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Matthew Chapter 25

Memory verses for this week:  Rev 7:9  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;  Rev 7:10  And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 

Introduction: In last week’s lesson, Christ told of the upcoming destruction of the temple, and how that we would know the time of his soon return when we saw various things begin to happen, such as rumours of wars, nations rising against nation, famines, pestilences and earthquakes in divers places.   All of these things point to Christ’s soon return. 

I.  Parable of the Ten Virgins

Mat 25:1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Mat 25:2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Mat 25:3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

Mat 25:4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Mat 25:5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Mat 25:6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Mat 25:7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Mat 25:8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

Mat 25:9  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.

Mat 25:10  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.

Mat 25:11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

Mat 25:12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Mat 25:13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

We see a parallel here in this chapter to the prior parables we studied about the tares in the wheat, the leaven in the meal, and the bad fish in the net.  These 10 virgins are a parable concerning Christendom in the world.   Christendom is made up of all ‘so called’ Christian churches, and it embraces both the true and the false… the believers and those who just profess to be believers.  The fact was that the five foolish virgins took no oil with them (v. 3) is proof that they were not saved.  Oil in the scriptures typifies the Holy Spirit, and if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Several things need to be noticed about the foolish virgins:

a.  They were foolish

b.  They took no oil in their lamps

c.  They were unprepared when the bridegroom came.

d.  They waited too long to be concerned about entering into the marriage.

e.  They asked for entrance but were denied.

f.  The Lord declared that He knew them not.

The Five Wise Virgins:

a. Ready when the Bridegroom came.

b.  They entered in.

c.  They took oil in their lamps.


II.  The Lord’s Return Tests the Servants

Mat 25:14  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.

Mat 25:15  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.

The  man  in this verse is a picture of Christ, who has entrusted His possessions with His servants, we who are Christians.   He called His own servant and delivered goods unto them.  (The servants that belonged to Him.)   Not all had the same ability and not all received the same amount of the master’s goods.

Mat 25:16  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

Mat 25:17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

Mat 25:18  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

The Lord gave money to each one.  The one who received five talents gained five more.  The one with two also gained two more.  But the one with only one talent went and hid his Lord’s money and did not bring forth anything for the glory of the Lord.

Mat 25:19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

Mat 25:20  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.

Mat 25:21  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.

Mat 25:22  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.

Mat 25:23  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.

The man returning speaks of the Lord’s return when He will reward His saints for what they have done in this life.   These rewards will be given at the judgment seat of Christ.   No doubt, there will be positions of authority given as rewards during the 1,000 year Millennial Reign of Christ.

Mat 19:27  Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

Mat 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Mat 19:29  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.


Mat 25:24  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 strowed:

Mat 25:25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

Mat 25:26  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 strowed:

Mat 25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

Mat 25:28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

Mat 25:29  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.

Mat 25:30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The servant with the one talent gives his excuse for not doing anything with it.  He said he knew the authority of the Lord and was afraid to put the talent to use lest me misuse it.   He had nothing to show for it when the Lord returned.  He is called a wicked servant.

J. Vernon McGee said this about the talents the Lord gives us.

Notice that the “talents” were sums of money. They do not represent talents in the sense of the natural endowments of a person such as a musical talent. The application to us is that whatever God has given to us, we are to use for Him.

There is a great principle in this parable for us. And it was given in the light of the fact that all of us—you and I included—are going to have to stand in the presence of God and give an account of how we have used what He has given to us. The Lord is not going to ask us how much we have done for Him but how faithful we have been to that which He wanted us to do.

For the child of God there are two important things: (1) Find out what God wants us to do; that is, determine what the talent is that He has given us, and then (2) be faithful in the use of it. To some of us God gives a very small ministry, and that may be upsetting to us; but if we are one-talent people, God expects us to be faithful with that.  [i]

III.  The Judgment of the Nations

Mat 25:31  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:

Mat 25:32  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:

Mat 25:33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Notice when Christ returns, it says that he comes in His glory.   This is at the end of the tribulation when be comes to take the throne of His father David.   All nations will be gathered before Christ and he will divide them.  The sheep nations will be on his right, whereas the goats will be on his left.  There shall be a judgment in that day of the nations.  This is not to decide whether they have accepted Christ as Savior, since this is about nations, not individuals.

