Who Will Enter God’s Kingdom?
22 August 2021 AM – Matthew 25:14-46 – Parables21 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Whether it be an aeroplane flight, a football stadium, or a commuter train, you cannot legally enter without a ticket. When it comes to entering the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, no one will enter without an entry pass from Christ himself.
After the Tribulation, when Christ returns to earth and gathers the nations together, He will judge the living Jews and Gentiles to separate the believers from the unbelievers. He will welcome only believers into His earthly Kingdom.
Transition: I want us to note God’s entry requirements as we look first at the Jews and then at the Gentiles.
Judgment of the Jews (v.1-30)
a. The Ten Virgins
1) Last week we took a close look at this parable.
2) In the context, the virgins were Jews waiting for Christ the Groom to bring His bride to earth for the wedding feast.
3) We learned that five were prepared (picturing faith in Christ) and five were unprepared (picturing no faith).
4) The five virgins, who were prepared, entered the Kingdom. The five virgins, who were not prepared, not allowed entry.
5) There is a similar application for us as we await the Rapture. We, too, must be ready (having placed our faith in Christ) and be watching for His return.
b. The Use of Talents
1) This parable has a similar story line as that of the Pounds (Luke 19:12-27); however, in the parable of the Talents, each servant received a different amount of money according to his abilities. Also, in this parable, the servant who failed was cast out. He missed the Kingdom.
2) The talents here are sums of money, but they appear to represent Gospel truth from God on which they were to act. God’s salvation has always been received by faith, not by works, but works often demonstrate one’s faith.
3) One servant, who received five talents, traded with them and gained another five (v.20f). When his lord returned home, he received a “well done”, a rulership in the kingdom, and entrance into the kingdom. He had been faithful.
4) The second servant, who received two talents, traded with them and gained another two (v.22f). When his lord returned home, he also received a “well done”, a rulership in the kingdom, and entrance into the kingdom. He had been faithful.
5) The third servant, who received one talent, buried it in a hiding place and then returned it to his lord. Instead of praising him, his lord rebuked him (v.26-27). He lost the talent he had (v.28). Then, he was cast into outer darkness (v.30).
6) The Jewish people have God’s Word. During the Tribulation, God will raise up 144,000 Jewish witnesses to preach the Gospel. Two other heavenly witnesses will preach Christ. God will give them many opportunities to place their faith in Him. Those who, by faith, receive Christ, will be rewarded and enter the Kingdom. Those who fail to receive Christ by faith will be cast out.
In this, we see many similarities to today. We have God’s Word. The Gospel is being preached. Those who by faith receive Christ will gain eternal life. Those who do not receive Christ by faith will receive eternal death.
2. Judgment of the Gentiles (v.31-46)
a. Christ will judge the living nations
1) When Christ comes to earth following the Tribulation, He will come in His glory (v.31). He will sit upon the throne of David as King in all His glory.
2) He will gather before Him all the Gentiles who live through the Tribulation.
3) He is going to separate the living Gentiles as a shepherd separates his flock into sheep on the right and goats on the left. If you have ever watched a farmer and his dogs separate his sheep, you can envision the picture before us.
b. The Sheep
1) Jesus tells us that He will bless the sheep on His right hand, and they will inherit the Kingdom (v.34).
2) The Lord then describes the evidence of the faith in God. Read carefully v.35-36. Jesus said they had cared for Him when He had needs.
3) Surprised by His words, the righteous asked Him to explain (v.37-39). The fact that He calls them “righteous” is significant. God knows who is truly righteous and who is not.
a) Righteous means to be truly right in the eyes of God, or without sin.
b) Without Christ, none of us is righteous. (Romans 3:10) “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:“
c) Faith in God is the only means of becoming righteous. (Romans 4:5) “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 10:10) “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.“
d) It is vital that we understand this to be able to interpret this section correctly.
4) Note the King’s answer (v.40). Who were the least of the King’s brethren?
a) His brethren were the Jewish people. During the Tribulation period, the Jews, especially those who trusted Christ, were the target of the Antichrist’s wrath. Gentile Christians will suffer as well, but the Jews will particularly suffer. The Antichrist will persecute all who refuse to receive the mark of the beast. They will not be able to buy and sell. Consequently, they will have to depend on those who will show them kindness. Only true believers will dare to jeopardise their lives by extending hospitality. “Therefore what is done for them will be an evidence of their faith in Christ, that is, what is done for them will be done for Christ.” Pentecost, The Words & Works of Jesus, p. 410.
b) Christ will not welcome these into His Kingdom because of their works. No one is ever saved by works; however, their works will demonstrate their faith in Christ. (Titus 3:5) “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;“
c. The Goats
1) The goats are on His left hand. They will hear these dreadful words (v.41). God prepared everlasting fire for Satan and his angels. Sadly, humans who believe his lie and reject Christ must also endure that terrible eternity.
2) Jesus said the reason was that they did NOT aid His brethren in time of need during the Tribulation.
3) We read the conclusion of the judgment of the living nations in verse 46.
There are several lessons we can learn from this judgment. (1) God is the final Judge. He knows those who have truly trusted Him as Saviour. (2) True faith transforms a person. Christians must risk their lives to aid other Christians in time of need. (3) There are only two eternal destinies – everlasting fire and everlasting life.