Matthew 25:21 & 23 – Well Done, Thou Good and Faithful Servant

Luke 19:11-28 – Parable of the Pounds


Will God say this to us?  We like to believe he will, but will he?  What are the qualifications of a faithful servant?  Are we doing what God expects of us?  Note there are only two things that are said in that day – (1) – Well done, and (2) cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness.


(1)    Well Done.

There is coming a day of judgment – a day when all the saved will stand before God and give account for the things they have done in these bodies, whether it be good or whether it be bad.  Luke 8:17 – “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.”

What can I do so I will be able to hear Jesus say to me, “Well done”?

1.       Use the talent God has given me.  A talent is: a sum of money.  A valuable commodity.  That which is worthwhile.  We think of a talent as a gift (or skill), such as singing, playing an instrument, speaking, some ability to easily perform a task.

2.       When we use whatever God has given to us, we don’t use it up and it is gone.  Therefore, the Bible isn’t talking about gambling, or taking a chance with what God has given us.  The Bible is talking about using it, yet retaining it.  In the parable of the talents and the pounds, none of the servants loses any talents or pounds.  They are all judged on what they gain, not on how little they lost.

3.       Therefore when we serve God, we always gain, some more, some less.  We never lose when we serve God.  We lose only when we forsake him.

4.       Notice Matthew 25:14-30, the middle parable, right after Matt 24, where Christ gives a warning concerning faithfulness.  Some might believe this parable applies only to Israel, but the context plainly is not speaking only to Israel.

5.       Notice also Revelation 2:18-29 – the letter to the church at Thyatira, especially verses 25-27.  Christ said the “overcomer” would receive rule over the nations with a rod of iron, the same kind of rule Christ will have.  This ties in with Matthew 25:21,which states those that have an increase of talent will rule “…over many things...”

6.       Rev. 3:26 – How can I be an “overcomer”?  Note the words “…keepeth my works…”  Christ does not say, “keep my words.”  What is the work of Christ?  John 6:28-29 states, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”  So the work of God is simply believing what he said.

7.       Note: There is nothing said about what we make others believe, or what we produce in others.  Everything revolves around whether we believe Christ or not, whether we obey Christ or not, whether we do what God said.  Nothing is said about how big a church we pastor, or how important a position we have in that church, how many souls we win, or any of that.  This is talking solely and completely about personal growth and personal accomplishment.  The person that comes from a terrible background and the person that comes from a Christian home are on the same level.  Both “compete” with themselves, not with others.  Compare this with the overcomers in Revelation 2 and 3.  It is not what is around the overcomes they are judged by, but rather what is in them.  Therefore every person can be faithful in whatever circumstances they find themselves.  If there is more faithfulness in our circumstances, there can be a “show” of more faithfulness on our part, but in reality, that is not our faithfulness, it just makes it easier for us to be faithful.

8.       Revelation 2 and 3 is written to the seven churches of Asia. There are overcomers in every church, and also those in every church that do not overcome, but fail to be faithful.  God wants us to look to him, not to those around us.  In the day of judgment, we will not be able to use the excuse that we would have been more faithful if those around us had been more faithful.  We will not be able to tell God we failed because he put us in such a bad place that we could not be faithful.

9.       It must be noted there are those within the kingdom of God who will lose all their rewards, because they did not use what God gave them, but hid those gifts for whatever reason.


(2) cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness


These people have not lost their salvation, but instead have lost the good results of their lives. The folks in I Corinthians 3:12-15 have not lost their salvation, but they have lost everything they worked for all their lives. They have not done what Christ commanded them in Matthew 6:19, but have laid up treasure on this earth, and their treasure is corrupted, rusted, and wasted.  Their earthly treasure has faced the fiery eyes of God’s condemnation and they are wanting. 


The opposite of losing all this earthly treasure is found in Matthew 19:27-30 – Jesus declared to the apostles, who had left everything and followed Christ, that he would sit them on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.  Then in verse 29, Jesus declares that everybody who leaves all and follows Christ shall receive 100 times more than they left behind.


I spoke to a well known and well respected pastor one time during a revival meeting he held for me at Salem Baptist Church in Willow Hill, Illinois.  I outlined for him what I believed the Bible was saying about outer darkness, and he agreed completely with everything I had to say.  I then asked him why I never heard these things preached at conferences.  He told me that sort of thing just caused confusion – that is why he didn’t preach it.


