THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS

This program of daily Scripture studies is designed to help you in daily honoring God with adoration.

Each day, Monday through Friday, a Scripture with commentary is posted.

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TODAY'S SCRIPTURE STUDY

MATTHEW

CHAPTER 25

THE PARABLE OF THE BRIDEGROOM

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

This chapter is a continuation of the teaching Jesus gave the disciples while they were sitting at His feet on the Mount of Olives. (See discussion on Matthew 24:3-4((((BE SURE AND CLIK THE BACK ARROW WHEN YOU FINISH READING THE DISCUSSION ON CHAPTER 24))))

This parable, one might say is a "footnote" on being ever watchful and ready for the time when Jesus comes again. Remembering WHERE Jesus was when He taught this, and to WHOM He taught it, gives a more full implication for Christians today.

Remember, as we read these things, they were spoken to disciples. Jesus' intent is to place in their hearts the reasoning for the urging of the Spirit to continue in the faith. When we surrender to Christ, we surrender to His Lordship over our lives. He is the MASTER, we are the servants! As a blessing, upon our conversion, Jesus applies His Holy Spirit to our souls. And He (God's Holy Spirit) will continually URGE us to continue in the faith. He who has not been broken in spirit shall not HEED God's Spirit. But he that has been broken and coverted is a NEW CREATURE, and will seek to please the Master! (See 2Corinthians 5:17)

In the parable we might apply symbolism.
The "virgins" are those who are believers in Christ, considered pure by His blood.
The "Bridegroom" is none other than Jesus Himself.
The "oil" is the grace of God which fills the believer with love and faithfulness.
The "vessels," or "lamps" are the heart of the believer.

Notice the descriptions of the "virgins." Five were "wise," and five were "foolish."

The "wise" took extra oil with them. They represent those who continually pray, study the Bible, and are working in the ministry of our Lord.

The "foolish" took no extra oil with them. They represent those who become lax in prayer, Bible study, and ministry work.

As a result, when the "Bridegroom" came, the "wise" were READY, and the "foolish" were NOT!

Let me say this: When a person is saved (born again, washed in the blood, sealed in the Spirit), that believer will be faithful in the works described by our Lord. They will dail be in prayer and Bible study. They will often be found visiting the lost, helping the needy, giving, and otherwise doing "the work of faith." (See 2Thessalonians 1:11)
THESE are the "wise" "virgins!"

But when a person makes only a formal profession of the Christian religion, and has no "work of faith," they have never really met Christ.

You see, salvation is easy, but there is a "yoke" which binds us to the Lord our Savior. And that "yoke" will cause us to be working in His fields (See Matthew 11:28-30).

As born-again Christians, we become attached to the "Vine" of Jesus as "branches." (See John 15:5-8)

Therefore, a person who says they are "saved," yet bears no "fruit" and never works in Jesus' "fields," is not properly prepared for Jesus' coming! Nor, are they properly prepared for death!

Two events SHALL happen to all souls: death and judgment. There shall be a few, I believe, who shall escape death by being raptured to the Lord. However, those who will be "raptured" are also those who are prepared! We know that our Lord was not speaking of any that were prepared, because He said, "I never KNEW you."

There is no doubt that the prayer of the "foolish" virgins was indeed earnest. They asked that the "Bridegroom" open the door for them also. But there is a time when God's "door" is CLOSED! If the soul is not prepared at death, and if the soul is not prepared at Jesus' coming, then the "door" will be CLOSED!

THE PARABLE OF THE "TALENTS"

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. KJV

Again, this parable is a footnote on being ever watchful and ready for the time when Jesus comes again. Remembering WHERE Jesus was when He taught this, and to WHOM He taught it, gives a more full implication for Christians today.

First, let us look at to WHOM the parable was taught. It was to the disciples of Jesus: those who had surrendered to Him, and would apply His teachings to their lifestyle.

Now, let us look at of WHOM the parable was taught. The parable is of a "man" who is a landowner and master of those who work for him. The parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus is the Creator, Master of all the universe!

The parable is also taught of men who were servants. They were OWNED by the Master. Every soul is subject to Jesus! He is the Creator! All human beings are servants when they are seen in relationship to Jesus. Some are good servants, doing His bidding. Some are bad servants, refusing to do His will. All will receive rewards. Some will receive eternal heaven because they have surrendered to Christ's Lordship, and serve Him as best they can. Some will receive the reward of "outer darkness" (hell) because they refuse to serve Jesus as Lord.

Now, every servant, good or bad, was given "talents....every man according to his several ability." These talents are skills which God graciously gives to "every man." Everyone has some skill ... none are left without. Yes, there are those in this world who are unable to "fend for themselves." They are unable to earn a living and care properly for themselves. But they still have a skill! That skill is to endear themselves to others who can help them! This skill certainly should have applied to the man who received only one talent.

God always acts in wisdom. He has endowed every one of His created beings with some talent. Some have received more, and more is expected of them. But everyone has received one, and one thing is expected of them.

