Chicagoland: John Piper to Speak at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on April 23

NOTE: CORRECTION – the date as been changed from April 25th to April 23rd.

Photo credit divinity.tiu.edu

via The Chicago Tribune:

Dr. John Piper, founder of Desiring God ministry, is the featured speaker in the Jonathan Edwards & The Church lecture series at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on Friday, April 23. The program begins at 1:00 p.m. in the ATO Chapel on the Trinity campus, located at 2065 Half Day Road in Deerfield, and is free and open to the public.

He will speak on the topic of „The Glory of God and the Gladness of Man: Essential Affections in Edwards and the Life of the Church.” Jonathan Edwards, the preeminent pastor-theologian of North American history, probed the affections and religious experience with an intensity unique to the eighteenth century and beyond. Dr. Piper will discuss how Edwards’ work led to the elevation of the affections into the very nature of our Trinitarian God and his sovereign purposes for the universe. He will further present that, when Edwards’ vision is grasped, everything in the life of the soul and the church changes.

Read the entire article here – http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local

Click on map for Google directions

Map for ATO Chapel on the Trinity campus,

located at 2065 Half Day Road in Deerfield

Reclame

Marti – Florin Ianovici

Marti

Iubirea are uneori bici. Iubirea uneori striga pentru ca focul inimii este prea mare.

Iubirea uneori rastoarna planuri, strica afaceri pentru a face loc adevaratei iubiri.

E ziua iubirii aprinse cand Credinta striga: ,,e Casa Tatalui Meu!”

Daca cel ce iti spune ca te iubeste nu ridica uneori glasul si nu striga: ,,vai de tine!”, iubirea lui e o minciuna!

De 7 ori a strigat Isus: ,,vai de voi!”. Nu au inteles ca inca era Iubire…!

Aud glasul Duhului Sfant care imi spune: ,,pocaieste-te!” Multumesc din inima Iubire pentru indemnul tau…!

Matei 21:12-17

12 Isus a intrat în Templul lui Dumnezeu. A dat afară pe toţi cei ce vindeau şi cumpărau în Templu, a răsturnat mesele schimbătorilor de bani şi scaunele celor ce vindeau porumbei, 13 şi le -a zis: ,,Este scris: ,Casa Mea se va chema o casă de rugăciune.` Dar voi aţi făcut din ea o peşteră de tîlhari.„

14 Nişte orbi şi şchiopi au venit la El în Templu, şi El i -a vindecat.

15 Dar preoţii cei mai de seamă şi cărturarii, cînd au văzut minunile pe cari le făcea, şi pe copii strigînd în Templu şi zicînd: ,,Osana, Fiul lui David!„ s’au umplut de mînie.

16 Şi I-au zis: ,,Auzi ce zic aceştia?„ ,,Da,„ le -a răspuns Isus. ,,Oare n’aţi citit niciodată cuvintele acestea: ,Tu ai scos laude din gura pruncilor şi din gura celor ce sug?„

17 Şi, lăsîndu -i, a ieşit afară din cetate, şi S’a îndreptat spre Betania, şi a rămas acolo.

Luni – Florin Ianovici

Photo credit www.uckg.ie

Luni

Cine nu hraneste pe cel flamand e condamnat sa se usuce. Isus e inca flamand! 

E o dimineata cand vrea sa fiu smochinul care hraneste trecatorii dar mai ales pe Mantuitorul care asteapta: rugaciunea, multumirea, cantarea de lauda pentru El si fapta milei!

Cuvantul credintei poate fi: rodeste mai departe sau in veac sa nu mai dea rod din tine! Cuvantul credintei poate fi apa pentru radacina ta sau foc mistuitor care sa lase scrum in urma.

Eu vreau sa rodesc! 

Intre micul dejun copios a lui Caiafa si foamea lui Hristos, aleg sa merg cu Hristos!

PAGINA Florin Ianovici PREDICI aici

Echipa Teen Challenge – Dependenta, problema pe care nu o recunoaste nimeni!

