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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Tony Evans » Tony Evans - The Responsibility of Judgement

Tony Evans - The Responsibility of Judgement

Tony Evans - The Responsibility of Judgement
TOPICS: Judgment, Responsibility

All of us want what we invest to expand. All of us want what we invest to grow. We do not want what we invest to lose or be wasted, and neither does God. When God gave us the free gift of salvation, that can never ever be taken away. He says, "I would like to see the value of it expressed in your life. I have invested in you eternal life and I would like to see some interest payments on the investment. I will never take the investment away, but I really would like to see how much you appreciate it". And so I am going to request of you, and me, and us, to accept the responsibility of building on the gift I've given you.

Jesus tells a parable in Luke 19. A parable is an earthly story designed to communicate a heavenly truth. It's a story from everyday life that is pregnant with principles designed to educate, inspire, prepare, train, correct, guide us in some divine truth that God wants to drive home to us, using something we can identify with in order to make that truth. The story is told of a noble man who goes on a trip. We're told that they thought the kingdom was going to come immediately. That Jesus was going to rule from the earth immediately. But Jesus knowing about the rejection, it says that the citizens hated him knowing that he would be rejected and crucified, knew that there would be a gap between when he died, rose, and ascended, and when he returned. A gap of time.

Since there would be a gap of time and the kingdom would not be established immediately because of the rejection, crucifixion and denial, he says, "I want my servants during this gap of time to accept the responsibility of maximizing my gifting to them and my usefulness of them until I return". This gap of time is called the church age. It is the age in which you and I are living now. So Jesus Christ says, "A noble man went on a journey". In other words, Jesus was gonna leave, go back to heaven. It says, "He got ten of his servants, his slaves, and he gave them each ten minas". Now that's a body of money. And he said to them, "Do business till I come".

Now this is called stewardship in the Bible. Stewardship in the Bible is the responsibility to protect and expand the assets that God has entrusted to us during his absence. Let me explain something, you own nothing and you get to use a lot but you own nothing. The Bible says, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and all they that dwell in it". He claims solo ownership, that nobody owns anything in the ultimate sense of the word you, and I, and we, are not owners, we are visitors. See, once you adopt the mindset of a steward, God can deal with you better 'cause you know your place. I know my place, we are stewards. So every one of these persons was given a mina to invest.

In Matthew 25 verse 14. "For is just like a man". The kingdom. "Just like a man about to go on a journey". Okay, going on a journey. "Who called his own slaves". Just like in Luke. "And entrusted his possessions to them". Just like in Luke. "To the one he gave five talents, to another he gave two, to another one each according to his ability and he went on his journey". Oh okay, you see a little difference there? In Luke, everybody got the same thing, everybody got a mina. But in Matthew they got the same thing in different amounts. See they got the same thing, but one got five, another got this, another got that but in Luke everybody got the same thing.

There are three things we all have, time. We have time. We just don't have the same amount of it. Some are gonna live to be 40 or 50 or 60 or 70 or 80 or 90 or 100. We all have time, we just don't have the same amount. Talent, everybody's got a skillset. The Bible says, "To each one has been given a gifting, a capacity to serve the King in his Kingdom". Everybody has a talent, everybody just doesn't have the same talent, nor does everyone have the same amount of a similar talent. In sports some people can run faster than other people, although all can run. We don't have the same cognitive capacity, although we have cognitive capacity. So we all have time and we have talent, the third thing we all have is treasure. A scope of resources that God has made available to us to use. But everybody doesn't have the same amount. Everybody doesn't make the same salary, everybody doesn't have the same expense. It's not the same amount but it's the same thing.

So in Luke chapter 19, the nobleman goes away and he says, "I want you to do business till I come back. I want you to do business until I return". Well he returns. We find in verse 14 that the citizens hated him, and they wanted to get rid of him and said, "We don't want him to rule over us". Of course this would lead to the rejection of Christ and the crucifixion. Verse 15, "When he returned". There is a major issue you and I and we are going to have to grapple with and that is how seriously we believe he will return. Now he told 'em before he left, "I will return" but there's a gap of time due to his rejection about when he will return. The question you have to answer is, do you believe he will return? Because the degree to which you believe that will affect the kind of business you do.

