Friends and Enemies

Recently we did a fun study of Matthew 25 entitled “What’s In Your Backyard,” talking about the great value of that which the Lord has given us.

In today’s continuing sermons in Luke, Pastor Leahy of Asheville Bible Church had us visiting a bit of the parallel text in Luke 19, and I was struck with a pair of verses at the end. In particular, the idea of the warm, fuzzy, happy and tolerant King falls on its face in light of the passages.

We see in the parable how the King treats His servants (that’s us, O Christian) who have failed to redeem the value of the gifts we are given:

And he saith unto him,

‘Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant! Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?’

And he said unto them that stood by,

‘Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.’
Luke 19:22-24Luke 19:22-24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.  

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As we’ve seen before, Christ is telling us that even the base, foul, polluted, unholy world could at least crank out some interest on the investment if He had given it to them. Instead, He has given it to US.

What He tells us further in this passage is that, if we fail to put it to work, those blessings will be taken from us!

But that’s not what I want to point out.

The Lord has no respect of what *we* think is the “right” or “equitable” thing to do –  note how quick we are to accuse the Lord of unfairness!

” ‘Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.’

(And they said unto him, ‘Lord, he hath ten pounds!’ )

-Luke 19:24-25Luke 19:24-25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25  

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They? Who are ‘They?’

‘They’ are the other servants – they are *us,* brothers and sisters!

Jesus is quick to point out that this is His proper way of doing business:

For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

Luke 19:26Luke 19:26
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.  

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The word “for” is “gar” (SG1063) and means “A particle of affirmation and conclusion.” It could be translated “Yes, it’s right, and because of that, (etc) …”

Seem unfair?  Too bad!

” ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ saith the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ ” – Isaiah 55:8-9Isaiah 55:8-9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  

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Still grumbling?

“Higher” in Isaiah 55 is “gabahh” (SH1361) and means “to be high, be exalted.”

The ways of the Lord are exalted, raised up in authority over *our* ways. God will *not* bend His will to spare you the discomfort of being held accountable.

And as bracing as that realization is,

as much as verse 26 is a rebuke of our desire to horn God into our little box,

it’s still not what got my attention this morning.

What got my attention was the last verse.

Up to this point, the Lord has been talking to His own; His servants.

We’ve seen that we are expected to put the gifts to work. We’ve seen that even the world itself is able to take these things and make them useful in some form. Much more, then, are we expected to redeem their full value.

But what of those who are *not* of Him?

Now the Lord speaks of those who want nothing to do with Him.

Have you heard – from the pagan or even from the Christian – how God loves even those who do not love Him?

Have you heard – from your own heart, or a misguided pulpit – how the Lord will judge people based on “the amount of light they were given” or some similar wording?

Maybe what you need to hear is the Word of Christ Himself:

But

those mine enemies,

which would not that I should reign over them,

bring hither,

and slay them before me.” – Luke 19:27Luke 19:27
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.  

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“It can’t mean it like you’re saying,” you say. “I have unsaved friends. I have unsaved family! Does not the Lord love them equally?”

No!

God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” – Psalm 7:11Psalm 7:11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. judgeth...: or, is a righteous judge  

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“Angry” is “za’am” (SH2194) and means “indignant.”

God is not “perturbed.” God is not “discomfited.”

He is indignant!!

 

What is Jesus saying in v27 of Luke 19?

Let’s go to the Greek!

 

“But!” (“plen,” SG4133, besides, moreover)

those mine “enemies” (“echthros,” SG2190, hated, odious, hateful)

which would (“thelō” SG2309, to will, to be resolved, to intend) 

not (“me” SG3361, no, not lest)

that I

should reign (“basileuō,” SG936, to be King, exercise kingly power)

over (“epi“, SG1909, upon, on)

them (“autos“, SG846, himself, herself, themselves)

bring (“agō”, SG71, to lead by laying hold of, as with an animal)

hither (“hōde” SG5602, here, to this place)

and slay (“katasphazō” SG2695, kill off, slaughter)

them before (“emprosthen” SG1715, in front of)

Me.”

 

“Moreover,

the ones who hate Me,

who are determined

that I will not exercise authority

over them themselves;

bring them here to My seat,

dragged like an animal,

and slaughter them

in front of Me.”

Luke 19:27Luke 19:27
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.  

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This is the fate of those who refuse Christ.

There is no “judged based on the light they were given” claptrap.

There will be no grading on the curve.

He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” – Luke 11:23Luke 11:23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.  

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He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:18John 3:18
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18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  

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Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [[but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” – 1 John 2:22-231 John 2:22-23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.  

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We do our unsaved friends no favors by giving them a false hope of a good judgment in the eyes of our Lord!

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” – Revelation 20:15Revelation 20:15
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  

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The expectations of the Master are high and strong, brothers and sisters. Let us not be lulled into a false sense of security, but rather:

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Phillippians 3:12-14

Press on, brothers and sisters!