FBCWest 424 | Awaiting Jesus Return - Preparation, Accountability, Reward and Punishment
Recorded On: 11/08/2020
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth.”
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
Praise and Worship
SCRIPTURE READING – Psalm 18:1 - 3
“Nothing Ever (Could Separate Us”
“We Won’t be Shaken”
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
SPECIAL MUSIC – By Pru Hungate
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“The Life and Ministry of Jesus The Messiah”
“Awaiting Jesus’ Return: Preparation, Accountability, Reward and Punishment”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
Acknowledgements and Announcements
Benediction “Won’t Stop Now”
Matthew 25:1 – 13 Parable of the 10 Virgins
Prudent preparation – the Oil
Open or Shut
Matthew 25:14 – 30 Parable of the Talents
Reward or Rejection
Matthew 25:31 – 46 Division of the Sheep and the Goats
Rewards or Punishment
Transcript of Service
The series that we've been going through for the past several months, almost more than a year has been the imperfect, sequential life, Earthly life administry of Jesus.
The last couple of weeks we have been taking a look at Jesus's response to his disciples. Questions about the temple and his statement that not one stone will be left upon another and questions about his return.
He spent a considerable time teaching them about the signs that will appear before his return, an making sure that they were not deceived. He also has.
We have at least six recorded parables that Jesus has been teaching his disciples related to his return.
If Jesus is spending this much time on a topic of his return, then probably it's very important, like like students who are just before their semester is coming to an end and the teacher professor is teaching and writing things on the board. Is that you, the.
Why student pays close attention to what the teacher or professor is saying? Because they're thinking it's probably going to be on the test. Or if you're working for a manager or an owner of a business and he or she is about to leave on a trip and they're giving you some last minute details and tasks for you to do, then you can pretty much assure that they want those tasks accomplished before they return.
And so it behooves you to pay attention to make sure. Maybe write some notes so that you can prepare and have those tasks done before the owner returns in. So similarly, Jesus is seriously teaching his disciples about the signs of his return and being alert and being prepared and being ready an those types of things. And so we're going to take one more look at these.
Last three parables.
Now the problem in this situation is, quite frankly, we love to hear the scriptures and the stories of how much Jesus loves us. So we we, the world pretty much knows John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. We love to hear those passages we love to sing those songs.
We even teach him to our children. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me because the Bible tells me so.
And we love the parable that I consider to be a misnomer, not named correctly, but you will know it as the the parable of the Protocol Son, because we tend to identify with that protocol, son and how we get away from God and then coming back after messing up our lives. He accepts us unconditionally and lovingly, and as if we had never left. Now the reason I say that I believe that.
Parable is misnomer is I think it's correctly called a father and two sons 'cause the parable is much more about the father and how he deals with his two sons. One who's the protocol and one who is in sense with the fact that.
He didn't get more because he stayed with the father.
But we love those parables, and we love those teachings.
And we love the singing, for instance, Amazing Grace. We talk about how his Grace is is sufficient and enough, and and that it overwhelms. And that even even the song says Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a Wretch like me. Or I once was lossed now I'm found, was blind. But now I see, and we we take a look at how the Lord.
His Grace and his love towards us an in that true an we need to emphasize that and we need to remember it, especially those times when we do go astray.
But there are also parables, and they are also teachings of Jesus.
That aren't just about God's love and not just about Jesus is love, but about how we are too.
Behave in this world. How we are to relate to it and the consequences of our following Jesus is commands and not following them.
And so Jesus is taught in these previous parables.
That we need to understand the signs of the time. If we can figure out the weather and those types of things, then we should be at least knowledgeable about the return of Jesus because the weather will change in a short period time. But Jesus says Kingdom will last forever, for he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and so he he's preparing us to say these are the signs so that you'll know and that you need to be prepared and you need to be alert.
And you need to be ready and that on top of that, not only are we to be those things, but there are things for us to do to be going about the King's business and how we are to be faithful in that.
These last three parables that Jesus is going to be teaching tells us not only about preparation and being ready, but it also discuss is consequences for not being that.
And so we're going to take a look at that, and we're going to see.
How Jesus is teaching.
Is direct into the point and talks about consequences.
So let's take a look at Matthew Chapter 25. And like I said, it's uncomfortable to talk about consequences because we like to hear about how much God loves us and how much he forgives us. And many people like to go to churches or all they do is preach evangelistic services because they're comfortable because they got their Salvation and they're not challenged to do anything further, and so they can just say I.
Have been saved and how about you?
And so it is a disservice to only teach.
If you will, the positive aspects of the Gospel but without mentioning.
