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Judgment of the Nations

(Matthew 25:31-46)

Lesson 9 -- third quarter 2005
July 31, 2005

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2005, Christian Light Publications

Probing Your Own Heart

How aware are you of the needs of others?

Based on your life at this point, to which side would Jesus send you?

Building on Some Foundational Concepts

No person shall be exempted from the Final Judgment.

The day comes when all those created in His likeness and image shall stand before the Creator. Nobody shall avoid that day. Nobody shall miss that encounter. When the Creator calls that time, no creature shall have the option or the ability to ignore Him. Only fools and the uninformed disregard that reality at this time.

We know by what criteria the Judge will render His verdicts.

We know God is good, gracious, righteous, just, and merciful. Today's passage underscores that -- why else would He tell us in advance by what criteria He will judge us? He has told us so that we might live by that same criteria. He wants to put us on His right hand...even more than we want to be there!

The Lord takes personally how we treat His people.

We may wish to have lived at the time when Jesus walked the planet. Not only could we have heard Him in person, we could have been among those that served Him in practical ways. Jesus still walks the planet in the bodies of His people. He takes so personally how we treat His people that He will judge us by that.

Another's need is our opportunity.

Needy people abound all around us, even in the most affluent societies. Thus God gives everyone the opportunity to take their focus off themselves and turn it toward someone whom He has equipped us to bless. This works both ways -- God will also ensure that we have around us those who will see in our need a similar opportunity.

Questions and Responses

Am I accountable to help everyone in need?

No, of course not. Even so, most of us need to be more aware of, interested in, and compassionate toward the needy ones around us. Remember, it isn't just an obligation we have to the needy; it's an opportunity we have to serve Christ.

"But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" (1 John 3:17).

"For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land" (Deuteronomy 15:11).

"But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Hebrews 13:16).

"For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Hebrews 6:10).

"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10).

"Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality" (Romans 12:13).

"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. 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" (Matthew 25:40,45).

Doesn't motivation fit into this picture somehow?

"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:3).

"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 6:1).

The solution to wrong motivation isn't to cease doing good. The solution is renewing Godly motivation! "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10).

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