Matthew 25: The Lord’s Coming




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

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

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:



  1. Here are two parables and a prophecy, all pertaining to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. A parable is a comparison, similitude, or allegory, in which something is compared to something else.
  3. A parable is a an extended simile or metaphor, in this case similes, by virtue of “likened” and “as.”
  4. Few of the details are to be compared, because the purpose is the overall lesson. See Luke 10:25-37.
  5. While your curiosity may want to speculate about details, your heart should crave the lesson in force!
  6. How will you prove your point? Where will you end? Could a wise man make you look like an idiot?
  7. Instead of being disappointed with a plain and powerful lesson, you should take appropriate action!
  8. It is not spiritual insight or depth of study that identifies details; it is foolish and proud speculation.
  9. It is speculative focus on details (often missing the intent) that leaves saints bewildered and confused, which puts Baptist ministers in the role of Roman priests, taking God’s words from common people.
  10. It is the Second Coming by terminology (11-12), time and purpose (19), and the stated facts (31-32).

The Ten Virgins (1-13)

  1. The comparison is taken from the day’s customs for a Jewish wedding at the time of Christ.
    1. We may find a few passages to shed light (Gen 29:18-26; Ps 45:14-15; Matt 9:15; etc.).
    2. The weddings generally took place at night, which is the reason for the lamps and oil.
    3. It was traditional for virgins to come and meet the bridegroom and his party at arrival.
    4. This particular bridegroom was later than expected and did not arrive until midnight.
    5. When the announcement was made of his arrival, the virgins went forth to meet him.
    6. Wise virgins were ready with oil and lights to meet him; the foolish were not ready at all.
    7. The foolish virgins tried to beg oil of the wise, but the wise would have none of that.
    8. While the foolish virgins went to buy oil, the bridegroom arrived and the wedding began.
    9. By the time the foolish virgins had obtained oil, it was too late to join the wedding.
    10. The bridegroom denied ever knowing them and limited the wedding to the wise virgins.
  2. The lesson is spiritual preparation for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory.
    1. The kingdom of heaven is Christ’s reign in the gospel dispensation beginning with John.
    2. The kingdom of heaven continues on to glory, when the church shall be taken to heaven.
    3. The lesson is clearly stated at the conclusion – we should not try to imagine much more. The lesson: Be prepared for the unknown coming of Jesus Christ before it is too late!
    4. Any interpretation of details must serve this overall end, which is by far most important.
    5. This is not a doctrinal lesson on the details of soteriology or analysis of any of its phases!
    6. Dig details? Why did wise and foolish both sleep? How did foolish have lamps burning? Are churches split 50-50? How will foolish beg for oil? How did foolish get their oil?
    7. The oil is not eternal, legal, or vital salvation: (a) fools obtained it, (b) see exhortation.
    8. You can quote all the verses you want about the Spirit being oil, but Jesus did not note it.
    9. Why would you even want to know the meaning of the oil? Why not crave the lesson?
    10. The bridegroom is the Lord Jesus Christ, for He identifies Himself in the application.
    11. The virgins are professing Christians in His churches, who are planning on the wedding.
    12. The wedding is our Lord’s second coming by the shut door and His words (Mat 7:21-23).
    13. Jesus will not come at a time we are expecting Him, so we must be ready at all times.
    14. The intent of the slumbering is just to indicate that he took much longer than expected.
    15. If the saints at times slumber in their lives, they have made overall preparation for Him.
    16. The wise virgins are born again saints, who live holy and spiritual lives looking for Jesus.
    17. The foolish virgins are mere professors, who presume on God’s grace and live carnally, for Jesus Christ rejects them, and they are shut out of heaven (Phil 3:18-19).
    18. The lesson here matches the lessons of Matthew 7:21-23; 7:24-27; Luke 16:1-12; etc.
    19. The day is coming when it will be too late to do anything about your soul; and though we believe the Potter determined our destinies, the whole Bible speaks of seeking salvation.
    20. How should you live knowing that everything here is going fully away (II Peter 3:10-14)?
    21. Since we have been invited to the greatest event in history, it should affect us (I Jn 3:3).

The Talents (14-30)

