Prescription medicines are specific remedies for specific illnesses, and they do work most of the time -- but not always. If the illness is minor, and the cure is ineffective, such is life. You’ll survive. However, what happens if your illness is serious? If the prescription fails, your illness might end in certain death! I immediately thought of personal prescriptions used for the illness (man’s original physical condition) called “sin” in the game we call life. You know the game -- the one that requires you to choose a path through life to success, while overcoming daily obstacles.
Some say, “If I make enough money, have enough things, run with a good positive mental attitude, and have a plan for the rainy days, then all my life needs will be cared for.” The “eat, drink and be merry” philosophy. I thought of other options for negotiating the path of life, such as blatant selfishness (“I’ll do it my way!”), excessive use of violence or abusive behaviors (“I’ll beat it out of you!”). Also, many people believe that throughout life there are many paths to the same end; so if “you sincerely believe,” that’s all that matters.
What is wrong with all of these lifestyle choices? Unfortunately, the choices are all insufficient, since none of them take into account eternal absolutes which have been operating since Creation. In Luke 19, in the parable of the rich landowner, the man had grain laid up for many years. Therefore, he concluded, “Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” Yet he found out that he had not factored in eternity, and God said that for him it was too late. In 1 Corinthians 15:32, Paul shares the essential reality and the importance of Jesus’ finished work on the cross on our behalf in our choice of our life style. “If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
Jesus Himself shared a parable recorded by both Matthew and Luke that establishes the foundation for not overlooking the eternal perspective: Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:12-27 -- The Parable of the Talents (summarized)...
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man with five talents went at once and gained five more. The one with two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master returned and settled accounts. The man with five talents and the one with two gained twice as many. The master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Then the man with one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit, so I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
In this parable, “talents” refer to an amount of the landlord’s money however, we can think of the “talents” as time, abilities, property, or any other worldly possessions which have been entrusted to us. God has given them to us to use for Him. In Psalms 24:1 we read, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (NASB). This verse declares that all we are and have is in God's hands, and that we are responsible to Him.
Maybe you see yourself in this parable and realize the last servant representatives you! You realize your life-style prescription is false hope and not the cure. The “cure” is available now. John 3:16-17 states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him might be saved.”
What is even more amazing is the Lord has provided a cure for all who feel they lack strong faith to really believe. Mark 9:23-24, records, “and Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” Your sincere belief however small will be rewarded with the “cure” that saves us from eternal death as well as provides us with abundant life while still on earth. It’s not the amount of faith that matters; it’s that the faith is placed in Jesus as the only One Who can save you from living for eternity in hell without God.
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