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Perishing 3

For the past few weeks, we’ve been studying perishing.  Our jumping off point has been [2 Peter 3:9]. 

We have already established the fact that those who have not accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal savior is already dead in their trespasses and sins.  Therefore, they cannot perish.  Only those that have life can perish. So we see the word perish or perishing, and we associate it with those who are born from above; we associate it with those that have life.  Other than the passages that deal with physical perishing or physical death as, such as when Herod tried to destroy or put to death the Lord Jesus Christ as we read in Matthew 2:13, which says, “And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him”.  Only those who have life can perish.  This is not talking about losing one’s everlasting salvation; that can never, under any circumstance be lost, nor can it even be forfeited.

[Luke 19]  This is the story of Zacchaeus and the parable of the pounds, and we’re going to look at that today.  The two go together in a sense; the parable of the pounds and the story of Zacchaeus.  I want us to look at perishing in this passage, and then look at the context.  [Luke 19:10; those who are perishing.]  Here we find the word perishing again.

If you look in verse 2, it says that he was rich and Zacchaeus was interested in seeing the Lord, so he climbs up in the sycamore tree and in [verses 5-9].

We could take this two different ways:  We could take this that Zacchaeus was a saved man who was interested in the Lord.  If that’s the case, then the salvation referred to in verse 9 is not the common salvation.  If this is the case, then the salvation referred to in verse 9 has to do with the salvation of the soul, not of being born from above.

I’m going to take it that Zacchaeus was not a saved man and that he was not saved until [verse 6; received – aorist; joyfully – present, active, participle].  He received the Lord joyfully, but the Lord didn’t make any reference to that salvation which is from above (born from above). He does make reference to salvation after Zacchaeus did something, though.  This is where works come in.  Is our salvation based on works?  Our works are as filthy rags; there’s nothing we can do to deserve salvation and nothing we can do of our own power to make us worthy of receiving rewards.

[Verse 8]  Zacchaeus repented really, is what he did.  Zacchaeus said, “half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation [blackmail], I restore him fourfold.”  [It’s not necessarily an admission of wrongdoing, but intent.]  So, here we find Zacchaeus repenting, and then Jesus said, [Luke 19:9].

[Galatians 3]  The point I want you to see is that Zacchaeus is responding and repenting in a way that would qualify him for positions of authority in the coming Kingdom.  He does something and Jesus says, “He is also a son of Abraham”.  [In Gal 3:7:  sons, not children]  [Galatians 3:29]  [Galatians 3:29; Zacchaeus]

When we talk about an inheritance according to the promise, our inheritance is based upon works that are performed under grace.  If works are not performed in grace, they take upon themselves the nature of wood, hay, and stubble, and there is no inheritance.

So, Zacchaeus repented and salvation came to this house.  Now, let’s look in [Luke 19:11-14].  His citizens said they would not have this man to rule over them.  [Verse 15]  Again, here works are involved.  This parable has to do with the Kingdom.  It has to do with profit and loss with the money the lord gave his servants; it has to do with stewardship of what they had been given.  And in [verse 16-17:17 – he was a faithful servant.]  Here, we have the Lord of lords and the King of kings providing himself with lords and kings.  If he’s the Lord of lords (plural), then he must have lords to be lord over.  If he’s the King of kings, then he must have kings to be king over.

So, here we find a good and faithful servant having authority over 10 cities.  [Verses 18-20]  Here’s the unfaithful servant.  Notice that he puts his pound in a napkin.  It’s interesting to note that the word “napkin” is found elsewhere in relation to the lord Jesus Christ and his grave clothes.  A napkin covered his head.  [John 20:7 has Peter and John coming and looking in the sepulcher and seeing what is in there, and this verse says, “And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.”]

In fact, “napkin” is found in only four verses:  Luke 19:20, [John 11:44], John 20:7, and [Acts 19:12].  In the Bible, it has to do with grave clothes of sorts, which brings all sorts of implications to Acts 19:12; think about that for a while this week.  [Thoughts?]

The thing I want you to see is that this fellow (a wicked servant, but he is a servant) in Luke 19 wrapped his pound in dead works.  When you think of the napkin, think of grave clothes and think of dead works.  It’s interesting to note that in the situation of Lazarus, that Jesus raised him from the dead, but he had others to roll the stone away and take away the grave clothes.  He uses each of us to help each other in putting off dead works.

Notice when he says, continuing, [Luke 19:21-22a; wicked servant].  This expression “wicked servant” is used in a few places in the Bible:  Here in Luke 19 and a couple of times in Matthew.  Let’s look at of these.

[Matthew 13]  This is the parable of the dragnet.  We’re going to look at this more closely in the coming weeks, but we’re going to look at it in relation to perishing right now, to try to get a better understanding and lay groundwork.  [Verses 47-49; 49 – end of the age]  We’ve already determined that the just are those who live blamelessly before the Lord in keeping his commandments.  But here, the wicked are severed from the just.

