful people to occupy positions of authority. The lesson is that a good godly businessman will surely make progress and will be rewarded with promotion in life. Godly businessmen become godly leaders of men! That is evident progress!
There was another group of people. These are ‘his citizens’. They hate him and reject him as king. They even sent a delegation to the greater King who was to coronate the nobleman saying that they do not want this man to reign over them. These men represent the Jews who rejected Jesus as their Messiah and King. This parable is prophetic. Jesus is telling them thru the parable that Israel hates Him and wants Him dead. Few days after this conversation, Jesus was arrested. Pilate flogged Jesus and said to the Jews: “Behold your King!” But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away” (Jn 19:14-16).
The nobleman in the parable goes away. His servants are supposed to trade with the money each has received. They start their business at the same level. Each man’s faith and zeal will determine the profit. The nobleman receives his crown and becomes a king. He returns to his domain. This is a picture of the second coming of Christ. He first calls his servants to give an account of their business. The first one says: ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ See how humble this servant is. He does not take glory for the profit. He does not say ‘My labor, or my wisdom, has earned ten Minas’. He says: ‘Master, YOUR mina has earned ten minas.’ He confesses that the master’s minas made profit supernaturally. His master congratulates him by calling him ‘good servant’. He rewards his faithfulness, humility, and zeal by giving him a greater responsibility. He will have authority over ten cities. This is a very big reward compared with the capital. The second servant made five minas. He is not as zealous and faithful as the first one. He does not receive a personal greeting. But he is given authority over five cities. We are not told about the other seven servants, what they did with their master’s money.
Finally, ‘another’ servant comes. The word ‘another’ describes somebody of another kind, of a different spirit. He gives an excuse of why he did not trade with the master’s money given to him. He manifests a totally wrong attitude towards his master. He says: ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit and reap what you did not sow.’ The word ‘austere’ means to be harsh, difficult, strict, rough, rigid, unpleasant, ugly, stingy, sour, and without hope. He described Jesus as a tyrant, an oppressor, a slave master, a covetous rich man who was lazy and idle, living from the sweat of others, without caring for them. He said that he feared his master because he is a thief. He blamed his master for his negligence. He takes no responsibility for his sin. This is the way sinners see Jesus. They see Him as totally lacking love and compassion. Clearly, this servant does not know his master. Jesus is the most gracious, merciful, loving, and generous King in the universe! He became a Man and lived among men so that He can die for them. “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Heb 2:17). The false servant hates his master, but selfishly, he takes advantage of his position of working for a nobleman. This man is clearly an unbeliever. No believer insults Christ like this. Jesus does not call anyone of His children ‘wicked’. Finally, the unfaithful servant loses his mina. He loses his opportunity to serve Christ. He becomes an eternal waste. Selah!
The King judges the ‘wicked servant’ by his own words. He rebukes him by saying that he should have paid the money in the bank who could have made a profit from it. Lesson: Jesus approved of the institution of banking. The King then takes the mina from him and gives it to the one who already had ten. The people around thought that this is not fair. The master says: ‘everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him’. Lesson: In the Kingdom of God Faithfulness and Holy Zeal are rewarded more than we can imagine. Un-faithfulness and carelessness are the sure way to lose all rewards. We are not told that the master killed this lazy servant. But we are told that he punished him by taken away any hopes he had of a future reward. He represents the religious unbeliever. This wicked servant committed a sin of omission. He did not do bad things. But he refused to do the right thing; he did not obey his master. The churches are full of people who pray, praise God, but don’t care about Jesus. “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (Jam 4:17). This sin of omission is as wicked as the sin of commission. How terrible it is for Christians to ignore God, to leave God out of their plans. To forget prayer or to ignore our conscience is sin. This sin of omission will be judged by Christ. The King of kings shall condemn those who ignored all opportunities to do good, to preach the Gospel, to encourage the weak or to help the needy. “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt 25:44-46). The religious unbelievers seem surprised that the king condemns them for their negligence to care for others. Lesson: None escapes the duty to preach God’s Word and show kindness to others.
