Sermon #73†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† Series: Matthew

††††††††††† Title:††† ††††††††††† Godís Servants - The Faithful and the Evil

††††††††††† Text:††††††††††††††† Matthew 24:45-51

††††††††††† Reading:††††††† Off: Lindsay Campbell ††††††††††††††††† Aud: Mark Henson

††††††††††† Subject:††††††††† Characteristics of Faithful and Evil Preachers

††††††††††† Date:†††††††††††††† Tuesday Evening - February 6, 1996

††††††††††† Tape #††††††††††† S-21

 

Introduction:

 

††††††††††† The title of my message tonight is Godís Servants - The Faithful and the Evil. My text is Matthew 24:45-51. In these verses our Lord gives us a parable in which he describes two servants, one faithful, the other evil. Notice that both the faithful and the evil are the Lordís servants. The fact is, all things serve the gracious purposes of God toward his elect (Pro. 16:4; 21:1; Ps. 76:10). Satan is as much the servant of God, though unwillingly, as Gabriel is willingly. The fallen angels, the very demons of hell, are as fully the servants of God, though they despise him, as are the angels of heaven who adore him. Every human being is the servant of God, too. Some of us rejoice in that fact. What a privilege is ours, to serve the living God! Others despise the thought of Godís dominion; but they are nonetheless under Godís dominion and serve his purposes ((Rom. 8:28; 11:36; Eph. 1:11). Our God rules everywhere, everything, and everyone, totally and absolutely! However, the point I am making is this: Even those evil men who are false prophets and messengers of satan, deceiving the souls of men with their perverse doctrine, are the servants of our God, sovereignly used by him to accomplish his purpose (I Cor. 11:19).

 

Proposition:††††††††††† This parable is a word of instruction, inspiration, and warning to those men who stand in the house of God as his servants.

 

Divisions: ††† My message tonight will have just two parts. I want to talk to you about Godís faithful servants first. Then, I will take just a few minutes to talk to you about those who are here described as evil servants.

 

I. In verses 45-47, our Lord gives us a description of Godís faithful servants.

 

††††††††††† Without question, as I showed you last Tuesday, the instruction of the parable may be applied to every believer in his particular calling in life. We who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ gladly bow to his dominion as our Lord. We are his servants. Our lives are spent in his service. Whatever your particular gifts are, whatever your station in life may be, that is the place of your calling and service in the kingdom of God, where you are to use your gifts for the glory of Christ and the good of his people. Be Godís faithful servant where you are.

 

††††††††††† Those men who are gifted of God to be preachers and teachers in his church, but are not called and gifted as pastors, are also his servants; and ought to be highly regarded as such. God has gifted this congregation with some men who are clearly gifted of God as preachers and teachers of the Word. Lindsay, Ron, and Larry are all gifted to preach the gospel of Godís grace. They are all gifted teachers in this assembly, though none of them are called of God to be pastors. They are, therefore, to be heard and treated with the respect that their gifts demand, as the servants of God. But our text is talking about that specific group of men who are trusted with the care of Godís household as pastors of local churches (v. 45).

 

††††††††††† Perhaps you think, The message tonight has o bearing upon me. I am not a pastor, and never plan to be. Do not be so foolish. You may never be a pastor; but you will, as long as you are in this world, need the services of a faithful pastor. You will be wise to know what to expect from Godís servant, how to pray for him, and how best to assist him in the work God has put in his hands. And you need to know how to recognize and distinguish between a faithful and an evil servant. So I ask you to give me your careful attention, as I endeavor to explain to you the things here taught by the Son of God.

 

††††††††††† In these verses, our Lord Jesus Christ describes his faithful servant, a faithful gospel preacher, a faithful pastor by four things in which he is distinguished from a self-serving false prophet. These four things describe and are characteristic of Godís true servants in every age of the church and in every place where gospel churches are found.

 

A. His Position - Godís servant is here described as one ďwhom his Lord hath made ruler over his household.Ē

 

††††††††††† The church of God is his household, the household of faith, and the household of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is Godís family and Godís church, not mine, not yours, not this or that denominationís, but the Lordís! This is Godís House and Godís Temple.

        I Corinthians 3:16-17

        Ephesians 3:15

        I Timothy 3:15

 

††††††††††† In the family of God there are some fathers, some young me, and some children. There are some who are strong and some who are weak. There are some who are very independent and need little attention, and some who need a good bit of attention. Each one has been placed in his house and family exactly according to the Master will. God ordained pastors have been placed by him as rulers over his household. They are not tyrants, dictators, or lords over Godís household, but rulers, placed over the house to govern it as stewards under Christ.

        Acts 20:28

        I Timothy 3:4-5

        Hebrews 13:7, 17

 

††††††††††† Most preachers these days are Junebug preachers. The church, the deacon board, the board of elders, or the denomination has a string tied to his leg and controls everything he does, like a little boy ties a string around a Junebugís leg. Not Godís servants. Godís servants serve his people, but they are not controlled by them.

 

Note: Where in the Word of God can you find a prophet, or a preacher, who was ruled, governed, or even influenced by the will of the people to who he was sent to preach? The only preacher like that you can find in this Book is a hireling prophet! Godís servants are responsible under God to rule his house...

        By His Word (II Tim. 3:16).

        According to His Will.