Photo credit Media CBEE

Friday Night Show 7 | Radio CBEE LIVE ora 21:30
Emisiune radio LIVE!
http://cbee.ro/ – Colegiul Biblic Est European
http://mediacbee.ro/ – Media CBEE
http://radio.cbee.ro/ – Radio CBEE
Subiectul nostrum are de-a face cu o chestiune raspandita, banala, comuna, insa nerecunoscuta. Exista o vorba care spune ca suma viciilor dependentelor unui barbat este intotdeauna aceeasi, constanta. Insa, orice barbat intrebat iti raspunde privindu-te in ochi, hotarat, ca n-are nici o problema, ca nu exista nimic de care sa se ingrijoreze. In seara aceasta vorbim despre ceea ce poate sa faca dependenta in viata unui om, cat de dezastruoasa poate ajunge viata cuiva, sau cat de glorioasa poate fi viata cuiva care a fost salvat, izbavit din dependente.
Toti cei care sunt in studio stiu ce inseamna o dependenta. Noi toti vorbim despre un subiect comun, de fapt, cred ca si voi care sunteti in fata computerului stiti despre ce vorbim. Si probabil ca unii au dependente puternice  chiar in acest moment. Invitatii nostri sunt cei de la Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge este o organizatie de la Bucuresti care are de-a face, lucreaza cu oamenii, cei care au ajuns sa fie dependenti de droguri. In seara aceasta sunt alaturi de noi in studio 3 reprezentanti de la Teen Challenge: Dan Dragan, director, Andrei Stefan, intern si Iulian Dobre, Adina Stanciu si Mihai Ploesteanu a carui marturie a fost postata si la Digi24 – De la droguri la Cristos!:

A renunţat la facultate pentru droguri şi a ajuns să trăiască pe stradă. Dintr-un tânăr inteligent, s-a transformat în cerşetor, iar în 2009 a fost închis pentru trafic de droguri. Zece luni a stat după gratii. Încet, încet, s-au stins 27 din cei 30 de prieteni împreună cu care se droga. Unii au murit în urma unor supradoze, iar alţii s-au sinucis. Pentru Mihai, salvarea a venit în urmă cu patru ani.

“Am ajuns în 2010 la o fundaţie creştină, Teen Challenge se numeşte, care are filiale în toată lumea şi aici mi-am dezvoltat o relaţie personală cu Dumnezeu, care mă ajută zi de zi să să iau alegerea care trebuie.”

– Urmăriţi aici ştirea digi 24 – Marturia unui fost consumator de droguri.
VIDEO by Media CBEE
Dialogul incepe la minutul 22:00

La plimbare pe Muntele Maslinilor – VIDEO – MOUNT of Olives

Photo credit www.biblewalks.com

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Vezi si – La plimbare prin Ierusalimul Vechi aici

Muntele Maslinilor, locul unde:

  • Domnul Isus mergea (se retragea) cand era in Ierusalim (Luca 22:39)  După ce a ieşit afară, S’a dus, ca de obicei, în muntele Măslinilor. Ucenicii Lui au mers după El.
  • Isus a mers de doua ori pe Muntele Maslinilor in ultima saptamana inainte de moartea si invierea Sa. Marti, cand a rostit pildele din Matei 24:1-25:46. In paralela se gasesc pildele si in Marcu 13:1-37 si in Luca 21:5-36. A doua oara, a mers sa se roage in gradina Ghetimani (pe Muntele Maslinilor) in seara cand a fost vandut de Iuda.
  • Isus s-a inaltat la cer de pe Muntele Maslinilor. Faptele Apostolilor 1:9-12
  • Isus se va reintoarce pe Muntele Maslinilor. Scrie in Zaharia 14:4 – Picioarele Lui vor sta în ziua aceea pe muntele Măslinilor, care este în faţa Ierusalimului, spre răsărit; muntele Măslinilor se va despica la mijloc, spre răsărit şi spre apus, şi se va face o vale foarte mare: jumătate din munte se va trage înapoi spre miază noapte, iar jumătate spre miazăzi. In anul 1964 s-a construit un hotel pe Muntele Maslinilor, la excavari au aflat ca pe mijlocul muntelui exista o falie sau paraclaza, care  reprezintă o ruptură apărută în scoarța Pământului si care cauzeaza cutremure.

Dr. David Reagan: Welcome to the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. I have come here to the city of Jerusalem to explore 4 mountains; 3 of them are important in biblical history and in Bible prophecy. The 4th is important because of what is situated on it. The 4 mountains are: The Mount of Olives, The Temple Mount, Mount Zion, ad Mount Hertzel. I want to point out right here at the beginning that these mountains we’re gonna be taking a look at are really not mountains by american standards. We would call them hills. But in the Bible, they are referred to as mountains. And, you know, they really are, when you consider the fact that they are high hills here in Israel, and Israel really only has one true mountain by american standards. That’s Mt. Hermon, which is located on the far north, on the border with Syria.

