“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
Today the Lord teaches us a few important lessons again through the parable of the talents. We have heard much teaching about this passage and we are familiar with it. So we see the master is leaving for a country far away, and he entrusts his possession in the hands of his loyal servants. The servant who was entrusted much reaped much and returned them to the master, and the one who was entrusted with a little less than that reaped accordingly and also returned them to the master. But the one who was entrusted with the least did not use what he was given to reap profit. Instead he buried it. When his master eventually returned, he gave back to the master exactly what he had been given him. Therefore his master rebuked him and took away even that which he had. And in the end the servant was cast away from His very presence and His Kingdom, and as the result received the curse, where there is gnashing of teeth.
We know this passage all too well. The Lord says in the passage, “A man traveling to a far country called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.” Before the master left, he gave the servants certain works to do. The word Talent really means ‘ability.’ But in this parable it means the quantity of gold and silver. During the period of Jesus, one talent was equal to 6,000 denarii, and one denarius equaled one man’s daily wage. Therefore one talent was a huge amount of money.
So we see here through this parable, God giving various talents and responsibilities to His servants. To some He has given much work, and to others He has given very little work to do. We must fully understand this that God has given us works to do. God has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and given each one of us work to do according to our talents, which He gave us. First and foremost, He has given each one of us the talent and the ability to do His work in one form or another. The Lord gave us certain tasks to accomplish and then ascended back to His Heaven. Before leaving He said that He will return and gather His servants and give rewards for the work they have done, and that they will also be given the Millennial Kingdom and the Kingdom of His Heaven. God has given us all respective works to do with the various talents and abilities to complete these works. To some he gave much work to do, and to others He gave less work to do.
The servant who received five talents and the one who received two talents did their best to faithfully fulfill their responsibilities and make their master happy. But the one who received one talent did not do his work faithfully. He kept one talent just as it was and gave it back to the master, bringing rebuke from his master. The servant was in fact saying, “I know you are an evil master who reaps where you have not sown, so I did not do any work with the talent you gave me. So I buried it just as you had handed it to me, and now I am giving it back to you.” As a result of his disobedience, this servant was cast away from the Kingdom of God, and the servant wept and gnashed his teeth in utter darkness. You probably know this passage very well. The main point I am stressing is the passage is that God has entrusted His work to His servants.
God has given talents to every one of us who has received the remission of sins to carry out His work. Some are talented in one area while others are talented in another area. Everyone who has received the remission of sins has been given the ability and the talents without exception to do God’s work. With this God has entrusted us who have received the remission of sins, with His works. He has given certain saints huge responsibilities, and to others a lesser amount, all in according to our individual talents. But we see the one who received one talent did not even lift a finger to do the works. This person may have received the gospel, but he did not acknowledge that God had in fact given him the talent, and that He has given him works to do with it. He just listened to the gospel and believed it, but just ignored all of God’s commands.
However the one who received five talents went out, produced five more talents, and gave five additional talents back to his master. The one who received two talents also made two more talents out of them, and gave a total of four talents back to his master. But the one who received one talent just took the talent he had received and gave it back to his master, saying, and “I knew you to be a hard man and you don’t give us much, yet you take away from us. So with this in mind, I hid what you had given me and brought it back to you just as I had received it. You did not really give us anything else but work to do. So here is the talent you had entrusted to me. ”
How shall we live after we have received the remission of sins? What does the Lord say to those who have received the remission of sins? What does this passage say to those who have received the remission of sins? Can we not do God’s work after having received the remission of sins? How can we not do God’s work when each of us has received out respective talents? Some have received a talent working with computers, some have received much strength and the talent to use that strength, and others have received a talent with their hands, their feet or other talents to serve the Lord in various ways. God has given each one of us certain works to do, so that we may serve the Lord in a particular field. How then can we think that it is okay for a person who has received the remission of sins to refuse to do God’s work?
This is what we are going to carefully consider today. The Lord says here that it is a huge mistake and an evil attitude to think, that there is nothing wrong for a person who has received the remission of sins, to refuse to do God’s work. Those who have received the remission of sins have no other alternative, but to do God’s work. People who do not do God’s work are evil. How does God regard such people? He considers them the same as people who have not received the remission of sins. In fact people who have received the remission of sins, but refuse to do His work are already dead.
God has entrusted His work to us after having made us understand and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then how could we not do the Lord’s work? God considers those who do not faithfully devote themselves to His Holy work that He has entrusted to them to do, as evil and lazy servants. God’s work is something we must do. It is something we must never neglect. How does God treat those who refuse to do God’s work? He treats them as evil people. Such a person bears evil fruit and eventually winds up receiving God’s curse.
What will happen if you receive the remission of sins, and do not do God’s work, by saying, “I have in fact received the remission of my sins, but what will happen if I don’t do His work?” No doubt about it, you will then try to fulfill the desires of your flesh, accumulating wealth, praying with ‘the laying on of hands’ on the heads of other people and boasting about it. After that you will try to accumulate a huge amount of money to buy a grand house and a flash car to live lavishly. Will you not, of course you would? But if you do not do God’s work as a Godly person who clearly knows the gospel and believes in it, and being the one who has been entrusted with His works, what will God think of you then? Without a doubt, the bible says that He will consider you as the most treacherous and evil person among all those who are evil, and as someone who is worse than those who have not received the remission of sins.
The Lord says, “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48). What will happen if we become negligent with God’s work and do not serve the gospel after having received salvation? To God we will be like a thorn in His eyes, like the children of the serpent. We will look like people who are killing souls of the world against His will, instead of saving these precious souls as commanded by Him. “They shall be cast into the hell. Have they been saved? What salvation? Everything is nullified!” This is what God shall do when he looks at those who do not serve the gospel.
Even in the way things are in this world, at home, there are the parents and the children, and at a company, there are the presidents and the employees. And in a company, there are departments, each with a leader and staff carrying out respective work. Should an individual not do their respective work, how would that particular individual look in the eyes of the president of the company? The president will view that individual with much disdain. How will the president of the company feel if an employee is constantly in discontent, criticizing everything about the company, having no regard for the company, holding strikes, and asking for a raise all the time? Such an employee will seem like an enemy, and soon will be booted out.
After receiving the remission of sins, we must remember that not doing God’s work does not just affect that work, but rather it will hinder other people from receiving the salvation, due to such disobedience of ours. Other people can receive the remission of sins if we who have received the remission of sins give ourselves to the work of sharing the gospel with those who are seeking God’s Word, in order to receive the remission of sins. The Lord is saying that He will question us for the sin of not witnessing this gospel, should we neglect this work, the consequences these actions, is that we hinder people from receiving true salvation. In Ezekiel we can see that God will call the watchman to account, if the nation is overtaken because of the watchman’s neglect in his duty (Ezekiel 33:6).
I once went through a very difficult time after having received the remission of sins, I even thought, “I should lay down my work for the peace in my household. I should keep my mouth shut for the sake of those around me. They will be comforted more if I give up serving the gospel.” What would have happened if I had succumbed to such a situation and bitten on my lips? First of all my family would not have heard this gospel. Secondly those around me would also not have heard the gospel. Thirdly all those around the world would not have heard the gospel.
I really struggled with this matter thinking, “Should I be quiet and stay with the denomination for my own comfort, or should I serve the gospel and do God’s work even if it means I will be facing some difficulties, suffering persecutions, and getting thrown out of the denomination?” After much mulling over and serious contemplation, I decided to be on the side of the Lord, making these loud statements, ‘I will serve the gospel. I will do God’s work. There is no true gospel to be found in the world. How then can I shut my mouth when this gospel is nowhere to be found? I know this gospel and I have received the remission of my sins. But there are so many people who do not know the gospel and do not believe in it. How can they hear about the gospel if I do not share the gospel?’
