4. Year 2019
OCCUPY TILL HE COMES
We have likely all heard the verse from Luke’s gospel, ‘occupy till I come’. It has not burnt a message into the hearts of many, for some, probably many, have a different connotation of the meaning of the word ‘occupy’. Some think the word is like the ‘political protest march’ meaning, where a group of protesters sit down on a road, at an entrance, or in the middle of a business area, and ‘occupy’ by remaining till they get their way.
Some Christians seem to choose that meaning for this passage of Luke, and think we are to just occupy our church pew, or show up at the Sunday School picnic, or be present at the business meetings of the church, till Jesus comes, and in so doing, they have OCCUPIED.
The Greek Word for ‘occupy’ is pragmateuomai, from Strong’s meaning ‘to busy oneself with their particular trade.’ The false idea that all we are being told to do is be present and do no more than that is errant. We are to keep busy doing what we are commanded to do, and that is to serve the Lord, win souls to His kingdom, and, as we are seeing in this study, we are to be REJOICING too.
READ THE PASSAGE:
Luke 19:11-27 (KJV)
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
So we are to OCCUPY till He comes, and that means we are to keep REJOICING as we serve Him. We have work to do. God has expectations for us. We are to be REJOICING as we work.
We are also told:
Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.
Life has far too much weeping, sorrowful events, pain, persecution, and unhappy news. Yet, knowing that we are mercifully redeemed, and soon to see Jesus, we should have and feel a peace that is unlike any peace felt before. Our hearts want to laugh, and be merry. This is of God, especiall for 2019.
Certainly, some laugh amidst a sinful nature. Some laugh while still full of anger, jealousy and unhealed wounds. Yet, the laughter and merry heart of which I speak here, is the final work of the Spirit in the soul. It is not a laughter at a joke, it is not a funny movie that makes us see comical reasons to laugh. This merry heart is one that sees the faith that Jesus is returning and we are His intended prize to be claimed. This gives an inner peace that passes all understanding.
The grief, worry, anxiety, irritability, bad tempers, hatred, unforgiveness, guilt, shame, fears, and malevolence, that once filled the heart, are gone.
Those hurtful things end in sickness and death. We are merry, when we feel the void of those things. Like a ‘medicine’, this laughter will continue to salve the healing wounds. No longer need we mourn and feel grief.
Our life journey goes on, but we make better time if making this journey on the right path. It will be a much more pleasant journey, if we rejoice as we occupy in this world.
We, as Christians, hope for a soon coming of our Lord. We need to occupy, and with REJOICING, await with realization that when He comes, He has expectations for us to have done our job here.
God has called us each to ministry of some sort. We were not called to simply fill a pew, but to do real ministry, somewhere, somehow, for the Lord. This calling has brought responsibility. We are responsible for that work the Lord is wanting us to do. We may not be speaking to a stadium full of people, it may be one on one witnessing, it may be visiting the sick in hospitals, it may be a children’s Sunday school class, etc. but there is a work for which we are responsible. It is to be done with JOY.
We ‘watch and pray’. Watching that we are to do, is to ‘watch’ not just for signs of His coming, but to ‘watch’ and be alert for how we OCCUPY. The signs of His coming that we see, are to make us even more joyful in our work anticipating our soon to come reunion with the Lord.
II Peter 3:9:
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance."
I Timothy 2:4:
"...Who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth."
Jesus is coming soon. We know that via the prophecies in the Word of God, by observation of the signs predicted therein being fulfilled. We have a work to do while still here, we are to OCCUPY with joy till He comes.
The Lord will soon arrive and validate our works. Between now and when He does come, the people may mock, deride, ridicule, scorn, and taunt we who are OCCUPYING and being about the work of the Lord. Even family and friends may question and challenge the message of we who are OCCUPYING and doing the Lord’s works.
Perhaps much time will be found between the message and the fulfillment of the gospel message we are bringing to the sinful and shameful world. This mocking and doubt of the hearers is very difficult for the one speaking the Word of God. Yet, we continue to OCCUPY because of the words following that command TILL I COME. We know that He is coming, He shall fulfill His promise to return. Our work will be validated by God. We are JOYFUL in our time of OCCUPYING.