The first mountain we are going to take a look at is the Mount of Olives, and the best place where we can get a good view of it is from the Eastern Gate of the Old City.

2:00 – Well, here we are, at the Eastern Gate, sometimes referred to as the Beautiful Gate or the Golden Gate. It was a gate that was used for ceremonial purposes by priests, during the time of Jesus. As you can see, there’s a cemetery here in front of the gate. It’s a moslem cemetery that was placed here for a very definite reason, but we’ll talk more about that when we focus on the Temple Mount. For now, our subject is the Mount of Olives. Directly below me is a deep ravine, called The Kidron Valley. This valley runs North and South.  and it separates the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is located to the east of the city. This is the mount from which Jesus ascended into heaven. It is also the place that the Bible says He will return to. At the base of the mount is the Church of All Nations, also called the Church of the Agony. It is located at the traditional site of the Garden of Ghetsemane…. On the top of the mountain, we see the Hotel of the Seven Arches. When it was built, in 1964, it was discovered that a major geological faultline lies beneath it.  That is significant, because the Book of Zechariah says in chapter 14, that when the Messiah returns to the Mount of Olives, it will split in half when His feet touch the ground.

The Mount of Olives runs North and South along the Kidron Valley. It’s a ridge mountain. And when you reach Hebrew University, where you see that tall spire, the name of the mountain changes to Mt. Scopus. It is where Titus and his legions camped, while they destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Let’s go now to an observation site on the Mount of Olives.(4:10 min. mark)

VIDEO by ChristInProphecy

Question: „What happened on the Mount of Olives?”

Answer: Jesus made many visits to the Mount of Olives (Luke 21:37). In fact, it was “usual” for Him to go there when in the vicinity of Jerusalem (Luke 22:39). The Bible records two visits to the Mount of Olives, both in the last week of Jesus’ life, in which something of significance happened. The first visit was to deliver what has come to be known as the Olivet Discourse, recorded in Matthew 24:1—25:46. Parallel passages are found in Mark 13:1–37and Luke 21:5–36. The second visit was on the night He was betrayed. That evening began with the Last Supper and ended in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives.

The content of the Olivet Discourse is Jesus’ response to His disciples’ question “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). The content of what Jesus taught in Matthew 24–25 primarily refers to the future tribulation period and the second coming of Christ at the end of the tribulation. The Discourse includes parables about those who wait for the Master’s coming—the wise and faithful servant (Matthew 24:45-51), the five wise virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), and the good servant who uses his “talents” (money) wisely as he waits for the Master’s return (Matthew 25:14-30).

Jesus’ second visit to the Mount of Olives followed His last Passover meal with His disciples, in which He established the New Covenant and then revealed Judas as the one who would betray His master (John 13:1-30). At the conclusion of the meal, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-29;1 Corinthians 11:23-26). After the meal, He took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane, literally “oil-press,” located on a slope of the Mount of Olives just across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem. There Jesus prayed in agony as He contemplated the day to come. So overcome by the horror of what He was to experience in the crucifixion the following day that God sent an angel from heaven to strengthen Him (Luke 22:43).

After this, Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, arrived with a “multitude” of soldiers, high priests, Pharisees, and servants to arrest Jesus. Judas identified Him by the prearranged signal of a kiss which he gave to Jesus. Trying to protect Jesus, Peter took a sword and attacked a man named Malthus, the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Jesus rebuked Peter and healed the man’s ear, displaying the miraculous power of God. Nevertheless, they arrested Him and took Him to Pontius Pilate, while the disciples scattered in fear for their lives.

The Mount of Olives is also mentioned in the Book of Zechariah. In a prophecy related to the end times, the Prophet Zechariah declared, „On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south” (Zechariah 14:4). This prophecy, related to the triumphant coming of the Messiah, connects to both of the above Mount of Olives passages. It connects with the Olivet Discourse in that both passages refer to the end times. It connects with the Garden of Gethsemane in that the very location where Jesus was betrayed and rejected will be the same location where Jesus returns triumphantly.

Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/Mount-of-Olives

Passion Week – Tuesday – Olivet Discourse

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian (pentru tot articolul).

