Memphis Belle

Untitled Document
Mathew 1:17
Mathew 1: 18-25 Mathew 2: 1-23 Mathew 3: 1-17 Mathew 4: 1-11 Mathew 4: 12-25
Matthew 5:1-12 Part 1 Matthew 5:1-12 Part 2 Mathew 5:13-16 Mathew 5:17-26 Mathew 5:27-37 Mathew 5:38-48
Mathew 6:1-8, 16-18 Mathew 6: 7-15 Mathew 6:19-34 Mathew 6:25-34 Mathew 7:1-12 Mathew 7:15-23
Mathew 7: 24-29 Mathew 8: 1-17 Mathew 8: 18-34 Mathew 9: 1-13 Mathew 9:14-26 Mathew 9:27 - 10:31
Mathew 10:32-42 Mathew 11:1-31 Mathew 12:1-21 Mathew 12:22-50 Mathew 13:1-23 Mathew 13: 24-43
Mathew 13: 44-52 Mathew 13:54 -14:12 Mathew 14:13-21 Mathew 14:22-36 Mathew 15:1-20 Mathew 15:21-31
Mathew 15: 32-39 Mathew 16:13-23 Matthew 16:24-28 Matthew 17:1-13 Matthew 17:14-27 Matthew 18:1-14
Matthew 18:15-20 Matthew 18:21-35 Matthew 19:1-12 Matthew 19:13-30 Matthew 20:1-16 Matthew 20:17-34
Matthew 21: 1-11 Matthew 21:12-17 Matthew 21:18-22 Matthew 21:23-46 Matthew 22:1-14 Matthew 22:15-46
Matthew 23:1-39 Matthew 24:1-31 Matthew 24:32-44 Matthew 25:1-46 Matthew 26:1-13 Matthew 26:14-54
Matthew 26: 54-75 Matthew 27:1-26 Matthew 27:27-66 Matthew 28:1-20    
           

 

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Matthew 25:1-13

 

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil in their vessels with their lamps.  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you:  but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage:  and the door was shut.  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily, I say unto you, I know you not.  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

 

“…as we move now let’s read into the parable of the ten virgins, it says, “Then” so he’s talking about that time again, when we are to be watching and to be waiting and to be ready.  “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto”, it isn’t, but it’s like this, “ten virgins which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.”  Now in reality, in other places, he tells us we’re the Bride.  OK?  This is a parable, it’s not a doctrine.  He’s saying it’s like this also.  In that culture, marriages were pre-arranged.  Today, we have a different idea about romance and marriage.  And in that day, say your parents were friends, and before you could say anything about it, it didn’t matter if the guy looked like Frankenstein, they may have arranged for you two to get married.  If you end up loving each other, that was gravy, it came along with it.  But marriage was an institution, adultery was the death penalty.  There was a certain respect and honor in regards to the whole family structure in marriage.  A year before the marriage itself, the period of espousal [I’m 65, I only want my period of espousal to be 3 months long, if that!], that was considered binding by then.  And the young bride and groom to be would spend time together, chaperoned, never alone.  And the groom would build an addition on his father’s house.  Jesus said “I’m going to prepare a place for you, that where I am you may also be, and if I go to prepare a place for you, I’ll come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am you may be also.” He’s the Groom, he’s going to prepare a place on his Father’s house. [And that place, as it turns out, is part of God the Father’s “house”, the New Jerusalem, which comes down “as a Bride” for the Bride in Revelation 21.  But that New Jerusalem is also where the Wedding Feast takes place for all the saints as well, near the time of Jesus 2nd Coming.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/Pentecost-Revetion1.htm for some interesting prophetic details on this amazing event in our future.]  The bride only knew the day that the groom was coming.  The fun was, she didn’t know when.  How’d you like that, girls?  Standing around with your brides’ maids, your wedding dress on, you don’t know if he’s coming in the morning, the middle of the afternoon.  Depending on who you marry you might have a hunch, but if he’s a practical joker---is he an early riser?  You didn’t know when he was coming.  And if he came at night, they had to have oil in their lamps, because the bridegroom would come, they would blast the trumpet, and say “Behold, the bridegroom cometh!”, and they would rise, they had to be ready.  And of course it’s a beautiful picture of the Rapture.  When he took the bride, they would go back to his father’s house, where there was a feast.  He would take the bride into a chamber where they would consummate the marriage and have intimacy.  She wouldn’t come out until the end of the seventh day.  It was seven days of feasting (like the seven years of the tribulation).  [This for those who believe in the pre-Trib Rapture.  On this site, I will try to explain in as few words as possible, as I transcribe along, the differences between Classic, pre-Trib and post-Trib Rapture theology.  But this site tries to stay neutral on the issue, presenting all possibilities.  And the interpretation that wins out will become evident as the prophetic events start to unfold.]  Then she was brought out and revealed to everyone as the bride.  A wonderful picture of the Church in the end of the age.  But he says it will be like that, kind of like that marriage thing. 

 

Who are the foolish brides’ maids?

