The Sheep and the Goats

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our new series entitled “The Beginning of the End.” This series explores the resurrection of Jesus in tandem with some of Jesus’ teaching about the fall of Jerusalem and the end of all time. This weekend Pastor Ruth Carver preached from Matthew 26:31-46, the parable of the sheep and the goats.

This message is from the tenth and final part of our longer journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom,” “Who Do You Say I Am?“, “‘Tis the Reason,” “Jesus Said What?!“, and “Scandalous Jesus.

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

The Meaning of Maranatha

  • Watchword of Early Christians
  • Jesus’ 2nd Coming and Last Judgment

Jesus’ Parable of the Sheep and Goats

  • Who are the sheep and the goats?
  • On what basis are people sent to heaven or hell?
  • The “Big 6” human needs
  • Who are the “least of these”?

Be Ready for the 2nd Coming and Last Judgment

  • A litmus test for true, saving faith
  • Maranatha as our watchword

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

Stewards of the Kingdom

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our new series entitled “The Beginning of the End.” This series explores the resurrection of Jesus in tandem with some of Jesus’ teaching about the fall of Jerusalem and the end of all time. This weekend Gabriel Douglas preached from Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents.

This message is from the tenth and final part of our longer journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom,” “Who Do You Say I Am?“, “‘Tis the Reason,” “Jesus Said What?!“, and “Scandalous Jesus.

You can find the message video and the sermon outline plus discussion questions below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)

  1. Be excited about Jesus’ Return
  2. Know what Jesus teaches by reading His word
  3. You cannot live off of someone else’s talents
  4. Surrender your talents to Christ and be ready for Him

Discussion questions

  1. When you think of Jesus’ return, what emotions do you feel?
  2. What talents and abilities do you know that God has given you?
  3. Are there times where you have used those abilities for your own gain?
  4. What servant do you resonate with? The one who returned on investment or the one who kept the talent for themselves?
  5. Read Hebrews 12:2, what does it mean to you that Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith?
  6. What is one way this week you can honor God with what He has given you?

Keep Your Lamps Lit

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our new series entitled “The Beginning of the End.” This series explores the resurrection of Jesus in tandem with some of Jesus’ teaching about the fall of Jerusalem and the end of all time. This weekend I preached from Matthew 25:1-13, a curious parable about being prepared for the arrival of Christ.

This message is from the tenth and final part of our longer journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom,” “Who Do You Say I Am?“, “‘Tis the Reason,” “Jesus Said What?!“, and “Scandalous Jesus.

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like…” (25:1)

That time and Jesus’ coming (parousia)

The kingdom of heaven

An Overview of the Parable (25:1-12)

The setting of the wedding and anticipation of meeting the bridegroom (1-2)

  The two categories of young women: foolish without oil & wise with oil (2-4)

    The delay and falling sleep (5)

      The announcement (6)

    Awakening and preparation (7)

  The contrast in readiness: foolish needing to buy oil & wise ready with sufficient oil (8-9)

The arrival of the bridegroom and welcome for the wise who are ready (10)

The sad situation of the foolish who were not ready (11-12)

An Exhortation Toward Watchful Readiness (25:13)

Let us keep watch for Jesus’ return (Matthew 25:13)

Let us build our lives on Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 7:24-27)

Let us walk in the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 25:4; Revelation 4:5; Galatians 5:22-25)

Let us speak of Jesus and the good news (Matthew 24:14; 1 Peter 3:15)


Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

The Unknown Hour

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our new series entitled “The Beginning of the End.” This series explores the resurrection of Jesus in tandem with some of Jesus’ teaching about the fall of Jerusalem and the end of all time.This weekend I preached out of the second half of Matthew 24, verses 36-51, where Jesus responds to the second of His disciples two questions in verse 3:

  • when will this happen?
  • what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?

This message is from the tenth and final part of our longer journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom,” “Who Do You Say I Am?“, “‘Tis the Reason,” “Jesus Said What?!“, and “Scandalous Jesus.

