Archives for : John Henson

Are you unprepared?

Unwilling to Prepare

Many people at the judgment will say to the Lord, “I’ve been a good person.”

Many have never been guilty of what they consider to be serious positive transgressions of God’s commands.
They think they should be admitted to heaven solely on the basis of their conduct. In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees considered themselves good people.

In Matthew 25, the end-of-time pictures Jesus paints were not about people who had been bad, as such. All of the pictures are about people who could have prepared for eternity, but did not. They knew what they needed to do, but decided to leave those things undone.

The five foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13Matthew 25:1-13
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

25 1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For the foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them: 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 Now while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 But at midnight there is a cry, Behold, the bridegroom! Come ye forth to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Peradventure there will not be enough for us and you: go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage feast: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour.

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) should have known their lamps would likely go out, but instead of preparing for that eventuality, they ignored it until it was too late.

The one-talent man’s problem was that he was unwilling to work (Matthew 25:14-30Matthew 25:14-30
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

14 For it is as when a man, going into another country, called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his several ability; and he went on his journey. 16 Straightway he that received the five talents went and traded with them, and made other five talents. 17 In like manner he also that received the two gained other two. 18 But he that received the one went away and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 Now after a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and maketh a reckoning with them. 20 And he that received the five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: lo, I have gained other five talents. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 And he also that received the two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: lo, I have gained other two talents. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 And he also that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter; 25 and I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast thine own. 26 But his lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter; 27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back mine own with interest. 28 Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away. 30 And cast ye out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

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). He had been given an amount of money that represented an opportunity which he hid in the ground. He was called wicked, not because he was a bad person, but because he was afraid and didn’t want to work.

When Jesus judges the world in righteousness, some will be condemned because they knew there was work to be done, but they just didn’t want to do it (Matthew 25:31-46Matthew 25:31-46
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

31 But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: 32 and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; 33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; 36 naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink? 38 And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me. 46 And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.

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). These people were not bad; they just failed to do the things Jesus wanted.

Jesus said, “I was hungry and you gave me no meat: I was thirsty and you gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked and you clothed me not: sick and in prison and you visited me not” (Matthew 25:42-43Matthew 25:42-43
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

42 for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

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).

Friends, there is more to being faithful than just avoiding those sins we think will condemn us. Remember what James wrote, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17James 4:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

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How many will be turned away from heaven who just are unwilling to prepare?

–by John Henson

Being a father

I love being a father.

If every bit of progress of my children isn’t imprinted on film or memory card, it is in my mind as fresh as the day it happened. Those memories include when each of our three children walked, when they learned to ride a bicycle, and graduated from college. Sure, there have been trials and difficulties but the joys outweigh them all.

Each child has repeatedly assured us of their love for their mother and me. I know their love is genuine because they show it often.

Jesus repeatedly showed his love for his heavenly father by obeying him (John 14:15John 14:15
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

15 If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments.

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). He spoke of his father lovingly and encouraged us to love him as well. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us how to please our heavenly father. He told us our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes (Matthew 5:20Matthew 5:20
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

20 For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

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). And, he taught us how to give and pray in a way that pleased God.

He started by encouraging us to be careful when we give and pray (Matthew 6:1, 5Matthew 6:1, 5
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

6 1 Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else ye have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 5 And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward.

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). When we give and pray we are not to behave the same way others do. There are those who give and pray to impress others. Jesus told us his father doesn’t like that. We are not to be like those people (Matthew 6:2, 8Matthew 6:2, 8
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

2 When therefore thou doest alms, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward. 8 Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

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Jesus wanted us to give showing our true love for him by not creating a scene designed to impress others (Matthew 6:2Matthew 6:2
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

2 When therefore thou doest alms, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward.

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). When we pray, our requests should be made known without showy pretense as the hypocrites (Matthew 6:5-6Matthew 6:5-6
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

5 And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee.

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). He said do not be like them.

God loves being a father. He gives his children every good and perfect gift (James 1:17James 1:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.

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). He always gives without giving us a sharp reprimand for how we use his gifts (James 1:5James 1:5
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

5 But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

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). He wants to be proud of us because he loves us just as any good father loves his children.

What our heavenly father asks is not so difficult. Let’s make him proud of us by being obedient children. We should want to love him because he first loved us (1 John 4:191 John 4:19
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

19 We love, because he first loved us.

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). Do you love God enough to want to do what he asks?