So after that I made the final decision. I decided resolutely, thinking to myself, ‘I must do God’s work. I will do God’s work to share the gospel worldwide. I believe this is what I must do even if it is very difficult.’ Although I had much difficulty at that early time, I thought that this is nothing compared to what Moses had to face. I thought, ‘Moses left his Egyptian palace with all its wealth and wandered in the wilderness of Midian for forty long years, tending sheep and following the Lord. What is this that I am doing compared to that? Furthermore a born-again person should work for a great and just cause in this world, rather than living for a selfish little greed.’ After I made up my mind to follow the Lord no matter what, I felt peace at my heart. It was difficult and I make no bones about it, but that was the right decision.
So I started believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, serving the gospel and doing God’s work. As a result of my commitment, God gave me much work to do, and He told me to share this gospel throughout the whole world. He also told me, “All the people in the world do not know the gospel of this Truth. Even the theologians and the pastors, as well as all the Christians of the world do not know this.” Armed with this glorious precious gospel and Gods instructions, I decided that I should confront all the theologians and denominations. Through this I came to understand God’s will and decided to follow it. Some of these people told me, “Are you Luther? Are you so great that you must think of the whole world and all the people in it? Just take care of yourself man.” Well I am not Martin Luther.
Martin Luther was a religious reformer. At the time nobles in Germany paid much tax to the Catholic Pope, and including the kings of Europe. These strict religious laws of the Roman Catholic Church ruled most of the Western nations of those days, and the violation of that law was not to be tampered with. Thus the power of the Pope reached its zenith. The Anglican Church was established in England because the Pope did not approve the second marriage of King Henry the Eighth of England. Did you know that Martin Luther was a Catholic priest? There was an autonomous city government inside Rome called the Vatican City, and the Pope ruled absolutely over that city. They needed an extraordinary amount of money to build St. Peter’s Cathedral there. So in order to collect funds, the Pope Leo the Tenth commanded his men to sell indulgences. They sold indulgences forcibly, saying, “The token that you buy will lift your parents out of the hell and get them into the purgatory if they should be in hell. And by giving money to this cause it will lift them out of purgatory and get them into the Heaven.” So these gullible people paid a lot of money for them.
Martin Luther saw that and thought it was very wrong and crooked. So he posted the 95 Thesis that argued against the wrongs of the Catholic Church at that time. That caused a serious problem and they called him in for a religious trial. The Roman Pope wanted to kill him for doing this. But the German nobles who wanted to break out from the oppression of Roman Pope protected Martin Luther. History tells us that Martin Luther stayed in a secluded room and translated the Scriptures. And he also wrote letters of confrontation to the Papal Court in the Vatican. That consequently became the Religious Reformation of early 16th century. Calvin of France came on the scène after that and after that John Knox rose in Scotland, as well as many others to lead Europe through the Religious Reformation. However the Religious Reformation had absolutely nothing to do with the Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. These so called Religious Reformers did not preach the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit.
I believe that God has given talents and ability to everyone who has received the remission of sins and that He has entrusted them with His works. We could see this also in today’s Scripture passage. This world would not be able to receive salvation if all the born-again people who were truly born again, were to just receive their salvation and then forget about the work of God. That is why I am reminding you that “Those who do not do God’s work after having received the remission of sins are the evil ones.” They are the most treacherous evildoers among all those who are evil. Some may argue about this, saying, “Have they not received the remission of sins in spite of that? If this be so, why would God then send them to hell?” In today’s Scripture passage the Lord says that He will casts these lazy people out of the Kingdom.
Let us read Matthew 25:24-25 together so that you don’t think I am saying this out of my head. It reads as follows, “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’”
What we need to understand here is that God gave this servant a specific work to do in his position. But he did not use the talent and went his own way. He thought, “What did He give me? He did not give me anything. He just asks me to work for Him. He is the kind of person who tries to collect from a place He has not planted and tries to reap from a place He has not plowed. He does not give me anything, but He always asks me to do things for Him.” He understood his Master in this way. Because of his terrible attitude toward his Master, he refused to do God’s work that was entrusted to him to do, even though he had heard the gospel and received salvation. Whatever he did, he did for himself, and he never lifted a finger or did any work for God until the time of his death.
