In Matthew 25 we get a peek at Judgment. Specifically the Final Judgment.
Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Earlier we read that this was now the fate of the 5 foolish virgins who had not trimmed their lamps with oil.
Matthew 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Matthew 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Or the servant who was given one talent…btw, this too was “…to every man according to his several ability ..”v15. Not all were given the same to work with.
He didn’t have to do much with his talent….even just earning an interest.
Matthew 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Also note the other two servants who effectively doubled what their master had given them, were both joyful to present it to back to him, while this servant was making excuses. Having hid it perhaps he really wanted to keep it for himself some day if the master never came back, we just don’t know.
“…behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. ”
“…behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. ”
“Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
Mat 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.”
His fate was also harsh:
Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Getting back to the first verses above, it appears that doing even the least bit to help out a needy neighbor can be enough…
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
I am not going to justify that passage means you can earn your way into heaven, with your works. Other passages don’t support that….and being a Calvinist, and total Biblical believer, I can’t fo there. But the final verses do offer a major caution if one is totally rejecting and ignoring those opportunities for doing at least one or a few good works along the way of our walk of faith.
Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.