Saptamana Mare – Ce s-a intamplat Marti.
~~~In drum inapoi spre Ierusalim, ucenicii vad ca smochinul blestemat s-a uscat. (Matei 21 si Marcu 11)
~~~Autoritatea lui Isus este contestata de preoti la Templu
~~~Matei 22
Pilde care ne invata despre venirea Domnului
~~~Matei 23
Vai de voi cărturari şi farisei ipocriţi!
~~~Olivet discourse – Isus invata pe Muntele Maslinilor
Luca 21 & Matei 25 vorbeste despre revenirea Lui
Pilda fecioarelor, pilda talantilor, si judecata finala

  1. On the way back to Jerusalem in the morning the disciples see the withered fig tree.
  2. In Jerusalem there are more temple controversies, and then Jesus delivers the Olivet Discourse on the return back to Bethany.

„Olivet Discourse” is a name given to 4 special chapters in the Bible. It includes Matthew 24th-25th, Mark 13th and Luke 21st chapters. In all of these chapters Jesus speaks about the „End-Times” which will come upon humanity. Jesus gave these messages to the apostles while they were upon the Mount of Olives, hence the name: Olivet Discourse.

A study by Hampton Keathley IV at Bible.org

Introduction

You must be aware that these are probably the most debated parables in the Bible. Many of the books and journal articles and articles on the internet that I read said all the characters in these parables were believers. Instead of seeing that these are parables about salvation, they see them as parables about rewards or loss of rewards. It is the same argument that we dealt with a few weeks ago in our discussion of the marriage feast and the outer darkness.

Because of the context and because the punishment for the unfaithful is so severe, I see them as all dealing with salvation issues. But rewards are also taught.

These are extremely difficult parables to interpret. I’m tempted to just tell you what I think they mean and ignore all the other views, but I think it is good for you to hear the other interpretations and do your own wrestling with the details.

Context of Matthew 25

Olivet discourse – events of tribulation leading up to 2nd coming.

In Matt 24:36 Jesus begins to answer the question of when He will be returning.

It will be just like in Noah’s day when people didn’t believe Noah and were surprised when it started raining. In the same way, even when people are in the tribulation, experiencing the wrath of God, many are still not going to believe.

So, the when it says „two will be in the field, and one will be taken…” the one taken will be taken to judgment. And the appearance of the thief in the next section is to judge the unbelieving. They didn’t believe the thief was coming. They didn’t believe that God was coming to hold them accountable.

I think that this theme of judging the unbelieving is continued in these next four parables. Although the text doesn’t use the word believe, those that get judged all have actions that indicate they didn’t believe. And their judgment is severe: they get cut to pieces, locked outside, sent to the outer darkness, etc.

And in each parable those who are judged are contrasted to others who not only believed, but were prepared, faithful, fruitful, etc. And those got rewarded for their faithfulness.

We talked about it a couple weeks ago, but this is what some call „Matthew’s rejection imagery.” He always mixes rewards for some with eternal damnation for others, like it all happens at the same event. It sort of makes you wonder if perhaps it does? But then that would make us amillennial or something like that.

Anyway, I want to give you the plot up front. Because I’m going to be discussing other views mixed with my views (notice I didn’t say „the correct view”), I think it might be helpful to have the „Big Idea” in your heads as we study the parables.

These parables are designed to teach the immanent return of Christ. It could be real soon, or it could be a long time away. But either way, we need to go ahead and live our lives but stay prepared. We need to live and work like the master is going to be back any minute. Because we are going to be rewarded for how hard we worked while he was gone.

Wise and Evil Slaves contrasted

Matthew 24:45-51 also in Luke 12:41-48

Some say because these are slaves, they are both saved. And some say that there is only one slave in the parable. The slave starts off being faithful, but then changes later in life and becomes an unfaithful, evil slave. Dillow makes a big deal out of the word „that” in vs 48 saying that it proves that this is the same slave. And since the slave was once very faithful, he must now just be carnal. Since he was saved, he still is saved, but just carnal or unfaithful, he does not go to hell. He just loses rewards and is very sad.

But, concerning the idea that „since they are both slaves, they are both saved” – In all of Jesus’ parables he contrasts two or three people with the same social status. How else is he going to create tension and contrast? He always uses slaves and sons because God is the Master of all. Slaves and sons are the natural examples to represent this relationship between God and man. The idea behind all these parables is that humans have an equal opportunity to respond, believe, etc. Some do, and some don’t. And here’s what’s going to happen to them.

Concerning the idea that this is one slave who changes. The phrase „if that slave” does refer back to this hypothetical slave. This is not a story about a slave who later in life started backsliding. Jesus is just giving an example.

