Inclusion long before judgment
As I said, I taught on the four parables of judgment in Matthew 24:45-25:46. And while these parables are ostensibly about the final judgment and ultimately who is in or out of the kingdom, I was primarily struck by their inclusiveness.
All four parables start by explicitly including everyone: both servants are left in charge of the master’s household. All ten maidens are invited to the wedding, all of the master’s servants are given talents and the sheep and the goats co-exist in the same herd, presumably in close proximity to the shepherd.
Then, in each story, the Christ-figure is absent or hidden for a long time. Status in the kingdom for each group is determined by whether or not they faithfully wait upon the Lord. Or, as Robert Farrar Capon puts it, whether or not they accept their acceptance. In the parable of the talents, the master would have been happy with interest from the bank, even though the other servants doubled their money. It seems that Christ is bending over backward to let anyone into the kingdom. It’s as if he’s saying: “can you give me anything?”
But while all four parables start with inclusiveness, they end with a separation and seem to be saying there will come a day when the opportunity to have faith and be accepted will pass. The inclusiveness of Christ comes with an expiration date.
But if you’re reading this, it hasn’t come yet. He has invited you to the wedding. He wants to enter into a fiduciary relationship with you that generates fantastic wealth. He longs to shepherd you into a kingdom that was prepared from the foundation of the earth. But He only invites, He doesn’t compel. To accept that acceptance, is up to you.