Categories Of God's People
- 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."
- EVERY CHILD OF GOD IS A MEMBER OF THE LORDS
- ALL MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH DO NOT HAVE THE SAME
- Some are strong in faith, while others are weak.
- Some are zealous for God, while others are indifferent.
- Some are godly, while others are worldly.
- Some have breadeth and depth of vision, while
others are narrow and shallow.
- Some are full of the knowledge of the Lord, while
others are ignorant and arrogant.
- 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.
- DISCUSSION: THE LORDS PEOPLE MAY BE DIVIDED
INTO FOUR CATEGORIES:
- BRETHREN WHO DO LITTLE WITH LITTLE:
- These have little, whether it be in the area
of ability, wealth, or opportunity.
- They do little with the little they have.
- The Scriptures gives us two examples of this:
- 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.
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.
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."
- 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."
- IN THE SECOND CATEGORY THERE ARE THOSE BRETHREN
WHO DO MUCH WITH LITTLE,
- 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."
- 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
- IN THE THIRD CATEGORY ARE THOSE BRETHREN WHO DO
LITTLE WITH MUCH:
- The three rich men recorded in the Gospel of
Luke are examples of this:
- The rich man whose ground brought forth plenty.
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?"
- The rich man who was clothed in purple and
fine linen and fared sumptusously every day.
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."
- 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.
- 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."
- The church at Laodicea had no false teachers,
no immoral members, and no internal strife.
- The church was rich and had need of nothing.
- But the Lord had not one single compliment
- IN THE FOURTH CATEGORY THERE ARE THOSE BRETHREN
WHO DO MUCH WITH MUCH.
- Abraham had position and wealth. Yet due to his
faithfulness he became the father of the faithful.
- Moses was educated in all the ways of the Egyptians
and lived in Pharaohs house. Yet he was ranked with the sages,
and became the deliverer of Gods people.
- 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.
- BRETHREN THE CHALLENGE IS OURS:
- As an individual:
- You may with the little you have do little
or much with it.
- You may with the much you have do little or
much with it.
- As a congregation: We may use what we have to
do little or much with it.
- WHAT WILL YOUR DECISION BE?
- You can lose even that which have: Parables of
talents and pounds.
- You can gain an eternity in heaven.
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