“Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’ Ezekiel 33:11
David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus, when asked by Larry King on Larry King Live whether he believed God would send people to hell for not believing in Jesus, gave this reply, “….God isn’t in the business of sending people to hell. We are getting there just fine on our own, Rather, God is in the business of saving people from hell, and that is exactly why He sent Jesus the Messiah.”
Now if you have been following this series on Hell and Eternal Punishment of the Lost since the Introductory Blog article I wrote way back on December 2, 2020, you know God does send people to hell. David Brickner knows that very well as well. But David’s point is, God derives no pleasure from having to make that final judgment. At great cost to Himself, He sent His Son, whom He had enjoyed uninterrupted glorious fellowship with for all of eternity, …He sent Him to suffer and die on the cross so we would have a very clear, sure and unmistakeable way out of hell into glorious eternal fellowship with the living God. Ultimately we go to hell because we would rather go there than bow the knee to Jesus.
One of the ways He expects us to bow our knees to Him or follow and obey Him is by managing or stewarding His money and material resources (loaned to us) according to His purposes and direction. When we learn to do that out of relationship with Him through Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, He will greatly bless us for it. When we refuse to do that, we guarantee our final destination will be hell rather than heaven.
We learn this from a well known parable that is normally referred to more for its information about stewarding finances than for the penalty for refusing to steward God’s stuff. Even though that penalty is stated at the end of the parable, and is consistent with other Lordship parables or teaching in the gospel of Luke (e.g. Luke 14:16-24:16:19-31).
Let’s re-read it together with this in mind: (BTW – the brackets around certain words below - means those words are not in the greek text, but are inserted by the translators to help understanding of the text).
“While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. Luke19:11
So He said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and [then] return. Vs. 12
"And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, 'Do business [with this] until I come [back.]' vs. 13
Comment: Jesus is revealing Himself as a King who rules a kingdom and who has authority over men, and who though absent bodily will return bodily (vs. 12). In vs. 13 He is communicating, for those who have ears to hear, that is a King who gives resources to men (everything we have comes from Him), and He fully expects us to steward them for His glory and purposes until He returns.
"But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.' Vs. 14
Comment: These citizens most likely specifically represent the Pharisees and Scribes and elders who rejected Jesus as their King, Lord and Savior. Generally this would refer to all who reject Him.
"When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. Vs. 15
Comment: Every man and woman on the planet will give an account of how they have stewarded God’s resources entrusted to them.
"The first appeared, saying, 'Master, your mina has made ten minas more.' Vs. 16
"And he said to him, 'Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.' Vs. 17
"The second came, saying, 'Your mina, master, has made five minas.' Vs. 18
"And he said to him also, 'And you are to be over five cities.' Vs. 19
Comment: Those who know Him as Master and Lord and who thus sought to bear fruit for Him with what He entrusted them with will be commended and blessed with greater authority and influence, when He returns ( and in some ways before He returns).
"Another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; vs. 20
for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.' Vs. 21
"He said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Vs. 22
'Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?' vs. 23
"Then he said to the bystanders, 'Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.' Vs. 24
"And they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas [already.]' vs. 25
"I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Vs. 26
"But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence." Vs. 27
Comment: Jesus our King could have just ignored these who lived as if He would never return and was not Lord of Lords and King of Kings. But because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and because He fully expects everyone to live as such, He will destroy those who rejected Him and His authority over their lives. He considers them “enemies”. No details are given in this passage as to how this “slaying” will look. Hell is not mentioned. But it stands to reason that that is what He has in mind; especially if we put together all the other similar passages in the gospel of Luke, and in the gospels up to this point.
Concluding Thoughts: It is a great privilege and honor to be entrusted by our Lord with money and resources. There is great reward for those who steward His resources for His purposes and glory.
And there is great hope and mercy extended to those who may have handled their money and material possessions as if they were self generated, and for their own use and glory instead of for God’s glory and purposes. This is seen clearly in the story about Zaccheus (vs. 1-10), which immediately preceded our passage for today. Zaccheus lived his own selfish greedy life for at least the early part of his career. But when he met Jesus he pretty quickly realized his sin and error and fully repented, as can be seen in Luke 19:8.
Friends, if a man or woman says they asked Christ into their lives in their childhood, but managed their money and possessions as if He were not Lord and Master, and as if they were not provided by Him for His glory and purposes, their salvation is much in question. If their “repentance” did not touch their pocketbook, their repentance is suspect.
One of the evidences that one is truly born again, is that they desire and seek to please the Lord in the way they steward the money and material possessions He has entrusted to them.
May each of us increasingly know our Savior as the One who owns it all, and who out of His great goodness, generosity and wisdom – distributes it all - for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom. And may each of us hear those wonderful words, ‘Well done…’ when He returns and we give an account of how we have stewarded all He entrusted to us.