Matthew 24:45-51 – Did the Evil Servant Lose His Salvation?
In this video, I want to address some fears people have shared with me over Matthew 24:45-51. It’s the parable about two servants. One was wise and served His Master faithfully. But the other servant didn’t think his Master was coming anytime soon and so he didn’t serve his Master. Instead, he mistreated people and partied with drunkards. He continued living for himself in sin. When the Master came, He rewarded the wise servant but condemned the evil servant and threw him into hell. This parable has caused enormous fear into many Christians. They’ve written to me about it, telling me that they think they may have blown their salvation because they haven’t been living for Christ. They identify with that evil servant and are terrified that what happened to this evil servant might well happen to them. And they fear it may be too late for them. If you are a Christian who is fearful over this, I want to assure you that this parable is not teaching that you can lose your salvation. So, let’s look at this parable in context and see what it means. And specifically, let’s see what Scripture says will happen to saved Christians who do not live for Christ. Will they be thrown into hell with all the unsaved? Will they lose their salvation because they did not live faithfully for Christ? What does Scripture say? You know the answer I’m going to give: Nope, they’re not going to lose their salvation. It’s never going to happen. Not even once. Let’s look into it and prove it with Scripture.
The parable of the two servants is found in Matthew 24:45-51. Chapters 24 and 25 go together. Both chapters present Jesus’ answer to one question asked by His disciples:
“And as He (Jesus) sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3 KJV)
For the rest of chapter 24 and to the very end of chapter 25, Jesus answered that question. We can break down His answer into this outline:
1. What will Happen BEFORE His Return
Signs of His Coming (Mt. 24:4-14)
Tribulation Coming: Perilous Times (Mt. 24:15-28)
2. What will Happen AT His Return
The Second Coming (Mt. 24:29-31)
3. What Will Happen Immediately AFTER His Return
Judgment of the Nations (Mt. 24:36-41, 25:31-46)
1. The Parable of the Fig Tree (Mt. 24:32-35) – When you see the fig tree putting forth leaves, you know that summer is neigh. Likewise, when you see these things that He described happening, you know that the return of Christ is near.
2. The Parable of the Watchman (Mt. 24:43-44) – If the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have kept watch.
3. The Parable of the Two Servants (Mt. 24:45-51) – Our topic for today. One was faithful and wise. The other one was evil and unprepared for his Master’s return.
4. The Parable of the 10 Virgins (Mt. 25:1-13) – This is a parable about bridesmaids being unprepared for their Master’s return. I did a video on this one. I’ll include a link at the end of this video.
5. The Parable of the Talents (Mt. 25:14-30) – About us being faithful to use the talents God have given us to serve Him here on Earth while we wait for His return.
The one message across all five of these parables is the same: Be ready!
Its importance is emphasized in that He told the same message 5 times in 5 different parables. And the parable of the two servants, our topic for today, is right in the middle of these 5 parables and right in the middle of Jesus’ description of His second coming.
As good Christians, we are to recognize the nearness of Christ’s second coming and we are to maintain a state of readiness by faithfully serving Him day-by-day with the talents He has given us, using them for His glory, as we await His return.
That’s it. That’s our mission as we count down the days until He arrives. We’re not to be idle. God left us here after we were saved for a reason and that reason is to serve Him and to serve others. Five parables, one message: Be ready!
So, with this context, let’s get to our topic for today. Let’s look at the parable of the two servants. Jesus began this parable with a question in verse 45:
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season?” (Matthew 24:45 KJV)
What does it mean to be a faithful and wise servant of God? Jesus answered that question by describing two types of servants: One is faithful and wise (Matthew 24:46-47), while the other one is described as an evil servant (Matthew 24:48-51).
Let’s read through each of these accounts, beginning with the faithful and wise servant.
