- Sermon Notes
Things to Come, Part 6
1. Life is a gift from God. Since it is God’s gift, He knows the best way for life to be lived.
- There is a wise way and a foolish way to live life.
- There is a fruitful and an unfruitful way to live life.
Ephesians 5:15-18, Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit
2. Last week, we studied Part 5 of our series called Things to Come, based on Jesus’ teachings from Matthew 25:1-13 about the parable of the ten virgins.
3. From that parable we discovered how the Lord wants us to live our lives:
- Focused on His return.
- Filled with the Holy Spirit so that we’re ready for Christ’s return.
4. Tonight, during the sixth and final part of our series, we will first turn our attention to the third of three parables concerning those professing to be Christians during the Church Age.
5. Then we will study Jesus’ last parable in the Olivet Discourse about the judgment of those who survive the Great Tribulation.
6. Here again, we will learn valuable lessons about life and how the Lord wants us to live it in light of His return.
1. Matthew 24-25 is called the Olivet Discourse because Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives when He taught His disciples about the last days.
2. Here Jesus gave us the “signs of the times” so that when we see them, we will know the end is near. Some of the signs that Jesus described include:
a. The arrival of false Messiahs and false prophets who will mislead many people with their false teachings and deceiving signs.
b. The outbreak of wars and rumors of wars along with an increase in famines and earthquakes.
c. There will be a great falling away from the Christian faith, as unrighteousness and worldliness increase.
d. Tensions will also grow between Israel and her enemies. Antisemitism will rise to unprecedented levels and will be accepted on the world stage.
3. In the midst of this political, economic, and social crisis, the Antichrist will arise on the world stage.
a. He will be seen as a diplomatic genius because he will succeed where others have tried but failed.
b. The Antichrist will make a peace treaty in the Middle East between Israel and her enemies, one that will permit Israel to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.
c. Even Israel will be deceived by the Antichrist and will revere him because of the treaty.
4. But the Antichrist will reveal his true colors when he breaks his treaty/covenant with Israel 3 ½ years later.
a. He will establish a new world religion and will set himself up in the newly rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem as a god to be worshipped.
b. His associate, the False Prophet, will cause the world to worship the image in the Temple
5.Israel will realize that their “protector” is actually their ultimate “persecutor” and will respond with great anger against the Antichrist’s desecration of their Temple.
6.So, the Antichrist will rally all the nations against Israel to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth.
7.The arrival of the Antichrist marks the beginning of the seven-year period called the Great Tribulation.
a.The Great Tribulation will be universal in scope, a divine judgment upon creation, the outpouring of God’s wrath upon unbelieving humanity and every rebellious nation.
b.The Great Tribulation will also focus on Israel, to refine and prepare Israel for the coming of their
King; that they may enter His Millennial Kingdom.
APPL – Where is the Church during the Great Tribulation?
- With Jesus, her Savior in heaven!
- The Lord will rapture His Church into heaven in order to keep His bride from that hour of testing because the Church is not an object of God’s wrath but an object of His grace and mercy.
Transition – In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus gave a third parable about His coming at the end of the Church Age. When this parable is combined with the first two, the main point is clear: If you are focused on Christ’s return, and filled with the Holy Spirit, then you will…
I.Be Faithful with Your Life
- Being faithful with our lives flows from being ready for Christ’s return.
- A ready life is a faithful life.
- Last week, we noted that a parable typically taught one main point. It’s important that we avoid torturing the parable in order to glean every angle of theology possible.
- Jesus said, the kingdom of heaven is “just like a man about to go on a journey”. He called his slaves and entrusted great possessions to them. (14)
- “To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his ability.” (15)
- What did Jesus mean by a “talent”?
- It’s interesting to note that our modern word “talent” comes from this very verse that we are studying.
- It originally meant “a weight of money” with the value determined by whether it was gold, silver, or copper.
- Usually, it meant silver. In Jesus’ day, a talent of silver would have been worth about 20 years of wages at minimum wage, or $350,000.
- Like the first two, this parable has great significance and it has impacted many people because it draws us into an understanding of what God wants us to do with our lives.
A. God expects His servants to be faithful
1.Meaning, God expects us to spend our lives well.
2.The whole point of this parable is that God entrusts us with all that we are; our heart, soul, mind and strength.
3.He gives us our abilities and our capacities to learn and grow.
4.Therefore, God expects us to wisely and faithfully use all that He has given us for His glory.
Luke 12:48, From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
5.Notice the sense of urgency for the first two servants. Immediately, they took what their master entrusted to them and went to work.
6.In other words, the faithful servants did something with what had been entrusted to them; they invested it, which produced something more.
7.Perhaps they invested in a crop, or something similar, but the idea is that they put it somewhere so that it could grow and bear much fruit.
APPL – The point is that the Lord wants us to be about our Father’s business!
- What is the Father doing? He is changing lives.
- He has invested in our lives so that we may invest in the lives of others!
ILLUS – The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to the Church. Why? To change lives by edifying and building others up!
1 Corinthians 12:7, But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
It’s all about being faithful with what God has entrusted us to do with our lives.
1 Corinthians 4:2, In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.
APPL – It’s interesting to note that the master gave according to their abilities. (15)
- We could get jealous over other people’s abilities.