 

“Ten virgins, which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were wise, five of them were foolish.”  You’d think if you’re going to have that many brides’ maids you’d ask all wise ones, I don’t know.  Expensive wedding.  Five of them were foolish.  “They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them.”  That’s dumb.  ‘The bridegroom might come in the middle of the night, so then we’ll need our lamps.  So we have our lamps and our wicks.  Think we need oil too?’  Duh, [laughter].  But this is a parable, it’s an analogy.  They took no oil with them.  “But the wise took oil in their vessels, with their lamps.  While the bridegroom tarried”---Now here’s the warning---“they all slumbered”, the wise and the foolish.  They all slumbered.  What’s the oil in the Scripture?  You guys know this.  It’s a picture of the Spirit, you looked at these who claimed to be the brides maids, these ten virgins by appearance, they all looked the same.  Religion can look like the right thing.  But there were those who had their lamps filled with oil.  The Church can supply lamps, God supplies the oil.  It isn’t enough to say “I’m a member of a church.”  You can sleep in a garage and that doesn’t make you a car.  Because you sit in the church doesn’t make you a Christian.  Jesus said if you’re not born from above [to Nicodemus in John 3] you’ll never see the kingdom of heaven.  There has to be that new birth, the oil within, the Holy Spirit.  And he says, by outward appearance these virgins, they all looked the same.  It was a religious system.  Five of them were wise, five of them were foolish.  “And at midnight, there was a cry made ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.’  Then all those virgins arose, and they trimmed their lamps.”  Now, they all lit the wicks in their lamps.  “And the foolish said unto the wise,”---Duh!---“Give us some oil, for our lamps are going out.”  What’d you expect, you have a wick, you have no oil.  “Give us some oil, our lamps have gone out.’  But the wise answered and said, ‘Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you.  But go ye rather to them that sell and buy for yourselves.’  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready”---here’s the entire point---“went in with him to the marriage.  And the door was shut” (verse 10), like the days of Noah.  Those that were ready went in.  Those that were not ready did not go in.  But the door was shut.  “Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (verses 11-13).  That plea to us to be ready.  It would come to us this way, in 1st Thessalonians 5:1-11, you don’t have to turn there, or you can turn there if you want to turn there, Paul says, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you, for yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”  ‘You don’t need me, you already know about the times and the seasons, you already know perfectly well.  Christ had taught so clearly, the Day of the Lord is coming like a thief in the night.  He does something very interesting, he divides those that are ready and those that are not ready.  “For when they shall say ‘Peace and safety’, then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail upon a woman with child.”  Now the other place you have that word “travail” is “These are the beginning of sorrows”, when Jesus told us about the signs (in the early part of Matthew chapter 24).  Paul brings it up here again.  “Then shall come sudden destruction upon them as travail upon a woman with child.  They shall not escape.  But you---he draws a distinction, brethren---are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”  We’re in the light, we shouldn’t be shocked.  “You are all the children of the light, and the children of the day.  We are not of the night nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep as others, but let us watch and be sober.  For they”---the unbelievers---“that sleep, sleep in the night, and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord, Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another even as also ye do.”  We’re exhorted to be watching, to be ready, not as others.  Now, wait a minute.  You’re talking about Jesus and his love, you’re telling me that some people are going to be left behind.  No, no, here’s the great news for you if you don’t know Christ.  You’re here tonight.  And we’re giving away free tickets to the kingdom of heaven tonight.  If you don’t go to heaven, if you get left behind [and this is a pre-Trib Rapturist speaking], the only person you can blame, now get your finger right now and point your finger at yourself.  Because right now, we’re going to say this to you, if you don’t know Christ this evening, and I’m not talking about playing church, I’m not talking about religion, I grew up in “the church.”  Well, I didn’t grow up in a church building, I had to go to church every Sunday whether I liked it or not.  And, you know, you become a teenager, you become 13, 14, you think ‘If church is so great, how come my parents are sitting at home kicking me out the door making me go to church?  I should be following them if it’s so great there.’  And we would go and sit in a little place in the back, you know, where the pews were shorter, couple of us could fit in there, we’d be carrying on giving raspberry sounds.  People would be turning around looking at us, you know.  We didn’t get anything out of that.  I didn’t get anything out of that.  And I don’t think the guy in the pulpit was a believer.  I never heard the Gospel, that Jesus died for me, and that I could know him, that he was risen from the dead, that this was historical reality, and that he was coming again.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm.] Had this preacher been preaching this it would have frozen me in my seat, that he loved me, with all of my problems.  Never heard it, until you end up spending your money on drugs, going to church New Year’s Eve, because it’s freezing outside, you’re drunk, it makes your blood thinner, and then you’re freezing, so then you go in at 11 o’clock to get warm, you don’t care about the Communion Service, you’re living like that.  And somebody that’s a friend, or somebody from your own culture starts saying, ‘Hey, man I got saved.’  ‘You’re different, what do you mean you got saved?’.  And somebody starts to wear you down, and starts to care about you, and starts to tell you that Jesus loves you, the way you are, where you’re at.  [And then when you genuinely ask and accept Jesus into your life, he starts to change you from the inside out, to the point where you are having his laws written in your heart and mind, not legalistically, but in the spirit of them, as Matthew chapter 5 describes.]  And I’m not talking about church, I’m talking about Jesus.  And I’m talking about the claims of Jesus Christ.  And he said “Whosoever will, may come, and drink of the water of life freely.”  If you get left behind, it’s because you didn’t take advantage of the door when it was open.  The door on the Ark was open.  The people made fun of it.  The invitation to the Wedding was given to all, those that were ready went in.  If Christ comes tonight [those that believe in a pre-Trib rapture believe Christ could come for his Bride at anytime.  It doesn’t amount to a 2nd coming, because Christ never comes to earth, but “raptures” up his Bride op to the third heaven, which is called in Hebrews and Revelation 21 the New Jerusalem (see also Hebrews 12:22-23).  Post trib-Rapturists, which are very close to being doctrinally like the Classic or Historic pre-Millennialists, believe the Church, the Bride of Christ will be Raptured to the New Jerusalem, which will have come very close to earth maybe five months prior to Jesus Christ’s literal 2nd coming.  Just thought I’d explain the difference in belief systems here, and where this guy is coming from.]  Will you be ready?  You think it’s just going to roll on just like it is?  What, do you have faith in Kofe Anin?  [past president of the U.N.]  Think he’s going to calm this whole world down, you think somebody’s not going to smuggle a nuke into a city someday, you think somebody’s not going to let go a bacteria or a chemical weapon, you think that’s not going to happen?  You think things are getting better?  You’re an optimist, man, I’ll tell you that.  [Ostriches are optimists too.]  I’m the ultimate optimist because I think Jesus Christ is coming to take me out of here.  And I believe that with all of my heart…[transcript of a connective expository sermon given on Matthew 25:1-13 by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]  Comment:  So the bottom line, according to Pastor Joe Focht’s interpretation, is that the bride’s maids without oil in their lamps and vessels are the “nominal” Christians, most of them being in the “liberal churches.”  Personally, I believe he is correct.  These nominal Christians are not even real believers, but as prophetic events get real close, they’ll try to get in the open door Jesus is in the process of shutting in front of them, after we’ve gone through it or are going through it, and it will be too late for them in this lifetime, and sadly, into the Tribulation they will go.  Some of them might survive, coming out at the other end, destitute physically, barely alive.  There is another group of Christians that have oil in their lamps, which do not receive protection.  For a prophetic description of them, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/revelation3-1-22.html.  This is the Laodicia era of the Church, which does not qualify for the end-time protection Jesus promised in Revelation 3:10.