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that He shall make him ruler over all His goods.” (Matthew 24:45-47 KJV)
From this, we see what it means for Jesus to consider us as faithful and wise. First, it means recognizing that we are servants of God. We’re not here for ourselves and our pleasures. Why didn’t God immediately take us to be with Him in heaven once we were saved? It’s far better there than here on Earth. God left us here for a reason. While we remain in these mortal bodies on Earth, we are to first recognize that we are servants and that we answer to a Master, namely Jesus, to Whom we will one day give an account of how well we served Him. We are servants of the Most High.
Second, from this passage, we also see that to be considered a good and faithful servant means maintaining a state of readiness to stand before Him by continually doing the work He has given us to do. We are to be doers. We do the Master’s will while He’s away. A faithful and wise servant is one who will do the work of his Master even when that Master is not around to watch him. Of course, we know that Jesus, our Master, is always watching us. But if we’re not careful, we can lose sight of that and start to drift away from serving God, drifting away from being doers, drifting away from realizing that we are His servants. We keep hold of that realization by maintaining an attitude of readiness, reflecting on and seeing the nearness of Christ’s return. That constant expectation that our Master is coming at any moment is what should pull us back to being faithful and wise servants.
Third, we see that there’s a reward for being faithful and wise. It says “He shall make him ruler over all His goods.” In other words, a faithful and wise servant will be given greater authority and responsibility because that servant proved himself or herself to be faithful.
Notice also that the reward is not salvation. Salvation is not a reward for our performance. Salvation is a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Christ. Paul gave us a definition of salvation in Ephesians 2:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)
Salvation is a free gift that can never be lost because we don’t earn it by our performance, nor do we keep it by our performance. It is NOT of works. Salvation is a free gift that God gives to us out of His love and mercy. It’s a gift of God’s grace, which means “unmerited favor.” Nothing we do merits God having to give us salvation. We don’t earn it by being good. We don’t keep it by being good. Nothing we do makes us worthy of salvation. Salvation is a free gift of God’s grace that He gives us when we place our trust in His Son Jesus as our Savior, believing that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, was buried and rose again. It’s that simple.
But then, after salvation comes discipleship, where we learn to follow Jesus and become like Him, doing the work that God has prepared for us to do.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 KJV)
Salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone, while discipleship is by works. After we’re already saved, we then are expected to do the works God has prepared for us to do. Sounds like being a servant, doesn’t it? That is what a good and faithful servant does. He does the works of his Master.
This faithful and wise servant is not earning salvation by his faithful service. Instead, he is proving himself to be a good and faithful disciple. This doesn’t have anything to do with salvation. It has to do with being a good disciple of Christ. As good disciples of Christ, we are to be faithful servants, doing the Master’s works until He returns. That’s what being a good disciple or good servant means.
If we are like that, then we too will be called faithful and wise servants, and we will be rewarded by our Master, Jesus, when He returns. We will be rewarded for faithful service. This reward has nothing to do with salvation but everything to do with being a good disciple of Christ after we are saved. What is the reward?
“…He (Jesus) shall make him (the faithful and wise servant) ruler over all His goods.” (Matthew 24:45-47 KJV)
We see this reward referenced again in Revelation 2:
“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:” (Revelation 2:26 KJV)
How do we overcome? By believing in Christ. 1 John 5:
“Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5 KJV)
The second part is discipleship: A good disciple, or a good servant is one who “keepeth My works unto the end.”
The one who is not only saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ but also proves faithful in being a good disciple, a good servant, will receive a reward. What is that reward? He or she will reign and rule with Christ with real authority and responsibility that Christ will entrust to us. Christ will give us power over the nations during His Millennial Kingdom reign.
We see this same reward in the parable of the talents in Luke 19:
“Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And He said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And He said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.” (Luke 19:16-19 KJV)
Everyone who believes in Christ will receive the same salvation. But not everyone who is saved will receive the same rewards that go beyond salvation. The amount of rewards we will get in heaven, the authority and privileges we will have, will be directly related to how faithfully we lived and served Christ here on Earth. The one who earned 10 talents was placed over ten cities. The one who earned only 5 talents, though still considered to be faithful by Christ, was give less authority, over 5 cities. Those who prove to be faithful and wise will be given much authority. Those who are less faithful will be given less.
