Jesus said, "For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, `Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.' His master said to him, `Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, `Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' His master said to him, `Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, `Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master replied, `You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away."No, the important part that went unheard was not verses 16-18. It was verse 30,
"And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." AKJV(Addendum: This verse was mentioned in today's sermon, but it was immediately qualified as we were told that surely the cast out would be let back in next Sunday. I never knew Hell had a revolving front door.)
This Sunday, the pewsitters may have been spared the awful ramifications of being unprofitable, but next week they should get a redeeming dose. For those who do not take the danger of being cast out seriously, or who think that Jesus could never have meant eternal separation from Him, or who presume that the devil does not exist, Our Lord continues in Matthew 14 and separates the sheep from the goats as He says,
"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: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 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. 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? 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. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Matthew 14:41-46That would make three Sundays in a row (link to last Sunday's post) where consequences too terrible to imagine are described by Jesus himself to those who are unprepared, lazy and unprofitable, or lacking in mercy.
Do you think He is trying to send us a message?
As Colin Smith points out at Bible Study Tools,
“They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord” 2 Thessalonians 2:9
"To be shut out from God’s presence and from His power is to be without hope and without love forever. This is one of the hardest truths in the Bible. But here’s something I’ve discovered—the hardest truths can produce the most tender hearts. If you grasp this most difficult of doctrines, God will use it to soften your heart today."