Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Sheep and the Goats

"When the Son of man comes in His flory, and all the angels with him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people, one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats..." Matthew 25:31-32

When Jesus comes, He's going to separate people into two categories based on one condition. Know what that is? Its not confession alone, its not by prayer for forgiveness, its not by baptism, but by how you treated "the least of these." Yes we are reconciled (restored) to God through faith, confession and baptism, but those are lived out every day by following Jesus.

We follow Him best by giving ourselves to the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the sick, the blind, the deaf, the wounded, the lost. All of us can say we have fit into one of those categories at one point in our lives whether phycially or even more importantly spiritually.

Are we doing all that we can to give ourselves to them? If not we end up as goats. You can read further in Matthew to see your fate.

Look at the Israelites in the Old Testament. By the arrival of Jesus, they were cut off from God. We read in Romans especially chapters 9-11 how Israel did not believe and thus God's attention turned to the Gentiles. The Israelites not only didn't believe, but also read all of the Old Testament, and show me a consistent pattern if you even find one where the Israelites cared that other nations didn't believe in the one true God. Show me where they said "Oh look, the Amorites don't believe in God. We should take God to them."

Because of their self interest, God turned elsewhere. He leaves the door open for them, but now He is expressly inviting the Gentiles. Check out my next post for more thoughts on that idea of the Gentiles over the Jews, and a deeper look at Romans 9-11.

Are we serving the least of these? Are we living and doing?

We can all pray for God to create in us a more compassionate heart. I have been, and since He's shown me plenty of opportunities of how to show love to people.

Will we be a sheep?

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