Day of Reckoning

Day of Reckoning

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Stewardship; Accountability; Reckon / Matthew 25:14–30

Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, is recorded as having said the following:

“Never say about anything, ‘I have lost it,’ but only ‘I have given it back.’ Is your child dead? It has been given back. Is your wife dead? She has been given back. ‘I have had my farm taken away., Very well, this too has been given back. Yet it was a rascal who took it away. But what concern is it of yours by whose instrumentality the Giver called for its return? So long as He gives it to you, take care of it as of a thing that is not your own, as travelers treat their inn” (The Encheiridion, 11).

If this non-Christian could see all of life as a stewardship, how much more should we believers?1322

Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 358.

Today we are going to study the parable of the stewards. We are going to learn about trust, stewardship, responsibility, faithfulness and accountability. This message is so full of truth, we will be taking both this morning and this evening to explore it.

The main truth we will discover is that we own nothing we have been given by God. We are only servants, intrusted with our Master’s possessions. One day we will have to answer for what we did with these things. Sometime, whether soon, or in the future, there will come an ultimate day of Reckoning.

The Master Gives

Matthew 25:14 KJV

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

 • He is going away for a while – he will not be watching their every move.

 • These are his servants

 • These are his goods

Matthew 25:15 KJV

And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

 • Not everyone is intrusted with the same stuff

 • Not everyone is intrusted with the same amount of stuff.

 • The master knew his servants.

 • The master gave according to raw abilities.

 • There is no requirement of equal distribution in order to expect equal faithfulness.

 • Everything you have, you do not possess.  

 • God has intrusted with with:

  • Your job

  • Your car

  • Your house

  • Your Parents

  • Your spouse

  • Your children

  • Your relationships

  • Your possessions

  • Your Position

  • Your influence

  • Your Facebook friends

  • Your ministries

  • Your church

  • Your talents

  • Your passions and abilities

  • Your intellect

  • Your opportunities

The Servants Act.

Matthew 25:16–17 KJV

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 

And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

 • Faithful servants invested

 • Faithful servants took the risk (knowing they will owe the principle one way or another)

 • Faithful servants sought to multiply the talents given.

 • Faithful servants knew that the gain was the master’s not theirs.

 • Faithful servants knew their Lord’s return was imminent, even though it was not immediate.

 • What have you done with what you have been given to multiply it for the sake of the kingdom? 

 • Have you demonstrated that you understand that what you have been given is not yours to possess, but to use for the Master’s gain?

Matthew 25:18 KJV

But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

 • The wicked servant hid the money.

 • He did not simply put it in the bank… then it would be on record that it was his Lord’s money… he hid it in the ground with the hope that if his Lord did not return, he could take full possession of it.

 • Though the servant did not outright steal the money, his sin was not using it wisely for his master’s prophet.

At 12:55 pm the mayday call crackled through the speakers at the Flight Service Station on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The desperate pilot of a Piper A22, a small single-engine plane, was reporting that he had run out of fuel and was preparing to ditch the aircraft in the waters of Cook Inlet.

On board were four people, two adults and two young girls, ages 11 and 12. They had departed two hours earlier from Port Alsworth, a small community on the south shore of Lake Clark, bound for Soldotna, a distance of about 150 miles. Under normal conditions it would been a routine flight; however, the combination of fierce headwinds and a failure to top off the fuel tank had created a lethal situation.

Upon hearing the plane’s tail number, the air traffic controller realized that his own daughter was one of the young passengers aboard the plane. In desperation himself, he did everything possible to assist the pilot; but suddenly the transmission was cut off. The plane had crashed into the icy waters. Four helicopters operating nearby began searching the area within minutes of the emergency call, but they found no evidence of the plane and no survivors. The aircraft had been traveling without water survival gear, leaving its four passengers with even less of a chance to make it through the ordeal. Fiercely cold Cook Inlet, with its unpredictable glacial currents, is considered among the most dangerous waters in the world. It can claim a life in minutes, and that day it claimed four.

Kirk adds these thoughts to the story: For reasons we will never know, the pilot of that doomed aircraft chose not to use the resources that were at his disposal. He did not have enough fuel. He did not have the proper survival equipment. Perhaps he had not taken the time to get the day’s weather report. Whatever the case, he did not use the resources that were available; and in this instance the consequences were fatal.