How important it is to be ready for Christ’s return and to live as faithful and wise servants, doing the Master’s will until He returns! Such faithful servants will be given real authority as a reward. They will be entrusted to rule over all of Christ’s goods.
The message for all of us is to BE READY! BE FAITHFUL! BE DOERS!
But what if the servant isn’t faithful or wise? That brings us to the second part of this parable about the evil servant. Christ goes on to say:
“But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 24:48-51 KJV)
The severity of this judgment cannot be understated. It says Christ will cut this evil servant in two, cut him asunder, and then send him into eternal hell.
The phrase, “weeping and gnashing of teeth” is used to describe only one thing in Scripture. This describes what people will do after they are judged by God and sent to hell, a place of eternal punishment.
“The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:41-42 KJV)
Hell is described as a “furnace of fire.” It is an eternal fire that never goes out. It burns forever those who are sent there.
This passage is speaking of Christ’s return, when He will remove all unbelievers from the planet. No unbeliever will be allowed to enter into Christ’s 1,000 year reign on Earth, His Millennial Kingdom. We see this same removal of unbelievers happening in Matthew 25, when Christ returns and judges the nations.
“Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:41 KJV)
Hell is a place of punishment that was prepared for the devil and his angels who rebelled against God. Unbelievers, those who are not saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ, will all be sent there.
We see this same thing earlier in Matthew 22, where Hell is described as a place of outer darkness:
“Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 22:13 KJV)
This phrase, “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” is always associated with hell, a place of eternal punishment, a place of outer darkness. And that’s where this evil servant in our parable today is thrown because he was unfaithful.
In fact, Christ says this evil servant’s judgment will be even more severe than just being sent to hell. Verse 25 says that Christ:
“…shall cut him asunder (literally, chop him in two), and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 24:51 KJV)
This evil servant’s punishment will be extreme.
There’s a parallel telling of this same parable in Luke 12, where the evil servant is called an unfaithful servant. This parallel account gives even more detail about what will happen to this unfaithful servant:
“The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:46-48 KJV)
This unfaithful servant will not just be sent to hell, but will be severely punished even more severely than others who are sent to hell. Why?
Because he knew His Master’s will and that his master would return but he did nothing. He did not prepare himself.
In this parallel telling of the same parable, we then see this principle being taught:
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48 KJV)
Knowledge is a dangerous thing. The meaning here is that God will hold us accountable for what we know and how we acted based on what we know. This evil, unfaithful servant knew that he had a Master. He knew what the Master’s will for him was and what he was supposed to do. He knew His Master would return one day. But even so, he decided not to do what his Master wanted. Instead, he lived for himself in sinful pleasure and for selfish gain. And when his Master showed up at a time he didn’t expect, his Master then held him accountable for having full knowledge of his Master’s business but disregarding it anyway.
Knowledge is a dangerous thing. We’re accountable to God for what we know. And so, this evil servant is punished most severely. This also shows that there will be different degrees of punishment in hell, reflecting the fairness of God in His judgments.
Every person on the planet is accountable to God for what they know!
That’s a very intimidating thought. Christ gave us this parable in Matthew 24 and its parallel account in Luke 12 to both encourage us and to warn us. Christ knows our hearts and can spot hypocrisy a mile away. So, be ready and be faithful. That’s the message. That’s our parable. Don’t be like the evil or unfaithful servant.
OK, now let’s get to the heart of this matter.
Do Saved Christians Need to Fear
Being Thrown into Hell
if They Are Unfaithful?
If you’ve stuck with me this far, and especially if you are one of those who can identify with this evil or unfaithful servant – perhaps you are thinking of areas of your life where you haven’t been as faithful to Christ as you should have been – then you are probably not feeling really good about this right about now. I haven’t put your mind at ease at all. I’ve probably ratcheted it up a few levels with all this talk of hell. So, where’s the assurance of eternal salvation?