Eventually the Master returned when he was not expecting Him. When the time came to calculate the profits, this servant expressed his contempt against his Master, saying, “I knew you would return, because of you said so. You are really a hard man for you ask us to do work for you for nothing.” We understand from this that the Lord gave talents and blessings to a person who had received the remission of sins, and entrusted that person with His work. But the servant thought that the talent was his own and did his own work instead of doing that of Gods. How then will the Lord treat such a person? Only punishments await him, even though he has accepted the true message.
It says in verse 26-30, “But his master answered and said to him, ‘you wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
When a certain servant was entrusted with God’s work but could not fulfill it for whatever reason, he should have handed the work over to another person and relieved himself from that responsibility. But if he did not even bother about it or even let another person do the work that he was entrusted with, he is preventing God’s work from being fulfilled by burying it. Therefore even though he had heard the gospel and believed in it, what happened to him due to this sin? It says, “And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Where is ‘the outer darkness’? Is it not hell? God deals harshly and sternly with these lazy people with attitude problems. He regards them more evil than those who have not been born again by not believing in this precious gospel. A person who has not as yet received the remission of sins has a chance to be saved, but a person who had believed and has thus turned away to become a sinner, does not have a way to repent again.
Here, one talent, two talents, and five talents indicate the quantity of work that each servant has been entrusted with. Regardless of how much work they have been entrusted with, what happens to those who do not fulfill their responsibilities and leave the Church? By doing this they kill countless number of people. This is the consequence for which one cannot avoid God’s wrath. How could we even think of doing such a thing when we have a good conscience?
The Lord left the heavenly throne came to this humble world in a form of His own creation that being, man. He lived for 33 years to bear our sins. And in order to bear our sins, He received His baptism, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead. How could we not witness such salvation and live only for ourselves when He had to experience such humiliation for 33 long years, He washed away all our sins, and gave us salvation? These 33 years, during which God was in this world of His creation, is a very long period. During His life here on this earth, the Lord fulfilled His responsibilities for our sake. He prayed on the Mount of Gethsemane, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Therefore, the Lord went to the Cross-after He bore the sins of the world.
Jesus knew things would unfold exactly as they were written, but He did not make any excuses at Pilate’s Court. He would have avoided the penalty of death and come out from the unjustified imprisonment if He had given them an excuse. The governor Pilate would have let Him go free if He had just said, “I am not the God that the Jews are talking about, and I have never said that.” Pilate said, “Just tell me this and confirm to me; you are not the King of Jews. Then I will let you go free. I have the authority to let you go. It seems to me that you are not an evil person. Just tell me so and I will let you go.” Pilate really wanted to let Jesus go, but the Lord did not say anything. Why did Jesus keep quite and did not say anything? He knew that He had to be nailed to that Cross and shed His blood because He had already received the baptism and had taken all the sins of humanity on Himself. That is why He did not say anything.
Who do you think that was for? Jesus did this to fulfill the work of God the Father, and complete the work of saving us from all our sins. The Lord did not give an excuse. Instead He just received the punishment to save you and me from sin. Then with His last breath on the Cross, He cried out, “It is finished,” and died. After that He rose from the dead on the third day, and went up to the Kingdom of Heaven. Now He has become the eternal Savior for all of us. The Book of Hebrews says, “He was obedient and faithful to the Father’s will even though He was God’s true Son.”
Were we originally true sons of God? No, of course not. We were mere sinful creatures. For creatures like us, God the Father sent His only begotten Son to this world, had Him blot out all our sins through the water and the blood, and gave us His perfect salvation. Therefore we are now able to receive the salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that He has given us, and thus become the children of God. God gave His children the work of preaching the gospel to the people of this world. If we the children of God refuse to do this work that He has entrusted us with, then tell me, who will then do this precious work? What kind of person will we become if we do not do this work? We will become an ungrateful person unfit for use in His Kingdom.