Jesus is saying: Let’s take a slave… If that slave does this… he will be rewarded. However, if that slave does this… he will be cut into pieces.

He is a wise slave if he believes and anticipates master’s return and faithfully carries out the master’s orders. If he does this, he will be rewarded.

He is an evil slave if he doesn’t believe his master will return.

If the slave takes no note of the coming return and deludes himself into thinking either it will never happen or that he will have time to reform, he will be severely punished. It says he will be cut to pieces.

I believe “cut off” may be a better translation because in Qumran literature this word is used for excommunication and being cut off from the rest of the group. And I think the idea of separation fits better with the context – the punishment that all the bad guys receive in this string of parables is separation from God. Either way, it is severe punishment. Perhaps too severe for a believer?

Application:

This represents a universal principle. If a person doesn’t really believe that there is a God who will hold them accountable when they die, they aren’t very likely to feel a need to “trust” in God or obey his commandments.

I’ve also heard of people who believed that there was a God and he would hold them accountable, but they didn’t want to change their lifestyle and figured they would just „get religion” later. This parable speaks to them too. You never know when God will return or if you will die in a car wreck tomorrow.

We also see the result is a lifestyle that is abusive (beat his fellow slaves) and destructive (eat and drink with drunkards.)

Speaking of „beating his fellow slaves.” Some say because he beat his fellow slaves then he must be saved because they were his fellow slaves. My question is „who else is a slave going to beat?” Free men? If he is going to be abusive to his fellow man, it has got to be another slave. We can’t read into this „a salvation relationship with God” because of his association with other slaves. Just like we can’t read into the passage that because we have two slaves, we have two saved people in view.

Ten Virgins

This is a much debated parable. No one can agree what anything means.

“Virgins” – Some say that they are called “virgins” to emphasize their purity and that this means all ten were Christians (Dillow). Most say they represent people in the tribulation.

“Lamps” People argue whether these were little bowl lamps or torches. Then they argue about what the lamps represent. Some think the lamps and their light represent knowledge. Stedman says the ladies each had light to start with. Which would equate to people having a certain degree of knowledge about the Lord’s return. But for five of them, that knowledge was just academic. It really hadn’t gripped them.

Others think the lamps represents works which are the believer’s „light” or testimony to the world.

The light was supplied by the oil, and therefore it was absolutely essential that they have an adequate supply of oil, otherwise their light would go out. So what does the oil represent.

“Oil” – Some say it is the Holy Spirit (Walvoord, Stedman), some say it is works, others say it is faith.

Here is an example of the type of reasoning you run across when reading the commentators.

In verse 3 we have one of the major interpretive problems of the parable. What does the olive-oil represent? There is a quick answer that suggest that the olive-oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. However that interpretation must be resisted because the Holy Spirit is a gift and cannot be bought. The instructions to go and buy some more would make no sense at all in the case of the Holy Spirit. I think the answer must be found in seeing that the oil is only important when it is set on fire. In other words when it is giving light. The symbol of light rather than oil helps us because then we realize that Jesus is talking about the good works of the believer which he/she does before men which constitutes them the light of the world. The foolish virgins had no oil therefore they had no works with which to greet the bride-groom.1

His argument against this being the Holy Spirit because you can’t buy the Holy Spirit doesn’t make any sense. You can’t buy works or faith either. So that is no argument. It is a good example of one’s conclusion driving his reasons. When I come across a paragraph like that, it makes me want to stop reading the rest of the paper because I question the validity of any of his arguments.

If you think the oil is works, then you have to decide if the five foolish ladies were saved or not. If they were not saved, then the lack of works proved that they were not saved (lordship view). And not getting into the banquet is the same as not getting into heaven.

If you think the ladies were saved, then you will say that the ladies didn’t get any rewards. And that the banquet represents rewards or reigning with Christ (Free Grace view).

Some say that the foolish virgins had oil to start with (Dillow) and so had faith and so were saved. But others argue that that is not necessarily so (Walvoord). It says they rose, trimmed their lamps and lit them. But since they did not have oil in them, they immediately went out. So, it is more probable that they didn’t have any oil to start with.

What do I think?

