SERMONS

Live Your Best As You Wait For Christ's Return

Scripture: Matt 25:14-30

 

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.” His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” The man with the two talents also came. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.” His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things, Come and share your master’s happiness!” Then the man who had received the one talent came. “Master,” he said “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your tal­ent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.” His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So, you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw the worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 

We were reminded last month of the sure return of Christ to earth, but the time of the return is not known. However, many Christians are slumbering (enustazan),  tired from waiting. In fact, many seem to have given up waiting and have entered into the second phase of sleeping (ekatheudon).

 

10But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, WHAT MANNER OF PERSONS OUGHT YOU TO BE in holy conduct and godliness, 12looking for and hastening the coming of the Day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation. (2 Pet 3:10-15, NKJV)

 

Focus

God’s servants must be faithful to all that are entrusted to them by promptly and properly using them until the day of reckoning.

 

1. Background

The triumphal entry into Jerusalem

 

2. Talent: Entrusted Money

Talent = unit of money

 

3. Performance of Servants

 

  • Servant #1: put 5 talents to immediate use and produced another 5 (100%)
  • Servant #2: put 2 talents to immediate use and produced another 2 (100%)
  • Servant #3: hid 1 talent (0%)

 

4. Sudden Return of the Master

 

  • After a long time
    • The time on earth, while waiting for His return, is to be used promptly and properly so that His Kingdom will expand.

 

  • The master returned

 

37Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat and will come and serve them. 38And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants (Luke 11:37–38)

 

45But if that servant says in his heart, “My master is delaying his coming,” and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. (Luke 11:45-46)

 

We wait for the blessed hope-- the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)

 

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 Jn 3:2-3)

 

  • The master settled accounts

 

5. Personal Accounting

 

1. Servant with 5 talents

 

  • "Master, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more."
  • Master's Response: "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!"

 

2. Servant with 2 talents

 

  • "Master, you entrusted me with two talents. See, I have gained two more."
  • Master's Response: "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!"

 

Servant with 1 talent

 

  • “Master, I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So, I was afraid and went out and hid your tal­ent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”
  • Master's Response: “You wicked, lazy servant! So, you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned, I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents."

 

6. Significance of the Parable

 

  • Reward: "share your master's happiness"
  • Punishment: "cast into outer darkness"

 

Challenge

What sort of persons ought we to be?

 

1. Don't be like the servant with one talent: lazy and unproductive.

2. Be like servants with two & ten talents: put to use immediately and productively

3. Be faithful and obedient

 

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. (Rev. 22:12)

 

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matt 16:27)

 

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (Jas 5:7-8)

 

He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1:8-9)

 

By: Rev. Peter Lui