The consequences and so Matthew 25 starting with verse one it says this, then the Kingdom of Heaven will be comparable to 10 virgins. So I want you to know that there is a shift here, Jesus saying not.
As the Kingdom is growing, but when I return at that point of time this is this parable. When it's comparable to the Kingdom and it says it's comfortable to 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom, five of them were foolish and five of them were prudent for when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil and the flask, along with their lamps now.
The prudent are wise because they understand that a laugh only carries so much oil and they're not certain how long the bridegroom is going to be chairing how long it will be before he comes, so they want to be prepared so they take not only the lamp but the oil. The foolish only tank their lamps, but without the oil.
This would be comfortable if you will in today's world, where you would take a flashlight.
But you wouldn't bring any batteries. The flashlight in of itself, does you no good. It is the batteries that gives power to the flashlight to produce light, and so the foolish don't do that now. I find it interesting.
Then in this parable, Jesus is using a lamp and oil often times.
Oil is viewed as the Holy Spirit. There's an anointing of oil. There's a 19 win. David became King, and other times when the Holy Spirit would be present and there would be a task to be done. Oil would be placed there so I can't say for sure that Jesus meant that, but I think it's interesting that he uses oil and a lamp and also the word of God is known as the lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
And so I think the parable is an excellent one. Not that I can criticize Jesus or his teachings, but I think it's.
Interesting that he uses oil and a lamp.
In this parable.
And so we have those or wise who who have the oil and the foolish you don't. Now, while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. Notice the wise and prudent allg
Drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a a shout. Behold the bridegroom. Come out to meet him. Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
The fully said to the prudent give us some of your oil for our lamps are going out, but their fruit and answered no, there will not be enough for us and you to go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.
Now this is first interesting. The prudence. A look at. We came prepared.
Lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. If I give you some oil then I will also move be like you unprepared. So they said you need to go and buy oil. Now this is about midnight. I would venture to say even in most cities it would be difficult at midnight in today's world to find oil.
But especially during the 1st century, when most businesses were closed before sundown because it was difficult to see, and so they're told OK, make some emergency preparation because we're not going to share any with you.
And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast.
And the door was shut.
Jesus says he didn't wait for the other five. The bridegroom, he said. He came the five virgins that were prudent with their oil in their lamps.
Process with him to where the marriage feast was to take place, and even though it was a strange hour at midnight, they were ready to go because they were prepared.
But the interesting thing here is that once the 10 virgins an the bridegroom entered into the place where the wedding face was to take place.
The door was shut.
There is a consequence to not being prepared and later the other versions also came saying Lord Lord Open up for us.
But he answered, truly, I say to you, I do not know you.
Interesting, he doesn't open the door.
The consequences of not being prepared is that the door is shut.
The response is not. I used to know you, but I don't know you now or because of your lack of preparation.
I no longer know you the answer is I do not know you.
What a terrible words to hear.
From the master.
Be on the alert then for you. Do not know the day nor the hour. So Jesus is telling us that we need to be prepared. We need to be ready and that readiness is preparation to have. If you will oil in our laps to be prepared. So when it comes whether we're asleep or not, that we have made preparations for that time. But the consequense
of not being prepared.
Not being his.
Is it the door shuts?
You see, there isn't a second opportunity.
They could knock on the doors. They but Lord, we have oil now. But Lord, we're ready now.
But the answer quite simply is I don't need you now.
I've gone from where I was to the wedding feast. The light needed to be during that period of time you weren't prepared. I do not know you.
And you remain outside.
Of his presence.
To me, that's a.
And so this parable we need to understand and appreciate that is not just to know his signs, if not just to know that he's coming back, but it should be prepared.
And the best way to be prepared is to be his.
To have that oil that Holy Spirit present in our lives.
Then he goes on in the teachers another parable and verse 14. It says this.
Or is just like a man about to go on a journey who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them?
Tawani gave 5 talents to another two and two another one each according to his own ability, and he went on his journey.
Now this parable sounds very similar to another parable that Jesus thought about the menace. The Menace was a smaller denomination, and in this he's going to be emphasized in some things. But the parable of the teachings are very similar, but notice that he gave 5 talents according to the ability and two talents according to his ability and one talent according to that person's ability. And then he went on a journey.
Verse 16 immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with him and gave gain five more talents notice.
That this slave took the instruction seriously. He didn't wait for period time before he started investing before he started doing those things to double what he had, he immediately went and started trading.
So often we tend to be appreciative of what the Lord does for us in the gifts and the blessings, but then we sit on those gifts and blessings rather than to immediately.
Verse 17 in the same manner, the one who had received the two talents gained two more. Again, we see in the same way he immediately began to invest an because he had.