Because this parable starts off with “the kingdom of heaven is like…” I think it is a salvation parable. Matthew uses this phrase eleven times and in the other parables where this phrase is used, the parables are about salvation and getting into the kingdom of heaven. Maybe I should say that out of these eleven parables. They are clearly about salvation or debated. None are clearly not about salvation.

The term virgins is not significant. The idea is just that they were young unmarried ladies. The term “virgin” was often used that way. Perhaps bridesmaids would be a better term.

Five are prepared – have their own oil. Five are unprepared – couldn’t borrow oil. I think that the symbolism is that you can’t get into heaven with someone else’s faith.

Banquet imagery to an Israelite is a reference to kingdom with God and His bride, Israel. This is not the Bema and wedding feast with Christ and Church. Remember the context is judgment at the 2nd coming, not the rapture.

The five were left outside (never made it in banquet hall as in Matt 22). So if you go to Matt 22 and make a big deal about the fact that the guy without wedding clothes made it into the banquet and was therefore saved, then those that argue that the virgins are saved (to be consistent with their interpretation of Matt 22) have to reconcile the fact that here they didn’t get in.

The Lord didn’t know them – cf. Matt 7:21 which is the same statement and those clearly do not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Once the door was closed, it was too late to enter. Those who are shut out miss not simply a fine meal, but also the kingdom itself. Similar imagery to Luke 13:22–29 which talks about the narrow door, not being known by the Lord, banquet imagery and weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Application:

Where the last parable taught that the Lord could return sooner than expected, this one teaches that there may be quite a delay before the Lord returns. We know that in fact there has been. It’s been almost 2,000 years so far. Both the wise and foolish virgins slept. But they are not condemned for it. Perhaps the point is that we need to go ahead and live our lives. Not sell everything and go wait on the mountain top for the Lord’s return.The main point of the parable is that even if it might be a long time before the Lord returns, don’t wait until the last minute to get prepared, because you never know when that last minute will be and you may miss out.

And I think preparation is faith.

Talents

Another Kingdom of heaven is like parable – “it is like” refers back to 25:1 – Some try to say this is different because 25:14 doesn’t say “kingdom,” but the “it” has to have an antecedent. What else are you going to link the “it” to?

Big debate is whether or not the slaves represent saved people or not. Some try to argue that since they were all slaves, they were all saved. We’ve already dealt with that assumption.

But, there is a big contrast going on between the first two slaves and the third slave. The third slave did not know the master. He thought he understood what was required of him, but he was wrong. Maybe it is like the person who thinks he will get into heaven for being mostly good.

When confronted by the master, this wicked slave argued beligerantly and attempted to make his laziness a necessity and a virtue. By defaming the master, portraying him as one who enriched himself by exploiting others, he attempted to excuse his own actions. When I read his response, my thought is this: There may be shame at the Bema seat when Christ reveals our deeds, but not defiance. Does this sound like a Christian at the Bema seat? Does it sound like he “knows” the Master? Therefore, I have difficulty thinking that this third slave is saved.

This man seems to have given in to some cunning reasoning. It is much like the thinking of Judas Iscariot when he sold his Lord. Judas reasoned, if He is really the Messiah, my betrayal will not hurt anything and I will get my money from the High Priest. If He is not the Messiah, then at least I get the money. This one-talent man reasoned somewhat the same way. His lord was going on a far journey. If the servant put the money in the bank, he would have to register it in his lord’s name. Then when his lord did not come back, his heirs could claim it. He reasoned, however, that if be buried it in the backyard, there would be no record. If his master did not come back, the servant would have it for himself. If he does come back, he could not accuse him of dishonesty because he could produce the talent. It was a cunning that was built upon uncertainty that the Lord was returning. He just did not believe that his lord was coming back. If he had, he would have handled the money differently. This is what the lord meant when be said that he was a wicked servant.2

The mixture of rewards and judgment – fits Matthew’s rejection imagery. He usually globs these together like an OT prophet did when looking at the 1st and 2nd advents of Christ. Also, the Bible talks about rewards and loss of rewards (1 Cor 3:15) at Bema, not rewards and judgment. So, I think we must be careful not to say that, because some got rewards, we are at the Bema and all were saved, and the third guy just lost rewards. I think his punishment is too severe.

The description of the servant’s attitude suggests something qualitatively different from the other two servants found faithful. There is a definite contrast going on here. The works are indicative of the relationship with the master. The third slave had no works which in the gospels is the same as having no faith.

Free grace people balk at this statement because Lordship people think the logical conclusion is that one has to have good works to prove that he is saved. In the gospels we do have statements like when Jesus says, “Why do you call me Lord and do not do what I say?” But when we read Paul we get in to issues such as carnality, getting to heaven as though through fire, etc. So we know that works don’t always follow. But when we are dealing with parables, we need to let them use their terminology.

Sheep and Goats

We see the Son of Man coming in glory with his angels. This is the second coming, not the rapture.

Judgment results in entrance to heaven or being sent to hell.

The rejection of the goats was not based on what they did, but on what they failed to do. It was a sin of omission toward “the least of these” (cf. the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19–31). God abhors not simply the performing of sinful acts but also the omission of deeds. Failure to do good is in fact to do evil. In addition the free gift of grace (as represented in Matt 20:1–16) has to be reconciled with the role of works (as here in 25:31–46 {Matt 25}). The works are the fruit that demonstrates the reality of the conversion of one’s heart. The love shown by these deeds of mercy springs from true faith. As Walvoord affirms, “What is presented here is not the basis or ground of salvation but the evidence of it…. Accordingly, while works are not the ground of justification for salvation, they can be the fruit or evidence of it.”

Since our section started off with judgment resulting in hell and Since it is clear from this parable that they are judged by their works and sent to hell for not having the works – which represent faith – why do people have such a difficult time believing that the parables in between say the same basic thing?

Summary

In summary several points are worth highlighting.

First, in each parable the judgment occurs at the consummation of this age. While the timing of that event is unknown, each follower is to be ready for and anticipate the coming kingdom.

Second, the essential nature of the judgment is soteriological. The judgment will render decisions that are eternal in nature, reflecting the status of each human being with regard to his or her eternal relationship to the kingdom. Phrases such as “the darkness outside,” the “fiery furnace,” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” describe eternal separation from the kingdom. They are not simply expressions of grief over a Christian life that did not count for much in the kingdom, for they are figures and phrases representing an eternal exclusion from the presence of God. With this in view, it has been suggested that salvation in these parables is viewed as a “whole,” not simply as a point of entry. The “sons of the kingdom” and the “sons of the evil one” (Matt 13:38) are on opposite sides of the soteriological divide. There is no room for purgatory, universalism, or a view that some may miss the heavenly “banquet” while yet retaining a right to entry into the kingdom (i.e. “salvation,” in Pauline terms). Those who are rejected are permanently excluded.

Third, the basis for this eternal judgment is the individual’s works. In some cases the emphasis is on faithfulness to a job assigned: perhaps in a picture of preparation for an event, or a picture of the fruit of the believer. But however it was pictured, works were the key to the judgment.

What complicates the problem is that the decision for rejection or acceptance is presented as a soteriological decision based on these works. Such a judgment is highlighted by the parables of the Wheat and the Tares (perhaps along with the Narrow Door and the Virgins) in which those who appear to fit into the proper categories do not do so (even when they think they do) since they were not properly prepared for the kingdom. Perhaps the clearest example is the parable of the Sheep and the Goats, in which eternal life and eternal perdition are the options meted out based on how people treated the followers of the Son of Man.

Works are not separated from the faith one exercises for entrance to the kingdom for works are evidence of that faith. A true change of heart will be reflected in a person’s life. A lack of that change is apparently enough to prevent entrance into the eschatological kingdom (the goats are prohibited from entrance because of their actions while the sheep are given entrance because of their works); but works are never ultimately separated from the faith of the individual, for it was also shown that works are not in themselves enough to impress the Son of Man positively in His role as judge (cf. Matt 7:21–23).

Paul wrote with different emphases in mind, focusing clearly on the entrance requirements into salvation, namely, justification by faith. While the Synoptics support the role of faith in establishing one’s relationship with God (usually in phrases such as “repent and believe the gospel”), they tend to emphasize the whole life of faith for the believer. In other words the life of a follower of Jesus is to be a constant exercise of faith in order to obey and please God. Paul clearly recognized this same truth, for he knew that something started by faith cannot be perfected by works (the burden of Galatians).