- But it’s a waste of time and a distraction.
- God made us who we are.
- We’re not accountable for another person’s gifting. We’re only accountable for our own gifts.
- Don’t be jealous, be faithful!
ILLUS – “You’re no Greg Laurie!”
B.God blesses His faithful servants
1.This is a theme seen repeatedly in the Bible. God blesses faithfulness.
2.The man entrusted his possessions to his servants and expected them to invest wisely so that when he returned, there would be a return on his investment.
a.There is accountability; a day when all accounts will be settled.
b.There will also be rewards.
3.But in this parable, the master accused the servant who buried his talent of being a wicked and lazy servant because he did not even do the simplest thing with what had been given to him.
ILLUS – When the man buried that talent in the ground, what did he do with his life while waiting for his master to come back?
APPL – Why are some people not making a difference and producing godly fruit?
- Some are distracted by the pleasures and problems of life.
Luke 8:14, The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
- Others spend their lives blaming others. That’s what the wicked, lazy slave with one talent did!
- Still others don’t do anything because they believe their life is of little or no value.
- If that is you, please remember that our Father gave His Son for you. He gave His Word to you. He gave the Holy Spirit. He gave you His best.
- What more should God give to demonstrate that He loves and values you?
ILLUS – Compliments for a job well-done
APPL – One of the greatest rewards we could ever receive would be to simply hear the words found in verse 21, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
- We may not fully understand what it means to have rewards in the kingdom of heaven, but one thing is for certain, we should desire them.
Matthew 6:20-21, But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- That said, I believe that when we are using the gifts for the purpose that God gave them, we sense His joy in the midst of using them for His glory.
- Olympic Gold Medalist and Missionary, Eric Liddellonce said, “I believe that God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
Transition – After completing the three parables directed towards those living in the Church Age, before the Great Tribulation, Jesus then turned to the end of the Great Tribulation and the judgment prior to His 1,000-year reign.
II. Live Everyday as Unto the Lord
- In the next parable, Jesus spoke of something very personal in how we live.
- In other words, when we live as the Lord wants us to live; we are actually living unto Him.
- The parable begins with a description of the Son of Man coming in His glory with all the angels at the end of the Great Tribulation. (c.f. Daniel 7:13-14)
- The nations that waged war against Israel in the Battle of Armageddon have been defeated and the Antichrist and the False Prophet have been thrown in the lake of fire. (Rev. 19:19-21)
- Satan has been bound for 1,000-years. (Rev. 20:2)
- So, it’s time to establish Jesus’ kingdom on earth. Who will be the first citizens?
- The nations will be gathered before Jesus and He will separate them one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; one by one.
- The sheep are people who will place their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and survive the Great Tribulation.
- The goats are non-believers who also survive the Great Tribulation.
- The sheep, the righteous ones, will receive their reward and enter the Millennial Kingdom while the goats, the accursed ones, will not.
APPL – At this point, you may ask, “What does this have to do with me? As a born-again Christian in the Church Age, the bride of Christ, this judgment does not apply to me!
- While this is accurate, it’s also true that the Lord’s principles for living life apply to every age.
- If this is the way that pleases the Lord, then believers of every age will want to please Him by doing so.
A. When we bless the least, we bless Jesus
1.In verse 34, the King will say to those on His right, “I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in…”
2. Then the righteous will ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you…?”
3.And the King will answer, “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.”
APPL – Please note the significance of what Jesus said.
- During the Great Tribulation, Israel will be under attack from all sides and suffer great persecution.
- The “nations” refers to the Gentile nations. Like today, each nation will have sheep and goats.
- The sheep are Tribulation saints who willingly risk their lives to help the Jews, the brothers and sisters of Jesus.
One of the ways the sheep will demonstrate their faith in Jesus will be through their love for Israel. Remember, God is not done with Israel and His promise to Abraham still stands. Genesis 12:2-3, And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. That’s why Paul declared… Romans 11:1-2, I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. APPL – In a general sense, Jesus has a heart for the “least” and wants us to have the same heart too. ILLUS – The problem is our world is fixated on the lives of the rich and famous. APPL – While the Lord loves the rich and famous, it is also true that He loves and has His eye on the least of these. James 2:1, My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. 1 John 3:17-18, But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. Jesus’ point is that we should have His heart for others and that whatever we do, we should do unto the Lord rather than for men. Colossians 3:23-24, Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. B.Not doing the right thing is wrong 1.It is interesting because the Bible tells us that what we don’t do is as important as what we do. 2.This is called a sin of omission, knowing the right thing that God wants you to do and not doing it. James 4:17, Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. APPL – Others might see the enormity of the problem and wonder what difference they will be able to make. Why try? ILLUS – The Starfish Story Conclusion APPL – How we live our lives matters to God. He wants us to be focused, filled with His Holy Spirit, and faithful with what He has entrusted to us. Galatians 6:9, Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. APPL – Do you want to be faithful? Will you make it your prayer?
Matthew 25:14-46 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Parable of the Talents
14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five [a]talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16 Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his [b]master’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your [c]master.’
22 “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.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 Then you ought to have put my money [d]in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
29 “For 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. 30 Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 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.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”