W. A. Criswell in the Believers Bible commented this on these verses:

25:31–46 The sheep and goat judgment should not be confused with other judgments (cf. Rev. 20:11–15, note), e.g., the judgment seat of Christ (beµgma, Gk.) for believers only, which occurs immediately following the departure of the church at the revelation of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 3:13, note); or the Great White Throne judgment for unbelievers, which occurs at the conclusion of the millennial age (Rev. 20:11–15). This judgment of sheep and goats is at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation to determine who may enter the millennial or kingdom age. The basis of the judgment is the relationship of men to Christ, as demonstrated by their treatment of Israel during the Great Tribulation (vv. 34–46). Those who are saved (the “sheep”) enter the kingdom prepared for them (v. 34), while the lost (the “goats”) are turned away into eternal punishment (v. 46). The kingdom consists only of the saved at the outset of that final age. [ii]

Mat 25:34  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:

Mat 25:35  For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Mat 25:36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Mat 25:37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Mat 25:38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Mat 25:39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

Mat 25:40  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.

The sheep nations are those that have treated the Jews correctly and with care.  The entrance of these nations into the kingdom appears to be related to how they have treated the brethren. (the Jews)   Apparently this judgment may cover the treatment of the Jews by all nations in all ages, but it clearly speaks of how they have been treated during the 7 years of tribulation.   The children that have not reached the age of accountability will enter into the kingdom in their natural bodies as will these nations labeled as ‘sheep’.   Jesus says that if you have done it to the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.   While this is in reference to the Jews, we need to always remember that to cut down the church that Jesus died for is to be turning against Christ.  We need to remember that Jesus shed his blood for the church, and it means so much to him.   People may fail us, but the Lord will never fail us.

Mat 25:41  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:

Mat 25:42  For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

Mat 25:43  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.

Mat 25:44  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Mat 25:45  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.

Mat 25:46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

We see the results of being one of the ‘goat’ nations in these verses.  They have treated the Jews poorly, and they pay a dear price for this.   These nations will be punished and destroyed for the wrongs they have inflicted upon the Jews.  The sheep nations will be the ones that Christ and all his saints will reign over during the 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth.


As I read through my various commentaries, I found a lot of conflicting teachings on these verses.  So there is considerable debate as to what these verses in Chapter 25 mean.  It appears to me that these are in reference to the treatment of the Jews during the tribulation (and possibly in all ages).    J. Vernon McGee points out some points that are interesting if not totally accurate.


The 144,000 Jews sealed at the time of the Great Tribulation will go out over the entire world to preach the message of the gospel of the Kingdom, which is to receive Christ as the sacrifice for their sins and to be ready for His immediate coming. Some nations will reject Christ. Antichrist will have God’s messengers butchered and slain, and anyone who would give them a cup of cold water will do so at the risk of his life. To hand out a cup of cold water has little value in our day, but in the Great Tribulation it will have tremendous value. It will mean taking a stand for Jesus Christ. The basis on which the nations will be judged is their acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ. He says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”—because the messengers were representing Him. That will be the way they evidence faith in the message that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and that they are to repent and turn to Christ to be saved.

For those who reject, there is only judgment—


Entire nations will enter the millennial Kingdom. Out of these will be some individuals who will reject Christ. But the judgment of the nations at the second coming of Christ is to determine what nations are to enter the millennial Kingdom. This judgment is separate and distinct from all other judgments.   [iii]



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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[ii]W.A. Criswell, Believer’s study Bible [computer file], electronic ed. , Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1991 by the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies.

[iii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.