I wonder how many other people have died needlessly like these four people did? Why, because someone did not manage and or use the resources they had at their disposal. – I also wonder how many have died without Jesus — spiritually speaking from others being poor stewards of the resources God has placed them in charge of.

Nowery states, “The stewardship of resources is a serious business; and God’s will is that we give it serious attention. This demands that we have the right perspective on our resources, and that is possible only if we have the right focus on our source.”

(Story from Kirk Nowery: “The Stewardship of Life,” Page 118. From a sermon by Michael McCartney, 12 dollars a changed life, 6/20/2012)

The Master Returns

When Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, there were many people buried in the ruins. Some were found in cellars, as if they had gone there for security. Some were found in the upper rooms of buildings. But where was the Roman sentinel found? Standing at the city gate where he had been placed by the captain, with his hands still grasping his weapon. There, while the earth shook beneath him—there, while the floods of ashes and cinders covered him—he had stood at his post. And there, after a thousand years, was this faithful man still to be found.4821

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 143.

Matthew 25:19 KJV

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

 • After a long time

 • Day of reckoning

 • Someday you will have to account for all you have been intrusted with.

1 Corinthians 4:1 KJV

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

The Faithful Servants to the Master

Matthew 25:20 KJV

And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

Matthew 25:22 KJV

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

 • Lord you gave me ___________

 • Realized that this was his master’s 

 • Knew exactly what he was trusted with.

 • I have gained ___________

 • But still knew that the gain was his master’s

 • If today was the day of reckoning, what could you tell the master he gave you and you used to get gain for the kingdom?

  • You gave me my children – I raised them for you.

  • You gave me a spouse – I made that spouse better for you.

  • You gave me a church – I made that church better for you.

  • You gave me a job – I shined the light using that job for you.

  • You gave me a home, car, money, food, possessions, I used them to do more for you.

The Master to His Faithful Servants

Matthew 25:21 KJV

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Matthew 25:23 KJV

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

 • Well done – The righteous judge approves

 • Good and Faithful Servant – you proved you could be trusted.

 A little boy walked down the beach, and as he did, he spied a matronly woman sitting under a beach umbrella on the sand. He walked up to her and asked, “Are you a Christian?”


“Do you read your Bible every day?”

She nodded her head, “Yes.”

“Do you pray often?” the boy asked next, and again she answered, “Yes.”

With that he asked his final question, “Will you hold my quarter while I go swimming?1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 389.

 • You were faithful over a few

 • I will now make you ruler (not steward) over many.

The Wicked Servant to the Master

Matthew 25:24–25 KJV

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 

And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

 • I know you are a hard man (implying that the master is basically unfair)

 • You take what you did not work for ( implying that any gain should have been the steward’s gain)

 • I was afraid – no personal relationship with the Master.

 • His thy talent in the earth ( not completely upfront with his motives)

 • Take what is yours – not even willing to dig it up for him.

 • Often people do religious things out of fear of punishment rather than love for the redeemer.  

 • This wicked servant is the picture of someone who has never had a saving relationship with the master.


This leads us to a simple but important principle: Our faithfulness in the little things will determine how faithful we will be with bigger things.

There is a story about a huge bank where one of the employees was up for a significant promotion. He lost that promotion one day in the bank’s cafeteria when the President of the bank saw the man hide two pats of butter under his bread so he wouldn’t have to pay for them. The President of the bank concluded that any man who was dishonest about butter could not be trusted with bigger things.

Little things are important. It was Benjamin Franklin who wrote:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost;

for want of a shoe the horse was lost;

and for want of a horse the rider was lost;

being overtaken and slain by the enemy,

all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail.

(From a sermon by Bruce Goettsche, “Little Things” 1/12/2009)

The Master to the Wicked Servant

Matthew 25:26–30 KJV

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 

Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 • Wicked – still in sin.. deceptive trying to take his Lord’s money

 • Slothful

 • You knew what was expected and did nothing

 • Take what he has and give it to the most faithful

 • Cast out the unprofitable servant.

When a flock of crows invades a field of corn, the birds customarily station two sentries in a nearby tree to keep watch and warn the rest of any danger. In Character Sketches, Bill Gothard relates the story of two people who succeeded in sneaking up on the flock and scaring them before the sentries had given warning. The birds burst into flight, immediately attacked and killed the two sentries, and only then flew off.1

1 Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:05 PM October 24, 2020.

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