 

Matthew 25:14-46

 

Parable of the Talents

 

“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.  Then he that received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents:  behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant:  thou hast been faithful over few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:  enter into the joy of thy lord.  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents:  behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:  enter into the joy of thy lord.  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:  and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth:  lo, there thou hast that is thine.  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:  thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance:  but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:  there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (verses 14-30).

 

Parable of the sheep and the goats

 

Verses 31-40, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  and before him shall be gathered all nations:  and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  naked, and ye clothed me:  I was sick, and ye visited me:  I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee?  or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

 

The goats on the left

 

Verses 41-46, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  for I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in:  naked, and ye clothed me not:  sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:  but the righteous into life eternal.”  “Thank you that we have, Father, the privilege together, publicly, to seek you and to study your Word.  Lord we pray that you would give to each of us our portion, Lord, that you would stir our hearts.  We believe as your sons and daughters, that in a sacred trust Lord, you have entrusted to each of us something, Lord, in regards to your Kingdom.  And Lord we pray that you would stir that within us, in the hour that we live, as we see the world unraveling, that Lord we would have the great sense, Lord, by the conviction of your Spirit, that your coming is at the very door.  And Lord, that we would live, Lord, in harmony with that truth, that it would have enough impact on our lives to dictate, Lord, our behavior, the way we yield to you, the way we spend our energy, Lord.  We know what is right, Lord, and we pray Father, what you may bestow on us freely because of the completed work of your Son, would bear that fruit, and the glory would be his, we pray in Jesus name, amen.’