Just this year, I preached a meeting at Erin, Tennessee, and Brother Garner Smith told me I had preached things he hadn’t heard in a long time, such a long time that he had begun to doubt whether what he believed was so or not.  He was glad to hear me preach it.  Preachers ought to preach what the Bible says, period.  God will hold us accountable for these truths.


Matthew 8:12 – The children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Some folks believe the weeping and gnashing of teeth speak of hell, because other scriptures also use these words in speaking of hell.  That is true.  But I believe these children of the kingdom are believers, just like the servants in the parable of the talents and the servants in the parable of the pounds are the servants of the everlasting God.  These folks just haven’t been faithful to what God has called them to do, therefore, they are cast out into outer darkness, or we might look it as if they are given a place of  no honor in eternity.


Rev. 21:4 – Tears are wiped away when time ends, and eternity (for us) begins.


Matthew 25:21 and 23 speak about faithful member of the kingdom of God having rule over many cities.  But verse 28-30 speak about “taking away” from wicked servants.  Note this person is still a servant, but he is a wicked servant.  Why is he wicked?  He didn’t believe the Lord, and thought his way instead of thinking like God wanted him to think.


Matthew 25 follows Matthew 24, which final passages speak about the importance of being faithful in the last days.  Verse 24-51 speaks about the difference between the faithful and unfaithful servant.  The evil, unfaithful servant began to act like lost people, lost his influence, and received his place with the hypocrites, not lost people.


Luke 19:11-28 – the parable of the pounds.  Jesus spoke this parable because the people thought the kingdom of God would soon appear.  Jesus spoke of a time when he would go away and then come again. It is apparent Gentiles and the church is recognized in this parable.  In verse 20-26 Jesus speaks of the unfaithful servant who had one pound, but had done nothing with it.  Jesus took from him, and gave to the one who had ten pounds.  Verse 27-28 speaks of the enemies of Christ, not his servants. Christ said he would slay his enemies at that day, but he doesn’t say this concerning his servants, faithful or not. 


Matthew 13:18-23 – The parable of the sower.

  1. The first group is lost as the seed is taken away by the devil.
  2. The second group is lost because they have no root in themselves, therefore cannot endure.
  3. The third group is saved, but aren’t able to bring forth fruits to perfections (as stated in Mark 4:29 and Luke 8:14). The cares of this world has choked the word and he becometh unfruitful. It isn’t that the ability to be fruitful isn’t there, it is.  This is a “fruit tree” but the thorns and cares of this life have stopped the fruit.
  4. The fourth group is saved, and bring forth fruit – some 100 fold, some 60 fold, some 30 fold.  [1]


Outer darkness.

A.    Matt. 8:10-12 - The children of the kingdom (saved) shall be cast into outer darkness, not lost people.

1.      This verse makes it very clear that lost people are not cast into outer darkness.

2.      It is the “children of the kingdom” that are cast into outer darkness.

3.      I don’t think outer darkness is a place, but a frame of mine.  See Revelation 21:22-27 – The New Jerusalem won’t have any need of the sun, because the Son of God is the light of the city (That is not “outer darkness”).  Those on the outside of the city will be in a place where the light of God doesn’t shine.  The Bible doesn’t say the new earth won’t have any need of the sun, but that the New Jerusalem won’t have any need of the sun.  Rev. 22:1-5 speaks of the New Jerusalem, where the tree of life is, and states again the sun won’t be needed there.

4.      It will come when a person comes to realize that they have wasted their lives taking care of the things of this present world.

5.      When we are judged by God, and He looks on our lives with eyes of fire (Rev. 1:14) and we see all the wood, hay, and stubble (the things we have done without God’s blessings) burned away, leaving only gold, silver, precious stones (the things we have done with God’s blessings) we will be surprised and ashamed at how little is left.

B.    Rev. 21:4 - God shall wipe away all tears in the eternal age, not in the millennium.

1.      There will be weeping during the millennium because we won't be where we want to be (because of our works) and we will be very sorry for the way we lived our lives.

2.      The parable of the pounds expounds more on the rule faithful servants will have with Christ during the millennium.

C.    I Cor. 3:11-15 - We must build on the foundation of Jesus Christ if we are to have any everlasting fruits.

D.    Matt. 7:24-27 - We are to build our lives on the rock of God, not on the sinking sand of this world.

[1] Preached to here 06/16/02 IBC Sunday Morning