  1. The comparison is from a lord taking a trip, leaving assets with servants, and coming again.
    1. The man is a property owner who assigns duties over his assets when leaving on a trip.
    2. He gave varying degrees of responsibility to his servants based on their varying abilities.
    3. Two of the servants made good use of the time, and another servant squandered the time.
    4. The lord was gone for a long time, which renders assets either powerful or worthless.
    5. The lord highly commended, with equal praise, the two servants that had been faithful.
    6. The slothful servant came and excused himself due to fear and intimidation by work.
    7. The lord responded with a rebuke for not operating wisely with his knowledge of his lord.
    8. The lord commanded the talent he had vainly squandered to be given to the man with ten.
    9. The lord commanded that the slothful servant be cast into outer darkness for tormenting.
  2. The lesson is faithful diligence with God’s spiritual and providential gifts under the gospel.
    1. We understand this parable to be of the final judgment by the lord traveling to a far country, its location in a context of final judgment, and “long time” and “reckoneth.”
    2. The man traveling to a far country and coming again for a reckoning is Jesus Christ.
    3. His servants are saints: His ministers are surely included, but it is not exclusively them.
    4. The Lord has given spiritual and providential gifts for which we are responsible in life.
    5. Reject the modern sense of talents, since it is a monetary unit here. Talents are gifts.
    6. Faithful Christians use their gifts productively for God’s glory and the benefit of others.
    7. Foolish reprobates are not even thankful for the things God has done for them in life.
    8. They might even excuse themselves by intimidation due to the strictness of Christianity.
    9. Do not give the Lord, me, or yourself the deceitful lie that you cannot measure up! He does not require more than you are easily able to perform with distinction (I Cor 10:13)!
    10. Jesus Christ will commend all faithful Christians, regardless of their degree of gifts.
    11. Jesus Christ will rebuke and send to hell all those who squandered life’s responsibilities.
    12. The comparison here is of saints and reprobates, which leaves fruitless saints suspect.
    13. Have you fully exploited every opportunity and faithfully fulfilled every responsibility?
    14. What have you done with your money, time, job, parents, children, wife, church, gifts, knowledge, opportunities, teachers, grace, conviction, online Bible, etc., etc.?
    15. Are you a mature Christian? Full of maturity and grown in grace, ready to teach others also? Bearing abundant fruit of the Spirit? Perfect in patience, so trials do not move you?
    16. Or do you still need a nurse to get through your little setbacks (Heb 5:12-14)? A counselor for the simplest of matters? Are you a pillar and rock of this church upon which others can rest at anytime? Or are you a melting snowball to drip into your grave?
    17. The rule is simple and severe – much is required of those given much (Luke 12:47-48).

The Sheep and the Goats (31-46)

  1. The prophecy is a description of our Lord’s authority and finality and our needed evidence.
    1. This coming is not judgment on Jerusalem in 70 A.D., for it involves all nations and hell!
    2. Jesus Christ is surely coming with His angels in power and great glory, for He is a great King with power to execute judgment (Jn 5:26-27; 17:2; II Thes 1:7-10; I Tim 6:13-16)!
    3. Your every work will be judged (Ec 12:14; Rom 14:10-12; II Cor 5:9-11; Rev 20:11-15).
    4. Jesus Christ will separate those He accepts from those He rejects, similar to a shepherd.
    5. There is a great difference between gentle, useful sheep and dirty, stinking goats; and it is true under both testaments that God compares His elect to sheep. The wicked are goats.
    6. The picture presented here is a most sober and severe warning of what is coming for you!
    7. The King will identify the character of the righteous on his right hand for loving service.
    8. Heaven was prepared for the elect before the world began (25:34; Eph 1:3-12; Rev 17:8).
    9. Though the righteous meekly deny any such righteousness, He applies it to lowly service.
    10. The King will identify the character of the wicked on his left for hateful, selfish neglect.
    11. The King will declare their future to be everlasting hell prepared for the devil and angels.
    12. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels … God is not trying to save every creature.
    13. Though the wicked boldly deny any such unrighteousness, He applies it to lowly service.
    14. It is most interesting to realize that nothing is said of faith, accepting Jesus, going forward, making a decision, inviting Jesus into your heart, getting baptized, or any such!
    15. If you make this passage more than evidence, you end up with charity as the means!
  2. The application is the need to lay up in store a good foundation against the time to come.
    1. Look at the length and repetition of this passage to see the emphasis on loving service.
    2. The best cross-reference for this prophecy is Paul’s words to the rich (I Tim 6:17-19).
    3. Your life is not your own. You were created and saved by God to serve Him and others.
    4. It is impossible to love God and live a selfish life at church or at home (I Jn 4:20 – 5:2).
    5. Do you know what Spirit-filled Christians look like? Totally unselfish (Acts 2:44-46).
    6. Do others basically know you are a member because you show up on Sundays? Goat!
    7. Do you know the Bible tells you to show hospitality to the uncomely (Luke 14:12-14)?
    8. Are you always involved in public opportunities to serve? Are you regularly doing private acts of service to others? Or is your sorry little life wrapped up in yourself?
    9. What about moving help, hospitality, encouraging others, visiting others, exhorting others, supplying needs, warning others, considering others, pursuing others, etc., etc.?
    10. Love is the great evidence of eternal life. It is beyond faith (Gal 5:6; I The 1:3; I Jn 3:14).
    11. We are by nature very hateful and selfish, which makes this evidence stark (Titus 3:3)!
    12. The righteous do not even recognize their works, let alone brag of them (Matt 7:21-23).


  1. There is a clear progression in detail and responsibility as we progress through the three sections.
    1. The parable of the virgins shows the necessity of watching and being ready at all times for Christ.
    2. The parable of the talents shows the responsibility to efficiently use every blessing from God.
    3. The prophecy of the goats and sheep show the specific value of loving service to low brethren.
  2. If we reduce the lessons to fewest words, they are: Be prepared, be faithful, and be a loving servant.