The Disciple and Hell: The Parables of Matthew 25

by John Greene

lighted lampHow can the love of Elohim [‘God’, YHWH] send anyone to hell [gehenna, hades]? Yahshua [Jesus] told the parable of the ten bridesmaids to clarify what disciples need to do to be ready for His return and how to live until He comes. At Matthew 25:1-13, disciples are instructed that every person is personally answerable for his or her own spiritual condition. At Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents shows the necessity of properly using what YHWH has entrusted to his disciples for the use of His Kingdom. The parable of the sheep and goats at Matthew 25:31-46 stresses the importance of serving others in demonstrating our hearts before our Savior. Each parable paints a part of the complete picture about living for Messiah. (“Leaven of the Pharisees; Leaven of the World“; “Which Shepherd Do You Believe?“; “The False Shepherd and the True Shepherd“)

flameThe first parable is about a wedding. Wedding feasts in those days often lasted a full week. These ten virgins were waiting to join the procession with the hope that they would each take part in the wedding banquet. The groom and the procession on the way to the bride’s house did not come along as expected. It grew dark and as the evening wore on five of the virgins were running out of lamp oil. If these five virgins left to ten-virginspurchase extra oil, even at that late hour, they would miss out on the wedding feast. When the victorious Messiah returns to collect His people, we must be ready. Spiritual preparation cannot be bought or borrowed. In the same light, personal relationship with your Father must be your own. The wise virgins had enough oil to persevere even at that late hour. Even though the hour seems late and even as darkness closes in on us as disciples, we must be prepared with enough oil of the Spirit to be able to meet Messiah with full knowledge that He is coming. (“YHWH First!“; “Wisdom & the Battle of Two Kingdoms“; “YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “The Antichrist & the War on Reality“)

dividingIn the next parable, the master divided resources among his servants according what he considered their abilities to be. No one received more or less than he could handle. If he failed in his assignment, his excuse could not be that he was overwhelmed. Failure could come only because of laziness or hatred towards the master. Based on this parable, the talents represent any kind of resource based on your ability to use them. YHWH has invested these talents in His disciples and even in the people of the world. How will they use those resources? YHWH expects His investment to be returned. As His disciples, you and I are responsible to use to the best of our ability what YHWH has given to us. The issue is not how much you have, but how well you use what you have. Yahshua [Jesus] is coming back. This much is true. Does this mean you must quit your job in order to serve your Heavenly Father? It means that you are to use your time, talents and treasures diligently in order to serve YHWH completely in whatever you do. This may or may not mean changing professions. For disciples, it means changing your life for the love of Elohim. If your Heavenly Father is your Master, you must obey willingly from your heart. (“A Branch of the Vine through Trust“; “Are You a Slave to the Job God?“; “Living in an Apostate World“)

wheat and taresIn the next parable, Yahshua [Jesus] tells a parable about separating obedient disciples from pretenders and unbelievers. The real evidence of your belief is the way that you live your life and how you treat others around you. What you and I do for others demonstrates your heart. Do you look after the needs of your brothers and sister in Messiah first? Do you look after the needs of those outside the body of Messiah when the needs inside the body are met? Does anyone need a place to stay, have an illness, need encouragement or direction? How well do your actions and life separate you from pretenders and unbelievers? Yahshua [Jesus] used sheep and goats to picture creatures that are in reality very different that live together in the same pastures. (Ezekiel 34) The sheep that bear His inheritance bear the fruit of His inheritance. His sheep participate in acts of mercy. These acts of mercy do not depend on wealth, ability or intelligence. The fruit of YHWH’s inheritance results in simple acts, freely given without excuse or pretense. Disciples have no excuse to neglect those that have deep needs. Personal responsibility cannot be handed over to someone else or any other institution. Instead, Yahshua [Jesus] demands personal involvement in caring for other’s needs, particularly our brothers and sisters in Messiah. (Isaiah 58:7) This personal involvement is not simply humanism, humanitarianism, morality or guilt, but rather flows from a pure heart before the Father. The focus of this parable specifies that a disciple of Messiah loves others and that love magnifies Elohim because his disciples reflect His love. (“Serving for YHWH’s Glory“; “Disciples: Focused on the Messiah & His Purpose“; “Purity Starts Inside: A Lesson Through the Ages“; “The Struggle for Purity of Heart“)

fireOn the other hand, eternal punishment or wrath takes place for the pretenders and unbelievers, the goats. The goats have lived alongside the sheep from the beginnings of recorded history. This is not to be for long. The lake of fire for eternal destruction is in place for all those that belief that they can deceive those around them and refuse to repent, turning aside from evil and impurity of the heart. Three words are used in connection with eternal punishment. (“YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“; “Knowing Where You Stand on YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “The Importance of Practical Repentance“)

Sheol, the grave of mankind (Psalm 16:10)

Hades, the realm of the dead (Revelation 1:18)

Gehenna, the final condition of the wicked (Matthew 5:22)

Gehenna, the burning garbage dump outside the city of Jerusalem, is used to illustrate the eternal state of destruction for the wicked after the resurrection. When Yahshua [Jesus] warns against unbelief, He wants to save you from an eternal state of punishment and separation from His Kingdom. (“The Unpardonable Sin“; “Following the Right Jesus“; “The Way: Getting Stuck in a Rut – And Out Again“)

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“For YHWH so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16, RNKJV
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending the Messiah, your only begotten Son to be my Savior. I believe in Him and have made this belief the center of my life. Because of this, by faith I have everlasting life! Thank you! I repent of my sins and of my past, freely admitting that I have fallen short of Your glory. I look fully forward to you in my life and commit my life to You. Thank You YHWH, my Heavenly Father for setting me free in the name of your Son Yahshua [Jesus]. Amen.
genuine-articleYou will never enjoy true freedom through the Messiah and power of the Holy Spirit unless you read and absorb the Bible in prayer and trust. You will never know this freedom until you experience it for yourself. Get to know your Heavenly Father, His Son and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. The Holy Spirit is your teacher, your Holy Counselor that lives in you to help you learn about the truth of YHWH and His spiritual gifts.
Satan does not want you to have the excellence of YHWH in your life. People pray for protection and want to be taken care of, but often do little in growing close to Him. The world, your husband, your wife, your family, your government do not build your trust in YHWH or free you from spiritual bondage. Your church or your pastor cannot save you. Education, power and money will not free you, but only the Word of your Heavenly Father. Salvation is a daily walk, an act of love for yourself and for those around you, not a one-time event that centers only on you. Make the Word of YHWH your own, your very life!
YHWH is Yahweh, the covenant name of your Heavenly Father.
The names Yahshua and Yahushua are original language names for Jesus,
He is often referred simply as the Messiah or Master.
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