Q. Matthew 24 verses 44 onwards speaks of an unfaithful servant who is not watching for the return of his master. As a result he will be banished to a place where there is ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ amongst the hypocrites. What do you make of this in light of ‘once saved always saved?’
A. This one fools a lot of people. First of all this is a parable, which means that everything is symbolic, and the timing is just after the 2nd coming. The Church will be long gone and once saved always saved will be a thing of the past. (Tribulation believers are not guaranteed their salvation as the parable of the 10 virgins ( Matt. 25:1-13) and Rev. 16:15 explain.)
Second, look at the symbolism used in the parable. The servants represent Tribulation pastors, the master’s household is the body of Tribulation believers, and the food they distribute is the word. Some will be faithful to the Lord’s word and teach the truth. They’ll be rewarded when He returns.
But others will teach a false doctrine, as represented by eating and drinking with drunkards. They won’t be expecting the Lord and will beat (oppress) their flocks with lies about His coming. When He returns it’ll be too late for them and they’ll be cast out of the kingdom for their hypocrisy. The Geek word translated hypocrites means two-faced. They’ll be guilty of saying they believe the truth, but teaching a lie. I don’t believe these false teachers were ever saved.
This parable is similar to Matt. 7:21-23 where the Lord said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’