“Therefore He said: ‘A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’ 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. Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’ Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’’”
With What Attitude Should We Serve the Lord?
The Lord came to this earth and saved from sin those who are childlike. Then what does it mean that He saved such childlike people? It means God saved those who simply believed and followed what the Lord said without any doubt. Those who believe in God whole-heartedly do not have worldly desires. Because they do not have any attachment to the world, they think this way: “What is life? What am I? Where did I come from and where am I going? Why am I living? Do I live to eat? Or do I eat to live? The life that I see from birth through death is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears shortly. Life seems so meaningless. Things that are in this world are meaningless. As the author of the Book of Ecclesiastes said, ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity’ (Ecclesiastes 1:2).”
When we understand the vanity of life and discard all our carnal desires, we can have the childlike hearts. We are saved by believing that Jesus the Son of God came to this earth, bore our sins, and died on the Cross to eradicate all the sins of the world. He was resurrected from the dead and ascended to Heaven after fulfilling all righteousness. The Lord is now sitting at the right hand of Heavenly Father, and He is preparing to come back as King and Judge.
According to today’s Scripture passage, God has assigned His work to those who received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit; when He comes back to evaluate our work, some people will be rewarded for their work but others won’t. Let’s find out what God tells us regarding this matter.
Luke 19:12 and 9:13 read, “Therefore He said: ‘A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’” The nobleman who went to receive the kingship is referring to our Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus first came to this earth, He came as a human being, not as a king. Even though He is the almighty God, He was clothed in human flesh to save human beings from sin. He came as a servant, Savior and our propitiation. He didn’t come as Judge from the beginning. The Lord said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). The Lord did exactly what He said: He removed all the sins of human beings by the water and the blood, and left for Heaven to receive the kingship from God the Father and to return to this world.
As He left, He gave all His servants one mina each. And He told them to do business with it. What else does today’s passage say? Among His people, some said, “We do not want this man to reign over us.” What does this mean? Not all people who are born again want to serve Jesus as their true King. In other words, among those who received the remission of sins, some are willing to follow and obey Jesus as their King and God, trusting in the righteousness of Jesus Christ; but there are people who do not. Even though it is obvious that Jesus Christ is the King to all those who have received salvation, there are still people who do not think so. That is why the Lord is telling us what their end results will be like: How those who served Jesus Christ as their King will turn out; and how those who didn’t serve Jesus will turn out.
As I looked at the cut flowers on this table last night, I thought, “My fellow saints are good at decorating appropriately to each season.” Just like we have four seasons, Christianity has also seasons and holidays. Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Thanksgiving, and many other holidays have been celebrated throughout all seasons. I focus on preaching about Jesus Christ all year around without setting the message of Jesus’ resurrection for Easter and the message of Jesus’ arrival on earth for Christmas, so I do not know very much about these holidays. I think Deacon Young-ae Kim is good at uplifting our spirits with the floral arrangement according to the seasons.
Anyway, we, who received the remission of sins, should consider Jesus as our King. He is truly your God, my God and our King. He created the universe and human beings, and saved us from sin completely. He revived us from death. Therefore, He is worthy to be our King. He lacks nothing. That is right. Jesus is truly our King. When the Apostle Peter said to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), he meant, “Lord Jesus, You are my King, and my Creator.” He is the King of us all humanity. We should believe in this strongly.
Is there anyone among us who still doesn’t want Him to be our King? Is there anybody who doesn’t want to serve Him as the King? If you are the person, repent and reconsider and serve Jesus as your true King. That is the right thing to do. If you refuse to acknowledge Jesus as your King, the result and the life journey are so obvious.
The Lord Wants to Know If We Are Making Any Profit from Gospel Business of the Water and the Spirit
Going back to the passage, we can see the nobleman came back with the kingship. And he called the servants whom he had given his money. When the first servant came to the nobleman, he said, “Master, your mina has earned ten minas.” Then the master said, “Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.” When the second servant came, he said, “Master, your mina has earned five minas.” What does this mean? There were people who multiplied one mina by ten times, and there were people who earned fivefold. They could most likely bring out the result according to their talent. Anyway, the master gave them reward based on the work they had done. He gave the servants the authority to govern ten cities and five cites each.
