Are you basing your conduct on a principle, or on God’s Word?

Posted: March 24, 2005 in Thoughts on Getting Ready for Christ's Return

“Who is a faithful and wise servant?” Jesus asked in Matt. 24:45. To answer this question, Jesus gave us a picture of a man who kept at his appointed work until his master returned. What was the reward for faithful obedience? The master “will make him ruler over all his goods” (Matt. 24:47).

“But if that evil servant says in his heart…” (Matt. 24:48). Now here is where a difficulty arises. If a person is from the camp where Scripture warnings do not apply to believers, then this second servant is an unbeliever. In this case, one then examines this verse from a principle rather than from the words actually given us by God.

“But if that evil servant says…” Jesus did not compare two different servants, but the fate of the same servant taking two different paths, one toward obedience (and is thus called faithful), and the other toward disobedience (and is thus called evil).

Both mindsets were rewarded according to their works. One’s portion was to reign with the master over his goods. The other’s portion was with the hypocrites–with weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. One was called faithful, not because the servant was a Christian, but because of faithful works. One was called evil, not because the servant was never saved to begin with, but because of unfaithful works.

The Lord used this illustration to explain how He will deal with His own servants. Because His servants are saved, if His servants choose the path to wickedness, it will lead to punishment, but only temporarily.

Heed the warnings in Scripture. They teach us that God is not a large, cuddly, purple dinosaur, but a consuming fire to be loved and feared fervently.


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