Talent that was given to him. He was able to double from two to four.
But he who received the one talent went away, dug a hole in the ground and hid his Masters money. Now notice that in this.
The five towns, the two talents and the one town are not the slaves there. The ownership and possession of the master, and when the master returns, it is the Masters talents. It is not slaves.
Now, after a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talent, saying, master, you have entrusted me.
Five times you have entrusted 5000 BC. I've gained five more talents.
Now in this parable we see something significant that there is an accounting to be had. The master is going to say I gave you these possessions. What did you do to invest to further my ownership?
And so there is an accounting. An most of us were really uncomfortable with that we're very uncomfortable with the fact that we have to give an accounting to God.
For what we've done with what he's given us.
We again we talk about Amazing Grace and that our sins are forgiven and that is true. And yes, it is.
But there will be an accounting that's called the Bema seat of Christ, where we will have to give an accounting to what we have done with what God has given us.
You may say, well.
I don't have alot. Well maybe that's true. Maybe the fact is is that you may only have the ability according to the Master of 1 Talent or two talents, or pipe out or what it may be.
But I tell you this.
Take a breath.
Take a second breath.
Take a third bra.
Those three breath were given to you by God.
I'm sure that there are other talents and abilities that he is given to you.
And all too often we are content with our Salvation, knowing that someday he'll return, but very little regard with.
for his Kingdom.
And so we see that this one is.
Has been rendering accounting says OK, I've gained five more talents and his master said to him, well done, good and faithful slave.
You are faithful with a few things I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master. Now I want you to see that there is a reward here for this, slaves.
Enginuity and work.
In response to his Masters placing the talents in his possession, he tells him, well done.
In our eyes tells him, well done, he says he's good, an faithful.
There is a.
A joke that says.
That man was talking about his marriage.
And then he said, yes, I have been faithful to that woman several times.
And that's how we tend to be with the Lord. We are faithful.
And then were not faithful, and then were faithful, then were not faithful. But here I'm saying he's good, and he's faithful.
He's still a slave. He's not a friend. He still owned by the Master.
But if the master tells him that he's good and he's faithful, and because he's faithful in a few things, he says, I will put you in charge of many things.
He not only has been given a commendation if you will, he's been given a promotion.
The Lord says that you're good and you're faithful, and I give you more to do with more responsibility because you've been faithful in a few things. And then he says.
Enter into the joy of your master.
It's not just a matter of OK you've been out there working and you come back and now you're doing doing more. It's God saying you're now.
In the presence of your master and joyfully.
Now when we.
Or in the presence of people, we oftentimes know whether those people enjoy us being around or not.
If they enjoy us there is that comfort. There is relaxation because we know that there is relationship and the people or person who are were there with enjoy our company and so we enjoy it and we we stay longer perhaps. But when we are with people who really don't care about us or have something against us or are just don't like our personality or whatever the the aspect maybe.
God saying, because the slave was good and faithful.
There is this relationship with the slave that is pleasant.
In joyful not a sense of oh I need to worry about my actions because it might have been, but there is that joyful presence.
1st 20 two also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, master you entrusted two talents to me. see I have gained two more talents.
In his master said it him well done, good and faithful slave you were faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master. Now I notice I want you to see this, that the commendation an the promotion is the same. It isn't over the first one five times got five more. Now there's 10 and so there's greater commendation to him. Then there is the one who had two talents.
In double the two the.
Blessings are the same. Well done, good and faithful slave.
The promotion is the same. I'm going to put you in charge of many things and the relationship is the same. Enter into the joy of your master.
One of the mistakes we make.
As believers is all too often we take a look at what the other person is doing. Oh, that Pastor has a bigger church or that Pastor has more baptism or that pastor just builds a bigger building or this ministry reaches these people an we tend to look at what other people are doing in Jesus Commendation in Jesus is blessings.
Are directed at the ability of those who gave something and their faithfulness.
An investment in his Kingdom.
And so instead of being concerned about what others are accomplishing, we need to take a look at what it is that we have in accomplishing with what Jesus has given us.
Because the greatest.
Last thing I can tell you in the one I hope to hear.
I hope to hear.
Is when Jesus says, well done.
Good and faithful slave.
You are faithful in a few things.
And I don't even care if he puts me in charge of many things or anything.
I would love to hear well done, good and faithful slave enter into the joy.
Of your master.
And so we see, regardless of the outcome of their abilities, the accommodation and the promotion and the blessings are the same. But there is one who is going to suffer consequences.
Verse 24 says this and the one also had received the one talent came up and said master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow gathering where you scattered no seed, and I was afraid and I went away and hid your talent in the ground. See you have what is yours?
