AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH ... Sermon January 11, 2009
A CONTINUATION OF THE THRUST
OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA
ON BIBLICAL LINES …
THE VINEYARD PARABLE,
THE FACT and the FORECAST
Christ Spoke of the Future as We of the Present:
Walk with Him and You Know Where You are Going
The prophet Daniel predicted that the Messiah, the Christ of God would die about A.D. 30 in our terms; and so He did. This was foretold some 600 years before it happened, and it was explained in the New Year Sermon. He described it like this, that Messiah the Prince would come there would be NOTHING FOR HIM. In other words, as Isaiah pointed out, He would be hated by His own nation (Isaiah 49:7), and killed, so that
"He was wounded for our
transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities,
the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed."
All we, said Isaiah, "like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:5-6).
He was brought as the Just One for the unjust, in order to bring us to God (I Peter 3:18), the substitute for penalty, the Saviour from sin, for FAITH. Thus Isaiah asks first in Ch. 53: "Who has believed our report ?"
Again, it is WHEN YOU MAKE HIS SOUL AN OFFERING FOR YOUR SIN, then He will SEE HIS SEED. No children did He have, being killed; but when you accept His sacrifice for your sin by faith in Him as the Son of God, then YOU become a child of God.
When Jesus was telling the parable of the VINEYARD which we are about to consider today, this was just about to happen. Popular with the people because of His healing and words, His way and His works, He was hated by the priests, and they were jealous of His power. Fancy being jealous of your employer! of your GOD! They were more and more afraid that the Roman troops would come because Christ was a KING. A king ? My kingdom, He said is not of this world, otherwise My servants would fight. So there it was, they killed Him who came to die for their sins, and in their very murder, they acted almost like priests, offering Him up! But they did not know it. NONE of the sins are forgiven, Christ declared, if you do not believe:
"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins if you do not believe that I am He"
(the Messiah, the Son of God), He said (John 8:24).
It was, then, just before they did these things, that Jesus told them a parable, that of the vineyard.
THE VINEYARD PARABLE, THE FACT AND THE FORECAST
THE PARABLE (Mark 12)
The Continuity of Spiritual Crime
The Examples, Jeremiah (Jeremiah 26), Zechariah (II Chronicles 24:20ff.),
The Contemporary Example: John the Baptist (Matthew 14)
For the Jews
- a Temple none could
destroy, to outlast time, Jesus Christ its name (I Cor. 3:11),
some of Israel participating, but not the nation.
This having executed their own Prince and Saviour, would wait long,
outcast from their own God-given land (Hosea 1-3, Ezekiel 36ff.),
before their predicted return (Luke 21:24),
and eventual salvation of a new remnant would suddenly add
to those who first made Christ, in Israel, their foundation (Romans 11:25ff., Zechariah 12:1-13:1).
- destruction within a
generation as Christ had indicated would come (Matthew 24:1ff., 23:37ff.),
before its restoration to Israel (Luke 21:24) after a vast period,
in which many kingdoms would change,
and Christ's return there (Zechariah 14:5) to govern
and then judge this world (Revelation 20, Psalm 72).
For the Gentiles
like a mighty river turned in its course to another city, so the Gospel would
find many a nation, many kings indeed, who would believe, while Israel
languished (Isaiah 42, 49, 60-61, Deuteronomy 32, Ezekiel 36ff.). The drama
until the time up for the Gentile 'innings' (Romans 11:25ff., Luke 21:24),
the terminal events for Jew and land, for this world,
for life and death arrive (Revelation 19-20)
and test is replaced by judgment.
- death, resurrection, foundation stone for the Christian Church, bearing His name and having the Spirit sent by Him (John 15:26, Romans 8:9), He is centre of the unchanging Gospel (Galatians 1), Head of an international people, returning to reign, and judge
The preliminaries have all
happened, and the centre is as it was, Jesus Christ, the place of pardon and
peace, or else the site for judgment to come (John 3:16ff., 36), the Gospel the
way (Galatians 1,3, 5), the glory the light of God, His truth governing history
to its end on this earth, and a new heavens and earth in which righteousness
(Isaiah 51:6, Matthew 24:35, Revelation 20:11-21:1),
leading to an eternity in life with the Lord.
For one and for all (John 1:12-14, 3:16, 36)
NO OTHER WAY (John 14:6)
NO OTHER GOD (Ephesians 4:4)
NO OTHER PARDON (Acts 4:11-12)
NO OTHER ENTRY INTO ETERNAL LIFE (Galatians 1, John 6:47ff.)
Make sure that you HAVE received Jesus Christ as your Saviour,
that you HAVE by Him received eternal life,
and that in Him, you have found the Way, the Life and the Truth,
for with God, there is no competition.