The Faithful Servant And The Evil One      

Matthew 24:45-51

            In that last great day, when Christ comes again, every faithful servant of God shall be publicly recognized, honored, and rewarded by Christ; and every false prophet shall be publicly exposed and damned.

            First, our Lord gives us a brief description of his faithful servants(vv. 45-47). While this text may be properly applied to all God’s saints in their various capacities in this world, for all true believers are the servants of God, it speaks specifically of pastors and tells us four things about that man who is called and gifted of God to preach the gospel to his people. 1. His Character - “Faithful.” God’s servants are, above all else, faithful men. Some are highly gifted, some less. Some are very educated, some not very educated. Some are very sociable, some not so sociable. But they are all faithful to God, his gospel, and his people. 2. His Position - “Ruler over his household.” God’s servants are not lords over God’s heritage. They have no desire for that responsibility. But they do rule the house of God, just as a faithful husband and father rules his house (II Tim. 3:5; Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:7, 17). As there can only be one husband in a family, there can only be one pastor (overseer and spiritual ruler) in a local church. 3. His Work - “To give them meat in due season.” Every gospel preacher feeds the church of God with the sweet meat of free grace, with knowledge and understanding, as he is himself taught of God (Jer. 3:15). 4. His Reward (vv. 46-47). There are rewards for faithful service, both in this world and in the world to come. These are not rewards of debt, but of grace; not according to the rules of law, but of love. Old John Trapp said, “Christ is a liberal pay-master, and his retributions are more than bountiful.” While there is no indication anywhere in Scripture that there are degrees of reward among the saints in heaven, we are encouraged to faithfulness by the promise of it being rewarded by our God. As faithfulness honors God, God honors faithfulness. In this world, faithfulness in one form of service is rewarded by greater opportunities of service. Faithfulness in small things is rewarded by being given greater things (Luke 19:17). In the world to come, we shall inherit all the bounty of life everlasting and see the results of our faithfulness around the throne of our God!

            The unfaithful servant is also described by four things (vv. 48-51). 1. His Presumption - “My lord delayeth his coming.” Being an unbeliever, he soon grows weary of waiting upon the Lord. 2. His Abuse (v.49). His abuses were two: 1st, He smote his fellow servants. He put them under the law. Rather than comforting them (Isa. 40:1-2), he threatened and beat them. 2nd, He began to live for pleasure, to the gratification of his lusts, rather than for the glory of God and the good of men’s souls. Note: False prophets, rather than serving Christ and his people, serve themselves. 3. His Surprise (v.50). When the Master comes, he will take the self-serving prophet of deceit by surprise. 4. His Ruin (v.51). Pretending to be the servant of God while serving satan and himself, he shall justly have his portion with hypocrites in hell.

THE GREEN PASTURES BLEED RED                 Paul Mahan

            Once while walking in a green pasture after a rainstorm, I looked down at my feet and noticed red water coming up wherever my feet made an impression. Such is the nature of Virginia soil, that, even in green pastures, the red clay will somehow be revealed, especially after a good rain. The “green pastures” spoken of by the psalmist (23:2) is the Word of God. And upon walking through His Word, if God the Holy Spirit is pleased to shower a blessing upon you and anoint your steps, you will find that the green pastures bleed red. Such is the nature, the sum and substance, the rhyme and reason of all scripture...THE BLOOD! THE BLOOD! THE BLOOD! As Moses took the blood of the sacrifice and “sprinkled both the book , and all the people” (Heb. 9:19), so hath God covered every page of His book (and His people) with the blood of His Son. As you study God’s Word, if your feet are “shod with the preparation of the gospel” and you “ponder the path of your feet”, you will find that the ‘ground’ of all your hope, and the foundation upon which you stand is red; for...”IT IS THE BLOOD THAT MAKETH ATONEMENT FOR THE SOUL.”

Don Fortner