I am also a human being, and a lot of thoughts run through my head. But I believe in Him resolutely and confess, “It does not matter what difficult circumstance or hardship I am in, and it does not even matter whether I do a good job or not. What matters is whether or not I do my very best. I am sure the Lord will take no notice of my insufficiency only if I do my best for His work. The important thing is whether or not I do my best.” Many thoughts run through my head so frequently. But I always think of the work that God has entrusted to me with, and I do my very best in this work He has given me because that is the way to serve the gospel, and the only way for me to live as well. This applies to all of us who have received the remission of sins.
In God’s Church anyone who has been entrusted with God’s work does his best to accomplish that work. All of us from Sunday school children to adults, and from the ministry workers to the lay saints, are the people of God and the servants of God, and each one of us has one’s own respective work. We will be sinning before God if we do not do that work He has been entrusted to do. If a person refuses to do God’s work, we really cannot do anything about that person, but that person has to clearly understand the consequences of his actions.
People who behave in such a manner will be separated from the gathering, and those who are separated are those seeking their own greed. People who do not do God’s work after having received the remission of sins are evil. And that’s not all. These people will go to hell. Do you think you are okay just because you have received the remission of sins? Who can be more evil than those who do not do God’s work after having received the remission of sins? Who can be more evil than those who do not do God’s work even though they know what to do, and what is expected from them?
We are insufficient and frail in many ways. Even though we have these many shortcomings, we nevertheless press forward and do the work with the talent that God has given us. What kind of people are those who do not do God’s work even though they know the gospel and believe in it? These people are more evil than the sinners. They will face destruction and eventually go to hell. I understand that sometimes a born-again saint can become discouraged because of one’s insufficiencies even after having received the remission of sins, and become exhausted with God’s work. However I am at a loss to understand why people are leaving the Church with attitudes, saying, “I will no longer do God’s work. Instead I will now concentrate and do my own work.” Some say that they did receive salvation even though they do not serve the gospel. But it is a lie, and just their own thinking. God tells us over and over again in the Four Gospels that those who do not serve the gospel will be cast into the utter darkness, and that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
What does “gnashing of teeth” really mean? Does it mean that a person is outraged by unjustified consequences? The unfaithful servant thought he would receive a reward as one of the saved, but instead he was punished and cast into hell. So we see his bad attitude over his unfair mistreatment. However God’s punishment can never be unjust. It is fair and just. That is how big the sin of not doing God’s work is after having received the remission of sins. If these sins were not that great, many among us would long ago have quit doing the work of God before even finishing it. But those who have received the remission of sins must carry out God’s work until the end.
We should be faithful to the work of God from the moment we receive the remission of sins until the end of our life. Whether we are doing God’s work or not, resting, eating, drinking, or whatever else, we must do it all for the glory of God. Think for yourself whether or not one who has received the remission of sins should live for God’s glory. And by doing this, discern whether it is right or wrong according to God’s Word.
Talent in this parable denotes a certain quantity of gold or silver. It has the meaning of the measure of the God-given talent and the quantity of work He has entrusted us with. It is said that God has entrusted His precious work to His servants. Then tell me, who are His servants? They are those who have received the remission of sins. We need to remember that God will never ever use sinners who have not as yet received the remission of sins as His servants.
You and I must be very cautious: We should not depend on our knowledge, thinking that we are so very smart. Those who are boastful before God and think they are more intelligent than Him trust their own judgments more than God’s Word. These people do not consult with God’s servants and do not accept their advice. They cannot but help make their own judgments and follow their wrongful thoughts. When God’s servants try to help these self-righteous people and make them do God’s work, they do not listen to their advice. They just follow what they think is right. Then even God will forgo His desire to use them and entrust the work to others.