Now, let us look at what the servants did. The one who receive 5 talents, went and did business. He made ANOTHER five talents. And when the Master came, he presented ALL TEN talents to the Master as HIS!! The life was not spent on self! Tt was spent bringing glory to the Master. This servant received a great reward. He received the "well done" of the Lord, and was allowed to become a "ruler" over some of the Master's things. He also was invited into the "joy" of the Lord! He would have joy eternal, and would be eternally serving his Lord!

The same happened to the man who had received 2 talents. He had done business, and had gained another 2 talents. He, too, was given the "well done" of the Master. He also was allowed to become "ruler" over some of the Master's things. AND, he was given entry into the JOY of the Lord!

The last man is quite a different story. He made EXCUSES. First, he reasoned wrongly. He stated that the Lord was a "hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed." It is not the MASTER'S job to "sew" or to "gather!" That is the servant's job. ALL have sown to sin, and are guilty - deserving eternal and everlasting punishment. But SOME have also sown to surrender and servantship! This man had NOT! He reasoned that sin was the MASTER'S problem! Sin is not God's problem. It is MAN'S problem!

This man tried to live for HIMSELF and to HIDE the Master's talent! Instead of serving the master by doing the Master's business, this man HID the talent under the ground! When money is hidden under the ground, CORRUPTION sets in! It will soon decay and rot away! When the skills that God has given us are hidden under self, they will also decay and rot away!

Notice that this man wouldn't even retrieve the talent. That's because he KNEW it was already corroded and corrupted! He told the Master to go and FIND it! This is the excuse of many unsaved people today. They expect God to find LIFE in a soul that's corrupted in sin!

This man did not receive a "well done" by the Master. Instead, he received the reward of "outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

You see, the first two men in the parable had surrendered to the LORDSHIP of their Master. They used what they had to bring glory to Him. But the 3rd man refused to serve. He never surrendered to the LORDSHIP of the Master, and thus rebelled against servitude.

If Christ is Savior of a person's life, He will also be LORD of that person's life. Because you see, God is not going to rope, tie, gag and drag anyone into heaven. One must come in surrender by his/her own volition.

Let me repeat, Jesus IS the MASTER! He is the Lord, Creator of all there is -- you and me included. If we recognize that and surrender to His LORDSHIP, then we will be diligently serving in life for His glory.

That's the point Jesus was making to His disciples.

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Now this is not a parable. It is a prophetic announcement! It is an announcement of what shall be at the "END!"

Jesus' teachings here in Matthew 24 and 25 have been leading to this "END!" Let me reiterate something said in the discussion of Matthew 24:3-4.....
"Jesus sat down on "the mount of olives," and the disciples gathered round Him as they often did. They were ready to sit at His feet and gather in the informative teaching of the Master. This is the difference between those who are saved and those who are not. Those who are saved are continually sitting at the feet of the Master, learning to live according to His will."
THEY are called "SHEEP!"

Now, listen -- sheep are dirty, smelly animals. But they are docile creatures and follow their MASTER!
Goats are also dirty, smelly animals. But they often run away and are rebellious toward leadership...it must be FORCED upon them.

When Jesus comes in His glory to judge all who have lived in this earth, He will sit on a great throne. He will divide the "sheep" from the "goats!!"

Those who have been "sheep" will be given eternal joy in heaven forever with Him. They will "inherit the kingdom prepared ... from the foundation of the world."

Yes, it has ALWAYS been God's plan that those who WOULD be saved, COULD be saved.
It has always been God's plan that those who ARE saved will work in the ministry of our Lord willingly during their lifetimes. And it has ALWAYS, even before creation, been God's plan to deliver those "sheep" into eternal heaven!

It has also always been God's plan to deliver those who would NOT be saved into eternal torment! Someone might say, "Well, I just don't believe a good, loving God will do that." You better BELIEVE it!! Because if you don't, you'll never surrender to Christ and become a "sheep!"

Now, if one IS a "sheep," then he'll ACT like it! He may be dirty and smelly from sin; but he'll be working for the glory of the Master. He will be visiting the sick and giving aid to the poor. He will be visiting those in prison and telling them of the Master Who can SAVE them. He will be caring for the "stranger," those different from him.

When we do those things for others, we are doing them for CHRIST!
And when we DON'T do those things for others, we are NEGLECTING Christ!

When that final day comes, and Christ sits on the throne of judgment, there will be no appeals! There will be no more heavens and earth as we know it. They will be burned up, gathered by God as a "vesture," folded up and eternally put away. There'll be NO SECOND CHANCES! There will be forthcoming, a NEW heavens and a NEW earth. There will be a NEW JERUSALEM!

All those "sheep" will be gathered into that wonderful city!
But all those "goats" will "go away into everlasting punishment!"

All these teachings of Jesus to His disciples beg a question of each reader:
WHICH are YOU -- SHEEP or GOAT!

PLEASE CONTINUE WITH US IN BIBLE STUDY TOMORROW.