 

Spiritual Preparedness for Jesus 2nd Coming

 

We have come as far as verse 14, we are at the Olivet Discourse, Jesus answering in long-fashion the question “What shall be the signs of thy coming and of the end of the age?”.  And he enumerated a number of things, and at this point he is talking to them about preparedness, that there is something on his heart towards them, towards us, towards those who would live in the day of his Coming, that he would find them of a certain attitude of heart, and a certain frame of mind.  That he’s not doling out information simply to satisfy human curiosity, but he tells us of the things in regards to his return, and then expects those things to have an impact on us.  If we really take inventory of these things, and we look at one another, and say, ‘You know what?  Man, the Coming of Christ could be at hand.’  We could see it anytime in our lifetime, we could see it next week or next month.  It could happen, the things are there.  He knows that that should have an impact on us, and he said “I’ve told you these things beforehand, so when you see them you will know.”  He told the parable of the ten virgins, the kingdom of heaven is like that.  This is not a doctrinal teaching, you can’t, because we’re the Bride of Christ in truth, but in the parable we’re the brides’ maids.  Don’t everybody get upset, always been a brides’ maid, never a bride, and you’re afraid even in the Rapture…no, no, no, you’re the Bride of Christ.  OK?  It’s a parable, it’s taking a truth and setting it alongside of something they understand to make a point.  Now there are two more parables we’ll look at this evening in regards to the Church, and stewardship or faithfulness, and regards to, very interestingly, to those who will live during the Tribulation period, and great instruction for them.  So, the parable of the ten virgins, a picture of those no doubt who were genuine believers, who had oil for their lamps, a picture always of the Holy Spirit, able to give light, and a picture of those who had religion, empty lamps, without reality, a form of religion, no power.  For you and I, the lesson, it says “But when the bridegroom came, they all needed to be awakened, those with oil, and those without oil.  Even the real Church was depicted as slumbering, not aware.  And certainly an exhortation as it ends in verse 13, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” 

 

The Parable of the Talents

 

Verse 14, “For the kingdom of heaven is as”---it isn’t exactly, but it’s like this, another parable---“a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.”  So, certainly a picture of Christ, traveling into a far country.  There’s a day of responsibility and a day of reckoning in this parable, and he says that the Master will come and reckon with those that he had entrusted certain things to, and in regards to what they did with those things, knowing the Master would return.  So it says here that he called his servants and delivered to them his goods, obviously that was with instruction.  It wasn’t just he did that quietly and walked away and they sat and thought ‘Now what do I do with this?’.  Evidently there’s instruction attached to this, because he’s going to hold them accountable.  But it’s like this, he says.  “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey” (verse 15).  Ah, to one man he gave five talents, play the guitar, taxidermy, carving with a chainsaw, ah, spelunking, and I don’t know.  No, it’s not those kinds of talents, OK, and you probably wouldn’t consider those talents anyway.  But it’s a measure of money.  The talent, the largest amount of weight a man could lift was the measure of a talent in that day.  [That’s why a talent in that day could either be 120lbs or 180lbs]  A talent was worth 20 years wage, a talent of gold.  Someone will say, ‘Well the one only got one talent.’  He got 20 years salary.  OK?  Try to imagine that.  [ok, 20 x $30,000, average yearly wage = $600,000]  Now to the one he gave five talents, a hundred years wages.  To another he gave two talents, 40 years wages, to another he gave one, 20 years wages---unimaginable wealth.  They were entrusted with unimaginable wealth.  Now in the parable you and I are entrusted with unimaginable wealth, because this is going to be based on faithfulness, ok, what we do with what we have.  He’s not grading on a curve at the end of this, he’s not rewarding according to how many talents the person had, but he’s simply going to say “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”  All of us in this room are included, because he’s entrusted something to every one of us.  And we will be rewarded in regards to how faithful we are with that, not the final results, not what is accomplished, what we do with what God had entrusted to us.  So he gave them his goods, every man according to his ability, and he took his journey. 

 

Day of Reckoning---Day of Rewards at the Throne of Rewards

 