So he says, "When he returned, after receiving a kingdom". 'Cause it's all about the kingdom. After receiving a kingdom, after it was established that it was time for the rule of God, the millennial kingdom, the party we talked about last time, the 1,000 year rule of God when Jesus Christ descends from heaven and sets up his throne in Jerusalem, and rules the earth from Jerusalem and rules the universe from the earth where he sets up Jerusalem which is in Israel, which will rule the earth, and the earth will rule the universe during that 1,000 years and we will rule with him, okay? When he returns and he's handed the kingdom. It says, "He ordered that these slaves to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done".

The judgment seat of Christ. This is when every believer will be called to stand before the Lord, to talk about his business affairs with his stuff. Time, talents, treasures. The question on the floor is, "With the stuff I gave you, with the time I allotted to you, with the talents that I loaned you, with the treasures that I entrusted to you, show me what you got". Well, the first guy appears. "Master your mina has made ten minas more. I invested what you gave me for your benefit 'cause it was yours". Remember he says "Your mina," it was yours. "So I utilized it for your benefit and I doubled the effect of what you gave me. I went to work, and I got busy. I took care of business and look what I have to show you upon your return". He said to him, verse 17, "Well done good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you will be in authority over ten cities". Verse 18, the second one came saying, "Your mina master has made five minas. You gave me ten and I did 50% increase with the use of my time, my talents, and my treasures".

And he said to him also, "And you are to be over five cities". Well wait a minute now. He gave the first one ten, he doubled it, he made ten, well done, ten cities. The second one, five cities, but no "Well done". There's no "Well done" to the second one because he was half stepping. Now it's not that he did nothing, but there is no glowing condemnation because he only gave half effort and therefore there was recognition for the part he did, but there was not celebration because of the part he did not do. No well done, no commendations, but a recognition that half effort was placed says, "I gave ten, you made five in increasing your influence and impact for me, my name and my kingdom".

Oh, but now we come to the next guy. "Another came". Verse 20. "Saying, 'Master, here is your mina which I kept put away in a handkerchief 'cause I was stirred.'" Verse 21. "I was afraid of you because you are an exacting man. You take up what you did not lay down, you reap what you did not sow". He said to him, "By your own words, I'll judge you. Okay, I'm an exacting man. I have high standards, major requirements, so let's use your words for your judgment". "You worthless slave". It is possible to be saved and be a no good Christian, having no value to God or his kingdom, having accepted Jesus Christ as Savior but have been useless to him when it comes to representing what he's given you for his benefit.

These are Christians who want to be blessed, these are Christians who want to be highly favored. These are Christians who will talk about God is good all the time and all the time God is good, but when you look at what they've done for his name, his glory, and his kingdom, it's in a handkerchief. He says, "You worthless servant". He says, "Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow, high standards? Then why did you not put my money in the bank and having come, I would've collected it with interest"? So the question is, why wouldn't he at least go to the bank? Why would he, why would he use a handkerchief?

You know, what is it about the bank that he wouldn't go to the bank, but he would go to the handkerchief? Banks keep records. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna get my handkerchief, and the way I'm gonna work this thing, is if he comes back I have his mina. If he don't come back, I got his mina and I ain't had to do no work. I ain't had to do no business. So if he comes back, I'm not worse off, and if he don't come back I got a little something I can keep, and I ain't got broke out no sweat, have to deal with no church, have to serve in no ministry, have to give no tithes, I don't have to do none of that. But let me just remind you. It says, "He returned". That's the judgment seat of Christ. He came back and he says, "show me what you got. How have I benefited because of what I gave you"? Verse 24. "Then he said to the bystanders, 'Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.'"

One of the questions I was asked here recently by a person who when they first heard me start the series on "Jump And See The Crisis," will anybody be witnessing our judgment? Is it like a private thing, or me and Jesus in the cubicle, just me and him or other folk gonna see all my stuff? Well the verse says the bystanders for the third guy, for the guy who had nothing to show, except a handkerchief with unused effort, unused service, unused sacrifice. He says, "And the bystanders said, 'You're giving his one to the one who got ten.' So the one who got ten now has 11 'cause God gave, he made ten so he was put over ten cities so now he takes from the one and he gives it to the one who made ten".