In today’s Scripture passage the master took back the one talent from the unfaithful servant and gave it to the faithful servant who had five more talents. The only thing that God could give to a person who does not do God’s work is rebuke. But God gives much praise and blessing to those who are faithful to the task entrusted to them. Is it distressing, or is it joyful to do God’s work? It is really joyful and pleasurable to do God’s work, even though our flesh may get exhausted at times from carrying out huge amounts of God’s work. When people who have received the remission of sins do not have any of God’s work to do, their life becomes boring and eventually becomes depraved. Therefore the more work of God a righteous person has, the more joyful and elated they become.
When there was no work of God to do, did you not experience those useless thoughts, doing things that are totally contrary to God’s will, and chasing after your own greed? When there is no work of God to do, we are prone to chase after our own greed and eventually do things that stand against God. Do you know what the consequence is for those who think nothing of God’s Church? It is total destruction. What about those who assist them? They also end up facing destruction. That is why we should refrain from helping people who have left God’s Church, doing their own work instead. We are all human beings, and could have compassion for them thinking that’s understandable. But God’s curse will be upon us if we should stand on their side.
That is why we must never help people whom God hates. God hates His enemy, and He hates the helpers of His enemy even more. Therefore we must consider whether or not God will be happy before we lend help to them. Otherwise we could run into big problems with God. If we associate with a person who is cursed, then we will be cursed as well. No matter how much a person has heard the gospel and believes in it, we should not share fellowship with such a person, if that person is only interested in his or her own work, and refuse to do His work. We must make a clear distinction between a person like that and us. We must cut off the relationship with a clear understanding and declare, “I can only do this much of God’s work because I am insufficient, but I am in the Church and doing God’s work. But you have decided not to do God’s work. That is why I must cut off our relationship.”
Some people regard these unfaithful people who refuse to do God’s work as wise or courageous. That is a foolish notion of an unwise person based on his or her own thinking and judgment. God abhors and hates most those who do not do His work. On the contrary, God loves those the most who want to do His work, despite their many shortcomings. Do you know why God loves me? He loves me because I do God’s work in spite of my numerous insufficiencies. Do you know the reason why God loves you? God does not love you just because you have received the remission of your sins. God loves you because you are doing God’s work instead of following your own personal greed.
God loves all those equally who have become His children, by having received the remission of sins. God loves all His children equally because each one of them is very precious to Him. God really loves those who voluntarily do the work of God the Father in His presence. Whether they do much or little, those who are faithful to the work entrusted to them, will eventually reap abundant spiritual fruit. Everything may seem to go smooth for those who do not do God’s work, but they will receive severe rebukes and curses from God because they are like a thorn in His eyes. In the end they will fail in everything they do.
Is it hard to do God’s work? If we think about this for a minute with a clear mind, working in this world is even more difficult than God’s work. We would have to work harder than this if we want to make 3,000 dollars per month in the world. We could do God’s work together. But we would have to finish our job on our own in the world. It is a great blessing to be doing God’s work together in God’s Church because we can be dedicated to a righteous cause, and our entire daily needs will be taken care of as well.
Living in this world without doing God’s work is a cursed life. Therefore there is no reason to envy that kind of life no matter how successful it may be. People can suddenly lose all they have, owing to a terminal sickness that could use up ten times as much as what they have earned in their lifetime. That unfortunately is life. Think what a great blessing God has given to us, who used to live in such a manner. God has blessed His Church in our times. He has blessed us because we are together doing His work in His Church after being born again of the water and the Spirit. As it is said in God’s Word, it is not because we are great. God is happy to bless His Church because we who became the children of God by faith are living out a life, which God is pleased with.
People who do not do God’s work after having received the remission of sins are an oddity. God deals with such people separately because they are actually killing other people. We must pay keen attention. We must not waver although the Devil does not leave us alone and tries to instill his thoughts and desires of flesh in us, causing us to waver. You and I are the righteous. We are the righteous who do God’s work? You and I have received the remission of sins and become God’s people. And we will enter God’s glorious Kingdom and enjoy eternal life and blessings after having carried out God’s work faithfully in this world.