Let’s find that assurance by first looking at the identity of this evil or unfaithful servant.
Who Is This Evil Servant?
This is where there’s a lot of really bad teaching out there, where so-called teachers will tell you that this evil servant is a saved Christian who decides to not live for Christ and therefore loses his salvation. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Who is this evil servant?
This evil servant is an unbeliever.
But even worse:
He’s an unbeliever who professes to know Christ, claiming Christ to be his Lord, but He’s unsaved. He’s a hypocrite, pretending to be a Christian but he’s not saved.
How do we know this to be true, that the evil servant is an unbeliever? Let’s start by answering two objections that I’ve commonly heard to this conclusion concerning the identity of the evil servant:
Objection #1: There are those who say that the evil servant must be a saved Christian because he is called a servant of the Lord and unbelievers are not servants of the Lord.
Objection #2: The evil servant must be a saved Christian because he refers to the Lord as his Master.
Let’s answer both of those objections.
First, Objection #1 – Is an unbeliever a servant of God?
The word “servant” in the Greek is the word, “doulos,” which means “a slave who is in subjection to another’s will.” In essence, he is a slave. The master has authority over that servant and the servant must be subject to his master’s will. That’s what a servant is.
Are unbelievers subject to God’s will? They are certainly not living subject to God’s will. But will they answer to God’s will at some point? Will they answer to a higher Authority, namely God? You better believe they will, every one of them.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him (Jesus), and given Him a Name which is above every name: That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11 KJV)
The phrase “every knee” means everyone, including unbelievers. Everyone, without exception, will one day bow before Jesus acknowledging that Jesus is Lord of all.
Revelation 20, the Great White Throne Judgment:
“And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it…And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works…. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:11-15 KJV)
The Great White Throne Judgment happens at the end of Christ’s 1,000-year reign on Earth and is where God pronounces final judgment on all unbelievers. No saved believer will appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, only those whose names are not written in the book of life. All saved believers already have their names in the book of life. This is a judgment of unbelievers.
So, let me ask the question again: Is an unbeliever a servant of God?
Absolutely! They may not have lived their lives believing in God, or serving God, but they have a Master Who will judge them, whether they believed in that Master or not. And He will judge them by their works.
Every single person on this planet who lives or who has lived or whoever will live is a servant of God, who will answer to God, whether they believe it or not.
A further point: Jesus was speaking this parable to Jews. Every Jew in that century considered himself or herself to be a servant of God. They were the chosen people. They were all servants of God and considered themselves to be servants of God.
The conclusion is this: Every single person will be subject to God’s will, God’s judgment, concerning them. In every sense of the word, an unbeliever is a servant of God. He or she just doesn’t know it or believe it. But one day that person will kneel before Christ, acknowledge Him as Lord, and give an account. Then they will be judged. They will be subject to their Master’s judgment.
Everyone is a servant of God.
Second, Objection #2 – Can unbelievers refer to God as their Master?
Unfortunately, many do, and they are found in churches around the world. There are many unsaved people in churches. They attend church regularly. They believe the Bible is true. They enjoy worship music. They’ve been baptized. They tithe. They read their Bible. They try to live as good people. Some of these people are even in pulpits preaching or leading Sunday school classes.
But they are all missing one thing:
They’ve never been convicted that they are totally lost sinners who need a Savior and that apart from Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead, they have absolutely no hope of seeing heaven.
They think they are saved but they are not. They know what the Bible says, but they don’t live it. They’ve experienced no change in their lives from being born again, because they haven’t been born again. They don’t have God’s Holy Spirit indwelling them, leading them, transforming them.
