Robert Morris is the senior pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas, one of the largest churches in the United States, with 39,000 active members and the author of “The Blessed Life”. To say that he’s living the blessed life is an understatement. God has blessed this man. Once, in conversation with the Lord, Pastor Morris asked the Lord why He has blessed him so much, and immediately the Lord responded, “Because you gave your first fruits to my firstborn (Israel).”
Gateway Church gives one-tenth of its Mission’s Tithe to the Jew first through Israel-focused ministries. It’s also the first cheque written each month by their church office. This revelation concerning his re-connection back to Israel, which was given to him by the Holy Spirit, has been an untold blessing both to his life personally and also to Gateway Church.
Matthew 25 is a powerful chapter in Scripture and it consists of a cluster of three parables. These three parables all have a common thread and basically, they give us an idea of what we’re to expect when our Lord Jesus returns; how He’ll judge the Church and the nations and how He rewards them as well. They’re addressed to three different groups of people.
Now the people in all the parables seemingly believed the same things. So it’s not a matter of what we believe in this instance. Is that important? Definitely yes! But in this scenario, it’s not what we believe but what we do with what we believe. It’s important what we do, because one of the questions we’ll be asked on that day is what did we do with the life He gave us.
The first parable is The Parable of the 10 Virgins. This parable is addressed to the Church, and it’s about productivity. In the parable, all the virgins wanted to be part of the wedding. But we’re told that five were wise and five were foolish. Now all 10 virgins, which is a type of the believer in Scripture, slept. So we must watch the spirit of slumber. Then we’re introduced to the third group of people in the story – The cry of the midnight caller: “Behold the Bridegroom is coming.” They’re not asleep.
The wise ones had oil in their lamps. In other words, they had reserves. So it’s wisdom for us to be prepared. Now why did the wise virgins prepare and took oil? Because they didn’t know when the Master was coming back. So they prepared themselves. The emphasis is what they did with what they believed. The foolish virgins thought that He was coming back immediately and did not prepare. All the virgins believed in the Bridegroom and all believed that He was coming back. One group prepared for it, but not the other. The lack of preparedness cost them everything.
The second parable is The Parable of the Talents. This parable is directed to the servants of the Lord, the ministers of the Gospel. And it’s about productiveness. The master had entrusted his business to three servants. A talent in those days was quite a sum of money. The first servant made five talents from the five he was given and was richly rewarded. The second servant made two talents from the two he was given and he too was richly rewarded. But the third servant didn’t do anything with his talent. He didn’t lose the talent. He didn’t steal it. He didn’t waste it. He didn’t consume it. He just didn’t use it. And what happened to him? He was cast into outer darkness. That’s not a nice place to be for eternity.
The third parable is an Actual Scenario. It’s not actually a parable, but an account of how the Lord will judge the nations when He returns. We’re told that when Jesus returns to this planet, He’s going to return to His throne in Jerusalem; not London, or Canterbury, or Tulsa, or Springfield, MO. Then the nations will be gathered before Him and He’ll separate the nations as a man separates sheep from the goats. And what’s the criterion of separation? On what basis is the Lord going to judge and separate the nations? The answer to that is how we treat the least of His brethren. Make no mistake about it, His brethren here is a direct reference to the Jewish people. There’s no ambiguity about this.
How we treat the Jew is going to be the plumb line, the yardstick of measurement of how He’ll treat and reward us. We’re blessed as we bless Israel, and vice versa. How we treat the Jewish people is one of the plumb lines that God is establishing in His Church today, much like the Grace Message and the LGBT issue. It was Sir Winston Churchill who said that “no thoughtful man can deny the fact that the Jews are, beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race, which has appeared in the world.”
Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong