It is historically accepted that Matthew 24 and 25 are the words of Christ in answer to questions by His disciples regarding the destruction of the Temple and the Last Days. Although, End-Time teachings have been neglected by most churches, Matthew 25 has been even more neglected. What follows is a synopsis of Matthew 25 and the three parables contained therein. The three parts of Matt.25 are as follows:
1. The Parable of the Ten Virgins, Matt. 25:1-13;
2. The Parable of the Talents, Matt. 25:14-30;
3. The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Matt. 25:31-46.
We will accept as we analyze these parables that all three are spoken by Jesus, and relate to end-time events.
We have several times dealt with The Parable of the Ten Virgins. To summarize: In the parable of the Ten Virgins, the ten virgins are the Church. All ten are saved! Five were wise; five were foolish. Foolish means double-minded. They were not singularly focused on Christ, the Bridegroom. They were not making ready for His return. They were left behind in the rapture! Bottom line – The Parable of the Ten Virgins is a parable about the return of the Bridegroom for His Bride, hence, THE RAPTURE!
2. The Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30. I’m indebted here to Dr. Chuck Missler. (The Kingdom,Power, and Glory; Chuck & Nancy Missler) These are hard sayings but again, bottom line this is a parable about THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST! This follows His return to Earth in His Second Coming but precedes the millennial Reign of Christ upon the Earth. In this parable, again, ALL ARE SAVED! These are servants of the King of Kings! He gives gifts (responsibilities) as He chooses and when He returns there is an accounting. Upon the reckoning or accounting, the ‘faithful’ servants are given more responsibility and invited to “rule and reign” with Christ in His millennial kingdom. The slothful, unprofitable, unfaithful servant is ‘cast into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ We have always assumed, that this is the abode of the lost, but Dr. Chuck Missler introduced the concept that these are not lost; but asked these questions,
“Could this be where the Lord in His Love, but out of His justice casts the unfaithful servants who were not prepared for the kingdom? Could this be an expression of His ‘tough Love’ in providing an area for remedial training? Could this be the separate place into which the fruitless and defiled believers are put, while the rest of the body of Christ enjoys fellowship with the Lord in some other area of the temple? Could this be what is called the ‘darkness outside’?
These are saved, but will not rule and reign with Christ during the thousand years. As Christ’s purpose for His children is always redemptive, so this too, will be remedial. When I first read this in Dr. Missler’s book, I put his book aside. I had never heard this concept before and could not accept that ‘cast into outer darkness’ was for believers and was in fact redemptive. However, a careful analysis of these parables show this to be the case.
3. The Judgment of the Nations (Gentiles) Matt. 25:31-46. Commonly called the Judgement of the Sheep and the Goats, This is the Great White Throne of Judgment that follows the Millennial Reign of Christ upon the Earth. Those who are righteous will take their inheritance which is eternal life; the cursed will be told to “Depart from me,… then they will go away to eternal punishment.” They are Lost! Eternally Lost!
So, in Matthew 25, we see as it were three judgments.
1. The Rapture (Christ coming to receive His Bride) occurring prior to The Seven Years of Great Tribulation!
2. The Judgment Seat of Christ, (Christ judging the Believers of all time based on their faithfulness) occurring immediately after His Second Coming but prior to His Millennial Reign!
3. Great White Throne of Judgment (God’s judgment as to one’s eternal destiny: SAVED / LOST) occurring after the millennial Reign.
Let me hasten to say that one’s eternal destiny is sealed in this life. It is given by the Grace of God as we receive or reject God’s provision of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS – IN CHRIST JESUS, OUR LORD, OUR REDEEMER.
Someone commented that “certainly the Rapture could not be seen as judgement?”
In fact, The Rapture is also a dividing, a separation that would leave those left behind certainly feeling ‘judged’, don’t you think?