Flower

Call to Worship May 6 2018

Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke, J.C. Ryle – Luke 12:32-48

“We learn, secondly, from these verses — the dreadful danger of those who neglect the duties of their calling. Of such our Lord declares, that they shall be “cut in pieces, and their portion appointed with the unbelievers.” These words no doubt apply especially to the ministers and teachers of the Gospel. Yet we must not flatter ourselves that they are confined to them. They are probably meant to convey a lesson to all who fill offices of high responsibility. It is a striking fact that when Peter says at the beginning of the passage, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” — our Lord gives him no answer. Whoever occupies a position of trust, and neglects his duties — would do well to ponder this passage, and learn wisdom.

The language which our Lord Jesus uses about slothful and unfaithful servants, is particularly severe. Few places in the Gospels contain such strong expressions as this. It is a vain delusion to suppose that the Gospel speaks nothing but “smooth things.” The same loving Savior who holds out mercy to the uttermost to the penitent and believing — never shrinks from holding up the judgments of God against those who despise His counsel.

Let no man deceive us on this subject. There is a Hell for such an one as goes on still in his wickedness — no less than a Heaven for the true believer in Jesus. There is such a thing as “the wrath of the Lamb!” (Revelation 6:16.)

Let us strive so to live, that whenever the heavenly Master comes, we may be found ready to receive Him. Let us watch our hearts with a godly jealousy, and beware of the least symptom of unreadiness for the Lord’s appearing. Especially let us beware of any rising disposition to lower our standard of Christian holiness — to dislike people who are more spiritually-minded than ourselves — and to conform to the world. The moment we detect such a disposition in our hearts — we may be sure that our souls are in great peril! The professing Christian who begins to persecute God’s people, and to take pleasure in worldly society — is on the high road to eternal ruin!

We learn, lastly, from these verses — that the greater a man’s religious light is, the greater is his guilt if he is not converted. The servant which “knew his master’s will, but did not do it — shall be beaten with many stripes.” “Unto whom much is given — of him shall be much required.”

The lesson of these words is one of wide application. It demands the attention of many classes. It should come home to the conscience of every professing Christian. His judgment shall be far more strict, than that of the heathen who never saw the Bible.

It should come home to every hearer of the Gospel. If he remains unconverted — then he is far more guilty than the inhabitant of some dark land, who never hears any teaching but a sort of semi-heathen morality.

It should come home to every child and servant in Christian families. All such are far more blameworthy, in God’s sight — than those who live in houses where there is no honor paid to the Word of God and prayer. Let these things never be forgotten. Our judgment at the last day — will be according to our light and opportunities.

What are we doing ourselves with our religious knowledge? Are we using it wisely, and turning it to good account? Or are we content with the barren saying, “We know it — we know it!” and secretly flattering ourselves that the mere knowledge of our Lord’s will makes us better than others — while that will is not done?

Let us beware of eternal mistakes! The day will come, when unimproved knowledge — will be found the most perilous of possessions. Thousands will awake to find that they are in a lower place in Hell, than the most ignorant and idolatrous heathen. Their knowledge not used, and their light not followed — will only add to their condemnation.”

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