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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Will You Give God That Which Is His?

Luke 20:9-16 (ESV) 9 And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 10 When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!”

One of the news programs reported of a family which had moved into to a house that had been vacated by the owners because they had gone to another country for some time. The "squatters" began to claim the house as their own and refused to move when the owners returned. Amazingly, the authorities did not throw out these squatters but allowed them to continue to live there. If you can't see the injustice in this, you also cannot understand the above parable.

People think that anything that they have had for any measure of time is theirs. They believe it is owed to them. They believe that they are justified by their defense of this possession. Thus, they riot when they no longer receive entitlements from the government. They cry out about the injustice of not receiving more than they have before.

Therefore, people want to reject the ownership of God. They believe they can live on His earth any way they please. They understand that they can pay Him any tribute they think is fair. They believe they should receive His benefits without any of the responsibility. And if they go to church, they want a church which preaches an "entitlement" theology.

Society ridicules and castigates those who remind the people of God's standards for living. Their language is deemed "hate" speech. Those who speak up for God's standards of righteousness will someday be prosecuted for their convictions.

What is this hate speech? --Only those who give their hearts to Jesus will be saved.  It doesn't matter that it states that in the Bible. It doesn't matter that this has been the reason that freedom of religion was a significant reason for people to originally come to America.  Society will see this as hating Muslims, Hindus and any other religion that exists

Yet, this time society will not be given the opportunity to kill the Owner's Son. This time the Son will come with all power to claim those that are His own.

Of course, this parable addressed the Jews who had killed the prophets and eventually killed God's own Son. It told of the Gentiles being offered a place in the kingdom of heaven. Yet, I see it as applying to the world in which we live today.

The question for believers today is whether or not we will give God what is His. We are His. The earth is His. We are merely tenants.


Deb Willbefree said...

"Yet, this time society will not be given the opportunity to kill the Owner's Son. This time the Son will come with all power to claim those that are His own. "

YAHOO! :D said...

Souls, souls, and souls

Indeed the text was to referring to the Jews persecuted the prophets sent by God, and finally followed by the sending of the Son of God, Jesus, whom the Jews killed most cruelly by crucifixion.  The prophets were sent so that the Jews would turn from their unrighteousness. When the prophets were denounced and stopped, God was NOT able to have the fruit He wanted.  What then was fruit referring to?

From the parable, it would appear that fruit, originally, was referring to the Jews, or more correctly, righteous (God counted) Jews.  Because the prophets were stopped, Jews did not humble themselves and turn back to God.  Jesus was sent, yet the Jews still did NOT honor the Son of God, instead killed Him, too.  But God was not about to leave it as that this time round, and God resurrected Jesus, to provide the means, that man can humble himself, and turn back to God, to be restored and counted as righteous, by God. Because of the unrepentant Jews, corporately, God opened the eligibility to the Gentiles.  This meant and means that Gentiles too, can become righteous, and so, to become fruit of God.  Fruit, now, includes anyone, Jews or Gentiles, who is made righteous, through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.  Jesus was the Firstfruit.  The early believers were known as the firstfruits.

Metaphorically speaking, the vineyard is ours (Gentiles') too; and the same question is directed at us, Gentiles - will you give God that which is His? What is "that"? Men, righteous men.  In other words, are you and I going to facilitate people coming to the Lord? God gets His fruit when men come to Christ. Are you doing that - sharing the gospel to others; or in one way or another, efforting in the Great Commission, so God will have as many fruit as He desired?  Indeed, He desires all men be saved.

We can think of giving this or that, to God, but will we give Him what He wants all the time, from His vineyard, souls (righteous, saved).

Anthony Chia, high.expressions