Share This Episode
The Bible Study Hour James Boice Logo

Unprofitable Servants and Goats

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2020 7:00 am

Unprofitable Servants and Goats

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 250 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

November 2, 2020 7:00 am

Whenever Jesus tells a story about two different kinds of people, its always a little unnerving. The story seems simple enough, and you quickly see who the good guys and bad guys are. The unnerving part comes at the end, where he applies the story and says: So, then...!

COVERED TOPICS / TAGS (Click to Search)
The Bible Study Hour Dr. James Boice
The Bible Study Hour
James Boice
The Bible Study Hour
James Boice
The Bible Study Hour
James Boice
The Bible Study Hour
James Boice
The Bible Study Hour
James Boice
The Bible Study Hour
James Boice

Whenever Jesus tells a story about two different kinds of people. It's always a little unnerving. The story seems simple enough and you quickly see who the good guys and the bad guys are the unnerving part comes at the end when he applies the story and says so then welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically today. Dr. Boyce looks at two parables, both in Matthew 25 in both with similar themes. The first one is about three servants master is leaving town for a while. He gives each serving some of his money to care for the second parable is about two different kinds of people in Jesus compares them with sheep and goats that a shepherd separates into two groups. Is there coming in from Pastor in the parable of the sheep are the good guys and the goats are the bad guys. Let's listen as Dr. Boyce ties these two stories together and talks about four points they share in common is hardly possible to think of Christ's parables of judgment without thinking of the three great parables of judgment that are found in Matthew 25 is the chapter that contains three parables, the one the parable of the five wives and five foolish virgins.

Second, the parable of talents and then the third which is wraps the best known, the parable of the separation of the sheep from the goats. We've already looked at one of these stories earlier was the story of the wise and foolish virgins.

So you really focus on the second or third. Now what I'd like to do is take the most obvious points of these two stories and treat them one at a time and sequence.

What's the first point of the first point is the obvious one.

There is going to be a day of reckoning is going to be a final judgment. This is so obvious it hardly seems necessary to stress it because both experience and the teaching of Scripture would say quite clearly that this is coming that is necessary to stress this, because in our brave way of thinking about things.

This is about the most irrational or ill logical thing that men and women in their natural state can possibly imagine. Imagine anything but this.

Everything is entirely to the contrary.

What is of the people think about anything about dying. Generally I try not to think about it very much.

This probably betrays inner anxiety which is closer to the truth than what they profess or speak up on the surface, but they do think about the life become generally. Today, people will think about in terms at worst about continuation of the life they know now and generally something better in the life to come.

Well, here I endure all kinds of trials and tribulations here. I have my crosses to bear, but in the life to Commonwealth all of that will be behind me and everything will be good doesn't seem to occur to them in the slightest life to come might quite possibly be worse and even much, much worse than the life they enjoy here on earth. Jesus talks about it in terms of judgment, reckoning, even if we weren't willing to accept it on the basis of the teaching of Christ himself.

We can certainly accept this on the basis of our own reasoning about future events. This is not a good world is an evil world. Anybody can see that in one of the evils of this world is not merely that evil exists that evil prospers, and often the good suffer now if this is an immoral universe of there is no God. Of course that doesn't matter all that there is a moral universe which means we are able actually to talk about good and evil is perfectly evident that there has to be a life hereafter in which these things are sorted out universe is moral which is to say if there is a God.

It was a moral God is created universe and brought things into being and sustains it and is answerable for the way things are. Then the day must come when evil will be punished and good will be rewarded and if this is a moral universal arson must be judged. Jesus was not only speaking from a platform of being the son of God and therefore speaking inherently in a way that we can trust and depend on utterly but he was also speaking on the basis of what we know from experience when he said this day of reckoning is coming first story we see it in verse 19 after a long time, the master of those servants return and he settled accounts with them.

Second-story received in verse 31 the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats while second these stories of a great emphasis upon works and tell it forthrightly judgment which is based upon works. This is surprising and is even troubling in the first story the story of a man would been given the various talents. Two of them use their talents wisely deferred varies his talent in the ground when his master comes back and judges them dozens them for not having used that which he had been given steak away from them. His throne and outer darkness in the second-story emphasis upon works is even clearer. Here you have Jesus talking about the division between the sheep and the goats on the basis of the division is at the sheep when they saw someone I was hungry for when they saw someone who is thirsty, gave him water to drink and when they saw someone with no close to where gave him close so we wouldn't be naked cold when he was in prison.