Many people say that this is gathering the lost in one way and the saved in another way, but that’s wrong!  This has to do with the Kingdom of the Heavens, which is the rule of the heavens over this earth, which will happen at the end of this age, and notice what happens:  [Verse 50]  Disappointment and frustration; weeping and gnashing of teeth at the Judgment Seat of Christ for lack qualifications of ruling and reigning with the Lord in the coming Kingdom.

[Matthew 18]  This is the parable of the unmerciful servant.  [Matthew 18:32-33]  Here, we’re shown an unforgiving spirit.  A person who has an unforgiving spirit is called a wicked servant.

[Matthew 25]  Here’s the parable of the talents, which is given as a sort of an explanation of the parable of the virgins.  [Matthew 25:26]  What did they do with that wicked and slothful servant?  [Matthew 25:30]  No reward.  He was cast into a place apart from the glory of the coming Kingdom.

[Hebrews 3:12]  Here again, we find the word wicked (evil –wicked) with a heart of unbelief.  This is talking about the children of Israel, and because of their wicked heart; because of their unbelief; there is a departing from the Lord.  That’s what happens.  [The Bible will keep us from sin or sin will keep us from the Bible.]

So, we find in Luke 19 a servant who hid his pound in a napkin is referred to as one of unbelief.  Now, here’s the exhortation in [Luke 19:23-26]  (Now you know and you’re responsible; relate story of the native; “thanks a lot”!)  There’s no profit; there’s no usury on what the servant had been entrusted with.  Even that which he has is taken away and given to him that hath 10 pounds.  This cannot be talking about common salvation because that cannot be taken away!  But, even that which he has is taken away, and this is where the double portion is going to come.

The double portion of the inheritance is going to come when the Lord takes from the unfaithful Christians that which he had given them (that which he had entrusted them to be faithful with) and gives that to the Christian who was faithful.

[Luke 19:27]  This is the rough part.  This is where we find those Christians who are his enemies.  That may disturb some of you, but in [James 4:4], we find who God’s enemies are.  There are plenty of Christians today that are very friendly with the world.  They’ve made a close friendship with the world.  In James 4, we find that the enemy is one that would rather respond to the world than to have the Lord reign over him.  The enemy won’t let the Lord have charge over him; won’t have the Lord to rule and to reign in his life; won’t be led of the Holy Spirit today.

Now, I think that the enemies that would not have him reign over them are associated with the house of Israel because of verse 14 of this particular passage in Luke 19, but it also applies to believers today because as the nation of Israel at the time the Lord was here on earth were the only ones who could qualify to rule and to reign.  But that’s been taken away from them and we now can qualify.  The Gentiles as well as the Samaritans are now qualified.  Remember what [Galatians 3:29] says?  And if we will not allow the Lord to rule over us, we will lose our life.

This is what happens here at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  This is at the Judgment Seat when the faithful and unfaithful Christians are both judged.  Remember, all Christians will appear at the Judgment Seat, but only Christians will appear there.  Here we see [Luke 19:27].  They lose their life at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  That’s why the Lord says up in [Luke 19:10], “The son of man has come to seek and save those which are perishing”.

Well, that’s it.  Next week, Lord willing, I want to get into John 3:16 and related passages.  But, to get you thinking a little, I want to leave you with a teaser.

[John 3:16; literal]  This word, “should not perish”, is in the subjunctive mood.  That means that it’s one removed from the indicative.  You have the indicative, the subjunctive, the optative, and the imperative in the Greek.

Indicative means there is no doubt about it.  [Acts 16:31] says, “believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved”.  That’s the indicative.  It’s simply a statement of fact.

Subjunctive means that it’s probable but there’s the possibility of failure.  [Shopping; I don’t plan on buying anything.]  Acts 16:30 says, “what must I do to be saved?”  Or, literally, “what must I do that I may be being saved?”  What is my salvation dependent upon?  That’s the subjunctive.

The optative is what Paul used when they were traveling from Crete and he said in Acts 27:12, “And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.”  That they might attain to Phenice.  What happened?  They didn’t winter there; they shipwrecked in Malta.  So that just shows how the optative is used.

The imperative gives no indication of the fulfillment of that verb; it’s just a command and there’s no guarantee that that command will ever be carried out.  Acts 16:31 says, “believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved”.  “Believe” is in the imperative; it is a command; but there is not indication of fulfillment.  You may either believe or not.

So, in John 3:16, “that we should not perish, but have life for the coming age”.  Well, we will look at that in the future and study it in the light of John 3:3 and 3:5.  Because in John 3:16, you have both John 3:3 and John 3:5.