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The Parables #104

The sheep and the goats, Pt1. 

Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46

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“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left,” 31-33.

This is the final parable told by the Saviour and its is fitting that we look at it for I feel that it will occupy us until the end of this school year.

The time indicated. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him.” This is the end of this age.

The event that takes place. “Before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.”

“All nations”: this is an example of a general term which has a very specific and limited meaning. We commonly used a general, all embracing term when we actually means something much more limited. Consider how we see in the Bible general expressions which actually meant something much smaller or less than what it appears to be saying.

• “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me,” John 12:32. Only ALL of God’s elect come to Christ in response to the gospel.

• “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed,” Luke 2:1. It was only a small part of the world that heard this decree!

• “Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth,” Col 1:6. Likewise, only a small part of the world had heard the gospel.

Here are general terms with a limited meaning as we have in this parable.

Who then are ‘all the nations? It is a reference to ALL those who profess in some form the Christian religion. The professing church is made up of  either ‘sheep’ or goats. Some are sheep and others only look like sheep, they are in truth, ‘goats’ false professors!!

The Parables #103

The Pharisee and the Publican, # 11. 

Scripture: Luke 18:10-14.

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“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.”

How important prayer is boys and girls! There is no hope of heaven for someone who does not pray. We can obtain salvation ONLY by asking God! Matthew 7:7-11.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Romans 10:13.

Let us go a little further in this matter.

How a person prays tell us much about them!

In the case of the Pharisee . . . .
The Pharisee thought little of God. See how he addresses God! “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God . . . . ” There is not much reverence in such a beginning! No expression of fear, or of love or any awareness of the majesty of the person he addressed!
The Pharisee thought much of himself! “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican,” verse 11.

How blind he was to God’s glory when he speaks thus of himself so!

How different was Paul’s view of himself, 1 Corinthians 15:10.

The Publican had a very different attitude.

He thought much of God but little of himself! “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner,” verse 13.

Note his attitude toward the Lord. “ . . standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven.”

Note his view of himself. “ . . . smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” Greek ‘THE sinner.’

The Saviour says that God heard his prayer and saved him. “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other,” verse 14. He was set free from from his guilt and counted righteous by God. He was seen by God as ‘just if he had never sinned!’

The Parables #102

The Pharisee and the Publican, Pt 10. 

Scripture: Luke 18:10-14.

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“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.”

Today, we are going to begin considering the praying of the Pharisee and Publican. Please remember that the chief purpose of the temple was prayer. Sacrifices were offered there in abundance but prayer was the chief function in the temple! Hear the Saviour’s own words on this matter. “It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves,” Luke 19:46.

It must be said that the chief part of the worship of God is prayer. While we gather in God’s house we ought to do so in a spirit of prayer. We ought to pray as we sing, as the minister prays, as we listen to the preaching of the God’s Word!

When a person prays it tells us that they believe that God exists.

If a person prays he indicates an awareness of his obligation to honour God and acknowledge Him. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,” Hebrews 11:6.

Again, if a person prays, it indicates that he hopes to obtain from God that which he asks for. “ . . . . . and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” Hebrews 11:6.
If, on the other hand, a person does not pray
it may be for a number of reasons.

It is because that person does not believe there is a God! “The fool  (person without any sense) hath said in his heart, There is no God,” Psalm 14:1.

Many who might not go so far as to deny the existence of God but they do not believe that there is any benefit in praying; it is a waste of time because God does not hear and will not answer. God is not worth speaking to!! That person has believed the devil’s lie! “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever,” 1 Chron 28:9.

The Parables #101

The Pharisee and the Publican, Pt9. 

Scripture: Luke 18:10-14.

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We continue our consideration of what we are told about the ‘publicans’ in the Gospels.
They not only associated with the Saviour, they obey Him.

We have already looked at Luke 15:1 as we studied the parable of the lost sheep. The first verse sets forth clearly the attitude of the publicans and those associated with them. “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.” The word hear means ‘to hearken’. That means more than just to listen to what is said but it means they responded to and obeyed the Saviour’s words. This is confirmed by the Saviour.

“Jesus saith unto them (the chief priests and the elders, verse 23, many of whom would have been Pharisees) Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you,” Matt 21:31. “Go into the kingdom” that is what you must do!!

They acknowledged God was right in calling them sinners.
“And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John,”  Luke 7/29.

The publicans were ready to acknowledge their sinfulness and were baptised as a confession of their sins. They said that God was ‘just’ in condemning them as sinners. Like the repentant thief of the cross, they acknowledged their guiltiness before God. “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss,” Luke 23:339-41.

Are you ready to admit your sinfulness before God?

We cannot be saved and go to heaven unless we do! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9.
Will you confess your sins before the Saviour today?

The Parables #100

The Pharisee and the Publican, Pt8. 

The Parables #100

Scripture: Luke 18:10-14.

One of them became an apostle and the author of the first gospel! I mentioned Zacchaeus  last Tuesday, that he was a publican. I said that there was one more well known publican mentioned in the Bible. Who got his name? Matthew 9:9.And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him,” Matthew 9:9. He is also the author of the first gospel! That surely must be seen as a great honour! 

Notice the publicans readiness to sit and be seen with the Saviour! “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick,” Matt 9/10-12. “And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him,” Mark 2:15. (Already noted – Luke 15:1)