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”  (Matthew 24:42)

The Unknown Hour of Jesus’ Coming (24:36-41)

The nature of Jesus’ “coming” (parousia)

The timing is unknown

It will catch people unaware:

  • Like in Noah’s day
  • Like those interrupted in their work

Disciples Keep Watch and Are Ready (24:42-44)

Like a homeowner burglarized didn’t know

We do not know

How to live in light of the unknown appearing:

  • Keep watch
  • Be ready

A Parable About Watchful Readiness (24:45-51)

What sort of servant is faithful and wise?

There is one who does what he has been commissioned to do

There is another who fails in his commission and misuses others

The timing is unknown so be watchful, ready, and faithful

Since there will be an end and Christ will return, how should we live?


Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

The Weekend Wanderer: 5 December 2020

The Weekend Wanderer” is a weekly curated selection of news, stories, resources, and media on the intersection of faith and culture for you to explore through your weekend. Wander through these links however you like and in any order you like.


Advent“Oh How We Need Advent (This Year More Than Most)” – A friend shared this article with me and I found it very beautiful, heart-rending, honest, and joyful all at the same time. Advent is one of my favorite seasons of the year. It so so much more than a preparation for Christmas. I appreciate the way that the author, E. M. Welcher, brings together the anticipatory longing and much-needed hope of Advent so powerfully.


harvest-wheat-farmer-hand“On Being Grateful” – Thanksgiving was just a short time ago, but our need for gratitude in relation to our lives is ever-present. We know gratitude is important, but it is also not natural for us. Particularly in a year that has come to be considered one of the worst years of our lifetimes, how do we live with gratitude? Kevin Williamson wrestles with this question, touching upon memory, gratitude, suffering, and the distinctly Christian response to it all.


9 nonobvious conversation“Nine Nonobvious Ways to Have Deeper Conversations: The art of making connection even in a time of dislocation” – I’m increasingly convinced that the inability to have conversations—to truly listen to and speak with (not listen past and talk at) one another—is one of the biggest problems of our day. Here is David Brooks’ nine ways to help improve that: “After all we’ve been through this year, wouldn’t it be nice, even during a distanced holiday season, to be able to talk about this whole experience with others, in a deep, satisfying way? To help, I’ve put together a list of nonobvious lessons for how to have better conversations, which I’ve learned from people wiser than myself.”


relationship ending“‘Covid ended our marriage’: The couples who split in the pandemic” – Relational strain during the pandemic is surging, particularly in marriages, as this piece from the BBC highlights. It seems like strains or difficulties that were already present have been heightened and new challenges have emerged because of the unique situation of lockdowns, children at home for schooling, job changes or loss, and so much more. The importance of reaching out for help (such as to a counselor or local church), learning to talk well together (see the previous article by David Brooks or this one on active listening), assessing your relationship, and accessing other resources is more important than ever.


books“A Year of Reading: 2020 by John Wilson” – At First Things, John Wilson offers his characteristic wide-ranging list of recommendations for reading from the past year. While I have read a couple of the books on Wilson’s list, I found many curiosities and treasures to explore, from fiction to poetry to memoir to natural history and more. If you’re looking for something to read during the long winter, Wilson’s recommendations will likely have something for you.


Indonesia SA attacks“Indonesia attacks: Army hunts suspected militants over Christian murders” – Religious persecution is not a thing of the past. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who suffer. “The Indonesian army has deployed a special force to hunt for suspected Islamic State-linked militants behind a deadly attack on Christians. Four Salvation Army members were killed – one of them beheaded – in an ambush on Sulawesi island on Friday. Intolerance against Indonesia’s Christian minority has been rising as the Muslim-majority country battles Islamist militancy. A church body denounced the killings as terrorism rather than a religious feud.”


Music: Chabros Music, “Come Worship Christ

[I do not necessarily agree with all the views expressed within the articles linked from this page, but I have read them myself in order to make me think more deeply.]