Isn't it interesting of these three slaves?
The first two never said that the boss that the master was hard.
They simply went about doing what he had instructed.
But this slave had a different opinion of the master, believing that he was difficult and that he expected more than he ought to expect.
But his master answered and said to him, you wicked lazy slave.
You knew I read where I did not so and gather where I scattered. No see.
Notice the master doesn't debate.
His personality, he doesn't say. Going on, you misunderstood who I am. He doesn't even get her into the conversation with that. He simply says OK, if that's how you perceive me and that's.
Perception and sometimes is reality. Then you should have done something.
Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and upon my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.
He's saying not only was this servant this slave.
He was lazy.
His fear took it so that he was.
An inappropriate slave.
And one who didn't serve the master.
And he says, therefore, take away the talent from him and give it to the one has the 10 talents. So he says.
Am I not?
Giving you accommodation. I'm giving you a.
but I'ma take what I gave you and give it to the other or to everyone who has more shall be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who does not have even what he does have shall be taken away.
If the story ended there, that would be a tragic indeed.
But it doesn't end here.
It says throw out the worthless slave into outer darkness in that place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Now when Jesus talks about the outer darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth, Jesus is talking about help.
Not a figment of somebody's imagination. The scriptures talk about a literal hell.
And Jesus talks about a literal hell, and that we ought to avoid it. The scriptures tell us that the hell was prepared for Satan and his Angels, and it's basically set up to have a maximum capacity of that. But the scriptures also teach us that as those who are going to help, that help expands to the place to occupy those who go there.
Or the scriptures tells us it is not God's will that any should perish, but all come to repentance.
You'll hear people joke about hell. You'll hear people say, well, at least my friends will be there.
And hell, there will be no friends.
The worst part of hell.
Now that I've been there and I hope never to be because I am a child of the King.
Is not the fire.
It's not the weeping and gnashing of teeth.
It's the utter absence of God.
And no hope to ever be in his presence.
And unfortunately there are a lot of people.
Who want nothing to do with God?
And God will give them exactly what it is they want.
With no hope.
I've ever been in it.
And so in this second parable, we see that we are to get rendering accounting to what God has given us.
And that we, after giving that accounting.
Well, either enter into his blessings.
And being charged of things.
I will find.
That we are on the outside looking in.
Then there's a third parable that he's going to.
On Mount of olives.
This very place, or after his crucifixion, he will ascend into heaven, and at this very place when he returns to the earth, he will descend from heaven to this place. So when he's talking to his disciples about these parables and about his teaching, it's not as if there's some far off, but it's right here in their geographic area.
It says this, but when the son of man comes in his glory for you see, when he came into Jerusalem this time.
On a donkey and a colt, and people were yelling hosanna.
In Blaine, out palm branches in their clothes.
And giving him some glory.
But the same people eventually cry out, crucify him, crucify him.
But he's going to be coming in his glory and all the Angels with him. Then he will sit on his glorious throne, and all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from one another as a Shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left now.
There is quite a bit of debate under when this is going to take place.
This will take place after the conclusion of the Millennial Kingdom.
don't take my word for it. Study the scriptures.
Then the King will say to those on his right, come, you who are blessed of my father, inherit the Kingdom prepared from you from the foundation of the world. Now notice he tells them again to come because they are blessed by the father and they are to inherit the Kingdom that has group impaired for them but has been prepared for them, not in the last.
Not in the last few minutes, but before the Lord ever said let there be light.
God's plan was.
says for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.
And I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. And I was a stranger. And you invited me in naked. And you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.
Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? And when did we see you a stranger and invite you in or naked, and clothed you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you? So the question is, wait a minute, Lord?
Yeah, they didn't debate that they didn't do these things, they're saying, but when we did these things, we didn't see you.
Yeah, we saw the people who were hungry or thirsty, or in prison or sick. We saw those people but we didn't see you. So when was it that we did these things for you because we didn't see you?
The King will answer and say to them, truly, I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them you did it to me.
You see, when Jesus says that there are two great commandments to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our mind, all our strength.
And to love our neighbor as ourselves, that those are the two great commandments. He just isn't talking some abstract theology.
He's saying to love God is 1 aspect to love.
Your brother is the same aspect of that love. John in his writings will let her say. How can you say you love God who you did not see. If you don't love your brother who you do see?
Jesus later on in this week he will teach his disciples and give them a new commandment, says.
A new commandment I gave to you that you love your brother as I have loved you and have given myself for you.
And Jesus is saying there is an equivalent when you do it to a brother or a sister.