And that's when he says the summary statement in verse 26. "I tell you that everyone who has more shall be given but from the one who does not have nothing to show even what he does have shall be taken away". He's not talking about eternal life, you can't lose eternal life. Eternal life is eternal, it's forever. He's talking about the reward that comes at the judgment seat of Christ and the loss that will be felt by believers who have little or nothing to show for the time that they were saved. They went through the motions, he went through the motions, he had the one mina there, it was hidden in a handkerchief but he wasn't planning to do any business for God. He wasn't planning to do any business for the King. And when it comes to your and my salvation, Jesus paid top dollar.

When it comes to you and I eternal life, he paid the ultimate price of dying on the cross to give us the gift of salvation and he says, "You gonna treat me cheap"? Yes I'm gonna give it to you, I'm not gonna take it away, but I'm sure gonna evaluate how you viewed it, and how you used it or how you ignored it. You know when you have sand on a beach, public beach, free sand, free sand on a public beach, people just walk on it 'cause it's free sand on a public beach. If you want sand for a playground, you gotta go to Lowe's, or Home Depot and you gotta buy that. You buy sand paper. That's that free sand and glue on paper. Free sand and glue on paper, you got to buy that 'cause of how you're using it. You go to Silicon Valley where they use sand in computer chips, that's some expensive sand. That's free sand from the beach that they put in the chip and now it's valuable.

What's the difference from the beach sand to the computer chip? Usefulness. It's all about usefulness. On the beach you just walk on it 'cause you're not using it. But in the computer chip it's gonna be expensive 'cause its usefulness has changed. God says, "Why are you gonna walk on my Son and treat him as useless"? Do you not value your Christian life, your salvation, your forgiveness, my presence? Do you not value me? So the challenge for all of us, is to take whatever life we have left, and you're familiar with the phrase, "Only one life will soon be passed and only what's done for Christ will last". How am I using time, and talent, and treasures to advance his kingdom?

Now you say, "But I have to, I gotta live, I gotta work, I gotta do". Absolutely, that's why the Bible says, "Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God". He wants to be brought into all of life. He don't wanna be Sunday, he don't wanna be Sunday only. He don't want you to be a schmo, a Sunday morning only. No, he says, "I want to be integrated into the totality of your life". And yes there are those special times, and special talents usages, and special giving, but I wanna be part of your existence. And don't fret if you see the useless, worthless Christians doing nothing and getting by while you're giving God energy, and effort, and time, and talent, and treasure 'cause there's coming a trading day.

There's coming a trading day when he's gonna reach over and he's gonna grab from them and give it to you because he can trust you, you were a faithful believer. You weren't perfect, but when you fell down, you bounced back up. You got back on the road in order to serve the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And so you keep going, you keep fighting, and you keep giving God your best, because he's returning, he's coming back. And since he's coming back, and since this thing is real, you say, "Lord, when you get up in the morning, I want to give you this day. You show me how I can honor you this day in the natural things of life, and in the special things of life, because there's going to be a day of accounting at the judgment seat of Christ".

Moses said in Psalm 9 he said, "Teach us to number our days". We don't know who the old people are here today. Some of us look old, but we really don't know who the old people are. Since you don't know that you really don't know you are old, you just may think you're young. So since you don't know when it's gonna end, you can't afford to wait to giving God the life that you have, so that when you stand there on that day you hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant, and look at what I got for you". One, two, three, come on...

God has given all of us time, talent, and treasures. We don't have the same amount of time, and we don't have the same amount of treasures and we don't have the same talents, but what he wants to see is how responsible we were in the use of the time, talents, and treasures that he has provided us. And if we use what he has given us to the maximum extent of what we have, then we will be awarded accordingly. But those who don't use it, ignore it, or bury it, then that means that they will not get what they could have gotten because they have taken our responsibility casually instead of with commitment. So let's be responsible with the time, talents, and treasures God has given us.
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