The Present and the Future

Luke 16  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
In this chapter both the present and the future are before us. In it we find future things, the next world, the end of our path and the judgment or reward.
The illustration of the steward is taken from an ordinary worldly setting and is used to give principles which apply to the present life of one who professes to be the Lord's.
The steward has wasted his master's goods. This could apply first to the Jew, but also reach out to the Gentiles as well. He was called before his master to give an account. If you were in this situation with your master, what would you say or do? Much depends on the character of your master.
Meditating inwardly, he realized his position. He must prepare for the future, because he would soon be cast out of his stewardship. He could not dig and was ashamed to beg. He said to himself, I will gain favor with my lord's debtors, so when I am put out of the stewardship, I may be received into their houses. Calling his lord's debtors to him, he reduced each debt. He was looking toward the future. He was commended for this by his lord, because he had acted wisely-it was not righteously, but wisely.
This is a worldly illustration, but it gives the principles necessary for us to view the future properly in the light of Christianity and grace. Our God is the God of all grace (1 Peter 5:1010But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Peter 5:10)). Jesus showed grace to all on every hand. He desires for us to do the same, using our possessions, money, houses, lands and all that we have to make friends for the future. "Make to yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, that when it fails ye may be received into the eternal tabernacles" (JND).
Our possessions in this world are not our own. They belong to our Master, but He has left them in our hands to trade with until He comes. We should learn the spirit of Christianity which gives, asking nothing in return.
One who is faithful in that which is least will be faithful in that which is greater, or if one is unrighteous in the least, he is also in much. If you have not been faithful (generous, showing grace) with the present things entrusted to you, who will trust you with the true riches? The true riches are your own. "And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?" We cannot serve two masters. We cannot be divided in purpose, nor can we serve God and mammon.
Hearing these things, the covetous Pharisees ridiculed Him. The Lord said, "For what amongst men is highly thought of is an abomination before God. The law and the prophets were until John: from that time the glad tidings of the kingdom of God are announced, and every one forces his way into it" (JND). One must be in earnest to enter the kingdom of God. Earth or heaven could pass away before the law failed.
The initial institutions of Eden are still binding in the marriage relationship.