You do it to me.
Even those that don't seem to count even the least of those that you wouldn't even turn your head say oh there.
Certainly a part of the Kingdom, even the least, when you do it to them.
You've done it for Jesus because you love God by loving.
Then he will also say to those on his left, depart from me, accursed ones, into eternal fire, which is be prepared for the devil and his Angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger in you did not invite me in naked, and you did not clothe me sick and in prison. And you did not visit me.
And then then they themselves will also answer Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger or naked or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of you?
Isn't there someone saying, well, wait a minute?
We didn't see you in those aspects we didn't see you in need. So how is it that we missed that opportunity because we didn't see you in those conditions?
And then he will answer them truly, I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to the one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.
Now there is a.
Bible verse and a expression we oftentimes say, especially when when we don't know people who are in need and we're.
Wondering where we should provide for that need or concern that we might take be taken care of. We often say, well, we may be interning in entertaining Angels unaware.
And that's true. There are times when when we may entertain Angels unaware. I believe our church many many decades ago had an event like that and I won't recount that event now.
But I believe, truly, that the men who did the things that were helpful to this body.
Or Angels unaware.
more important than that.
And entertaining Angels unaware.
Is entertaining Jesus.
Would you when you see someone truly need? I'm not talking about those who are trying to flimflam you or take advantage of you, whatever but those who are in need.
Have you said?
What I'd do it if it was Jesus.
And the answer ought to be yes, I would.
Because I'm going to do this to the least of my brothers.
To do these things when they cannot repay.
When a person is thirsty.
You don't give them a drink because you're hoping one day they can give you a drink. You do it because you love God and you love them.
And then the consequense.
First 46 these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. You see that there is the division of the sheep and the goats. Those are his and those who aren't.
And he divides them up so that there is no mistaking which group each belongs to.
And then he presents rewards to those or his and the greatest reward that he can give is eternal life.
He gives it to us.
And it's not a life of drudgery and existence.
But one of blessings and being in his presence and being in his Kingdom, and being active in that Kingdom because he's blessed us.
But there is a judgment, a punishment for those who aren't his.
To those who failed.
To love the least of the brothers.
Who had their hearts?
So shield it.
That they could not respond.
And so Jesus tells us in these six parables.
After explaining the signs of his return.
That we need to be ready. We need to be on the alert. We need to be aware of those signs.
To be prepared.
We need not to wander around this earth waiting for his return to be actively engaged in the promotion of his Kingdom.
There are rewards.
Of eternal life.
But for those who fail to take heed, who aren't ready who don't see the signs to those who don't make preparation to those who take what God is giving them and put it in the ground.
And do those.
Will be punishment.
And the punishment will not last a few hours or a few days, just as life is given to us eternally. There is punishment that is eternally.
There are consequences.
To Jesus is teaching.
And what our response to those teachings are.
Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. Yes, his grace is amazing.
Giving us some instructions.
He told us to be prepared.
He told us to work.
He told us to love God and our fellow brother and sister.
And if we fail to do so.
A door being shut.
Being cast out into outer darkness.
I'm fond of saying.
That the only perfect decision you make is the one you don't make.
Because you have to live with the one you do make and when it comes to life, that's generally true. If you decide that you want to.
Become a doctor.
There are certain things you have to give up in certain things. You need to do to accomplish that. An making that decision you set your life on a certain path.
If you decide not to do anything, you just bumble around.
That's a decision as well.
The question is when you make a decision you have to live with that decision. So if you become a doctor there, life and death decisions, there are times where you'll be tired. There are times when you'll be rewarded. There were times when you'll wish you had done something else.
You have to live with those decisions, whether they're good or bad.
If you didn't make the decision to do something else.
You could look and say, well, that decision probably would have been better. My life would have been better because but you didn't have to live with those consequences.
But in this situation.
For us to make.
The only one that we.
Suffer the consequences ultimately.
But the master said.
But if we don't.
We can spend an eternity.
And being on the outside.
So I encourage you to think about.
To think about whether we're prepared, there is a song that was popular.
Probably back in the 70s I said I wish we all been ready.
That song was usually meant for those forward believers.
But it's equally appropriate for all of us.
I wish we'd all been ready because we were all doing with the master told us to do. We're all investing in the Kingdom and then we all hear those wonderful words.
Good and faithful slave.
You're faithful in a few things.
I will put you in charge of many things.
Enter into the joy of your master.
So I encourage you.
As we're going to sing.
That you take.
The God is given you.
That's not for me to assess. That's for you to assess.
You take those talents.
And you serve him with everything.
And you do not simply.
Bury them in the ground.
All God's people said.