Watching and Being Ready Involve Faithfulness (Matthew 25:14-30)
1. Jesus taught us to watch and to be ready for His return (Matthew 24:42, 44). 2. It is essential that we always watch and be ready because no one knows when Jesus will come back (Matthew 24:36). 3. This morning we showed from the Scriptures that "watching and being ready for the Lord's return involve faithfulness." 4. Jesus further emphasized this principle in His "parable of the talents." Discussion: I. THE PARABLE
A. (vs.14-15) A man, going on a journey, divided his goods among his servants. 1. He would be gone for a long time. 2. He wanted his goods to be taken care of while he was gone, so he entrusted them to his servants. 3. He gave his goods to his servants according to their individual ability. a. To one servant he gave 5 talents. b. To one servant he gave 2 talents. c. To one servant he gave 1 talent. 4. A "talent" was a considerable sum of money. 5. This man trusted his servants to care for his goods while he was gone. 6. The servants would be responsible for the way they used his goods. B. (vs.16-18) We learn what the servants did with their master's goods. 1. (vs.16) The servant who had been given 5 talents made 5 more. 2. (vs.17) The servant who had been given 2 talents made 2 more. 3. (vs.18) The servant who had been given 1 talent hid his in the ground. C. (vs.19-30) The master reckoned with his servants. 1. (vs.19) After a long time the master returned and asked his servants to give an account for the way they had used his goods. 2. (vs.20-21) The servant given 5 talents was blessed for his faithfulness. 3. (vs.22-23) The servant given 2 talents was blessed for his faithfulness. 4. (vs.24-30) The servant given 1 talent was cursed for his wickedness and slothfulness. a. This servant tried to make excuses. 1) (vs.24) He told his master about how hard he was. 2) (vs.25) He revealed his main problem -- FEAR. 3) He tried to return the talent he had been given. b. The master did not accept the talent or his excuses. c. This servant was cast into outer darkness. D. The symbolism in this parable: 1. The man going on a long trip refers to the time between the Lord's ascension and return. 2. The servants refer to the Lord's followers. 3. The master's return and the reckoning of the servants refer to the Lord's return and the judgment. 4. The blessing refers to eternal life in heaven, and the curse refers to eternal condemnation. II. APPLICATION
A. The Lord has given us different gifts that He expects us to use (Romans 12:4-8). B. As stewards we have 1 main requirement: FAITHFULNESS (1 Corinthians 4:2). C. We will be judged on the basis of how we use what the Lord has given us. D. We must not allow fear to prevent us from doing the Lord's will (2 Timothy 1:7). E. Those who use their talents faithfully will be blessed when the Lord returns. Conclusion:
1. The Lord wants His followers to watch and to be ready for His return. 2. We have seen today that "watching and being ready involve faithfulness." 3. Faithfulness involves "dependability," "trustworthiness," and "using the Lord's blessings to the best of our ability." 4. "Let us be faithful servants."