That is why it is said in Romans 8:18 that our trials in this world cannot be compared with the glory we shall enjoy in the future. We go through trials for a short period of time in this world as we carry out God’s work, because we are His children who will enjoy His glory and live beautifully in that wonderful place forever. Even though the born-again may experience hardship, a life as the righteous is a special privilege, because God has given His work only to those who have received the remission of sins. It is very rewarding to do God’s work, because God does not entrust His Work to just anyone. I am just re-emphasizing something that you already know all too well.
A short while ago, a ministry worker of our Mission told me that he will quit ministering, find a regular job and come back to Church as a lay member. It is an illusion to think that a person who has been serving the Lord wholly can just quit, have a regular job, attend the Church and do God’s work in his or her spare time. It is more difficult to have a regular job, attend Church and serve the Lord than to just devote yourself completely to God’s work. Truthfully when a minister worker says that he or she wants to quit ministering and become a regular member, it means that they really do not want to do God’s work. A person like this will usually endure this situation for a while, but then disappear completely from the Church. Then one day show up again as an enemy to the gospel, causing harm to the Church.
Some people even say, “I will do God’s work outside God’s Church.” But how can a person do God’s work outside the workplace of God? And some others also say that they want to support God’s work of evangelizing the world by earning worldly riches and sending them to the Church, even though they are leaving the Church. God’s Church does not need these donations. God does not use this type of money. Money can be provided anytime when God blesses.
You and I have a responsibility towards Him as the children of God. It is a beautiful responsibility, for we are working in a place entrusted to us. But there can arise some other fleshly thoughts in our hearts from time to time. At times we desire to live for ourselves. In those moments we must boldly defeat the thought, saying, “In the name of Jesus, I command you, Satan, Get away from me!” God has given us the salvation. And He wants to use our hands, feet, mouth, and everything else for His work. If we want to serve God’s work, we need to give all that God has given us to fulfill the will of God. Do not think that everything can be solved just with money.
I pity those ministry workers who are thinking about giving up God’s work and leaving the Church. To them, therefore, I advise not to quit their ministries that God’s Church has entrusted them with. I admonish those who have already quit ministering and have gone back to working in the world because they will eventually stop attending the Church altogether, although they say that, as laymen, they will serve the gospel with material things. We must do God’s work if we attend His Church. People who come to Church just for the worship service and leave smartly right after the service, will eventually leave the Church.
Therefore you must think about what God wants you to do, and just start doing it, whether the predecessors of faith ask you to do something or not. I am not rebuking you. I am just reminding you that those who refuse or sit idly by not doing His work will be punished by God and considered as a sinner. Who will receive salvation if none of us do God’s work? When those who should be doing God’s work do not do the work, others will not be able to receive salvation. These people will receive the punishment as an evil sinner because they are actually interrupting and interfering with God’s work
The Lord’s Prayer says, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Hence, as it is God’s will, the Kingdom of God must also be fulfilled in this world. God’s Kingdom means God’s Church and fulfilling His Kingdom, means witnessing the gospel all over the world in order that many souls can receive the remission of sins. In God’s Church, all the believers gather together and praise God while worshipping Him and sharing fellowship with one another. Then would God bless those who do not do such work?
This world is the Devil’s kingdom, so it is not possible to establish God’s Kingdom by forming alliances with the world. Those who work only for themselves become like a debauchee who do not work when their stomachs are full. We can diligently do much work because we do it for others. We would not be able to do as much if we were doing it for ourselves. As for those who work only for themselves, they would earn much money if they were to work as if they were serving God, but would they be able to do much work if they were to live only for themselves? If people were to live only for themselves, they would be prone to work just for whatever their needs are.
We are doing the righteous work, and it is rewarding, and because it is rewarding, we go on doing the work diligently. There is not much for those who live only for themselves. These people are useless, regardless of how much money they may have. When I was living in Sokcho City, Gangwon Province in Korea, I once had a conversation with a wealthy person who owned a large theatre in that city. Although he had millions of dollars, he said that he had bought noodles with the money he had made by collecting recyclable items from the street, brought back home the radish that came out as a side dish, and had eaten it as an accompaniment with his drink.