They visited him in prison when he was sick and went to him and comforted him and when he was a stranger. They took him in and made him feel at home. The basis of God's judgment upon the goats is that they did.

None of these things. The hungry were there. They did not feed them in the first we were there. They did not give them drink people without clothes. They did not clothe them when they were strangers.

They did not take the men when they were sick, they did not visit them and when they were prisoners. They did not go to see them.

They were in the prison or here very emphatic clear inescapable language says that the basis of the judgments is works whether we have done what God wanted us to do or not, that rightly gives us a great deal of pause, let me say that when we put this in context, we cannot forget these are the second two of three stories of the first story has to do with the five allies and five foolish virgins in the lines when mother commended for the fact that they were watching and waiting for the Lord's return. They were ready and waiting. Dozens speak of faith in the clearest of all possible forms of language, but it certainly does suggest that because what is watching and waiting for the return of Jesus Christ to master the bridegroom with faith, our Lord talks those terms in the first story is perfectly evident that in the second and third is not speaking against faith, our Lord wasn't against belief. He said when they ask you what you should do to do the works of God. This is the work of God, that you might believe on him only absent against faith same time he's rounding out this theology in a way that we often do not do because it's very nice Ross is very comforting. Ross to say, well, all you have to do is believe and therefore doesn't have to affect any way in which you live long as we believe everything is all right and we don't have to be bothered by the fact that we may not any particular instance actually live in the way the Lord Jesus Christ commands to us in these stories, Jesus is saying if you're thinking that way.

Watch out because you're in great trouble is judgment as a judgment according to truth and truth concerns the way in which you and I actually live, let me say this is not the only place in the Bible that we find this emphasis Lord Jesus, as we might expect, is absolutely one with his apostles, one with the apostle James, for example, his brother, who said in the second chapter of his book. Verse 14. What good is it, my brothers of the man claims to have faith but has no deeds in such a faith save him. We have understand what is talking about here is distinguishing between different kinds of faith that is a dead faith as he later says in a living faith or we would say it more properly between the true faith of a false faith that is a faith which is a robot living faith rolling out of the life of Christ with it and that which is only profession that which exists solely on the surface this is the distinction, but nevertheless, he goes on to talk about the fruits of that faith. Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes were you supposed James learned that he learned from listening to the Lord Jesus Christ. Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. One of you says to him go. I wish you well. Keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about his physical needs one good is it in the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead pretty strong language that is exactly what our Lord himself says in these parables was not denying that great doctrine of justification by faith, which we find in the Old Testament, in which Paul elaborate so brilliantly in the new what was teaching that as well. He knew that salvation was on the basis of his death. He said I go to give my life a ransom for many. He said that the work of God is to believe on that which God has done in person of his son, but at the same time Jesus was saying look faith in this kind of work is never of faith, which is a long, by itself, without the fruit of that fate seen in righteousness and good deeds. Jesus said we must believe in less you believe must remain alive. You must be born again unless you're born again well then you can enter into the kingdom of heaven.

You can even see the kingdom of heaven. So this matter of regeneration is first and then that comes faith which leads to justification him because the life of Jesus Christ is there and that life is a life of righteousness. Works inevitably follow along the way you see is quite possible for Jesus speak as he does in these parables, saying that if you do these things are justified and if you don't do these things are not just applied indicating that you are justified because you do those things. But if you do not do those things you are not justified because that's the kind of thing. The justified men and women do so.

Our Lord says look here's a test. Don't just sit there and say well I put all this for my youth.

I believe it sure I do go out and do your thing less you live in the way Jesus Christ is directing you to live when you grow and that life of discipleship than its presumption for you to assume that the work regeneration is been done in your heart to give a warning here. However, something in this one, especially the second parable of Matthew 25 that is in the nature of qualification where we are concerned is along these lines are Lord talk about the sermon. So would be given the various talents he made very clear that in one case sermon was given five talents and was able to use that to produce five more in the second case sermon was given to talents and in this case was unable to use those to talents to produce tomorrow.

