THE SERVANTS BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

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    [Luke:12:35-57].

    Lesson No.: 
    45
    Class: 
    Senior
    Memory Verse: 

    "For we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body"  (II Corinthians 5:10).

    Cross References: 

    I The Servants' Readiness for Their Lord's Return
    1. He exhorts them to an alert spirit with loins girded and lights burning, [Luke:12:35-36]; [Matthew:25:6-7].
    2. Blessed are the watchful when their Lord appears at an unknown hour, [Luke:12:37-38]; [John:14:2-3].
    3. They must continually be watchful, not knowing what hour their Lord may come, [Luke:12:39-40]; [Mark:13:37]; [Song of Solomon:5:2].

    II Judgment Pronounced According to Service Rendered
    1. Peter asks whether Jesus spoke only to them or to all, [Luke:12:41-42]; Mark:13:37]
    2. The faithful and wise servant is to be made steward over all the house, [Luke:12:43-44]; [2 Timothy:2:12]
    3. The servant who said in his heart, "My lord delayeth his coming," is cut asunder, [Luke:12:45-46]; [Revelation:21:8]
    4. To whom much is given, of him shall much be required, [Luke:12:47-48]; Matthew:21:28-31]

    III Divisions and Not Peace in Families
    1. He came to send fire on the earth, which fire was already kindled, [Luke:12:49]
    2. The baptism of which Jesus speaks was to be the sufferings through which He must go to purchase redemption, [Luke:12:50]; [Luke:22:44]; Matthew:26:38-39]
    3. He came not to bring peace on earth, but divisions, [Luke:12:51]; Matthew:10:34]; [John:7:12-43]
    4. A man's foes shall be they of his own household, [Luke:12:52-53]; [Matthew:10:35-36]; [Matthew:10:21-22]

    IV The Spiritual Signs of the Times
    1. Men are mentally keen to discern the signs which predict the weather, [Luke:12:54-55]; [Matthew:24:32-33].
    2. But they are spiritually dull to discern the signs of the times, [Luke:12:56-57]; [Matthew:16:1-4].

    Notes: 

    In another portion of the Word we read, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (I Peter:4:17, 18).
    It is obvious from these verses, as well as from many other passages of Scripture, that not only shall the ungodly and the sinner appear before God in judgment, but the righteous also. The Apostle Paul was speaking of the righteous when he said, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Corinthians:5:10).

    The righteous, however, is not to be called to an account of his sins. They have been sent on before. But he will be called to an account in respect to the kind of service he has rendered for his Master. And this is what Jesus was teaching, as recorded in Luke, where He likens His disciples to servants.
    His own, every one, shall appear before His judgment seat and the service of each shall be subjected to a thorough examination -- not only what he has done, but how he has done it. For he is serving an "austere man," Who wants to know whether the work is being done with an eye single to His glory; and whether it is rendered grudgingly or joyfully. "When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do" (Luke:17:10). The Apostle John in exile saw the glorified Christ in the midst of the candlesticks, and the candlesticks were the churches. Nothing escapes His all-seeing eye.

    Those servants whose loins were girded and whose lights were burning, and who were waiting for their lord's return, opened the door immediately when he knocked. And of them Jesus said, "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching." An acceptable service must be rendered with watchfulness and prayer, that we may be ready at any moment for our Lord's return. For had the goodman of the house known in what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. So is the coming of the Lord -- like a thief in the night. And no thief announces his coming. "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."

    Again Jesus speaks of the servant who said, not verbally, but only in his heart, "My lord delayeth his coming." And he began to beat the men-servants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and be drunken. And many become intoxicated just with the cares and pleasures of this life and the deceitfulness of riches. Well, this servant, when his lord came, was cut asunder and his portion was with the unbelievers.

    Jesus also said, "Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." The "much" which He has given His disciples in this present world is all the heavenly treasure bestowed upon them through the Gospel -- the priceless experiences of justification, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the perfecting work which follows, making them ready for that heavenly Kingdom. Are these things given that we may just fold our hands and enjoy the blessings rained upon us? They are not. God gives these things, not only that we ourselves may be prepared for Heaven, but that we may be used of Him, during our earthly pilgrimage, to help others get ready. The baptism of the Holy Ghost, in particular, is the enduement of power for SERVICE. And we are going to be called to an account before the judgment seat of Christ for the use we have made of the talents bestowed upon us.

    At this point Jesus brought up another thought for us to consider: "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." To some this may seem entirely inconsistent with Jesus' mission to the world, announced by that angelic host at His birth, "On earth peace, good will toward men." But it is not. He indeed came to bring peace, but no man will ever obtain one little of that peace until he makes an unconditional surrender to the Prince of Peace. And that means a complete separation from the world, the flesh, and the devil. But there are multitudes who will not pay that price. And anyone who purposes at all costs to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ need not be at all surprised when he meets with opposition.

    He may come in conflict with his employer or lose his job. He may meet with the opposition of his closest friends and lose them. And it may even come closer to home than that, and cause division in his own house, with father, mother, brothers, and sisters, and his own wife, too, set against him. This is the "fire" of which Jesus spoke as already kindled. He is sure to meet with the opposition of those who refuse to pay the price. And when it comes close to his heart, the question may arise, Will he pay the price? Somewhere along the line we will all have that question to answer.

    Another point, which Jesus brings up has to do with the signs of His coming. The Jews of His day were very keen to observe the signs which predicted the weather. But the innumerable signs that pointed to their Messiah Who was walking among them, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf -- they were too dumb to see these signs, too stupid to know that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. The Prophet Isaiah spoke the truth concerning this people: "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider."

    And today signs upon every hand are proclaiming loudly that that same Messiah is coming again, and coming soon. Yet the people of today are as unconcerned as were the Israelites of old. These signs are also proclaiming the doom of this world. The Gospel is the only solution, and without it the world is going down -- and so is every man who refuses to obey it.

    "But ye, brethren," wrote the Apostle Paul, "are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." Then let us as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ walk in the light as He is in the light. Jesus is coming soon!

    Questions: 

    1. For what are the saints to be judged?
    2. Who renders the judgment?
    3. When does the judgment of the saints take place?
    4. What are the "talents" for which the saints are held accountable?
    5. To what kind of saints are the rewards given?
    6. Where are these rewards distributed?
    7. Who do the "servants" and the "lord" in Luke 12 typify?
    8. For what kind of works only are the saints rewarded?
    9. What happens to the servant who fails of his examination at the judgment?
    10. When and where will the judgment of the sinners take place?