“Then he that received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.”---doubled the investment, the money.  “And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.  But he that received the one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them” (verses 16-19).  The day of reckoning, the Lord is coming, this is in regards to his teaching on the 2nd Coming.  Now he’s coming to reckon with us, not the way he comes to reckon with the lost.  You and I, Corinthians, Romans, are one day to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, the Bema Throne, the Throne of Rewards.  But Paul does say, “Knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men.”  It isn’t like you get to practice that.  One day, in the twinkling of an eye, [finger snap!] we will stand before the Throne of Rewards.  It was the throne at the Olympiad the rewards were given.  It is a throne of rewards.  We will not stand before the Great White Throne, which is a judgment of decision over  damnation. All that are gathered there are damned. [The Body of Christ, in its various denominations, has varying beliefs about heaven and hell.  To see a few, and read some interesting studies on that see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.]  But we will be rewarded according to our service.  That’s not salvation.  Salvation is never a reward, it’s a gift.  You can never earn it, you could never deserve it, you will never be worthy of it.  It is a free gift.  But we will be rewarded in regards to our service.  Paul says one man’s work will abide the fire, like gold, silver, precious stone.  Another man, his works, will be burnt up, like wood, hey and stubble.  But the soul itself will be saved.  So you and I, we’re not worried about standing before this throne and giving an account and him sending us into the lake of fire [gehenna fire, cf. Revelation 20:14-15].  But our Master is gone, and he has bequeathed to everyone in this room a certain ministry [i.e. this website is a ministry.  Wives and husbands have been bequeathed a ministry and will answer to the Lord for how well they raised their children in the Lord.  There are prayer-ministries people have. There are other ministries too, all kinds of them.  I just named two or three of them out of many.]  A certain wealth, an unimaginable wealth, that no one other that ever has existed could ever bequeath upon us.  You that are grandparents, never going to have a public ministry, by and large, most of us will never have public ministry, never do what I do, never ever.  You know, that’s not the issue here.  Because to one person one talent’s given, to another five talents are given.  What you do with what he’s entrusted to you is what counts, because the reward will be according to your faithfulness.  So you’re a grandma?  You have three little grandkids.  That’s your congregation.  How faithful will you be with those three grandkids?  Because you have been entrusted with something that is unimaginable in its wealth.  [i.e. people, to the Lord are worth more to him than ANYTHING physical in this universe, because people can become his holy children.]  Because if you break through to one of the hearts of those grandchildren, and they get saved, that is an eternal value.  It’s infinite.  It’s immeasurable.  You’re a nurse, you’re a doctor, a computer programmer, you work in a hospital with the mentally disabled.  I heard Joni Eriksson talk about ministering to the mentally disabled, sitting in a mental institution, and as she was trying to talk, people were looking around, no one was paying attention, and then she started to talk about the fact that one day we’d all have new bodies and new minds, and in Christ we’d all be in our right minds, and she’d be out of her wheelchair, and she said they all started to settle down and they all started to listen, and they all zeroed in.  And you can speak to the spirit of a man.  Maybe you’re in a hospital and you have somebody laying there and they are on life-support, unconscious, share the Gospel of Christ with that person.  One of the folks that came to the church here was on life-support, terrible accident, no pulse, they put him on life-support, breathing machine, laying in emergency, and he said “I could hear the doctor say to my wife, ‘He’s not gonna make it.’”  And he said “I had been a nominal Christian, not saved.”  And he said, “In my heart I cried out to the Lord, because I heard them say I’m not gonna make it.”  And he said it was unimaginable the thought that I was about to be thrown into the darkness, I cried out on Jesus,”  and he says “I felt his Spirit come into my heart, and I felt myself be born again.”  And he said, “the first thing I thought is ‘Whose gonna tell my brothers?’”  This is all real, almost like the man in the story that Jesus talks about [Lazarus and the rich man].  Now of course he made it, because he told me the story.  But his exhortation to me was “Always tell the person whose unconscious on life-support, because the machines may say nothing’s cooking, but they’re aware of everything going on around them.”  And maybe that’s your ministry.  Sunday [or Sabbath] school, I just did a retreat last weekend, and I encouraged the men, one man can change the world.  You go into the story of this guy Kimball who goes and has a burden for the kids in his Sunday school class, and goes and finds D.L. Moody, a little boy working in a shoe store, and leads Moody to Christ.  And then it follows the trail all the way to Billy Graham, and untold millions that have come to Christ because a guy decided to go to the shoe store and lead one of his Sunday school students to Jesus.  We will be rewarded too, in regards to our faithfulness.  You may be more faithful as a grandpa or a grandma with your grandkids than Billy Graham has been in his evangelistic ministry.  And the rewards will be doled out on the basis of faithfulness, not scope of public recognition in this world, but recognition when the Master comes.  “After a long time  the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them” (verse 19).  Now that’s where we’re living, right now, pretty soon.  It’s at the end of a long time.  “And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents:  behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:  enter thou into the joy of thy lord.  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents:  behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:  enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (verses 20-23).  I’m going to make a few points looking at those verses.  One is, the joy that we’re going to enter into is not our joy.  When he says “Well done thou good and faithful servant”, it’s not like we’re going to go ‘Wheh!  Glad I passed that one.’  No, the joy is his joy, it’s the joy of the Lord.  Ephesians, as Paul says “I want you to understand and perceive what are the riches of his inheritance in the saints.”  A strange phrase, ‘the riches of his inheritance in us.’  “Well done thou good and faithful servant, you’ve been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things:  enter into the joy of thy lord”, that it will be the joy in the heart of Jesus that fills heaven, the kingdom of heaven.  Receiving us, such as us.  Paul says there’s good works foreordained that we should walk in them.  You can’t beat this deal, and I want to challenge you, not to be a pew-potato, to understand, there’s [just] so much time left, you only get to do this one time.  You will never get another shot at it [not at this level of reward, that’s for sure].  You get to do this one time.  And maybe there’s somebody at work God’s been putting on your heart to witness to them, maybe it’s a relative, maybe it’s to reach out and love somebody that’s just plain unlovable.  You only get to do this one time.  And the results are eternal, they’re infinite.  Peter says that he’s praying that we would have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of God, an abundant entrance.  Good works, foreordained that we should walk in them.  What it’s saying to us, is we were dead in trespasses and sins, he woke us up, he saved us [and brought us out of that sinning and trespassing lifestyle], and then he’s willing to do through us, that which we could never accomplish on our own, and then when we get into the kingdom of heaven, he rewards us for what he did through us!  You can’t beat this!  It’s his joy we’re going to enter into.  Secondly, he says “You’ve been faithful over a few things.”  What do you mean, a hundred years wage, a few things?  40 years wages, untold wealth, a few things?  [This wealth he’s talking about is not monetary, but spiritual.]  What is unimaginable wealth to us is a few things to the Master, because his household is infinite.  His wealth is unimaginable.  And he knows that every one in this room is capable of being steward over a few things.  Well I can’t play like Shak under the net, and I can’t receive like Tyrel Owens, and I’m never going to start a computer company, and I’m never going to be a Congressman [that’s a good thing, you don’t want to go down like they’re gonna, when this nation falls during the tribulation], no, no, no, no, that’s human measure.  You can be faithful over a few things.  What are they?  I dare you, all you need to do is get on your knees before the Lord, say, ‘OK Lord, if I’ve got, one, two, three, four, five things that you really want me to take care of, that are going to bear fruit into eternity, kind of make them clear to me, show me, Lord, what they are, and how to exercise myself in those things.’  You’ve got three kids at home, that’s a few things. [he laughs]  “Because you were faithful over a few things”, I think that tells us that people can be, you know, they can have a demeaning appraisal of what Christ gives us.  You’re faithful over a few things in your life, but they had tremendous value.  And he says to them what we all long to hear at the end of our lives, and that is “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  Not ‘well done thou good and faithful Christian, well done thou good and faithful plumber.  You may be a good and faithful plumber, we’re always looking for good and faithful plumbers.  “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”  That defines everything here.  Servant, if you call him Lord, that’s the only place it leaves you, is servant.  And to understand the things that you have of unimaginable wealth, you could never have accrued to yourself, but he’s bestowed freely on you, so that we can exercise them and bear reward into eternal life, into that which is infinite.  Servant, that’s not a demeaning phrase.  I think, what a privilege to be a servant in his house.  I’d rather be a servant in the Lord’s house than to dwell in the tents of wickedness, we’re told in the Psalms, doorkeeper, what a great job to be a doorkeeper.  [Some high-ranking holy angels have that job right now, and think it’s the privilege of a lifetime, read Revelation 4, Ezekiel 1.]  Now, what’s required, to be a good and faithful servant?  Only one thing.  Be a good and faithful servant.  That’s all that’s required.  You want to be a good and faithful servant, then be a good and faithful servant.  It’s extended to everyone.  “Enter in the joy of thy lord…you’ve been faithful over a few things, I’m going to make you ruler over many things.”  Amazing.