Then, another servant came before the master. He said, “Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared that you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.” That is to say, this man brought the same mina, which he had received. Then what kind of person is he? He is one of those who did not acknowledge Jesus as his King. He doesn’t believe that Jesus is the King of all kings, who is truly merciful, holy, gracious and almighty. Nor does he believe that Jesus is the Judge and the Savior, who saved him. Nor does he believe in the authority, love and blessings of God. Even though he has the gospel, he doesn’t believe in it from his heart. That is right. He doesn’t want to attend Jesus as his King. That is why he said, “You are an austere man. You try to collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.”
He treated Jesus the King as if He were a robber. As a matter of fact, Jesus came to this earth to save the man. He received the baptism, carried the sin of the world, took all the punishment and humiliation for us, rose again from the dead and became our Savior. In spite of this grace, he brought just the one mina he received from Jesus Christ. The Lord allowed him air to breathe, and the sun. He not only provided all the necessities of life, but also provided him with spiritual and physical food. What he had all belong to the King. In other words, everything he had was the King’s. But what did the man think of the King? He regarded his master as a hard man. He basically said to his master, “What on earth did you give to me? You want something that you have never given me. You are very much like a robber.” And the King said to him in anger, “Out of your own mouth I will judge you. Did you think that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Did I not give you anything?”
Brothers and sisters, what we have belongs to the Lord. Our minds should be transformed after we become born again. Before we were born again, we managed our lives from our parents whether we inherited wealth from our parents or not. We studied and put our efforts to gain what we need on this earth. That is how we got our places all furnished. There are people who have well-furnished houses; there are some people who don’t, of course. Some time after that we all received the remission of sins. Once we receive the remission of sins, we should realize everything we have is from the Lord. Nonetheless, there are still some people who think that they did not get anything from the Lord, and that they have obtained everything and also what they have achieved through their own efforts.
They are wrong. It is not right to think, “What favors did God show me? What kind of grace are they talking about? It is due to my efforts, study and the fruit of my endurance in the humiliating world that I can make a living. What on earth is from God?” This is the biggest problem that people have after receiving the remission of sins. It is natural for non-born-again people to think that they could make a living with their own efforts. However, once you are born again, your thoughts should be transformed. When we contemplate what things were like before we were born again, everything in the environment including the sun and air existed just because the Lord allowed it. To us, there is nothing that is not given by the Lord. The Lord gave us everything. Whether we are born again or not, everything is from the Lord. It is wrong to contend, ‘What did the Lord give me? He is trying to take my things away. He is a really austere man. He is trying to take what is mine without giving me anything.”
The Man with One Mina Thought like This
By the way, what did the man with ten minas and the man with five minas say? What did they say and believe? Each said, “I gained ten minas with the one mina You gave me,” and “Your mina has gained five minas.” What did they mean? They meant what they had was all given by the Lord. They believed that what they had all belonged to the Lord, and even the environment, siblings, the teachings, air, the sun, and the food and everything else was from the Lord. That is why we say grace before our meals. We pray, “Thank You, Heavenly Father for giving us our daily bread. Please give us this daily bread until the day the Lord returns. We will eat what you have given us with thankful heart.” As you can see from movies like “Quo Vadis,” western people always say simple prayers as ‘God bless you’ even for a small piece of bread. They do not say a long prayer before meals like we do. But a sincere Christian always closes his eyes and thanks God for the food before him, thinking, “This is from God and so is that.” It is because he believes that God has given him all that.
Then I want to ask you one thing. Do you believe that everything you have such as family, church, health, money, children and air and the sun is from God? Did God really give us all these trees and flowers for us? Yes, He did. I believe there is no need to add any more explanation to this.