The parable describes the second coming of Christ. His citizens hated Him. There is no reason why they hated Him. “They hated Him without a cause…” (Jn 15:25). All men are created by Christ. They are ‘His’ citizens. They belong to Him and He has the right to do anything to them. Even if you ignore Jesus, you live in His country. “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rev 11:15). When Jesus comes back, Jesus will make all things new. He will change the earth. Make lakes where there is none. He will create new flowers and change the animal kingdom. He will rule with peace and joy. Right now, He is in heaven, coronated, King of kings! When He comes, He will reign for ever and ever. Every knee will bow to Him! Everyone will be accountable to Him! Finally, the rebellious citizens are all killed by the King!
There is clearly a delay between the first and second coming of Christ. “If we suffer with Him, we reign with Him” (2 Tim 2:12). When Jesus comes back again, He will reward the faithful with much more than they imagined. Jesus says: “Hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations. ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels” (Rev 2:25-28). Jesus owns you! You don’t want Him to reign over you? He reigns anyway! “We have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts” (1Thess 2:4).
For the believers, what is the danger during this delay, before the second coming of Christ? It is to become unfaithful and lazy with God’s work.
Jesus warned about being careless with His work in His absence. The good servant continues to do His work even without human supervision. But the unfaithful servant, in his master’s absence, becomes lazy and proud. He thinks he is not a servant anymore but a master. When their master comes back, both reward and punishment shall be given accordingly. “That servant who knew his master’s will and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Lk 12:47, 48). Selah!
“Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality” (Col 3:22-25).
Paul advised the slaves to serve their human masters, like they serve Christ. He said that true respect for the master manifests when the slave work faithfully in the master’s absence. When the master sees the slave working, there may be some manipulation. The slave tries to please man, looking for his favor. That is the manifestation of hypocrisy. But if the slave works faithfully when the master is absent, he truly is a good servant who loves and honors his human master, for the sake of Christ.
What does the Mina represent? It represents God’s Word, the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes (Rom 1:16). It has the power to change lives. Like a seed, the Word of God is living. Planted in good ground it multiplies exceedingly. The Gospel is not just theory. It is the most practical help given to man. How do we do business spreading His Gospel? By preaching the Word always, in season and outside season (2 Tim 4:2), by attending a local church and serving God there. We also do business for God by behaving as Christians in our families and offices. Godly behavior has mighty evangelistic power that makes God’s Word look beautiful. Paul says that the older women should “admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. 6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. 9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:4-10).
The parable of the Minas reminds us that Jesus is the sovereign King of kings! He will come back again and judge all men. None can escape. The unbelievers are judged at the Great White Throne and will be sent to the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15). But the believers have their own special judgment. King Grace will judge all believers at the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ. In Greek the word ‘bema’ means judgment or tribunal. This is not a judgment deciding who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. All believers will surely go to heaven. Christ judges the believers for their works done in His name on earth and He rewards them for that. “Therefore, we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor 5:9,10). We must all ‘appear’ before the Bema Seat of Christ. The word appear means to be manifest as we truly are. There shall be no hiding there. The life on earth will determine the reward over there! May God help us!
According to the parable of the minas, waiting means working. Like Queen Esther, we move from enjoyment to responsibility! Also, all men are either faithful or unfaithful; either fruitful or barren; they are either alive or dead. We, the believers in Christ, are to become fruitful stewards of the Word of God. Moses sent twelve spies to the Promised Land. Only Joshua and Caleb were found to be spiritually fruitful and profitable to God and to the community. The other ten spies were useless and barren. They were judged by God. Success and progress in life is rooted in faithfulness to Christ! Spiritually and naturally, when we die, we are to leave greater blessings behind than the way we came at the beginning. May He find us worthy of His love! Worship the Lord!