We see this condition is Scripture. Let me give you two examples:
Example #1 – The Laodicean Church (Revelation 3:14-22). In this passage, we see the church at Laodicea, which is a prophetic picture of the end-times apostate church, the unbelieving church, to whom Jesus said:
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Revelation 3:15-17 KJV)
These are unsaved people who are gathering as a church, which means they are calling Jesus their Lord, and they all think that they are saved. But Jesus calls them “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Those are words never used to describe a saved believer in Christ.
And where is Jesus in this church? They have locked Him out of it! Verse 20:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20 KJV)
Jesus cannot even enter that Laodicean church. He has to stand at the door and knock to see if anyone will let Him in. This is a Christless church. If anyone would open the door, Jesus said He “will come in to him,” indicating that the presence of God’s Holy Spirit is not already there inside those people who are calling themselves “Christians.” The people in this church are not saved. We see this in some churches today where congregations abandon the Word of God in order to be more socially relevant, supporting non-Biblical causes like social justice, LGBTQ and trans-rights. They all gather as “Christians,” thinking they are saved and every one of them calls Jesus “Lord.”
Of the Laodicean church, Jesus said He will spit them out of His mouth! That’s the same answer as what He said He will do to the evil servant in our parable – an utter rejection of that person.
Example #2 – Those Who Don’t Do The Will of the Father (Matthew 7:21-23). This is where Jesus said:
“Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)
When will this scene take place? Jesus used the phrase, “in that day,” He said, “Many will say to Me in that day.” What day is He talking about? The day of His return. This story takes place at the second coming, the same time as our parable of the two servants. It’s the time when Jesus determines who will be allowed to enter into His Millennial Kingdom, His 1,000 year reign on Earth.
Jesus said, “Not every one who calls me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom.” Notice that these people all called Jesus their Lord. They all stood before Jesus, calling Him Lord, and they pointed to all the good works that they did in His Name – “have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works?”
Jesus did not deny that they did these “wonderful works.” These are people who believed Jesus was Lord and they did amazing works in His Name. But none of these people were saved, for Jesus said, “I NEVER KNEW YOU: Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Jesus never knew them. These aren’t saved Christians who lost their salvation because they didn’t live their lives obediently serving the Father. They did live obediently, and they did wonderful works. But Jesus said He NEVER knew them. This means there was never a period of time when they were saved. He NEVER knew them. They were never saved. They all thought that they were saved Christians who were serving God, calling Jesus their Lord.
But they were rejected. Instead, Jesus said the only ones who will enter the Kingdom are those who “do the will of My Father.” What is the will of the Father? We don’t have to guess. Jesus told us in John 6:
“And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40 KJV)
As far as salvation is concerned, the will of the Father is not bearing fruit. It’s not doing good deeds. It’s not living in obedience. That’s certainly the will of the Father as far as discipleship is concerned. But for salvation, that’s not the will of the Father. Those people did all of those things. They had “wonderful works.” But they weren’t saved.
As far as salvation is concerned, the will of the Father is to believe on Christ. Period. Nothing more.
We are justified before God the Father by only one thing: Faith in Christ.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” (Romans 5:1 KJV)
Those are two examples of people who thought they were saved, they called themselves “Christians,” and they referred to Jesus as Lord, but they didn’t believe on Him. They never put their trust in Christ alone to save them. They thought being obedient and doing good deeds would save them. But it won’t. Instead of trusting on Christ to save them, they trusted in their own obedience, their own good works to justify themselves before God. But they were all unsaved, unbelievers.
In the same way, the evil servant in our parable is unsaved. Jesus referred to this servant as “unfaithful” and “evil,” words never used to refer to a saved believer. That’s because he’s not saved. He just thinks he’s saved and he calls his Master his Lord.
He is an evil servant. This word, “evil,” is the Greek word, kakos, which means “of a bad nature, worthless, depraved, destructive, wicked.” Throughout the entire New Testament, never, not even one time, is such a word used to describe a saved believer in Christ. But He calls this servant “evil.” That’s because this servant is not a saved believer in Christ. Instead, he is “of a bad nature, worthless, depraved, destructive, and wicked.”