 

He who did nothing with the Lord’s talent

 

“Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed.  i.e. ‘You’re a thief’, the point is, first of all, this is a parable, let’s not try to chisel it up too dogmatically doctrinally, it’s a parable, and it’s obvious, this one doesn’t know the Lord, because that’s not who the Lord is at all.  And he’s going to be condemned by his own appraisal of the Lord.  He said “I know you are a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed”, you know, other people came threw the grain and chaff in the air, and the chaff blew away and the grain fell down, and you came and gathered where you didn’t straw, no, no that’s not what the Lord really does.  “And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth:  lo, there thou hast that is thine.”  Now I was afraid before I was saved, not after.  ‘Lord, you’re a hard man…you gather where you don’t sow…those that are going to be saved are going to be saved anyway, you’re sovereign, doesn’t matter what you do, if you’re not predestined you don’t get saved, what’s the use, no sense trying.’  He doesn’t say ‘Oh thou theological thinker’ [laughter], he says, “You wicked and lazy servant”, and you know, I’m not condemning that.  But I’m saying, we can get in that frame of mind, thinking ‘What does it matter?  He’s God, he saves who he wants, and when he doesn’t he doesn’t save, and you’re predestined, he’s sovereign anyway, what’s the use?’  And people can get like that because they get burned.  Something in their life happens, a very difficult time, and they look up to heaven and say ‘That’s it, you’re an Indian giver, you get me to trust you and then you do this to me?  This is what I get, this pain?  What’s the use.’  You know people like that, I have a relative that said ‘He’s gonna have to deal with me when we see each other face to face.’  And I’m thinking ‘Oh boy, I’m sure he’s afraid, has to deal with you, I could have dealt with you…’  But you hear about people who do those kinds of things and say those kinds of things.  Well this is that kind of person, saying, ‘He’s mean, he’s up there, and if he’s that mean I don’t want to know him, I don’t want to serve him anyway.’  He gave him a talent, ‘Here’s your talent back, what’s the big deal, you didn’t lose anything, here.’  “His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knowest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:---He’s saying, ‘Upon your own supposition, if you really knew that, that I reap where I sow not and gather where I have not strawed, by your own confession of how hard I was---“thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.”---‘I should have received my own at least with interest.’  “Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance:  but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:  there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (verses 26-30).  Now, it harks very much back to Matthew chapter 13 when he was talking about the parable of the sower, the Son of man is the sower going forth to sow the seed of the Word of God.  “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  Then he says, “To the one that has, shall more be given, to the one that has not, even what he has shall be taken away.”  The idea is, it’s an attitude of heart.  To the one who has ears to hear, shall more be given.  To he that does not have, because the heart is where the seed is sown, “he who hath not ears to hear, even what he has shall be taken away.”  You know, it isn’t God’s will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  He says “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked.”  Now just imagine this movie The Passion of Christ, critics can say, people can argue, but it just went across the whole country, it’s going around the world now, and people can sit there, and the Holy Spirit has enough leverage there to use that to bring somebody under conviction and say “He did this for you.”  It isn’t like it’s hidden in a corner.  Paul says “It’s not like this thing was done in a corner.”  It’s in the movie theaters.  And what bothers me is you see some people there eating popcorn, drinking a soda like its any other movie, and walk out untouched.  To him that has not, even what he has shall be taken away.  To those who don’t respond, to those who don’t yield, all is available through the wealth of the Master, to anyone.  But to those who have nothing to do with it, ‘take that unprofitable servant, cast him into outer darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  It’s a parable.  It’s a picture.  OK?  [And again, by Pastor Joe’s interpretation, the servant who was given the one talent represents non-believers, ones who refuse the call of God.]