We, ourselves, were called out of darkness, out of sin, out of a life bound for hell fire eternally. We left that when we found Jesus and the salvation through His atonement on the cross for us. It is so wonderful being saved. We are forgiven, made justified of our former sins, and now bound for heaven.
I Peter 2:9
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."
God has called US out of the darkness of sin. Now, being out of darkness, now able to see, we can see sin as never before. The wicked walk in darkness. They do not see, but now we can see. God has called us out of that darkness and given us a mission to OCCUPY JOYFULLY till He returns.
The world was darkened after the sin of Lucifer and of the pre-adamites on the original earth. A dark nebula covered the earth and kept it in total darkness. Sin had ended the light that once shined upon that earth. The darkness that covered the earth before the re-creation was ended when God said, "Let there be light." (Genesis 1:2)
A command brought light to the world. God made Adam and Eve to be sinless and innocent, until they entered into a spiritual darkness when they sinned. Sin brought spiritual darkness. Sin is darkness, for when in sin, even the saints do not see the light of righteousness for everything is darkness to them. It takes a miracle of light to awaken the sinner to righteousness. Many of the last days are in darkness. Even some in the church cannot see due to their own darkness. Jesus spoke to them in Revelation 3, to the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:18), and the Lord says: "anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see."
They need the "eye salve" in the last days, for they are in blindness, which is a total darkness. Some today are in total darkness, and do not notice that the Lord is no longer in the crowd. They do not see their own sins, their own bitterness and judgmentalism. They are blind to their nakedness, poverty, destitute, etc. Somewhere they chose to depart the light, depart into darkness again.
As prophesied in Joel, there will come, perhaps already has come, a day of darkness, where many have chosen to depart the Light, depart from Jesus our Light.
"A day of darkness, and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong. There hath never been the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations."
Spiritually, this predicted day of great sinfulness is here in this world today. There is homosexuality, murder of the unborn, fornication, disobedience to parents, false prophets and false prophecies. Some claim to sin and still be righteous. Some call good to be evil, and evil to be good.
"Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. ... Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?"
The Bible clearly predicts a time of darkness to come, both spiritually and physically. This darkness is here now, and our command to OCCUPY with a joy the world does not understand till He comes.
The ten virgins of the parable of Jesus showed that all then were in darkness, until a call of warning went out. The five wise awaken to be ready to enter into the wedding festival. The 5 foolish awaken to see their lack of preparedness means remaining outside of the feast the others enter into that feast.
We are not to depart the world of LIGHT, we are not to go back into darkness and sadness:
I Thessalonians 5:1-11
1."But of the times (kairos, clock time) and of the seasons (chronos, period of time) brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night.
3. For when they shall say Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail (periodic and intermittent, but the pains come closer and closer, harder and harder) upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day shall overtake you as a thief.
5. Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day, we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6. Therefore, let us not sleep (physical sleep as the 10 virgins) as do others, but let us watch (stay awake, gregorio) and be sober (be serious).
7. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8. But let us, who are of the day, be sober (serious), putting on the breastplate of faith (trust), and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
10. Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him (a resurrection is coming).
11. Wherefore, comfort yourselves together and edify (encourage, and uplift) one another, even as also ye do."
Can you imagine ever leaving this light, this lack of darkness that hides the evil and destruction of wickedness? The devils and seducing spirits use of television programs, rock music and the foul words that some unwittingly hear, sing, and tolerate in their minds. Peer pressure and the ideas espoused by them permeate, and get programmed into the minds of many. We need to avoid such sources of evil, and program the Word of God, and its truths, into our minds. They weaken our judgment against the darkness. We are here with a mission, and we must be about our mission to JOYFULLY OCCUPY, that is to continue to work, continue to preach REPENTANCE, and EVANGELIZE, and SING JOYFULLY to the Lord, and TRUST in His soon return.
We are to OCCUPY with the mental awareness that despite the world’s gross sinfulness, our mission is to preach, evangelize, and still trust in Jesus’ soon return.