Saved Christians Are NOT Evil in God’s Sight!
Saved believers can certainly do evil things and God may chasten us if we do, but every Christian is still holy and righteous in God’s sight, not because of anything we have done, but because of what Christ did for us.
“For He (God the Father) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be MADE the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV)
Martin Luther referred to this as “the great exchange.” Christ took our sins upon Himself and give us His righteousness in return. We are “MADE the righteousness of God in Him.” We are MADE righteous. We don’t BECOME righteous as we live obediently. From the moment we place our faith in Christ for salvation, Christ’s righteousness is forever imputed or given to us. We are MADE righteous the very instant we place our faith in Christ for salvation. From that moment, God sees us as forever righteous in His sight. He doesn’t see us as evil even when we do things that are evil, because any evil that we do has already been paid for on the cross. We are MADE the righteousness of Christ. No saved believer is ever evil in God’s sight.
For a saved believer in Christ, sin can no longer condemn that believer to hell. That doesn’t give us license to sin, for God will still discipline us if we sin, up to the point of even taking us home early, ending our physical lives. But salvation will not be lost, because we forever stand as righteous in His sight because of Christ.
We see an example of how salvation cannot be lost due to sin for a saved believer in Christ in 1 Corinthians 5. The situation was that a saved believer was engaging in unrepentant sexual immorality. Paul said he had decided:
“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:5 KJV)
That saved believer who engaged in unrepentant sin would still be saved. Does God save unrighteous people? No, He absolutely doesn’t. Then how could he still be saved? Even though that saved believer was deep in unrepentant sin, he was still seen as righteous in God’s sight because his sin had already been paid for on the cross and because he now stood in the imputed righteousness of Christ.
God doesn’t save us or keep us saved based on our righteousness that we earn through our good deeds. We have no righteousness apart from Christ. He is our righteousness. We are saved because we are made righteous in Him. But after we are saved, as a disciple of Christ, God will then reward us or discipline us based on our works.
Salvation and discipleship are not the same!
SALVATION is by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone.
DISCIPLESHIP (after salvation) is by works for which there will be rewards (or loss of rewards).
In this parable of the two servants, the good and faithful servant was given the reward of being made ruler over all of his Master’s goods. If that servant had done less of a good job, he still would have been saved. He just would not have been as highly rewarded.
The evil servant, on the other hand, was not a saved believer. By his own actions, he proved that he was unfaithful. He had no faith. He only pretended to be a servant.
Matthew 24:51 – Says he was assigned a place with the “hypocrites.” That’s because he was a hypocrite.
Luke 12: 46 – Says he was assigned a place with the “unbelievers.” That’s because he was an unbeliever.
What’s another way we can prove that the evil servant was unsaved? By comparing the passage in this parable to other Scriptures, such as the verse from Ephesians 2 that we looked at earlier:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)
If a saved Christian can still be sent to hell because he or she does not serve Christ faithfully, then salvation is no longer by faith alone, but it’s based on what we do. It would be by works. It would definitely be “of yourselves,” based on how well you served Christ, and we would have reason to boast if we serve Him faithfully because we’ve shown ourselves to be worthy of salvation. If that interpretation of the evil servant being a saved Christian were true, then that would contradict this verse from Ephesians 2, which says we’re saved by faith alone, not by our obedience or by anything we do or don’t do.
Here’s the thing: God is perfect. That means His Word is perfect, with no errors, which means there can be no contradictions. God doesn’t say something in one place and then say the exact opposite someplace else, contradicting Himself. His Word is in perfect harmony. If you ever try to interpret a verse and you see a contradiction with another verse, then you know that at least one of the interpretations is wrong. There can be no contradictions in God’s Word.
Saying that this evil servant is a saved believer who loses salvation because he did not faithfully serve Christ directly contradicts Ephesians 2. Therefore, this interpretation must be wrong.
The evil servant was thrown into hell because he was an unbeliever. He called his Master “Lord,” but by his actions, he showed he had no faith.