 

Parable of the Sheep and the Goats---first the sheep

 

Verses 31-40, , “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:…”  Now he was coming in this previous parable, now this is when he does come.  “And before him shall be gathered all nations:  and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:…”  So there’s a truth here of his coming, setting up his kingdom, and he said ‘But there will be a dividing, as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.  There are three groups brought before us in this interesting picture.  There are sheep, there are goats, and there are brethren.  And we want to understand what they are as we look at this.  So let’s journey into it, let’s take our best shot at it.  The Son of man comes in his glory, this is at the end of the age, at the end of the Tribulation.  Sun has gone out, moon has gone out, stars refuse to give their light, he told us about this back in chapter 24, and he comes, he gathers his elect from the four winds, the nations are gathered before him in the Valley of Kidron, the nations gathered to him that have survived.  He’ll sit upon his throne in glory.  “And before him shall be gathered all nations.  And he shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from his goats:  and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:…”  Far-reaching.  We have already received ours, what shall be the sign of the coming of the end of the age?  “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  naked, and ye clothed me:  I was sick, and ye visited me:  I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee?  or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?  or naked, and clothed thee?  or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  Now this is only the first and last time he’s calling himself a King in this parable. It’s an interesting parable, the sheep and the goats, Christ coming.  Now, the Rapture’s taken place [here’s where it’s getting doctrinal when it shouldn’t, getting too specific when a far broader interpretation would seem to apply to this parable].  Some try to put this, you know, if you’re a post-Tribulationist in regards to the Rapture, well if that were true, and people like to pull out of the Greek grammar a phrase, going out to meet the King while he’s coming, and what that means is as he’s descending, the Church is caught up to meet him [that interpretation would fit the Classic or Historic Pre-Millennial interpretation, not Post-Rapturist interpretation], well if that’s true then there would be no sheep and goats to separate.  [Again, this pastor is getting way too doctrinally specific for a mere parable, which isn’t meant to get that specific.  This parable in reality could apply to all ages within the Church Age.]  This is something different.  “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  Well, he could be talking about the Church [as a whole, from Acts 2 in 30 AD right up to just before the 2nd coming when the two witnesses are killed, the last of the believers to die].  He could be talking about Jude and James and his sisters, which of course doesn’t fit this.  Or he could be talking about the Jews, the House of Israel [now the House of Israel is composed of the ten tribes of Israel, he means the House of Judah.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html.]  And I think that’s our picture here [I think that’s weird, getting a little too specific for a parable, but each to their own, this is his interpretation].  During the Tribulation period the anti-christ will hate the Jews.  Not just in Israel, worldwide.  And because of the worldwide dispersion, then finally the gathering of his elect from the four winds [that phrase is used in Matthew 24 to describe Jesus gathering those who have just been resurrected in the 1st Resurrection to Immortality], anyone who lives during that period, and it’s going to be a time of unimaginable evangelism.  You know, there are people who take a lot of trouble to try to say ‘If you hear the Gospel now and you turn it down, then once the Rapture happens you can’t get saved.  And I don’t agree with that.  I think the 144,000, Jewish evangelists, Billy Grahams, the two prophets outside of Jerusalem, we have an innumerable number of people in Revelation chapter 7 that are gathered in during the Tribulation period.  It will be a great time of people coming to faith [very true], knowing what’s taking place, putting things together.  And particularly the second half, when the anti-christ sits himself on the throne in Jerusalem, and the Jews realize they’ve been deceived, and it says “When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, then let those who read understand.”  Well what does that mean?  There will be those there that will be reading Matthew 24, and understanding what’s taking place.  So, during that time period, many Gentiles that get saved are going to realize, ‘No, these Jews are God’s chosen people.  The anti-christ is persecuting them, driving them.’  Many will give them to drink, many will take them in.  Many will visit them.  Many will show mercy to them.  [First I ever heard this interpretation.  Could be true, have to wait and see how it shakes out.]  When Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation, everybody who goes into the Kingdom age is a believer.  [Not at first, got that one wrong. Most will for the most part become believers, but not everybody at first.  He’s getting way to specific over a parable, which he himself said you couldn’t hang too specific a doctrine on.]  Anybody who survives till that point, who sees the sun go out, the moon go out, the stars disappear, who sees Jesus Christ descending from heaven in power and great glory with all of the angels [and us] is a believer.  OK?  [But don’t forget, the armies of the world, marshaled under the Beast, will be gathering in Jerusalem and going toward Jerusalem to fight the returning Christ, deceived by the Beast and False Prophet into believing that Jesus is a space-invader, that it’s an alien invasion from outer space.  So everyone isn’t a true believer in that sense, not until well after the 2nd coming.]  “As you’ve done it unto the least of these my brethren”, ‘your attitude towards them was an evidence of your belief and conviction in regards to me.’  ‘As you’ve done it to the least of these my brethren, you’ve done it unto me.’  We know nobody’s rewarded, you don’t gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven and receive eternal life because you visit the sick and those in prison.  We’re not saved by works, this is something different here. 

