Categories Of God's People


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING: Matt. 25:14-30 = "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
    2. EVERY CHILD OF GOD IS A MEMBER OF THE LORD’S CHURCH.
    3. ALL MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH DO NOT HAVE THE SAME ABILITY.
      1. Some are strong in faith, while others are weak.
      2. Some are zealous for God, while others are indifferent.
      3. Some are godly, while others are worldly.
      4. Some have breadeth and depth of vision, while others are narrow and shallow.
      5. Some are full of the knowledge of the Lord, while others are ignorant and arrogant.
      6. Some are characterized by love, optimism, and a good sense of humor; while others are characterized by ill will, pessimism, and a catalog of complaints.

  2. DISCUSSION: THE LORD’S PEOPLE MAY BE DIVIDED INTO FOUR CATEGORIES:

    1. BRETHREN WHO DO LITTLE WITH LITTLE:
      1. These have little, whether it be in the area of ability, wealth, or opportunity.
      2. They do little with the little they have.
      3. The Scriptures gives us two examples of this:
          1. The one talent man. Matthew 25:14-30 = "[Matthew 25:18] But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. ……..
            [Matthew 25:24-25] Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. ……. [Matthew 25:28-30] Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
        1. The one pound man. Luke 19:11-26 = "And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him."
    2. IN THE SECOND CATEGORY THERE ARE THOSE BRETHREN WHO DO MUCH WITH LITTLE,
      1. Shamgar is an example of this, who with only an ox goad slew 600 Philistines. Judges 3:31 = "And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel."
      2. The widow that cast into the treasury two mites is another example. Luke 21:1-4 = "And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had."
    3. IN THE THIRD CATEGORY ARE THOSE BRETHREN WHO DO LITTLE WITH MUCH:
      1. The three rich men recorded in the Gospel of Luke are examples of this:
        1. The rich man whose ground brought forth plenty. Luke 12:16-20 = "And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"
        2. The rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptusously every day.
          Luke 16:19-31
          = "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."
        3. The rich young ruler who asked: "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Luke 18:18-24 = "And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!"

        NOTE: Each of these three had much; They could have done much; But they did little with what they had.

      2. The church at Laodicea is a striking case of a church that did little with much. Revelation 3:14-22 = "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
        1. The church at Laodicea had no false teachers, no immoral members, and no internal strife.
        2. The church was rich and had need of nothing.
        3. But the Lord had not one single compliment for it.
    4. IN THE FOURTH CATEGORY THERE ARE THOSE BRETHREN WHO DO MUCH WITH MUCH.
      1. Abraham had position and wealth. Yet due to his faithfulness he became the father of the faithful.
      2. Moses was educated in all the ways of the Egyptians and lived in Pharaoh’s house. Yet he was ranked with the sages, and became the deliverer of God’s people.
      3. The apostle Paul was a Hebrew by birth, A Greek by environment, and a Roman citizen. And yet with the exception of Christ, no Christian has ever contributed so much to the furtherance of the gospel as he did.

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. BRETHREN THE CHALLENGE IS OURS:
      1. As an individual:
        1. You may with the little you have do little or much with it.
        2. You may with the much you have do little or much with it.
      2. As a congregation: We may use what we have to do little or much with it.
    2. WHAT WILL YOUR DECISION BE?
      1. You can lose even that which have: Parables of talents and pounds.
      2. You can gain an eternity in heaven.

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