So, what does all this mean to a saved believer in Christ?
Here are a couple of takeaways from this lesson:
First, we don’t need to fear being thrown into hell. This parable is not talking about a saved believer being thrown into hell. God is a good Father Who loves His children, even the most wayward. He will discipline us, but he will never abandon us.
Hebrews 13 confirms this, where God gives us this promise, saying:
“…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)
Never means never under any circumstances.
It’s not going to happen, even for the worst of sinning Christians, because all sin was paid for on the cross. This parable of the evil servant is not something that should terrify a saved believer. No saved believer will be tossed into hell because they were not living faithfully.
We see this also confirmed at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where all saved believers will one day stand before Jesus to give an account of their lives. Even there, no one loses salvation. Speaking of believers appearing before the Judgment Seat of Christ, Paul wrote this in 1 Corinthians 3:
“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:14-15 KJV)
Saved believers who live as faithful and wise servants of Christ will be rewarded. But even saved believers who don’t will still be saved, “so as by fire.” That’s not the fire of hell but the fire of examination, having to stand before Christ and review with Him how you didn’t live for Him, didn’t serve Him. It’ll feel like the fire of deep regret. But such a person is still saved, because salvation is a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Christ, a gift that is not earned by our obedience, nor can it be lost by our disobedience. Salvation depends only on the grace and mercy of God, who never changes His mind about saving someone.
What else does this parable mean to a saved believer in Christ?
Second, it means we need to be ready for Christ’s return by being doers of the Word. Christ did not tell this parable to threaten saved believers who are dearly loved by God. He told this parable to encourage saved believers to be faithful and to live for Him. None of us is perfect. We’ve all blown it many times. But if you are hearing this or reading this then you are still here. It’s not over for you. You can still end well.
No matter how many times you have blown it, make it your objective to end well! Recommit your life to Christ if you need to. Put away sin if you need to. Realize who you are in Christ, someone who is dearly loved by God. Ask Him for help and direction if you need to (and I think we all need that one!). God is for you, not against you, because you are in Christ. He wants you to succeed and stands ready to help you. Therefore, from this day onward, live for Him and be a doer. Make it your goal to end well.
But there’s a third takeaway from the parable.
The third takeaway is very sobering because it’s a warning from Christ to those who call themselves “Christians” but have never been saved. The takeaway is this:
WARNING: Make sure you are not a “Christian” in name only. Make sure you are saved!
Christ said that those who pretend to be Christians but are not saved will receive a greater judgment of condemnation than other unbelievers, because they knew the truth but never believed on it, never trusted on it, for themselves. Knowledge is a dangerous thing. Those who sit in church every week. or worse even preach in church every week and call themselves “Christians” but who have never come to the point where they see themselves as lost sinners who need to be saved, and who then place their trust in Christ to save them will receive the greater punishment, because they knew the truth but still lived in unbelief. That’s far more dangerous and deserving of hell than it is for someone who never heard the truth.
Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not (which means believe not) the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17 KJV)
It would be far better for someone to never go to church at all than to go to church and yet not believe in Christ.
The word, “believe” in the Greek is the word, pisteuō. It means, “to commit one’s trust to.” It’s not just believing that something is true. It means committing every bit of your trust to it.
Why will Christ save you?
Is it because you’ve been a “Christian” all your life, because you go to church, because you’ve been baptized, because you tithe, because you said a prayer once to receive Christ, because you’re a good person, because you call Jesus Lord?
None of these things will save you. If that’s you, you’re in the most dangerous position, because if you are not truly saved, it means you will receive greater condemnation than other unbelievers who do not go to church.
If that’s you, my closing wish for you is this: Make Sure You Are Saved!
The people in the Laodicean church thought they were saved. The evil servant thought he was in good standing with his Master, even referring to Him as Lord. But none of them had ever been saved.
Are you saved? Are you sure?