He said he had built his wealth in such manner. I wanted to say to him, “I hear you have a lot of money, don’t you? Why don’t you give me one billion Won (This is equivalent to US $1,000,000) I will use it for a worthwhile cause. What good is it to just hold onto the money? It becomes meaningful only if you use it for a righteous cause. I will use it for the righteous cause in your name.” People are nothing but a pitiful tightwad if they just live for themselves and are not generous to others. Of course, we also are prone to be bound by ourselves in many things, but the born-again must live for the righteous cause. We must live for God’s work until the end of our life, because God has entrusted it to us.
A decision to quit doing God’s work must be made with much consideration. God’s protection and all the blessings will be over as soon as we stop doing God’s work. There can only be the curse if we do not continue to do God’s work, even if we did receive the remission of sins. And if the children of God were to associate with sinners who are not God’s children, becoming one with them, that in itself would be a short cut toward destruction. All the blessings will be cut off if a person who has received the remission of sins marries a person who is not the born-again, and does not receive the guidance of the Church. That will bring an end to hearing God’s Word and serving God. If by chance you started to attend a worldly church, a place where God does not dwell, parted from the gathering of the righteous, even if you do clean the church, buy pipe organs, and put up golden curtains for that church, it will not mean that you are serving God.
What kind of person should we be after the receiving of the remission of sins? Should we become a person who is faithful to God’s work, or should we become someone who just does it with minimum effort? The decision is yours. What can we do if you want to leave the Church? Then again, will there be anything special when you do leave the Church? I will tell you one thing for sure: You are harming yourself and doing evil to yourself if you should do this. Do you think that you have suffered losses and made sacrifices personally while you were attending the Church? Would you not have made as much sacrifice if you were living for yourself?
I would like to tell you this: Do not try to connect yourself with God’s Church if you are not doing God’s work, after having received the remission of sins. God is the Master of His Church, so He cuts off those He considers inappropriate. You have probably seen such things yourself. Let’s say a man has left the Church. Although no one had said anything to him, he left the Church on his own volition because he did not believe in the gospel. But the fact is that God had cut him off from the Church. God said that a branch that does not yield fruit even though it is connected to the vine would be cut off.
In spite of your shortcomings, you must believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit. And you must keep on doing God’s work even though you may not have been entrusted with much work. We shall meet the Lord after having carried out the work of the Lord quietly. Do you think we could help a person become a success in this world just by giving that person money? You must understand and guard your heart because the born-again will also be cut off, if they should befriend a person who does not do God’s work. God knows everything. The person who had received one talent, as noted in Matthew 25:14-30, was someone who had received the remission of sins but did not do God’s work. That person was treacherous. That person was very wicked. Today’s Scripture passage describes this evil servant without the distinction of sex, and so we do not know whether that person was a man or a woman. But the fact of the matter is that God considers those who have received one talent, but refuse to do His work as an evil being.
To this day you and I have been serving the gospel faithfully. However, knowing that the Word of God is like that, and understanding what the Scriptures tell us, is more important. If we are experiencing any inadequacies, we should admit them before God, and we must take into our heart, acknowledge, and accept what God has said. You must realize “I must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and do God’s work even though I have these shortcomings. I cannot but be like this, because of my inadequacies. But I think I should not be doing these things that will make God unhappy.” And please do not associate with those who have received the remission of sins but do not do God’s work. Even associating with such people is to pile His curse upon your head. Can I truly know who you are? That is not possible. But God know you through and through and He will cut off the rotten branches. And if that is not enough, He may give these people incurable sicknesses and expose their wickedness before all people. We have shortcomings, but we are a very blessed people, doing God’s work, having received the remission of sins. I believe in this. Do you also believe in this?
As you and I remain faithful to the end, as those who have been entrusted with God’s work, I hope that we will receive the blessings of faith and become those whose faith gets better with each moment, growing like the rising sun. I hope God will bestow His abundant blessings upon you and me who are faithfully serving the gospel. Amen.