Last Sunday at CrossHope Chapel we opened to the 25th chapter of Matthew and read two parables and an explanation of the separating of the saved from the unsaved at Jesus’ return.
This chapter was a continuation of the same discourse found in Matthew 24 where Jesus was warning His disciples to be watch for the signs of the end and be ready for His return. In Matthew 25 Jesus uses two parables to show us what it means to watch to be ready for His coming and to remain prepared even as that day delays.
In the parable of the 10 virgins, Matthew 25:1-13 we saw that the lesson is don’t be like the 5 foolish virgins whose lamps ran out of oil and they were not ready to go into the wedding banquet with the bridegroom.
The 5 foolish virgins in the parable eventually stopped watching for the bridegroom. Their anticipation for the bridegroom’s coming faded and they ran out of oil. The Holy Spirit is what is represented by the oil, and in their loss of anticipation for the bridegroom’s coming, they began to lose interest in keeping their lamps trimmed.
The 5 foolish virgins in the parable lost interest in God’s Word and as a result the presence of the Spirit of God faded from them. As a result we have this interaction, “The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’” (Matthew 25:8-9 NIV).
Sadly, the 5 foolish virgins didn’t enter the wedding banquet with the bridegroom, because they weren’t ready, they didn’t have time to go get more oil. This is a reminder that we must invest time in the things of God if we are going to be ready for the return of the Lord.
In the parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30 we saw that being ready for our Lord’s return means being faithful to Him. The reward of Heaven is given to the faithful and the parable makes it clear that it is not based on results but on faithfulness.
Even to the man who turned 5 talents into 10 talents, the parable states “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21 NIV). The lesson of the parable of the talents is to be faithful until the Master returns.
Don’t get discouraged if life throws you curve balls and you find yourself unrecognized to the person you once imagined yourself to become. In the economy of Heaven it is our faithfulness to where we are in the present that makes us ready for our Savior’s return.
Finally, Matthew 25:31-46 ends with Jesus’ assurance that those who keep themselves ready for His appearing will hear, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34 NIV).
Within this context of separating the sheep from the goats, the saved from the unsaved, Jesus reminds us that it is in our relationship with others that we express our relationship with Him. Matthew 25:40 says this, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
It is in our relationship with Him that we are separated from the goats, the unsaved, and are assured of eternal life in Heaven. It is in our relationships with others, being Christlike and sharing the love of the gospel, that we stay ready for the Lord’s return.
My prayer is that we will all be ready for that great day when Jesus returns.
Remember, no meeting this coming Sunday, September 26, 2021, because I will be in Tuscaloosa for a special family weekend at the University of Alabama.
Sunday, October 3, 2021 we will get into the 26th chapter of Matthew, and we may take two weeks of study because it is a long chapter with 75 verses. Matthew 26 covers Judas agreeing to betray Jesus, Jesus in Getsemane, Jesus’ Arrest, Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin, and Peter denying Jesus.
Where are we going after Matthew? I am still thinking of heading over to the book of Revelation. In particular, I am thinking of going through this prophetic book with the intention of emphasizing the gospel in Revelation.
The gospel is very clear in the book of Revelation but it is often overlooked in order to stick to prophetic interpretations. While I want to be able to give attention to differing interpretations of prophecy, I want to emphasize the gospel as weaved throughout the chapters of the book of Revelation.