The Apostle John wrote:
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13 KJV)
God wants us to know with certainty that we are saved. How do we know? One way is to look for evidence of salvation. A key piece of evidence is that there’s a change in the life of someone who has been truly saved. That’s because God’s Holy Spirit comes to live inside us forever.
The moment we place our faith in Christ for salvation, we are born again, and God’s Holy Spirit is sealed within us forever. Having God’s Holy Spirit living inside you changes you. You can’t help but be changed. It may take time, especially if someone has addictions and deep-rooted sinful habits. But in time, it will change you. If you call yourself a “Christian” but nothing has ever changed and you are still living like the world, or you are trusting in anything other than Christ’s finished work on the cross, you are giving evidence that you might not be saved. I didn’t say you aren’t saved, but that you are giving evidence that you might not be saved.
When I first became a Christian, I didn’t want my wife to know about it, because I was still trying to understand what had happened when I asked Jesus to save me. So, I kept it to myself. But after a while, my wife, who had been saved two years earlier, came to me and said, “You’re different! You got saved, didn’t you?” She could see it. There was evidence of a change, even when I wanted to keep it private. Having God’s Spirit in you will change you. A changed life is not a guarantee of salvation, but it’s an evidence that could indicate salvation has occurred, that God has transformed you.
If you say you are a Christian, has anything changed in your life, making you different from the rest of the world? Or, are you trusting in anything other than the blood of Christ to save you?
Don’t be deceived like the Laodiceans who gathered together as a church but weren’t saved.
Don’t be deceived like the evil servant who called his Master his Lord but wasn’t saved.
Do you know with absolute certainty that you are saved? It’s not just believing that Jesus is the Savior, but believing ON HIM, trusting on Him, that He is YOUR Savior, that you are putting your full trust on Him to save you and on nothing else. You’re not depending on tithing or baptism or being obedient so that you will be found worthy. Salvation is depending on one thing: that the blood of Jesus was shed for you to pay for every one of your sins before a perfectly Holy God and that, without Jesus Who then rose from the dead, without Him you have no hope. He is your hope. So, make sure you are saved!
If you ARE NOT a Christian or if you are UNSURE of your salvation, or even if you just want to rededicate your life to Christ:
CHOOSE TODAY to believe in Christ to save you, believing that He died on the cross to pay for all your sins and rose from the dead to give you eternal life, and that He will not only save you but will keep you saved forever.
Whatever you may have done, and no matter how badly you may have blown it in the past, don’t think for a second that God has given up on you.
The Lord’s Desire is to Save You!
He is For You, Not Against You.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 KJV)
It is not the Lord’s desire that even one person should perish. It is not too late. If you think that, that’s just the enemy talking, trying to get you to give up on God. Don’t give in to that negative thought. God is for you, not against you, and He desires you with an everlasting love. He longs to pour out blessings upon you. Let Him.
So, if you are not 100% sure of your salvation, my closing wish for you is this:
Make Sure You Are Saved Right Now! Don’t put it off.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” (John 6:47 KJV)
So, believe on Him and let Him set you free!
Salvation = God’s Grace Alone Through Faith Alone on Christ Alone
Believing the Gospel means placing your entire trust on Christ for your salvation, believing that Christ:
- Died for your sins
- Was buried
- Rose from the dead
As it says in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
Nothing more. Nothing less. There are no other requirements to be saved than to believe on Jesus. Once you place your faith in Christ for your salvation, you are born again, and you are forever a child of God. Our Father is a good Father Who will never abandon you but will preserve you in the faith and never let you go.
If you are not certain about your salvation, time is getting very late. Don’t take the chance of missing out on God.
Making Sure You Are Saved Is As Easy As ABC
Admit to God that you have sinned.
Believe that Jesus, God’s Son, died to pay for
your sins 100%, was buried and rose from the dead.
Call upon Jesus and ask Him to forgive you and save you.
If you make that decision to call upon Him, God gives you this assurance:
“For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13 KJV)
Thank you for watching.