Read Matthew 21:33-44
33 “Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.
34 Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit.
35 And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another.
36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them.
37 Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
38 But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’
39 So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” 41 They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’
43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
Therefore, I say to you: the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits (Matthew 21:43).
The possibility of falling from grace is made clear in the Bible. Christ refers to, and warns about this tragedy very seriously and severally (Matt. 5:22,29,30; Rev. 21:8; 22:15). The Apostles of the Lord and several generations of God's servants are unrelenting in warnings about this danger also (Heb. 6:4-8; 1 Jn. 5:16,17). In today's devotional scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ shows those factors that can lead to 'the kingdom of God' (being) 'taken from' one. These include:
1. Hostility towards God: It is a serious mistake for a mortal to fight against his Maker (Isa. 45:9).
2. Hostility towards God's messengers: In all generations, men and women have presented and represented God among His creatures. Any evil or honour done to them has lasting consequences (Matt. 23:34-39).
3. Seeking to overthrow God. Indisputably, God is forever the Owner of all. The original sin of Lucifer, who became Satan in heaven, is that he tried to overthrow God. He tried taking the place of God - coup detat (Isa. 14:12ff). He lured man into this also, in the Garden of Eden.
4. Lastly, rejecting and nailing Christ Jesus to the cross the second time by continued sinning (cf. John 3:16-18,36; 15:1ff; Heb. 10:26-31). The Israelites lost the Kingdom of God through continued sinning that invoked divine wrath on them. They rejected and persecuted the Saviour/Messiah.
We are supposed to keep that which has been given to us by bearing desired fruits, and holding on to the grace of God (Rom. 11:11ff; 1 Cor. 10:12,13; Phil. 2:12; Rev. 2:25; 3:11). May the power of God keep us to the end. Amen.
1. Thank God who has saved you, and for all the grace He is giving you.
2. Pray for more grace not to toy with the grace of God.
3. Pray for any Christian brother, sister, or leader you know is backsliding or has backslidden, that God should restore him/her by His mercy and power.
EXTRA READING FOR TODAY:
Genesis 27:41 - 30:1; Matthew 9:30 - 10:13