Sermon #89†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† Luke Sermons

 

†††† Title:†††† Godís ServantsóThe Faithful and the Evil

†††† Text:†††††† Luke 12:41-48

†††† Reading:

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

†††† Date:†††††† Sunday EveningóDecember 8, 2002

†††† Tape #††† X-32b

Introduction:

 

The title of my message tonight is Godís ServantsóThe Faithful and the Evil. My text is Luke 12:41-48.

 

(Luke 12:41-48)"Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? (42) And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? (43) Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. (44) Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. (45) But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; (46) The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. (47) And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (48) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

 

Poor Peter, he seems to always have his foot in his mouth. But how many of us, like him, have heard a message, maybe a little biting, and thought to ourselves, if we did not openly ask, ďWas he talking to me?Ē Peter just blurted it out. He said, ďLord, were you talking to us or to everybody?Ē And the Lord Jesus seems to have just ignored the question. But he really didnít. He gave the same instruction again, in more detail.

 

In these verses our Savior again 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).

 

(Proverbs 16:4)"The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil."

 

(Proverbs 21:1)"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."

 

(Psalms 76:10)"Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain."

 

        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!

 

(Ephesians 1:11)"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"

 

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 (1 Cor. 11:19).

 

(1 Corinthians 11:19)"For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you."

 

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 42-44, our Lord gives us a description of Godís faithful servants.

 

Without question, 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. 42).

 

(Luke 12:42)"And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?"

 

What a great trust!

 

(2 Corinthians 4:7)"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."

 

(Ephesians 3:7-8)"Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. (8) Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;"

 

Perhaps you think, ďThe message tonight has no bearing upon me. I am not a pastor, and never plan to be.Ē 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 PositionóGodís 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 (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 3:15; 1 Timothy 3:15).

 

(1 Corinthians 3:16-17)"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

 

(Ephesians 3:15)"Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,"

 

(1 Timothy 3:15)"But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

 

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

        1 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 whom 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 (2 Tim. 3:16).

        According to His Will.

 

A faithful steward rules his Masterís house exactly according to his Masterís will. As he 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 WorkóThe pastorís work is ďto give them their portion of 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 meat 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 (2 Tim. 2:15).

 

(2 Timothy 2:15)"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

 

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

 

(Ezekiel 34:7-8)"Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; (8) As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;"

 

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 CharacteróOur Lord describes his servants as men with these two traits of character: ďfaithful and wise.

 

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

 

(1 Corinthians 4:1-2)"Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. (2) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."

 

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

        Stewards of the Mysteries of God

        Stewards of the Manifold Grace of God

        Sent to Preach the Unsearchable Riches of Godís Grace in Christ

 

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. 43).

 

(Luke 12:43)"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing."

 

Godís servant 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 when he comes?ĒóďI want him to find me not idle when he comes?Ē

 

        This implies that Godís servant is constant in his labor.

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

 

D. His Reward (v. 44).

 

(Luke 12:43-44)"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. (44) Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath."

 

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 (1 Thess. 2:19).

 

3. And Godís faithful and wise servants shall themselves inherit all things with Christ in glory (John 17:5, 22).óďHe will make him lord over all that he hath.Ē

 

II. In verses 45-48, our Lord describes those men who are evil servants in the house of God.

 

(Luke 12:45-48)"But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; (46) The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. (47) And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (48) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

 

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 CharacteróUnbelief (v. 45) ďMy lord delayeth his coming.Ē

 

B. His Conduct -(v. 45)

 

(Luke 12:45)"But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;"

 

        He is Judgmental.

        He is Legalistic.

        He is Self-serving.

 

C. His Astonishment (v. 46)

 

(Luke 12:46)"The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers."

 

D. His Doom (v.46-48)

 

(Luke 12:46-48)"The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. (47) And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (48) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

 

Application:

 

(1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)"And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; (13) And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves."

 

(2 Thessalonians 3:1)"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:"

 

(Isaiah 52:7-8)"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! (8) Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion."

 

(Isaiah 62:6-7)"I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence. (7) And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth."

 

(Isaiah 56:10-11)"His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. (11) Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter."