He That Overcometh

    For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:  thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:14-30
 
    Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: but when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred
 
    The sower soweth the Word.  And these are they by the way side, where the Word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the Word that was sown in their hearts.  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the Word’s sake, immediately they are offended.  And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the Word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becometh unfruitful.  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the Word, and receive it , and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Mark 4:3-8,14-20
 
    That is a lot of scripture, but I wanted to ensure that the Words spoken by Jesus were neither taken out of context nor short changed.  So, if we look at these two parables, we can see they play on one another.
 
    In Matthew, Christ says that “the kingdom of Heaven is as…“, which means it’s just like this.  He compares what He has done as a man traveling far into a foreign country.  That’s what He did!  He came from Heaven, which is far from earth.  This sinful world is a far cry from the perfection of Heaven.  Yet, He comes here and becomes a Man, One of us, that He may commune with us Himself and His message of love.  And so, seeing this, we must see the rest of this parable in the same way.
 
    The man called his servants, which is Jesus calling we who have believed to Him that we have become His bond servants.  The man then gives out the talents according to each man’s ability, which is Jesus giving us our own responsibilities and gifts of the Spirit to be used for the kingdom which He knows we will be equipped to handle or use for the greater good of the Body, and then the man journeys on, which is Christ ascending to the right hand of the Father until He returns the second time.
 
    So, we then see that each servant shares the talents and brings in more than he started.  This is God’s children, sharing the gospel, and bringing others in, saving souls by doing that which God gave them to do, and by fulfilling the Great Commission.  But the man with the one talent?
 
    That man is also the traveler’s servant!  This equates to him being a bond servant of Christ!  Yet, instead of doing God’s Work, he was hindered by fear.  Fear is of Satan, and it is one of the tools of the Devil.  That fear overwhelmed the man and he hid his talent, which means he did not share his faith, so much that no one knew he even had the talent, or was Christian, save the traveling man, Christ.  And when Jesus would return to find this child having lived a life of corruption still in the world, never speaking Truth to a single soul, selfishly hoarding God’s gift to him and shirking his responsibility to the Great Commission, Jesus would remove his salvation!  If that does not convict you, then now compare it to the parable of the tares in Mark.
 
    Look specifically at those tares sown amongst the thorns.  These are they who hear the Word, and accept it, because they grow!  But the thorns choke the Word out of them and they yield no fruit.  Why?  Because the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things all do what?  They enter in!  See, the world entices these brethren back and they fall into any or all of these temptations.  These things cause them not to share their salvation.  All because the world is once again of such importance to them that the fear of losing the world overcomes them.  They have accepted Christ and believe they can go back to the world and not have a care for the rest of mankind.  They believe that someone else will speak Truth and that it is not their responsibility.  They also believe that, since all sin is forgiven past, present, and future, the sins they return to will not matter to Christ.  But, they are wrong.  Christ does not save us in Sin, as to remain in it, but He saves us from Sin, that we are no longer slaves to it.
 
    Christ expects us to proclaim from the rooftops those things He speaks to us in private.  Our salvation was freely given, but He asks us to share what we know and believe, because what He did is for all, not just one.  We are His and we are to live for Him.
 
    Some will argue what I’ve written here, because there are many verses in the Bible which teach both ways.  But, that is why I used these verses.  Look at what Jesus says to the church in Sardis, and by doing so in the last book of the Bible, to us today, not in parables, but straight forwardly:
 
    And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.  Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy.  He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:1-6
 
    If a thing be true, then it’s opposite is also true (ex: If two plus two equals four is true, then two plus three does not equal four is also true).  For Christ to not blot out names from the book of life requires overcoming.  This is the overcoming of the world and overcoming a lack of surrender.  The church at Sardis is doing works, but the works aren’t perfect, which means they aren’t led by, nor given over to, the Holy Spirit to perform.  They are trusting in their own hands and there is much of the world in them.  So, the opposite would mean that to not surrender to Jesus and to not overcome the lusts of the world means that He will blot out names from the book of life.
 
    Don’t be deceived.  The Bible teaches us that we must maintain our faith in Christ and then we are maintaining our salvation given by Him.  But, we all make mistakes and sin every day. So, what this means is that we should not continue to sin the same way over and over, because when we do, we become deaf to the conviction of the Holy Spirit for that sin, and when that happens, we will no longer see it as sin.  Sin must be confessed as such, that The Lord may wash us clean of it again.  Unconfessed, it is left on us.  We surely don’t want to be caught by the thief in the night unprepared in such a condition.  It is not our works that save us, and it’s not our works that sanctify us, it is our faith alone.  It is the faith we have in Christ having died for us that matters.  Our salvation is given because of our faith in that.  Let’s not misplace our faith in our salvation, because that leads down a wrong road.  Let’s maintain our faith in the God Who gave it to us and what He did.  Our faith in Him keeps our salvation secure, our growth continual, our goal closer.
 

    Let’s keep our lamps filled with oil, and our faces turned toward God, constantly seeking His Face, and when we sin, confess and repent.  Let’s not turn again to the world.  The world holds nothing for us over God.  Let’s turn again to God, and let’s hurry about it before the day comes that we’ve once again forgotten about the Lord because our hearts were hardened to sin and conviction of it.  Because even if this teaching is off the mark, would we truly want to take that chance?  Seems to be that Jesus didn’t want us to.  He warned us while He was with the disciples, and He warned us through John in prison long after He ascended.  We should heed the warning and get right with the Lord, my brethren.  Repent, confess, and return to God.

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