Questions for Small Group Discussion

 Based on the sermon of September 22, 2019 – Matthew 25:1-46 “Ready or Not”

1. What are some events you have experienced that required diligent preparation? What was your outlook on the preparations? Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you weren’t prepared for? How can we prepare for events that are somewhat unexpected?

2. What points from Sunday’s sermon especially caught your attention? From Matthew 25, what aspects of Jesus’ teaching would you like to discuss?

3. Read Matthew 25. In verse 1, Jesus referred to “the kingdom of heaven.” What did he mean by that phrase? What do we learn about the kingdom of heaven in this chapter?

4. In the story of the ten virgins, why did some of the virgins fail to bring oil along? Why was that a problem? Why was the bridegroom unwilling to open the door for them later so they could join in the wedding feast?

--In our lives, what is like the “oil” that we need to make sure we have as we wait for the bridegroom? What are some important ways to prepare for the Lord’s return?

5. In the parable of the talents, what criteria did the master use in distributing the talents? What do we learn from the fact that both the slave who earned 5 talents and the one who earned 2 received exactly the same commendation (and promotion) from the master?

--How did the third slave explain the lack of increase of the master’s wealth? How did the master explain it?

--Pastor Pat said “talents” represent all the ability and resources God provides for us. What does this include? How can they be utilized for the Lord’s kingdom and glory? Rather than increasing “talents,” financial wealth, what kind of increase do we seek as we invest our “talents” for the Lord?

6. What kind of emotional impact does the latter part of the chapter, where Jesus speaks of the judgment, have on you? What determines whether a person is considered a “sheep” or a “goat”?

--Does this passage teach that salvation depends on doing charitable deeds? Explain your response.

--What sort of practical application should we make from this teaching regarding the King separating the sheep and the goats?

7. When you think of living in readiness for Christ’s return, what sort of priorities do you need to follow in your own life? How can we help one another live in readiness?