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The Parables #77

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep, # 1.

Scripture: John 10:1-18.

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This parable is extended because of the failure of His hearers to understand Him. “This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them,” verse 6.

  • The ‘you’ spoken of here are the Pharisees to whom He was speaking at the end of chapter 9. We are not surprised therefore when they did not understand Him!  See verses 4, 26.
  • He begins with, “Verily, verily” or of a truth! He is adding emphasis to the importance of His words.
  • In this parable the Saviour is showing the character of true shepherds and how the Pharisees do not have such a character while He does! Naturally, this does not please them, verse 19.
  • But it is also to be noticed that the word of Christ creates a division, 19-21. That has ever been the case!

The Parables #76

The Rich Fool, No 6: The Great Question

Scripture: Luke 12:15-21. 

“Then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” Luke 12:20.

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The answer to God’s question to the Rich Fool is: ‘NOT MINE, I HAVE NOTHING FOR ALL ETERNITY!!!’

Boys and girls, I will repeat something I said in a previous Assembly: ‘We cannot take into the world that is to come any riches we may have accumulated here!’

1. No matter what we gain in this world it is no preparation for the world to come. We can easily forget the ‘world to come’ as we concentrate upon the affairs of the ‘world that now is!’ That is forbidden to the one who hopes to gain heaven.

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier,” 2 Timothy 2:4.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (riches),” Matthew 6:24.

Soldiers are forbidden by law to have anything to do with active politics while they are engaged in army duties.

2. We cannot live for this world AND also for the Kingdom of God. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” Matthew 6:33.

“But this I say, brethren, the time is short . . .”1 Cor 7:29. Then please note the verses which follow up to verse 33.

Nothing is more important to our own wellbeing than serving God.

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on,” Matt 6:25. “

“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” Mark 10:29-30.

‘Leaving all’ to follow the Lord Jesus is the price some have had to pay. But the Lord compensates many times over!

3. So then, the one that puts God and His Kingdom before his own affairs will profit themselves greatly by doing so! “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” Matthew 6:33.

Solomon – 1 Kings 3:11-13; Widow/Zarephath – 1 Kings 17:10-15.

Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine,” Proverbs 3:9-10.

The Parables #75

The Rich Fool, No 5. Luke 12:15-21
We have been thinking of how this short little speech made by the rich fool reveals his heart and character.
1. He plans to obtain even more for himself. “And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods,” verse 18. No distributing to those who have nothing! No, just storing them up for himself. Here is how we should think as Christians! “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth,” Eph 4:28 “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate,” 1 Timothy 6:17-18.
In truth, this is why God prospers the Christian – that they might help others!
2. He believes that his abundance is a guarantee of “many years” of happy life! How foolish. The Eastern barn is a pit built underground with an opening at the top. The man proposed to enlarge his by pulling down the walls or sides and extending them. Little did he think that others would be digging a grave for him very soon!
3. He was looked on as a wise man but God called him a ‘fool’! “But God said unto him, Thou fool,” verse 20.
Now we will consider why God called him a fool.
1. Because he never gave a thought to his death! In all his thoughts there was no room
for a consideration of eternity! It was with him as if RICHES could stay the approach of death!
2. Because with all his industry, he gave no thought to his soul! What good his riches now that his soul is lost forever! Your soul is to be valued MORE than anything else you possess. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26.
3. Because he gave no thought to the great truth that God can call a person into eternity in a moment! “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee,” verse 20. The word “required” is an interesting word. It means “to demand back’! See: “Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again,” Luke 6:30.
Where did your soul come from? “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it,” Ecclesiastes 12:7. By Whom it is created, Who puts it into the bodies of men, that is where our soul came from and to Whom it will return when we die!

The Parables #73

The Rich Fool, No 2. 

Scripture: Luke 12:15-21

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I. THE CHIEF AIM OF THE PARABLE IS TO COMBAT COVETOUSNESS
“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth,” verse 15.

There is more to life than the things we possess! This means: ‘Be not anxious about obtaining wealth, for, however much you may obtain, it will not prolong your life. That depends on the will of God, and it requires something besides wealth to make us ready to meet him.’

Here is something we all need to be constantly reminded of! Covetousness is found in boys and girls, mammies and daddies, uncles and aunts, ministers and missionaries – all can be guilty of covetousness!

Here are two very important verses.

“The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them,” Matthew 11:5.

“And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,” Matthew 19:24.

The poor are more inclined to listen to the gospel, feeling their need as they do. The rich feel that they have no need of God or His Word!

Here are things to remember.

1. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” 1 Timothy 6:7.
We cannot hold on to in eternity those things we get a hold of here in this life!

2. “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 1 Timothy 6:8. We are told by the Saviour to pray for our daily bread. “Give us day by day our daily bread,” Luke 11:3. He did not say to pray for riches or possessions. Food and raiment should be enough to satisfy us.

3. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6. The meaning is, that to have Christ as your Saviour should be regarded as the greatest and most valuable possession and therefore to be content with all that He brings to our life. Contentment is a “calm and satisfied feeling; a freedom from murmuring and complaining.” “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Philippians 4:13. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,” Romans 8:28.