Then there was 1/3 one simply had his talent in the ground apart from the fact that to use their talents and one didn't use his talent story does indicate that there is a variation between the gifts that are given in particular instances. There's a man with five gifts that he goes on the uses them, and anybody was standing on the side, looking at that would say why there somebody who is certainly blessed that God bears a spiritual person.

Look at all, he is able to do over here somewhere else is a man only has to I would say well I guess you say you know I mean is doing something. After all, and if the man would only had wanted actually used as one looked at him and said well you know is hardly doing anything all this man was judged not because he didn't produce as much in his life.

As the man with the five talents would because he didn't produce anything at all what you see as were all different and were given different talents and this simply means that while in escrow, as Christ says that if we are regenerate.

There will be the evidence of the work of Jesus Christ in our lives and the things that we do. We are nevertheless not to compare ourselves with other people and say I'm all right because I do more in their all right because they do so much, but so-and-so is all right because they're not doing enough or whatever it may be. See Paul said he was thinking along these lines and thinking of other people.

He was saying, don't judge yourself by them and don't judge them because who are you, he said to judge another man's servant before his own master he stands or evolves. This is a doctrine marked roster use in tearing down someone else say well they're not saved because they're not doing what so-and-so does. This is a doctrine by which were to examine ourselves were to say God search me and try me and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Because I want to be among those who, by the power of the Holy Spirit flowing forth from the love of the Lord Jesus Christ feed the hungry and give water to the thirsty, and clothes, naked and visit the sick had included the stranger and go to comfort the one who is in prison point these parables, and it has to do with our excuses. I've given this morning to say comparing one person with another. But I want to give a warning to my warning. I want to qualify my qualification. While it's true that we must make that kind of comparison with others, we nevertheless have to be utterly rigorous with ourselves and the reason we have to be rigorous with ourselves as were so inclined to give excuses for our conduct. We divide all sorts of reasons for not doing what we know we should do we find it here. In the story to interesting excuses. These individuals give. Here's a man who didn't use his talent and master comes to him and what is he pleased you find it in verses 24 and 25 banner would receive one talent came master reset. I knew you're a hard man harvesting where you're not so gathering where you're not scattered since was afraid like when I hid your talent in the ground.

See here is what belongs to you. What you say. Saying well I know you I have a knowledge of your character. Now understand how this has to be understood as Christian people here somebody in the church who is using as an excuse for failing to do what he knows he ought to know, for failing use.

The Taliban is given him for failing to do the works that God has ordained for them to go is using his excuse that he knows God to well actually go out and do it is almost unbelievable when you think about it. That's what we do we do in this very subject we got this nicely doctrine of justification by grace through faith.

So what we know we say God I read the book I know what to say that you say are justified by faith. Therefore, I don't have to do any works in the fall justified by faith apart from works okay. I will work that will really well. The Jesus says where to do good deeds again. We take this matter of predestination. White blood predestinated people to salvation. Obviously I don't have to be engaged in evangelism watch might be a missionary God and Satan is the same as all of God, which is God's. God says you think you know my character. Do you think I'm a hard man that I harvest where I haven't sewn and gather what I'm not scattered seed. If that's the case if that's the kind of person I am all about reason why you should of been busy in the work that I've given you to do and he takes man's talent away and pronounces judgment on others.

This next excuse comes in the second story when the king confronts those who did not take care of the needy. Their reply was along these lines, I say Ward we never saw you hungry and we never saw you thirsty and we never saw you without close what they're implying is advancing pieces in those other people while course, they would've done what he required, but they didn't see him and therefore they have an excuse for doing nothing and we do the same thing we say well I know it says in the Bible. God didn't lead me to do it. This particular situation. I didn't see God telling me to care for those who are needy. I didn't see or hear or feel or sense God telling me to do such and such a thing like a lot of you, and only pointed out, that's what you want me to do what I would've done it didn't do it so that's my excuse there. I am, I was an excuse going to hold up the day of God's righteous judgment is not immune excuses, and that day.

That's why the apostle Paul says, as he does in third chapter of Romans verse 19 of the day of the judgment every mile will be stopped in the whole world will be held accountable before God. Nobody is gonna be making excuses for the Lord Jesus Christ takes his position on the bench of his judgment well there's 1/4 point thing. This is interesting to I don't know many surprise parties where the person who was the recipient of the surprise party was really surprised us both happens from time to time. I know of one here not long ago, but generally people aren't surprised some way way back in my past I can remember when it was I might've been 10 or 12.

