First, let me say that I agree with your general doctrine here. There will some who will have greater rewards in heaven than others. (see 2 Corinthians 5:10) But, the question does come up regarding sorrow in Heaven, because we are told in the Bible that there will be none (Revelation 7:16-17).
With that in mind, let's look at the texts RBG provided us with.
Concerning Matthew 22:1-14: this is the parable of the wedding banquet. We have to be careful here to recognize who Jesus is talking about. Obviously, the king is God Himself, and the son represents Jesus. The wedding banquet represents the day of redemption, the bride (though not mentioned in the parable) would be His Church (Revelation 21:2). Who are the ones first invited that rejected the invitation? These would be the Jews. Some may come, of course, and the offer is good to all, but they have chosen to reject it. Notice that in verse six, they killed the messengers who proclaimed the invitation. This we can easily see represents the murder of the prophets, and the judgment of the king on the people represents the exile.
Now, who, then, are the others invited? These would be the Gentiles. The offer is good to all, and all can come. Let's note a few things about this invitation:
1) It is free: the Gospel is free to all. It merely needs to be accepted, not earned.
2) Both good and bad will be gathered together. Our own righteousness does nothing to help or hurt our invitation, nor does our unrighteousness.
3) Wedding clothes were required at the banquet. However, these were poor people, so they could not afford it. In the same way, righteousness is required in Heaven, but we are poor before God, and cannot afford this garment. It was the custom of that day to provide wedding clothes to those the person who was invited but could not supply his own. In the sam way, the "garment of righteousness" is supplied by the King in heaven.
4) Some will enter the banquet hall, but will not accept the gift of righteousness. This is a grave offense. We were invited freely, brought freely, and clothed freely, but to reject the final of these is to show distain for the Lord of the House.
My conclusion on this is that the man under judgement does NOT represent the fallen Christian. He corresponds to the one who will say, "Lord, Lord."
On a side note, verse fourteen is critical to this interpretation. It reads, "For many are invited, but few are chosen.” This is the concluding statement of the parable. Is this, though, in reference to the man in verses 11-13? I don't think so, given the fact that this was told to help the Jews realize that they were about to miss out on the promise. Remember, this is in Matthew's gospel, which was written to convince the Jew, not encourage the Christian! It seems better to me (and a few commentaries I have here
) that this verse is in reference to the "big idea" of the parable. That is, many are called--indeed, all are called, first the Jew then the Gentile. But, few are chosen (not in the Calvinistic sense, for we see the first invitees rejected the offer themselves). If "few are chosen" is a refence to non-believers, then it follows that the man in verse 11-13 was a non-believer, not a backslidden Christian.
In other words, verse fourteen provides the Big Idea (read, context) from which we interpret the rest of the parable rather than the other way around, which would render the offender a backslidden Christian.
Now, concerning Matthew 24:45-51 : this COULD refer to the Christian. Specifically, it refers to teachers/pastors, as the context is Jesus' warning the disciples to be ready for His return. I am reminded of James 3:1, "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment." (NASB) As previously noted in 2 Cor. 5:10, all will be recompensed for their deeds in this life. This even more true concerning those who have been put in positions of authority.
I suppose this passage could be used to argue a loss of salvation, but, of course, the rest of our theology totally rejects that concept. Given the previously mentioned verses, it seems to me there are two possible interpretations. The first is that those who fall into judgement will have proved themselves to have never been born again in the first place, for they will be assigned a place "with the hypocrites." (Remember, "Lord, Lord!") The other possibility is that this is a strong warning of the loss of one's inheritance in the Kingdom of God (c.f. 1 Cor. 3:5). Both interpretations can be valid.
Concerning Matthew 25:1-30 : We have the parables of the virgins and the servants with the talents. Now, the first obviously refers to those who were not ready for the return of Christ. How are we ready? If not by works, then it must be by faith. In fact, the virgins who were left behind use the words, "Lord, Lord!" which is very reminiscent of Matthew 7:21-23. So, the contrast here is between people who claim righteousness (c.f. 2 Titus 3:5) and those who actually possess it. Taking this same idea across to the next parable of the servants, we see that one is given five talents, one two, and one only one. The first two are faithful, and they use what they have (2 Co. 5:10). The last, though, is not. Now, just as in the previous parable, the lost virgins did not represent Christians, neither does the wicked servant. If you note his attitude, he thinks of his master as hard and ruthless, so he does not invest his gifts but rather hides them away.
We may be tempted to view this last servant as a Christian, because he is given gifts of God. Christians are given gifts of God, and they are to serve Him, so why are these not the same? The basic reason, I believe, is that these talents do not refer to spiritual gifts, which are available only to true Christians. This refers, instead, to everything God has given. Every gift comes from God, even those that are not "spiritual gifts." (c.f. Matthew 5:25, James 1:17). James makes it clear in James 2 that it is not faith that saves, but a faith that works
that saves (more literally, it is a faith through which genuine works may flow that brings salvation, for this faith is "living" because it is based on Life Himself. Grace can only flow through a living faith, and it is grace that saves.). Now, this second servant did not work, but rather hid away his treasure (c.f. Luke 12:16-21). Therefore, his faith was not genuine, and like the virgins, he will be in the camp that cries "Lord, Lord!" In fact, the next section in our passage is revealing. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus talks about the sheep and the goats--that is, those who are saved versus those who thought
they were saved. But what is the context? Remember, Jesus just finished comparing a group of people who were ready and a group who wasn't, and a group whose work was genuine and a group whose work wasn't. These are, again, sheep and goats.
Luke 13:22-30, though applicable to Christians, was designed to be a wakeup call to the Jews. "How many will be saved?" is the question. This was asked by a Jew and answered to the Jews, and note the "yourselves" in verse twenty-eight.
Matthew 8:5-12 presents us with the same scenario. Those "children of the kingdom" are the Jews. Note, again, the context. This is a Gentile who understands the faith, and Jesus has never seen this in all of Israel.
So, in all of these passages, we have only one reference to the loss of reward in heaven. The rest are references to either the rejection of salvation by the Jews or warnings to those who think they are Christians, but really are not (because they aren't ready).
I'll deal with John 14 tomorrow. There is, without question, an interesting parallel between that passage and the only one (Matthew 24:45-51) passage here that might deal with the Christian's loss of inheritance. But, before we get into that, let me just say that we shouldn't expect Jesus to comment too much on this, so we shouldn't be surprised that He doesn't. Jesus was proclaiming salvation to the Jews. He wasn't encouraging an existing church. To be sure, He offered some words of encouragement to His disciples, but that wasn't His purpose. We see that type of writing in the epistles, which is exactly where we would expect to find it. I'll bring up a good bit from them in regard to the title of the topic tomorrow.
In the mean time, I hope this helps. Sorry for the length . . . that's lots of Bible to comment on