This issue looks at the meaning behind To Him Who Has, More Shall be Given.
SINCE YOU ASKED
The first time I read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, I had a problem with its conclusion. I had missed the point and had focused on the idea that those who already had plenty would get even more. Over time, I came to understand that this parable was one of many examples of a principle that some call “progressive revelation.” The idea is that God gives us more light (revelation) when we have responded to the light He has already given us. Some new believers are like spiritual sponges, soaking up everything God lays before them. They mature at an incredible rate. Others, however, seem content knowing they’re heaven-bound. Instead of maturing for twenty years, their lives represent one year of learning repeated nineteen times.
We can see the progressive revelation principle in those living in remote areas where a missionary has never set foot and the gospel has never been presented. It’s tied up in the age old question: What about those who have never heard? Sometimes the question is posed: How can God send a person to hell for not believing in a Christ he knows nothing about? Both are legitimate questions. First, we must remember that God sends no one to hell. He leaves the choice to us. Hell was created for the Devil and his demons, and God doesn’t want anyone to ever end up there. He has left the door of heaven wide open, declaring, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
So, back to the “primitive savages” out there. The first two chapters of Romans tell us that through creation and the human conscience, God has made His presence and His character evident to anyone who will just open his eyes. In fact, God has made Himself so plain that those who fail to see it are “without excuse.” Those who have never heard the gospel have seen and experienced God, and He will deal with them based on what they have done with the evidence presented to them.
AS I SEE IT
God will, of course, deal with all those people “out there,” and He will deal fairly with those who reject Him, and mercifully with those who accept Him. Our focus should be on us. We all need to ask, “How have I responded to the light God has given me?”
First, have I accepted His invitation? If I haven’t, why not? Second, if I have, am I maturing as fast as I should be, or am I just coasting along? I have discovered that when I seem to be “spiritually stuck,” it’s usually because I have caused God to turn the light out. Our world desperately needs people who are walking in the light, and as the parable of the talents illustrates, God wants to flood us with light. The lesson: the more we respond to the light we have, the more light we can expect.
To make sure you’re walking in the light, check out HOW TO KNOW YOU’RE HEAVEN BOUND.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Actual sign seen in an office: AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD