Eschatology is the study of the final events of history... rapture, tribulation, millennial reign of Christ, death, and judgment. It’s the study of the end times.
There’s plenty that remains a mystery. But there’s also plenty that we can know. Heaven and Hell are real. And judgment day is coming!
The Apostle Paul wrote, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10, ESV) and “We will all stand before the judgment seat of God ... Each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10-12, ESV).
The Parable of the Minas, found in Luke 19, reiterates this truth. Chronologically, it is recorded just before Palm Sunday and Jesus’ Triumphant Entry.
Before we go on, the parable says that the “Nobleman” gave his servants a sum of money. He gave them each the same, ten minas. A mina was a Greek monetary value equaling what a laborer could earn in 100 days. Just for giggles, let’s say a mina is worth $10,000. The boss gave his trusted servants ten times that... one-hundred-thousand “and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come’ ” (Luke 19:13, ESV) In other words, “invest well! I’ll be back, and I’ll expect a fair return!”
Luke explained that Jesus told the parable “because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately” (Luke 19:11, ESV). Some of the disciples imagined that Jesus would arrive in Jerusalem and establish His earthly kingdom... Jesus would be king, and they would be his lieutenants! Cool! Jesus said, “Hold your horses!” That’s when He told the parable. “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return” (Luke 19:12, ESV). Jesus was the Nobleman, and He was going away for a while ... as it turns out, for at least 2,000 years.
But He will return! He promised. And when He does, He will demand an accounting!
“When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities’ ” (Luke 19:15-19, ESV).
Try to wrap your noggin around those unfathomable dividends, the excessively great reward... master over ten cities, or even five cities! Sensational! Incomprehensible! (I Corinthians 2:9)
The parable concludes with the brutal execution of the Nobleman’s enemies. They “hated Him” and refused to submit to His leadership (Luke 19:14) so He condemned them to death. “Bring them here and slaughter them before me” (Luke 19:27, ESV). That’s a little like what we read at the end of the book. “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15, ESV).
One last thought ... God didn’t give me a mina! You? The Master has gone away for a while... and He’s left us to invest ... every moment ... every breath ... every opportunity to share the Good News...
I don’t relish the notion of standing before the Judge! But I’m motivated by the possibility that I might hear my Lord say, “Well done, good servant!”