My family gave a surprise party for me. I think I knew about the same day they got the idea and I had all those weeks trying to put 10 that I wasn't really surprised that when the surprise party finally came off I had to say this so surprised when they knew I wasn't surprised. Nobody is ever given a surprise party for me since I think the word is gotten around, but many people are really surprised. I can put it in these terms, there are going to be thousands upon thousands of millions of people were going to be utterly astounded in the day of the judgment of Jesus Christ.

This is true in every one of the stories. When these five foolish women who missed the entry in the banquet hall came back to the door was shot. They pounded upon it, I said Sir Sir Arthur Lewis. They were absolutely astounded the master would do it when the servant was cast out when God pronounces judgment on them, you wicked lazy servants remount that outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Servant was utterly bound policy expected to be praised because he hidden his talent on the ground.

I probably have lost found there was back again. I didn't steal from you. It's all there.

When the goats are the presence of the Lord the day of final judgment. Do not enter into the blessing. I just can't believe this is happening to them utterly surprised to see I think. Here is probably the greatest portrait and all of the Scripture of the visible but I'm leaving church of the people sits the church week after week Sunday after Sunday hearing all these things. Assuming that everything's all right without any evidence of the power and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in their hearts thinking they believe the right things doing the right things that is going to come there confronted by Jesus Christ himself. They're going to say your insight apart for me because I never knew you. I can think of many things that are more horrible than that. That kind of a devastating hourly demolishing surprise, the Lord Jesus Christ says is what's going to happen. Many professing the religious people that's the case, then we really need to take the challenge.

Second Peter 110 seriously were Peter says that were to examine ourselves and make our calling and election sure he says don't be fooled out as a God of truth the judge is in righteousness and that your obligation before him to make your calling sure you heard the gospel. Have you believed is it really change your life. Are you a different kind of person now by the grace of God, you are before you got saved by being good saved by the work of Christ. Jesus saves you your bot by the grace of God and faith in him, you will be different. Are you this is the question Jesus asked. Then finally, this last point is the obvious one. This is great and eternal division C owes would been faithful in little things are given much more in their invited the happiness of their Lord what it was but faithful is thrown out says into the darkness will be weeping and gnashing of teeth machine and the goats are separated, says at the very end of the chapter.

The last recorded words of the last great sermon of our Lord and they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. This is not a division of the moment. This is not a separation. The last week our lifetime a few years or even a millennium is an eternal separation. The day is coming, that separation will take place upon all men and women. This is the day of God's grace. This is nothing the floor around with this is not a theme to tickle the financing. This is not something to say. Well I think about it another time.

I may go home and do something about it. I may not talk about it to me next week something to be dealt with now there's no greater subject to be considered by people in the face of this earth now or in any other. Human history. How do you stand before God, you stand as one who is been bought by the blood of Jesus Christ and transformed by him or you stand there in your own righteousness, which is really your own on righteousness, which will be condemned or Jesus Christ invite you to come now believe on him experience at renewal that only he can bring. Let us pray our father, we thank you for this teaching and sober, though it may be refined. Our souls are mine's provoked to God's by what our Lord is saying, grabbed her father that we might not be found near professors of the day of God's wrath that we might be found. Those who have so fed upon the Lord Jesus Christ that we have become increasingly like him actually been found working for him the service of others responding to their need, even as Jesus Christ himself responded in the days of his flesh, grabbed we might be found faithful servants and witnesses of these things until in your own time and in accordance with your own wisdom to take us home to our everlasting reward pray in Jesus name.

You are listening to Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by. We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. Alliance broadcasting includes the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Aiken and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a free introductory package for first-time callers or to make a contribution. Please call toll-free 1-800-488-1888. Again, that's 1-800-488-1888. You can also write the alliance at Box 2000, Philadelphia PA 19103 or you can visit us for Canadian gifts mail those 2237 Rouge Hills Dr., Scarborough, ON, and 1C, two line 9 ask for your free resource catalog featuring books, audio commentaries, booklets, videos, and a wealth of other materials from outstanding reformed teachers and theologian. Thank you again for your continued support and for listening to Bible study

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime