The signs are all around us that the Lord’s return is imminent. And Yeshua (Jesus) promised that when He returned that He will reward each of His servants according to their works. And prior to His death, He gave His disciples this warning:
For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. (Matthew 24:44).
In hearing this, I am sure there are those who will say, “Yeah, I’ve been hearing that for years.” However, the Lord is instructing various believers around the world to announce to His church, His Bride, that He is coming very soon. For example, the Lord has told us,
I am coming soon. Watch and be alert for My coming, so that none of you will be left to face the world to come. (“God’s Call for Intimacy”)
Then nine days later, the Lord again spoke of His soon return,
Wake up and proclaim My truths, says God. Sound an alarm in My holy mountain. Don’t let down your voice. Shout and make known My coming is nigh, My people. Waste no time sleeping, because I need you to prepare yourselves and to be ready. Anoint yourselves with oil, for a new day is to begin. Anoint yourselves, My children, make fresh what I have started in you. Rejoice and be glad for I am coming soon to a people who are steadfast and prepared. (“From God’s Heart”)
And even more recent, the Lord told us that we were the generation that would see His return:
I tell you the TRUTH, My people, that MY DAY that you both have been waiting upon is soon to be here and approaching. It is going to be like no other ever. You are most definitely a blessed generation to be seeing MY DAY approach/come to fruition. There has never been a generation so blessed as yours to see this DAY approach. Yes, MY Birth was a much welcoming time, but this DAY is a time to behold, to stand still and see the clouds/skies open up, and see Me. Your King of kings, riding on them and the angels proclaiming and pronouncing, “Hosanna, Hosanna, to the King of kings, who is worthy to open up the seals of the BOOK,” that I told John about in Revelation in your Bibles today.
Yes, the time is just about here, so hold onto your beliefs and don’t let fear or doubt rise up in your souls, for this is the DAY that you and your grandparents, and even before them, were all seeking and looking to see and to behold…. I know your parents and grandparents longed for this day, but there was so much that still needed to be accomplished and fulfilled and made new. There were many things that still hadn’t come together yet. I still needed to get My people, My chosen people, back into the LAND where I had promised your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that one day that they would be in the land. (“Why Can’t My People”)
In the Scriptures, this corresponds to the warnings that Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) gave us prior to His final Passover Seder and arrest.
Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming…be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. (Matthew 24:42, 44, NASB)
In the Scriptures, after Yeshua (Jesus) responded to His disciples’ questions about the signs of His return and those of the end, He tells them three parables: “The Faithful & Unfaithful Slaves” (Matthew 24: 45-51); “The Ten Virgins” (Matthew 25:1-13); and “The Talents” (Matthew 25:14-30). What is important about these parables is that they are connected and are all tools that Yeshua (Jesus) is using to make the same overall point. Therefore, in this article, I want to examine the first two of these three parables, and then I will discuss the third parable in part 2.
THE FAITHFUL & THE UNFAITHFUL SLAVES
In this first parable, Yeshua (Jesus) sets up a contrast between two servants, one faithful and one evil (or unfaithful).
Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. (Matthew 24:45-47)
Notice that the master of the household is going away for an unknown period of time, and so he puts his affairs into the hands of two slaves. The first slave here was faithful in serving his master, focusing his time on what the master wanted and needed for him to do, rather than focusing on his own needs and pleasures. Then when the master returns and he finds that slave busy faithfully serving him, Yeshua (Jesus) says, “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.”
On the other hand, the “evil” (or unfaithful) slave does not spend his time faithfully serving his master but takes advantage of the time when the master is away.
But if that evil slave says in his heart, “My master is not coming for a long time,” and shall begin to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; (Matthew 24:48-49)
Since the Master is going to be away for quite a while, the “evil slave” decides he might as well take advantage of the moment, and instead of serving the Master, He seeks to serve His own needs and desires. So what’s the repercussion on this slave? Will the Master when He returns reward him or punish him?
the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and shall cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; weeping shall be there and the gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:50-51)
The phrase “shall cut him in pieces” can also be translated as “to severely scourge (or whip/beat) him.” Not only will this slave be severely beaten, but he will be assigned the same place as the “hypocrites,” where there will be “weeping…and the gnashing of teeth.”
A WARNING FOR EVERY BELIEVER
This warning needs to be heeded by every believer! Messiah is warning all of us that if we spend our time living our lives chasing our own desires, our own wants and needs, instead of spending our time serving Him and the needs of His kingdom, then there will be a severe penalty to pay. There are churches who teach “once saved, always saved,” and that one can never lose one’s salvation, regardless of how one lives his or her life. However, this doctrine totally ignores this warning.
It’s not like the faithful servant belonged to one Master (Messiah) and the “evil” slave to another Master (Satan). No, both slaves belonged to the SAME Master. What distinguishes them is not who they belonged to, but their service: the faithful slave served the Master’s needs and interests, while the unfaithful or “evil” slave served his own needs and interests. If we are going to be seen as “faithful slaves” of Messiah, His needs and desires need to come before our own.
THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS
The next parable that Yeshua (Jesus) tells is the “parable of the ten virgins.” In this parable, there are ten virgins who waiting to join the wedding party.
Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were foolish, and five of them were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them. But the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. (Matthew 25:1-4)
Now all ten of their virgins have come to wait on the bridegroom, and since Yeshua (Jesus) is the bridegroom, then all ten of these “virgins” represent believers in Him. However, five of the believers were “foolish,” for they did not prepare ahead for His return to make sure they would have what they would need to endure; whereas, the other five believers were “prudent” (or wise) since they did prepare.
Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. (Matthew 25:5)
Notice that all ten fell asleep waiting on the bridegroom was coming. If five of these “virgins” were not believers, as I have heard some ministers say, then they would not even have been waiting for the bridegroom at all. The fact that they were waiting indicates that they all considered themselves to be His followers.
But at midnight there was a shout, “Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the prudent (wise), “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the prudent (wise) answered, saying, “No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” (Matthew 25:6-9)
As we can see, because the prudent (wise) virgins prepared in advance, they were ready when the bridegroom came, but since the foolish ones had not prepared in advance, they were not ready to go.
So how do we prepare for His coming? We must develop a relationship with Him, involving repenting of our sins, asking His forgiveness, immersing in water, and then spending time praying (speaking with Him and listening), reading and studying the Scriptures to learn more about Him, so we can seek to be like Him in every area of our lives with the help of the Holy Spirit, and by sharing Him with others. But because those other believers did not prepare, thinking that Yeshua (Jesus) would do it all, then when He came, they were not prepared to go at all.
And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. And later the other virgins also came, saying, “Lord, Lord, open up for us.” But he answered and said, “Truly I say to you, I do not know you.” Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25:10-13)
Those believers who had prepared in advance were allowed to go in to the wedding feast, the kingdom of heaven, but those who had not prepared were not allowed to go in to the wedding feast. When Yeshua (Jesus) comes, there will not be a second chance to come into the “wedding feast” (God’s Kingdom) later. Once you have missed it, that’s it.
A WARNING TO ALL BELIEVERS
Again, this should be a warning to all believers. Just because we call ourselves a “believer” or “a Christian” does not automatically mean we will be given access into God’s Presence. We must spend time preparing ourselves for that day.
There is no secret coming or secret rapture of believers. The whole thing is a religious fantasy based on misinterpretation and misunderstandings of the particular passages. The “blessed hope” in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 is not that we will miss the tribulation, but that those who have died will be resurrected when Yeshua (Jesus) returns so that they will not miss out on His Messianic Kingdom where He will rule and reign for 1, 000 years. So please do not be deceived by this popular belief in a secret rapture that will come before or even in the middle of the tribulation.
Also, in both a Pre-Tribulation Rapture or a Mid-Tribulation Rapture theory, there is the possibility of a second chance to enter into the kingdom (at the end of the tribulation); however, as Yeshua (Jesus) makes it quite clear here in this second parable, there will not be any second chances. Consequently, only the belief that when Yeshua (Jesus) comes the Second time at the end of the tribulation, and the resurrection of the dead happens at that moment, is the only scenario that really matches this parable’s description.
So when the Lord returns, how will He describe your service to Him? Will He see you as the “Faithful servant” who spent your time placing His needs and wants first at all times, or will you be the “evil servant” who spent your time, fulfilling your own wants and needs. Also, will you be like the “prudent virgins” who spent their time preparing in advance for what they would need, or will you be like the “foolish virgins” who did not prepare, thinking that what they had was good enough.
Remember: What choice you or I make is entirely ours to make. I just pray that each of us makes the right and wise choice.