After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
It was when the master returned that he took account of his servants. And it will be at the return of our Lord Jesus that He will summon His servants to stand before His judgment seat, not to be condemned for their sins, for that judgment is past (John 5:24), but to render an account of their service. Both for Israel and the church, rewards are to be given out at His coming (see Isaiah 62:11 and Revelation 22:12).
The wicked and slothful servant does not represent a child of God, because he is cast into the outer darkness. He has nothing for which he can be rewarded. It is otherwise with those who are regenerated. Of them it is written that in that day, “then each one’s praise will come from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5). This refers, of course, not to every man as such, but to every one of those who appear at the judgment seat of Christ, where only believers will stand.
If we use whatever gifts we have in dependence on God, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem, we shall find our capacity for service increasing constantly. We are told to earnestly desire the best gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31), and to use them in love.
Go on, go on; there’s all eternity to rest in,
And far too few are on the active service list.
No labor for the Lord is risky to invest in;
But nothing will make up, should His “Well done” be missed.
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 172.