Conclusion

These parables are designed to teach the immanent return of Christ. It could be real soon, or it could be a long time away. But either way, we need to be go ahead and live our lives (sleep like the virgins did) but stay prepared. We need to live and work like the master is going to be back any minute (like the faithful servant did), because we are going to be rewarded for how hard we worked while he was gone (parable of talents).

c

Cuplu crestin condamnat la moarte in Pakistan – Judge Orders Execution of Christian Couple (Please pray for them and their kids)

Photo credit www.cbn.com

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

A judge in Pakistan has sentenced a Christian couple to death on false charges of blasphemy. The judge ordered their execution after convicting them for sending a text message critical of the Islamic prophet Mohammed. VOM Canada partner Gary Lane of Christian World News reports. (See full story below the video).

ROMANIAN:

Un cuplu creştin a fost condamnat la moarte pentru blasfemie de către un tribunal din Pakistan.

Shafqat Emmanuel și soția lui, Kausar Shagufta, au fost găsiți vinovați de trimiterea de mesaje SMS insultătoare la adresa Profetul Mahomed.
Potrivit acuzării, mesajele au fost trimise de cei doi soți unor persoane influente din provincia Punjab, care împărtășesc religia islamică.
Avocatul inculpatului a declarat că verdictul a fost pronunțat în lipsa unor dovezi și că islamiștii au exercitat presiuni asupra instanței.
Sursa: http://romanian.ruvr.ru

Adaug: Potrivit Christian World News in acest video, Shafqat Emmanuel este paralizat si nu-si poate folosi mainile, iar sotia sa nu stie nici sa scrie si nici sa citeasca si nu au avut cum sa trimita mesajele. Pe deasupra, ei au raportat telefonul furat cu mult timp inainte de a fi invinuiti ca ar fi trimis un mesaj insultator profetului islamic Mohamed.

From Christian World News – VIDEO by VOM C

Story from www.cbn.com:

A judge in Pakistan has sentenced a Christian couple to death on false charges of blasphemy.

The judge ordered their execution after convicting them for sending a text message critical of the Islamic prophet Mohammed.

Rampaging Muslim mobs are often seen in Pakistan when adherents of the Islamic faith are offended. Irate militants riot and are ready to beat and kill anyone simply accused of blasphemy against their holy book, faith, or prophet.

That was the response last July when an imam in the city of Gojra accused Christians Shafqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta of texting him a blasphemous message against Mohammed.

Police arrested and jailed the couple.

Keith Davies, with Rescue Christians, told CBN News the allegations against the two are bogus.

„The wife cannot write–she’s illiterate. The husband is a cripple from his waist down, can’t move, and they had a cell phone that they lost and they reported it to the owner of the store,” Davies explained. „The store manager testified in court (twice) that it was reported stolen and was reported missing to him.”

Despite a lack of evidence, Shafqat and his wife were sentenced to death.

Davies alleges that Muslim extremists either bribed or intimidated both the prosecutor and judge assigned to the case.

„We had people who had private meetings with the judge who said, ‘Are you crazy? I have to convict, I have to sentence them to death otherwise I’ll be killed.'”

Like Davies, Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern, believes the Christian couple will eventually be released.

„For now the couple will sit in prison for the next five to six years until it reaches a high court,” King said. „They’re often released then if they’re not killed in prison, though. In the meantime, what happens with their kids?”

Davies said the children haven’t seen their parents since the arrest nine months ago.

„They’ve also been threatened with death because extremists there want to kill the whole family. And their grandfather has expressed concern about his ability to care for these children in the long term,” he said.

„He’s 86-years old,” Davies said. „So he’s not in a position to provide aid and to bring these children up. But our organization has the ability to help these children.”

Davies told CBN News Rescue Christians is caring for the children at a secret location.

Pakistani Christians Shafqat and Shagufta are not alone. Others, like Asia Bibi, still waste away in prison–also accused of blasphemy, also sentenced to death.

„You know, cases like this and some others make a lot of noise and they get some attention but the tragedy is there are so many more and they are sitting quietly, no one knows about them,” King said.

So, what can be done? Both King and Davies say the U.S. government gives millions of dollars each year to Pakistan. With that money comes political leverage to gain the release of those like Shafqat and Shagufta.

„Our goal is to secure their release and we’re going to put as much pressure as we possibly can to try and do that,” Davies insisted.

„We all know to pray, but at the same time we need to get on the phone with our legislators and say what is going on,” King explained. „Without political pressure, strong political pressure from the United States, it’s not going to happen.”

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