“THAT EVIL SLAVE”
32. In his parable of the servants in Matthew 24:45-51, what other professed Christian group will be sentenced to destruction?
32 Another group claiming to be Christians that will receive the same sentence as the “man of lawlessness” is the group that Jesus called prophetically “that evil servant” or “that evil slave.” (Matt. 24:48-51, AV; NW; Luke 12:45, 46) These are dedicated and baptized Christians who have been begotten by God’s spirit to a heavenly hope and who have been associated with the faithful Christian congregation whom Jesus called “a faithful and wise servant” or “faithful and discreet slave.” (Matt. 24:45-47, AV; NW) However, the “evil slave” class becomes rebellious and seeks to manage the Lord’s affairs according to its own pleasure and serves itself according to its fleshly craving and mistreats those of the “faithful and discreet slave” class.
33. (a) Why is the “evil slave” class more blameworthy than the hypocrites outside the Lord’s household? (b) With what other classes pictured in Jesus’ parables is this slave identified?
33 The Lord Jesus Christ catches the “evil slave” in the midst of such misconduct. He punishes him “with the greatest severity” and puts him out of the house and among the religious hypocrites, where this “evil slave” class belongs. For having been in the Lord’s real household and having been entrusted with his valuable spiritual things, the “evil slave” class of Christians is even more blameworthy than those hypocrites outside the house. They are guilty also of being traitors to their faithful Christian brothers, just as Judas Iscariot was toward the Lord Jesus Christ. They will have no resurrection any more than Judas will. Identical with or included in with the “evil slave” class is the “wicked and sluggish slave” with one talent of his Lord, as pictured in Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:15, 16, 22-30; also, the “wicked slave” who refused to negotiate with the one mina of his Lord, as described by Jesus in Luke 19:13, 20-27. The Holy Bible leaves no hope for the resurrection of such to heavenly life.
1, 2. (a) What unfaithful Christians did Paul mention in 1 Timothy 1:18-20? (b) What opportunities of theirs had they ruined?
AWAY back in the days of the apostle Paul there were dedicated Christians who ruined all their opportunities for a spiritual resurrection to heavenly glory and power with the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul indicates how this came about when he wrote this to Timothy:
2 “This mandate I commit to you, child, Timothy, in accord with the predictions that led directly on to you, that by these you may go on waging the fine warfare; holding faith and a good conscience, which some have thrust aside and have experienced shipwreck concerning their faith. Hymenaeus and Alexander belong to these, and I have handed them over to Satan that they may be taught by discipline not to blaspheme.”—1 Tim. 1:18-20, NW; Ro.
3, 4. (a) Why does that not mean that the reinstatement of these two men into the congregation was looked forward to? (b) Who, then, received the discipline in this connection?
3 This is not to say that Hymenaeus and Alexander finally learned a lesson and stopped blaspheming and were brought back into the congregation and rescued from Satan’s clutches. This could not be, inasmuch as those two dedicated and baptized Christians had thrust aside the Christian faith and a good conscience and had suffered the shipwrecking of their faith so that it went down into the sea of destruction.