“How Much Did You Gain?”
One day each of us will
appear before the Lord
and give an account of
what we gained with
the gift He gave us
Recently on the podcast we have considered the matter of gaining the crown to reign with Christ in the next age. This has caused me to appreciate the Lord’s parable of the minas, recorded in Luke 19:11-27, as never before.
In this parable the Lord tells of “a certain nobleman” who went away to receive a kingdom and return. But, before leaving on his journey, he gave each of his servants a mina and told them, “Do business till I come” (Luke 19:13; a mina was worth about 100 days wages, so not a small amount of money.) The Lord goes on:
“And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.”
— Luke 19:15
In the parable, the ones who gained a profit were given to reign over so many cities, while the one who did not gain anything had his mina taken away, nor did he reign over anything.
What a serious word is this! The Lord is telling us by means of this parable that one day, when He returns, He will “command” each one of us to come before Him (cf. 2 Cor. 5:10), “that He might know” what we gained for Him by means of the gift He gave us. And if we are unable to tell Him we made a profit, we will lose the opportunity to reign with Him when He returns! (cf. 1 Cor. 9:25-27, Rev. 3:21). We will still reign with Him in eternity (Rev. 22:5), but not during the 1,000 years of His kingdom, the Millennium, on this present earth (Rev. 20:4).
D.M. Panton sums up the meaning of this parable in this way:\
Officers are required for the administration of a kingdom, and so God has deliberately interposed a prolonged period between His two advents, that our Lord might be enabled to so test his servants, in His absence, as to discover which are fitted for positions of responsibility and trust at His return.
— The Judgment Seat of Christ, page 35
In light of this parable, we must say that the teaching of God’s grace that is so common among believers today is one-sided to the point of almost being perverse. The stress is almost entirely on the free gift of forgiveness we receive simply by believing in Christ. That is indeed a wonderful blessing, but there is almost no stress on the empowering grace of Christ that should cause us to rise up and give ourselves to the Lord to love and serve Him with our entire being (cf. Mark 12:30).
As a result, so many believers are passive in their Christian life and even dormant. Perhaps they read their Bible sometimes and go to some Christian meetings, but they have no real sense of their responsibility to gain a profit with what the Lord has entrusted to them.
The Apostle Paul warned the believers in Corinth “not to receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1). That was in his second letter to them. In his first letter, he had already testified that at least in his case it had not been in vain:
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
— 1 Corinthians 15:10
May so many of the Lord’s children be warned by this parable to rise up and seek Him in a fresh way in these days, by His grace working within us, so that we may have a profit to show Him when He returns!
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— 24 September 2022 —