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Matthew - Are You Ready

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Are You Ready?

 

Text: Matt. 25

Thesis: To note that the Lord’s return may happen at anytime; thus, we must be ready at

             all times.

Introduction:

1)      Do you remember the game “Hide and Go Seek?”

a)      The seeker would count and then say, “Ready or not, here I come.”

b)      Still, the count was known by the ones who were to be hiding.

2)      There is a count going on today, but we do not know the count.

a)      We must be ready or not because Jesus’ Second Coming is inevitable.

b)      To the Christian, it will be a day of rejoicing.

c)      To the non-Christian, it will be a day of sadness.

3)      Let us note what the Lord told us in regards to His return.

a)      Jesus’ disciples asked Him two questions (Matt. 24.3).

b)      He first describes the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (Matt. 24.4-35).

c)      He then deals with His Second Coming (Matt. 24.36ff.).

i)        “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt. 24.36).

ii)      His admonition is: “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt. 24.44).

iii)    In order better to illustrate this point, He utilizes the parables in Matthew 25.

Discussion:

I.                   There was a choice made by all in order to be ready.

A.     In the parable of the ten virgins, five are called wise and five are called

                   foolish.

                  1.   This is because of the choice that they made.

2.      Some thought ahead to bring extra oil just in case the bridegroom delayed

      his coming, but five of them did not prepare.                       

            B.   In the parable of the talents, two servants used their talents to gain more and

                  one servant merely hide his in order not to lose it out of fear.

   1.   While both parables relate to the kingdom of heaven, and             especially in anticipation of the Lord's return, note the key             difference:            a.   The first stresses the need to be "prepared"; the latter, the                   need to be "productive"            b.  The first emphasizes "watching" for the Lord; the latter,                  "working" for the Lord      2.   Regardless, in both cases, a choice had to be made.       

            C.   In the “Judgment Scene,” some choose to help others whereas others did not.

D.    We likewise must make a choice.

1.   Joshua told Israel, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve […]” (Jos.

      24.15).

2.      We must choose whether or not we will be ready.

a.   So much stress is put upon this fact that it is estimated that one out of

      every four verses in the NT deal with the Second Coming.

b.      The Lord is coming as a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5.2; 2 Pet. 3.10).

c.       Hence, we must always be ready by both words and actions.

II.        There were conditions to be meet in order to be ready.

            A.   The five wise virgins had both their lamps and extra oil.

                  1.   The “lamp” is said to represent one’s initial faith.

2.      The “oil” is said to represent works that one adds to his/her faith.

3.      Hence, add to you faith […] (cf. 2 Pet. 1.5-7).

B.   The servants with 5 talents and 2 talents used their talents.

      1.   The stress isn’t upon how many they had.

2.      The stress is upon what they did with what they had.

3.      Hence, they were good stewards with what they had been given.

C.   In the “Judgment Scene,” the prepared were those who helped.

      1.   They did not merely say, “Be ye warmed and filled” (James 2.16).

2.      They even went as far as to give a cup of water in the Lord’s name (cf. Mark 9.41).

3.      They meet even the “minute” conditions.

D.  How may we meet the conditions?

     1.   Simply, by living as a Christian daily (cf. Rev. 2.10).

2.      This includes being faithful in the “big” things as well as in the “small.”

3.      Nevertheless, we may live as those we do not expect the Lord to return because we believe that we have time, etc.

4.      Remember, He is coming when we least expect it.

III.       There were consequences that followed as a result of their being prepared.

            A.   The five wise virgins were able to attend the marriage feast whereas the five

                   foolish virgins had “the door shut.”

            B.   In the case of the servants:

                  1.   The two who used their talents heard these words: “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” (Matt.

                        25.21).

2.      The one who hid his talent heard these words: “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 25.30).

C.   In the “Judgment Scene:”

      1.   Those who helped were those who departed into “life eternal” (v. 46).

2.      Those who did not help were those who went away “into everlasting punishment” (v. 46).

Conclusion:

1)      What will we decide to do?

2)      The Lord is coming, will we be ready?

3)      If so, then we will be able to go on to our reward.

4)      If not, then we will miss out all because we thought we had another day.

5)      Be ready today!   

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