…what is necessary to be saved
Have you examined your life lately? Try reading through the entire chapter of Matthew 25 and then look at the life you are living — in the context of what Jesus was teaching there. Glean what Jesus is telling us about what is required to be saved. You might be surprised.
Chapter 25 is immediately preceded by Jesus’ teachings in Chapter 24: Be Ready for His Coming (Signs of Christ’s Return, Perilous Times, The Glorious Return, Parable of the Fig Tree). Then He explains by way of parables – what is necessary to be saved.
And then after teaching chapter 25, Jesus went on to be hung. He was hung on our behalf, fulfilling prophecy. He died as predicted, on a cross, thus making our salvation possible within God’s system of justice. He arose again on the third day, thus sealing our pardon. Grace and mercy were legalized in Heaven, made for us. Wow!
The chapter of Matthew 25 contains 3 parts: the Parable of Ten Virgins, the Parable of the Talents, and The Judgment. The first two parables are tied into the third part: The Judgment.
What Jesus taught here in Matthew 25:
1. You must be ready to meet your Maker
“…the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.” (25:10)
Carrying around an oil-less lamp, is not going to save you. If the oil, the Holy Spirit, is not in you, then you are not born again. You are still lost.
2. If Christ does not know you, the door is shut forever
“…and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’” (25:12)
3. The faithless stay faithless in eternal judgement
“Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (25:30)
The parable of The Talents is not about working as hard as possible to gain interest and increase the principal’s value – in order to be saved. Jesus told us that if you do nothing with your life, your life is nothing and you are tossed as nothing “into the outer darkness“.
Worthy works are efforts we put forth to follow and obey Christ. We are not saved by these efforts, these works, but they show us “what we’re made of”, so to speak.
Even as born again believers, nothing done in fleshly power is worth anything. Only what is done “in the Spirit” will be of lasting value. (See: 1 Corinthians 3:8-15) And so it is with those not born again: without the Spirit of God in them (…which happens when one is born again) everything done on earth is worthless to God. Their life is wasted. Their life is not worthy of God’s Holy Heaven. They will forever be banished to outer darkness.
If we interpret Scripture with Scripture, then these parables tie in with other Bible passages that teach us about true salvation.
What is necessary to be saved:
a. Be born again from above.
“‘You must be born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].’” – Jesus, in John 3: verse 7 Amplified version (AMP)
John 3: verse 3 Amplified version (AMP)
3 Jesus answered him,
“I assure you and most solemnly say to you,
unless a person is born again
[reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified],
he cannot [ever]
see and experience the kingdom of God.”
b. Love God with all of you, not just parts.
““You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” – Jesus, in Luke 10:27.
The real kicker – is “your neighbor”. Isn’t that the true test of a true faith? People are often just plain difficult to love!.. with 1 Corinthians 13 type love. The true believer will strive to be more and more loving of his “neighbor”.
Philip said to him, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
c. Actually follow Christ with your life totally given to Him.
“…Faith without works is dead.”
– James, in James 2:14-26 (AMP version)
“Not everyone who says…
but only he who does…
– Jesus, in Matthew 7: verse 21
Faking = Still lost
You can talk like/smell like/pray like/look like/act like/dress like/preach like/give money like/claim church membership like/go to church like… but if your heart is not genuinely His, “with all your heart…”, then you are not saved. You are a God damned “believer”. What you do shows what you are: either born again — or not.
Where is your heart?
Where are your allegiances? (your… loyalty, faithfulness, obedience, devotion?)
To what/who are you allied?
Who do you love most?
Even voting shows where your heart is! Would Jesus vote what you vote for?
Christians do not want to force others to follow Christ. That would not be what Jesus would do! Jesus would not pass laws to force Christian mores on a population. But He would not vote for what is evil in His sight. Are you following Christ when you vote for unbiblical laws?
Does your vote show you are following what Jesus taught?
Would Jesus vote for killing babies before they leave the womb? No.
Would Jesus vote for politicians who promote and stand for abortion? No.
Would Jesus vote for those who practice sex outside of marriage? No.
Would Jesus vote for normalizing same-sex acts? No.
Would Jesus vote for legalizing same-sex marriage? No.
Would Jesus vote for legalizing gambling? No.
Would Jesus vote for laws that oppress the poor? No.
Would Jesus vote for politicians who support violent protestors? No.
Born again folk can be wrong. Certainly. But a pattern is telling. A pattern of behavior reveals the heart. A pattern of following what Christ taught against, is a pattern that reveals a heart that is NOT following Christ.
Who do you think you are? Are you fooling yourself?
Who do you think you are following when you vote for what Christ taught against? You certainly are not representing Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14-21) with that kind of vote. Don’t fool yourself. Is your life pattern a pattern of Christ’s?
d. Do the will of God, not just claim to be a Christian.
“21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” – Source: Jesus, in Matthew 7: verse 21
24 “So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, will be like a wise man…. 26 And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them, will be like a foolish (stupid) man….”
Don’t be stupididiotic!
e. By your fruit you are known …as to your true salvation or false claims.
Matthew 7: verses 16-20
16 By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the unhealthy tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore, by their fruit you will recognize them….”
False prophets, and false believers are revealed now by the type of fruit they produce right before your eyes.
Matthew 7: verses 13-14
13 “Enter through the narrow gate.
For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel
is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss,
and there are many who enter through it.
14 But small is the gate
and narrow and difficult to travel
is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life,
and there are few who find it.