 

††††††††††† A faithful steward rules his Masterís house exactly according to his Masterís will. As e does, all in the house are expected to honor and obey the steward in charge of the house. And that household is most honorable and most happy that is well-governed, with each member of the family knowing his place, working together with every other member in love for the welfare of the whole family.

 

B. His Work -The pastorís work is ďto give them meat in due season.Ē

 

††††††††††† How I wish I could make this generation understand that it is the work, the calling, and the responsibility of gospel preachers to feed the church of God with knowledge and understanding, with the eat of gospel truth.

        Jeremiah 3:15

        Acts 20:28

 

††††††††††† It is not the pastorís work to be a good socializer, an analyst, a therapist, a counselor, a priest, or a community door knocker. Godís servants are preachers! They feed the house of God by preaching the gospel, by opening the bead of life and dispensing it to the family. If a pastor does that, he has to spend his time in his study, not running the roads (II Tim. 2:15).

 

1. It is the work of the pastor ďto give,Ē not to take (Ezek. 34:7-8).

 

2. That which is to be given is ďmeat.Ē

 

††††††††††† It is not our business to enact laws, but to give meat. It is not our business to regulate the lives of men, but to feed their souls. And that with which Godís servants feed his children is the sweet meat of the gospel, not the husks of intellectualism, the mists of mysticism, the stones of useless doctrinal speculation, or the poison of heresy. Godís servants come with the meat of saving grace in the knowledge of Christ, declaring

        Ruin by the Fall!

        Redemption by the Blood!

        Regeneration by the Holy Spirit!

 

3. We are to feed the saints of God with ďmeat in due season.Ē

 

††††††††††† The Word of God must be rightly divided; and each member of the family must be fed with the meat that is suitable for him at the time.

        Grace for the Guilty!

        Pardon for the Fallen!

        Redemption for the Ruined!

        Righteousness for the Wicked!

        Cleansing for the Defiled!

        Reproof for the Wayward!

        Comfort for the Troubled!

        Strength for the Weak!

        Christ for All!

 

C. His Character - Our Lord describes his servants as men with these two traits of character: ďfaithful and wise.

 

1. Godís servants are faithful men (I Cor. 4:2).

 

††††††††††† Godís servants are stewards of the mysteries of God, of the manifoldgraceofGod,andoftheunsearchablerichesof Christ (I Cor. 4:1; I Pet. 4:10; Eph. 3:8).

 

††††††††††† ďThey are faithful to the trust reposed in them... They preach the pure gospel of Christ, and the whole of it; conceal no part, nor keep anything of it; seek not to please men, but God; neither seek their own things, their ease, honor, and profit, but the glory of God, the honor of Christ, and the good of souls; and abide y the truths, cause, and interest of the Redeemer at all costs.Ē††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †† (John Gill)

 

††††††††††† ďA faithful minister of Jesus Christ is one that sincerely designs his Masterís honor, not his own; delivers the whole counsel of God, not his own fancies and conceits; follows Christís institutions and adheres to them; regards the meanest, reproves the greatest, and doth not respect persons.Ē††† (Matthew Henry)

 

2. As they are faithful, Godís servants are wise.

 

††††††††††† They are neither faithful nor wise by nature; but God has made them both faithful and wise by grace and by his gifts upon them, making them fit and able ministers of the gospel. They are well-instructed in the things of God, given a clear understanding in the doctrines of the gospel, and wisely exercise their talents and gifts for the glory of God. They seek constantly to improve their knowledge, make the best use of their time, and manage their lives to best serve Christ and his people. God graciously gives his servants wisdom to guide and direct his people and to care for them, like a father guides and cares for his family.

 

3. Notice this too: The faithful and wise pastor is a man who is doing what God called him to do (v. 46).

 

††††††††††† He always has something to do. And he is always found doing what he has been sent and called of God to do. He is not found dreaming, or loitering, or talking, but doing his Masterís will and work, feeding his sheep.

††††††††††† Illustration: John Calvin, ďWhat, do you want the Lord to find ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††me idle when he comes?Ē

        This implies that he is constant in his labor.

        It also implies that he perseveres in the work God has put into his hands.

 

D. His Reward (v. 47).

 

††††††††††† The Scriptures nowhere teach, or even imply that there shall be degrees of reward in heaven. That is contrary to everything taught in the gospel (Rom. 8:17). Certainly, our Lord does not exalt one servant in his kingdom above another. But God does reward faithfulness, both in this world and in the world to come.

 

1. Those who are faithful over a few things shall be made Lord over many things (Luke 19:17). Frequently, God honors faithful service by giving greater service to perform.

 

2. Godís servants shall find immensely great reward in seeing those for whom they have labored around the throne of Christ in glory (I Thess. 2:19).

 

3. And Godís faithful and wise servants shall themselves inherit all things with Christ in glory (John 17:5, 22).

 

II. In verses 48-50, our Lord describes those men who are evil servants in the house of God.

 

††††††††††† Here again, our Lord gives us four things which are descriptive of that man who is a false prophet, an evil servant in the house of God. I will not say much about him. But you will see immediately what such a man is.

 

A. His Character-Unbelief (v. 48)

B. His Conduct -(v. 49)

        He is Judgmental.

        He is Legalistic.

        He is Self-serving.

C. His Astonishment (v. 50)

D. His Doom (v.51)

 

Application:

        I Thessalonians 5:12-13

        II Thessalonians 3:1