Parables of Christ – Introduction
Now we are going to turn to another subject. We have been studying in the book of Revelation, and have come to this study from Rev. 15. Thus far we have seen that Gods Word is readily available at all times in history. Even in the terrible times of the last years of the Tribulation when the Bowl judgments are being unleashed.
In the face of all the trouble in the world (in that future time), people will have the opportunity to turn things around for themselves. We are going to study the Parables of Christ (over thirty of them) to see just exactly how easy, learning and applying Gods Word to ones life, really is.
We already know that being saved is easier than falling off of a log. All one has to do is believe in Christ. By thinking within your own mind, six little words, ‘Father, I believe in Jesus Christ.’ Then anyone can be saved. That is all it takes. The prayer if you want to call it that, is addressed to God the Father. He is the party to whom all prayer is addressed. Prayer is never addressed to anyone other than God the Father.
Yet even though being saved is just that easy – thinking those six little words, and that probably would take a person less than a second to think them, most of the world rejects them and refuses to even consider believing in Christ. Why? Arrogance blinds people to truth.
Knowing that people would make up their own rules for interacting with God, and for getting into heaven, then God set out a specific plan whereby people could easily be saved, but that the works of people would be excluded from the work of salvation. If people could save themselves, then God would not even be needed. But people are so inferior in this universe, that we cannot even define life, nor prevent physical death. How then can mankind define God and the path to Him?
So, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to procure salvation for mankind. And all man has to do is believe in Him (Jesus Christ). This eliminates all other religions, all other philosophies, all other beliefs of mankind.
When Jesus came to this world in His First Advent, He came here for the sole purpose of securing salvation for mankind. While here, He taught people through parables, such that anyone who could hear, and wanted to hear, could learn of Gods plan and have a great life as a result.
He did not teach of salvation only, but He taught of the spiritual life (spiritual growth and function after salvation) and of the tremendous blessings which belong to believers who advance to spiritual maturity.
Once a person is born, then he has potential for blessing. This potential depends on the persons decisions in life. The first decision deals with Christ. Believe in Him or not. To believe means your destiny will be in heaven for all of eternity.
To reject Christ, means that, that desire will be granted. That is to say, if a person refuses to believe in Christ, then Christ will grant that request and turn His back on the individual for all of eternity. Since God holds all things together, then if God turns His back on an individual, thus withdrawing any and all controls over the individuals environment, and since the individual who rejects Christ cannot control his own environment, then there is total chaos for the unbeliever. This total chaos is far beyond the imaginations ability to understand. We call that the Lake of Fire. The person is totally alone, totally out of control with respect to his surroundings, overwhelmed with total misery, and fear, and pain, and worse. The Bible has many descriptions like gnashing of teeth, uncontrollable crying, being perpetually at the mercy of grave like maggots who consume dead bodies and far, far worst.
So, why, given this prospective future, wouldn’t everyone just believe in Christ in order to escape this dreadful future? But unfortunately, there are many people throughout history who will reject Christ.
We can’t be surprised, because this same logic applies to spiritual growth. Given that it is very easy to grow up spiritually, most people won’t take the time to study their Bibles daily. They won’t even take ten minutes to read a few verses. And that is why we are about to cover the Parables of Christ.
Their spiritual value is immeasurable. Their simplicity makes it easy for even children to understand. And they also challenge the individual to move forward in their spiritual life, or step aside and enjoy the misery that their negative attitude will bring them.
Parables generally place two objects together for a comparison. Like a simile, there isn’t much difference between the two. There is an imaginary story, one that could very well occur, but the historical account isn’t the point, it is the principle of and the spiritual value which is the point of the story.
Christ employed parables as a means of teaching doctrine. The stories did not create anything knew, but were used to teach doctrines or principles of Gods Word, which have already been made known from the scriptures written in centuries past.
Even though Jesus Christ’s audience was primarily Jewish, there were many gentiles in the huge crowds that followed Him. Many in the crowds had no clue as to who He really was. Most just wanted to get their miseries healed, and still others were there for the show. They were in constant awe of the miracles as one would be when watching spectacular feats at a circus or a magic show.
Their interest was not in their spiritual life, but in their getting entertained, or in their getting their medical needs taken care of, or in getting some kind of quick fix for their life. God is a genie after all, is He not?
So even though our course of study is Revelation, in which we have just concluded chapter 15, we are going to come back to earth and see the simplicity of Gods Word, and then when we go back to Revelation 16 to begin our study of the bowl judgments, you can wonder just how dumb the worlds population has to be in order to be so defiant toward God, and bring on themselves the tremendous suffering that they will have unleashed at them.
Also, we can put this question to ourselves. How stubborn will we be in order to avoid pursuing our daily study and thus lose out on the tremendous blessings that God has made available to each one of us?