We say that our God is a good God and he is! But then we come across some of the teachings of Jesus and see that they can be quite sobering, and if you’re anything like me, you might find yourself quickly passing over “those” verses. Why? Because they are filled with great warning, and not just for the world, many are for the church, his church. I recently read a post from our older son that reads, “We will often find if we pass by the scriptures regarding the poor and needy, we will likewise pass by the poor and needy in our own communities and world. It is through the scriptures that the Holy Spirit convicts us, calls us to repentance and leads us to action. Through them we learn Jesus doesn’t pass by.”
In my opinion I have found that the modern day church wants only to be comforted (I used to be in this camp as well). We do not think that our loving, kind and merciful God is going to “judge” every single human being that he has created. Of course we believe the “world” is going to be judged, but we refuse to believe that his judgement is for his church as well. One of the new testament chapters (that most of us pass by) is Mathew 25, specifically verses 31-46. Here Jesus speaks plainly of what is going to take place on judgement day and “who” is going to be there: I not only dare but also encourage you to not “pass by” what you are about to read:
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep (the follower of Jesus) from the goats (Those who refuse to keep his words, those who refuse to follow and do what he says). 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left (those who passed by) and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused (I instructed you in my words and teaching but you ignored them) to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous (the one who believed on Jesus AND loved his/her neighbor with action) will go into eternal life.”
SAVED BY GRACE (Yes, no works can save you) -CREATED TO DO GOOD WORKS (Now that you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, God ordained you and called you to DO good deeds, Ephesians 2:8-10): We’ve been taught, “Well, I’m saved so now I don’t have to do anything except read my Bible (only the comforting scriptures), go to church and give some money”, and yet Jesus says “Why do you call me Lord and not do what I say?”
We do not realize it but we (his church) have become the man that Jesus talks about in these next verses. We’ve decided to “sit back and relax”:
“Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops.17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:16-21
But you might be saying, “Yeah, but Jesus is talking about a rich person” yes, that’s true, but did you ever think that you are rich? Do you have more than one shirt or coat? Do you have food in your refrigerator or pantry? When John the Baptist was “preparing the way for the Lord” he said, “He (and she) that has 2 coats, give to those that have none, and if you have extra meat, do the same” Luke 3:11. If we have 2 or more of anything, compared to the poor, we ARE rich. And if you’ll notice that in the verses above in Mathew 25, Jesus said he is gathering “all nations” that means everyone. No one is exempt.
Jesus himself showed my husband over 14 years ago that what He says in Mathew 25 is real, and that it is not a parable or a story. He said, “This is going to happen one day!” From then on we preach Jesus, God’s Grace AND our responsibility once we receive His grace to get busy. To not ignore those verses. To listen to the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and do what he says.
If you want to study more verses, we have found over 80 of them in both the old and new testament: “80 Bible Passages on Social Justice”
Join us next time you’re in the Daytona Beach area as we provide food, music and Jesus for our homeless friends and needy families every Saturday 5-6pm at 320 North Street, Daytona Beach, FL
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