TEXT: Matthew 25:14-30
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 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.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 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.
21 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.
22 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.
23 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 thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 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:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 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:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 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.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
— PRAYER —
Until Jesus Comes, Work, Part 6
As we approach Billy Graham’s birthday celebration, I want to share something from the evangelist whom God made great regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He said, “You may wonder what Hell is really like. Don’t look to comedians for answers. The Bible tells you the truth. Hell is a place of sorrow and unrest, a place of wailing and a furnace of fire; a place of torment, a place of outer darkness, a place where people scream for mercy; a place of everlasting punishment.”
Over the past two messages in this series, we have examined the actions of the unprofitable servant and how he presents himself to his master when the master returns to see what his servants have done with the talents he gave them. The unprofitable servant, of course, has nothing to show and hands the master’s talent back to him, claiming that he was afraid of doing anything with it because the master was a “hard man.” In return, the master brands him as a “wicked and slothful servant” and chides him for not at least putting his money with the exchangers who would have loaned it out for a return with interest. The master takes away this servant’s talent and gives to the profitable servant who had been given five talents and returned to his master another five.
Then, the master, who represents Christ in this parable, pronounces further punishment on the servant saying, “Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Now, there are two ways of interpreting this punishment. (And it must be interpreted, as this is a parable — a story or allegory — not a doctrinal teaching from Jesus.)
One argument points out that all three men in this passage are each named as “servants” who belong to the master’s house. The master would not have given responsibility to any one who was not a true member of his house. And, if the master is representative of Jesus Christ, He would not have been deceived about who was truly his own and who was not. Thus, it has been argued that Jesus is, in this parable, using hyperbole to emphasize the seriousness of not using one’s talent or gifts for the Lord’s work. The punishment does not necessarily indicate that the servant was not truly saved. Charles Spurgeon says, “This unprofitable person was a servant. He never denied that he was a servant; in fact, it was by his position as a servant that he received his one talent. This makes the subject all the more heart-searching for you and for me; for we, too, profess to be servants — servants of the Lord our God. Judgment must begin at the house of God; that is, with those who are in the house of the Lord as children and servants. Let us, therefore, look well to our doings. If judgment first begins with us, ‘what shall be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?’ ‘If the righteous scarcely are saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?’ If in our text this is judgment upon servants, what will be the judgment upon enemies?” Indeed, this is a sobering question.
However, there is another argument which posits that the “outer darkness, weeping, and gnashing of teeth” all mean this servant was not truly saved and was sent to Hell. Dr. John MacArthur describes this parable as a wheat and tares situation with the unprofitable servant being exposed as a tare in the end. He said, “If ever there was any question in anybody’s mind about whether this servant is a Christian, [the punishment of outer darkness, weeping, and gnashing of teeth] ought to eliminate it because that is a definition of hell. We’ve read over and over again that Matthew describes Hell as darkness, because God is light, and, according to John, ‘in Him is no darkness at all.’ Thus, the absence of God is utter darkness. And Hell is a place where God is not and never will be. It is a place of torment as illustrated by the statement ‘weeping and grinding of teeth’ to show the unrelieved pain of being out of the presence of God.” This, my friend, is even more sobering — that, in the church, there are those who have (or, at least appear to have) spiritual gifts that they appear to be using for the Kingdom of Heaven, but who are not actually saved, who are not serving Christ, and who will be exposed and sent to Hell in the end.
This parable encourages those of us who are saved to get to work for the Lord, going all out in the use of our talents for His kingdom. There is much work to do! And for those who are in the church, but who are not saved, it serves as a stark warning that Hell awaits them if they do not repent.
Elsie Duncan Yale wrote:
There’s a work for Jesus, ready at your hand,
‘Tis a task the Master just for you has planned.
Haste to do His bidding, yield Him service true;
There’s a work for Jesus none but you can do.
There’s a work for Jesus, humble though it be,
‘Tis the very service He would ask of thee.
Go where fields are whitened, and the laborers few;
There’s a work for Jesus none but you can do.
There’s a work for Jesus, precious souls to bring,
Tell them of His mercies, tell them of your King.
Faint not, nor grow weary, He will strength renew;
There’s a work for Jesus none but you can do.
Now, if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, I urge you to trust in Him because He is coming again and you do not want to be left behind. Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and the consequences of sin.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.