I am telling you this lest among you there should be anybody who lives and thinks like the man who kept one mina in a handkerchief and took it back to the Lord. We need to ponder on this deeply from our hearts. Do we by any chance think that God is an austere God? Do we think Jesus is hard on us? Do we consider Him as the One who is just demanding us? We need to look after ourselves. Let’s search our minds to see if we have the wrong concepts on what we have like, “This is not from the Lord, but what I gained with my efforts.”
Let’s not make the same mistake and think that Jesus is austere. We should be like those who made a profit with one mina they were given, saying, “I gained ten minas with the ability (talent) you had given me.” Or we should think, “You gave me one mina, the ability to do business, so I gained five.” I earnestly pray that we all can become such good and faithful servants and be blessed with ‘five cities and more.’ I hope and pray that you will become the saints who believe that everything is from God, and who give more offering to God and who give greater glory to God. Actually God has given us more than we can imagine, and He never stops giving us.
If we do the business faithfully, make a profit and serve the Lord with the profit, God will give us more. He does this so that we may serve Him even better. I want you to believe through this message that everything you have including even your life is the Lord’s. We should all have correct faith in this. Is there anyone who is planning on bringing the one mina of salvation to the Lord after keeping it in your handkerchief, when the Lord returns? There should not be anybody with such a pathetic and weak faith. Other servants gained ten and five minas each by the time the master came back. They also thank their master, “You gave me plenty. I could gain so much thanks to the many talents you had given me. I lived a comfortable life with these talents. Thank you, Master.”
We should be able to please God with such faith. We should profess, “The Lord is merciful, gracious, almighty and loving. He is the God of salvation, who gave us talents, the God of the truth and the God of greatness. He is the King of all kings and true King to us.” As such, we should genuinely admire the Lord and love Him as He loves us. As we serve God with what we are given, we should think, “I came to live such an abundant life thanks to your extra blessings, not because of my efforts alone.” Let us have such faith so that we receive more from the Lord, and get praises from Him as we live.
We Must Live by Upright Faith
I hope there is no one here who misunderstands God and this Church even after receiving the remission of sins. I have been preaching on today’s Scripture passage so many times. What I want to emphasize today is we should engrave God’s word on our hearts. Without such an attitude, we are no different than the man, who said, “We don’t want this man to reign over us.” We will be like the man who kept the mina and took it to the master.
Now let’s look at the end of this disloyal servant. It is written in Luke 19:26-27. “For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.”
This is the end result of those who do not want to serve Jesus Christ as their King. They will not avoid this consequence. He was saying this to all those who have the gospel. He told all the born-again to do business with the ‘gospel.’ The Lord said to those who do not want to do any business with the gospel, “Bring those enemies of Mine, who didn’t want Me to reign over them, and slay them before Me.” Those who are not willing to serve Jesus as their King are actually enemies of Jesus. Those who are not willing to follow the Lord after receiving the remission of sins, and rather say, “Lord, please be my springboard for me to achieve success. Be my foothold,” are the same as the disloyal servant who brought one mina as it was.
Unfortunately there are a lot of people who think this way even after they had their sins remitted by the Lord. They have received the remission of sins. They understood the gospel of the Lord and accepted it. They believed in it. Nevertheless they didn’t want Jesus to be their King. They try to do things their own way. They preach the gospel the way they want to. They preach the gospel without discerning the method or time. They rely on Jesus for achieving their dreams, but they don’t have any desire to follow Him as their Shepherd or serve Him as their King. As a matter of fact, more than a few people are like that.
Even if they received the remission of sins, they are the enemies of God. Those people act like the enemy of God while they pretend to serve the Lord. They rebel against the Lord. What will happen to them when the Lord comes back? When the Lord calls one of them to judge his work asking, “How did you do your business?” the disloyal servant will reply like this: “Here it is.” He will take out exactly what he was given, thinking that Jesus is an austere man, man like a robber, who tries to collect what He didn’t deposit, and reap what He didn’t sow. What does this mean? Simply speaking, he didn’t do any business with it. In other words, he never preached the gospel, nor did he serve the Lord. That is right. He brought exactly what he was given. He returned it as it was.
