by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Matthew 25:1-13
I. In Jesus’ parable of the vineyard workers we learn that salvation is available to all who will come to the Lord, no matter when it is done - Matthew 20:1-16
A. Jesus in his mercy chooses to treat all alike.
B. When an elderly man wrote to me, unsure if God would forgive him after a life spent in sin. He regretted his wasted years, but wanted to know if it was too late to return to God.
1. The answer is that it is never too late, so long as we are in this world
C. But a young man saw this answer and wrote to say that though he isn’t a Christian, this is what he wanted to do: spend a life having fun in sin and then when he is old he’ll change and be able to enter heaven.
D. It is interesting how people only see what they expect to find
1. The young man didn’t see a man who regretted his life of sin. To the young man, sin was fun.
2. The young man didn’t see a man concerned that he waited too long. To the young man the longer he could stay in sin the better.
E. There are flaws in planning for a last minute conversion
II. When is the last minute?
A. Young people typically assume they will live a long time
1. Oh, in theory they know that some die young, but somehow that is always applied to other people
B. Tomorrow is not guaranteed - Proverbs 27:1
1. Jesus gave the example of a rich man who was prospering - Luke 12:16-21
2. The man was a fool because he wasn’t focused on what mattered
C. Wicked people tend to die sooner - Proverbs 10:27
1. Violent people get caught in violence
2. The sexually promiscuous catch diseases - Proverbs 6:32-33
3. Let’s face the facts, sinful people are doing stupid things that shorten their lives - Proverbs 21:16
D. It is easy to get lulled into complacency - Psalms 73:12-20
E. Life is not in man’s hands. You don’t know when your life will end, nor when God will decide all life will end.
1. That is the point of the parable fo the ten virgins. The five foolish virgins weren’t prepared for the Lord’s return - Matthew 25:1-13
2. You don’t know when the Lord will show up - Matthew 24:42-51
a. Notice that the wicked slave is called a hypocrite, a person putting on an act
b. Planning to straighten up later is being a fake
III. How do you repent of what you don’t think is wrong?
A. I can say this because we look at what a person does, not what he claims - Matthew 7:16-20
B. Repentance starts with being sorry for what you did - II Corinthians 7:10
1. How can you claim to be sorry for what you set out to do and plan to later renounce?
C. Repentance is changing your attitude toward sin and your behavior - II Corinthians 7:11
D. There won’t be real repentance. Either you are saying you are dishonest about sin now or you plan to be dishonest about sin later - Romans 6:1-2
E. The truth is that the motivation to change isn’t there and likely won’t be there - James 4:4-10
1. It is like the smoker who says he can quit anytime – not now, but he’ll prove it later. We all know “later” keeps getting put off.
IV. Does godliness have no value in this life?
A. People have the odd notion that being righteous is miserable - Psalm 16:11
B. God laws make life better by keeping the follower out of serious trouble
1. For our good - Deuteronomy 10:12-13
2. See good in life - Psalms 34:11-14
3. Long peaceful life - Proverbs 3:1-2
4. Profitable for all things in this life and the one to come - I Timothy 4:8
C. God watches over His people - Psalms 37:25
D. The farmer and the seed
1. You get back what you plant - Galatians 6:7-8
2. You get back more than you plant - Hosea 8:7
E. A guy who plans to bed as many women as he can is in for a miserable life
1. He’ll never have stable companions because he is constantly betraying trust
2. He won’t ever have a loving, stable home because good women don’t want this kind of man for a husband.
3. He’ll have kids, but he will see them as drains on his income and a burden
V. Momentary pleasure or lasting joy?
A. I’ve never met a man who regrets that
1. He didn’t get drunk more often
2. Got stoned one more time
3. Or committed fornication more often
B. The example of Moses - Hebrews 11:24-27
C. Righteousness is for the young - Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1