 

The Goats on the Left Hand

 

Verse 41-46, “Then shall he also say unto them on his left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  for I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in:  naked, and ye clothed me not:  sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:  but the righteous into life eternal.”  Now, take note of that, “into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”  It’s not his will that any should perish.  Hell was not prepared for man.  It was prepared for Satan and his angels.  That’s where they are to be punished.  Don’t have a wrong idea in your mind that hell’s a place where Satan has a throne, and when people get thrown there he’s torturing them, and they’re having a big party there.  No, no, it’s a place where he is tormented for ever and ever.  These flames, this place of eternal suffering was prepared ‘for the devil and his angels.’  And evidently the physical frames after the resurrection of those who are placed there will be suited, non-flammable for eternal suffering.  [Oh boy, here’s another interpretation about hell I hadn’t heard before.  The body of Christ has a lot of differing interpretations about what hell is going to be like.  To view some more of  them see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.  Shortly after Jesus returns we’ll learn the real truth on the matter.]  I encourage you, if you’re into that kind of thing, William Shed wrote a little book called “The Doctrine of Endless Punishment.”  It’s an easy read, it sounds like a depressing title, but it’s quite informative, and you can get through it without a lot of trouble.  ‘Go away into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels, for I was hungry and you didn’t give me anything to eat, I was thirsty, ye gave me no drink.  I was a stranger, you did not take me in, I was naked, you didn’t clothe me, I was sick and in prison, you didn’t visit me.’  ‘Then shall they also answer and say, ‘Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, naked, sick and in prison and did not minister to you, serve you?  Then shall he answer them, saying, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”  Again, some weeks ago we took a whole Wednesday night and talked about hell, because there are those now who are pushing the idea of annihilationism, that you go into hell, you’re burnt up and you cease to exist, and the Bible knows nothing of that, here it is everylasting fire. It is everylasting punishment.  Revelation chapter 14, ‘the smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever and for ever.’ [Again, be sure to log onto that link below which has a link at the end of it going to a study on annihilationism---it’s a very interesting study.  http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm. Choose what you want to believe, we’ll find out for sure when Jesus comes back.  Your personal belief on this subject is not going to effect your eternal life.]  The stakes are high.  We don’t like to use the “H” word in the Church, you know, this is not seeker-friendly stuff.  Eleven out of the twelve times we have the word “gehenna” in the New Testament it’s coming from the lips of Jesus.  He spoke far more about hell than anyone else.  Imagine, the cost, image what the stakes are.  You know, God gives his only Son, Holy, spotless, without blemish, Eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient.  And he yields himself, gives his back to the smiters, his cheek to those who pull out the beard, and to their spitting.  He subjects himself, not just to the physical torture and crucifixion, but then to the sin of the world coming upon himself, and the propitiation, God’s wrath being satisfied, because he knows what the stakes are.  For the glory that was set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame, but is now sat down at the right hand of the Father.  And his exhortation, ‘Look, the stakes are high, what was prepared for Satan and the fallen angels is everlasting fire, and everlasting punishment.  Not prepared for you, you don’t need to go there.  People have to be determined to get there.  Because the opportunity to be saved is everywhere.  And the Lord will never be unjust in his decision.  So there will be no appeals, because this is the Supreme Court, and this is the Supreme Court Justice, the Supreme Court Justice, he is just, he’s all-knowing, his decision, his sentence, there will be no appeals because he’s all-knowing.  Warning, this is what it will be like, take note of these things, he says.  “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:  but the righteous into life eternal.”  [transcript of an expository sermon on Matthew 25:14-46, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

Related links: 

 

Various beliefs about hell within the Body of Christ:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm

 

A good post-Tribulation Rapture interpretation:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/Pentecost-Revetion1.htm

 

What is the Gospel?  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm

 

Who or What is the House of Israel?  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html

 

End-time Laodician verse Philadelphian era of the Church:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/revelation3-1-22.html

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