The Lord called him wicked enemy. Those who have the gospel, yet do not share with others; those who do not work with the Church; those who do not preach the gospel; those who do not obey the Word of Jesus are evidently the enemies of God. What does God do with them in the end? He said, “Bring them here and slay them before Me.” Then they will be eventually thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:10).
I hope we won’t need to face such punishment. However, it is sad that there are still many people like them in this world. There are a lot of people who received the remission of sins, but do not want Jesus to reign over them.
What does it mean to us to serve the almighty God as our King? That is our greatest fortune. When we serve the Lord and follow Him wholeheartedly, what happens? Won’t He as our Shepherd look after His flock? Yes. He takes care of us even more when we are serving Him. We should realize this truth. We do not know the secret of God and the life of faith well, but when we come to think of it, we will realize that our past and present are all God’s grace. That is right. We cannot live our life without His grace.
We Couldn’t Have Lived until Now without His Grace
The Lord has blessed us much more than we deserve for serving Him. He has given us more than we can actually handle. I don’t know how you have served God. Whether you have served Him a lot or not, it doesn’t matter if you have served Him wholeheartedly. But I am going to supervise all ministry workers of our churches around the country to see how they are serving the Lord. When we come to think of His grace, we all have received so much; however, there are some workers who are not serving the Lord wholeheartedly. Some people have more shopping lists to ask for God than what they can give to God. They might have the right reasons to ask for those. But we need to be balanced in between serving the Lord and receiving the blessings from the Lord. For we need to fill our needs by balancing those two.
I think of it this way. “We received so much from the Lord, and we will continue to receive favors in body and spirit from the Lord. Then how much are we giving Him back?” How well are we serving the Lord? I would like to ask myself and other co-workers this question: “How much are we serving Him? The grace of the Lord is so great and so is His love, but how well am I serving Him?” We also need to think about how much we have received from Him, and how much we will serve Him in the future.
Even though we feel insufficient at times, we know that we live for the gospel and the Lord in spite of our lacking. I am trying hard to make a profit using my spiritual gifts and knowledge, just like the servants who gained tenfold or fivefold profit each from one mina. Sometimes I just manage the work of God with the help of my co-workers, when I feel exhausted and I know it is better to assign the work to others. Nevertheless, I never thought that I have ever given Him more services than the blessings He gives to me as well as my fellow Christians. I know for sure that the love and grace of the Lord is greater than our service to Him.
Therefore, we must not become someone like the disloyal servant who kept the mina and returned it without making any profit. We should gain at least five minas when it was impossible to make tenfold. If we cannot preach the gospel and serve the gospel owing to our inability, we should be able to do something by lending our body as active and faithful servants at least. I want you to think about this message that we shouldn’t act as an enemy of God, like the one who kept the mina in a handkerchief and returned it to God as it was. I really do not want any of our saints or ministry workers to turn out to be like this man.
If you received the remission of sins, seat Him in your heart’s throne and serve Him as your King. Consider Him as your true King, and believe that it is far better to have a king than not to have one. We should trust that our King will protect us, show us favor when we feel lonely, or when we get into troubles. “You serve me more than I serve You. Even if it is not the case, You are certainly my King and my Master.” I hope all of you serve the Lord as your King like this. Do you also want to do that?
How can we guarantee that we won’t be like the man, who returned only one mina? However, I believe that we won’t live like the enemy of God when we truly understand His grace; when we know that the Lord saved us, showed us His grace in every part of our lives and that He always helps us and blesses us. I strongly believe so. Even though we all have weaknesses, I hope we all can please our Master by gaining ten or five minas. I pray that we will receive the authority to govern ten or five cities after faithfully serving the Lord. I hope you will all receive such a blessing.
When we serve the righteousness of the Lord, the serving is not the end. Those who really serve the Lord faithfully will receive blessings accordingly. The living God is truly the King of us all. He is the King to you and to me. I earnestly pray that we will all receive abundant blessings in your body and spirit. I really hope that God will bless us abundantly in whatever work we do for Him. I pray that you all will be helped and blessed by God. I believe our homes and our Church will be blessed with such faith. I pray that God will give us such blessings.