Gene Cunningham - August 22, 2022

Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth

The parable of the faithful and evil servants in Matthew 24:45-51 often cause theological problems, because it is commonly mis-interpreted and mis-applied to the church. Matthew 24:45-51 says, “Who then is a faithful and why servant whom his master made ruler over his household to give them food and do season. Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing assuredly I say to you he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, My master is delaying his coming and begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him at an hour that he is not aware of and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” There are people who teach that this applies to the church. Some teach that if you as a believer, are not ready and not busy doing the Lord's service, you are not only going to be “cut in two”, but you will be given your portion with the hypocrites” and you will be “weeping and wailing and gnashing your teeth.” This is false. Can we find application of what we're seeing here in Matthew 24? Of course. See 1st John 2:28-29. We don't want to turn application into interpretation. The evil servant says “the master delays his coming. He beats his fellow servants. He eats and drinks with the drunkards. The master comes at a day that he's not looking, an hour he is not aware of, cuts him into and appoints him his portion with the hypocrites.” People who believe the false teaching on this passage say you, as a believer, have lived a hypocritical life and hypocrites are going to receive a portion of weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth. There's just one problem. The Scripture cannot contradict itself. Luke 12:42 begins, “and the Lord said, ‘Who then is that faithful and why? A steward whom His Master will make ruler over his household to give them their portion of food in due season. Blessed is that servant whom is master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler.” This is the same story in Matthew 24. “But if that servant says in his heart, My master delays his coming, he begins to beat the maids, servants and servants and maid servants, and we eat and drink and be drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him at an hour when he is not aware and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” This is not talking about believers, and it is certainly not talking about the church. He's talking about unbelievers. How is it possible that both the why is servant the faithful servant and the evil servant are called servants of God? Is it possible for an unbeliever to be called a servant of God? In the Old Testament the entire nation of Israel is many time referred to as servant of God, or “My Servant Israel”. Paul's interpretation in Romans 9:1-5 explains. Paul expresses in these verses his own attitude, God's desire as expressed by Christ in Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem. Jerusalem. How often I would have gathered you together, but you would not.” The breaking heart and the tears of the Lord in Matthew 23 is that breaking heart and the tears of Paul in Romans 9. There are two terms that are used for Jesus Christ throughout the Old Testament as the coming Messiah that are also applied to the nation of Israel – “servant” and “son.” All of those in the nation of Israel were given the privileges that Paul speaks of in verses Romans 9:4-5. What did the name Israel mean? “A prince having power with God and man.” Israel was the name change of Jacob. The entire nation of Israel received many blessing, but rejected Jesus, their Messiah. All of these Israelite treasures, all of these riches were pointing forward to the greatest treasure of all, the coming of the Son of God in the flesh of a Jew. And when they rejected Him. They lost it all because you can't have the blessings without the source of the blessing. You can't have the gifts without the giver. Paul goes on to Romans chapters nine, ten and eleven to show us that because of their rejection of their savior -- like Pharaoh, who hardened his heart and was destroyed --the nation of Israel had hardened their heart. And because of their own belief, they would be destroyed and therefore they would suffer the fate of their unbelief. They would receive their portion with the unbelievers.

From Series: "Jesus' Roadmap for the Future"

The Olivet Discourse -- Jesus' Roadmap for the future, is one of the three major discourses (sermons) of Jesus. They include: 1. The Sermon on the Mount/Galilee Discourse (Matthew 5–7) 2. The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24–25; Mark 13; Luke 21 3. The Upper Room Discourse (John 13–17) Each of these messages is aimed at a specific period of history, which we call a dispensation. They lay out God’s dispensational plan, like a road map, from the time of the crucifixion to the end of time. The Sermon on the Mount was directed to the generation in which Jesus lived and was His platform as King—if Israel would receive Him. Obviously, they rejected Him as their King. However, this will be the basis of Jesus’ administration during the 1,000-year Kingdom Age (Millennium). Then, the Olivet Discourse was aimed at the consequences of Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah, and anticipated the destruction of the nation (70 A.D.) and the final Tribulation period. Remember that the Church Age is an intercalation—meaning an insertion, like a parenthesis, into the Age of Israel. This means that with the Rapture of the Church, the Tribulation picks up where 70 A.D. leaves off. This is why the Church Age is called a “mystery” (Rom. 11:25; 16:25; Eph. 3:1–13; Col. 1:26–27), which is a graduate course to “the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” (Eph. 3:10). Finally, the Upper Room Discourse was directed toward the Church Age, which began at Pentecost and would continue to the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13–18). The uniqueness of this Age is summarized by Paul’s phrase “in Christ,” and all of the elements involved in what we call “positional truth”—our total union with Christ and the indwelling of His Spirit in us, which occurs nowhere else in history. With the removal of the Body of Christ, the Church, Israel would again become the focus of God’s working on this Earth (Romans 9–11; Revelation 6–19).

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