Saturday, November 08, 2008

Final Judgment

November 8: Matthew 25

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the 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 foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Matthew 25:31-46

Final Judgment

I must admit that this is not a subject I prefer writing about, but to neglect to do so would be to neglect the very words of Christ, Himself. I know of no other passage that paints such a stark difference between the Children of Christ and the unbelievers with such finality. It is the end; there is no more to be written!

In verses 31-40, shown above, Christ tells of the time when He will return with all of His angels and shall sit on the throne of judgment over mankind. No man from the beginning of time until that moment at the end of time will be exempt from this judgment; all will be there. As Christ peers over the multitudes, He will separate everyone into two classes just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. There will be no mistakes, for Christ's judgment will be perfect!

On His right He will place His own dear children with the words of comfort, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

To those on His left He speaks terrifying words of truth, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."

The jokes about heaven and hell do abound, do they not? You have all seen pictures--even in cartoons--of the devil with his red suit and long pitchfork dwelling among the flames. Who has not heard a person exclaim, "I do not care if I am going to hell; that is where all of my friends will be."

However, on the day of judgment, no one will be laughing. Neither will anyone doubt the reality of God and His supreme rule over all. Even the ungodly will bow the knee before Christ on that day!

As Christians, we truly need to wake up! We know these things, but have often been lulled to sleep by complacency. Tell me, what things in this life could ever be more important than living and sharing the Gospel with all of those around us? Are we reluctant because we do not want to face their taunting, their jeering, and their contempt? But, on that last day, will they still hold you in contempt?

Our purpose, from the moment we become a Christian, is to live every single day to the honor and glory of God. That does not mean that everyone must become a pastor, a missionary, or an evangelist; it does mean that wherever God has placed us, we are to be a beacon for Christ.

Where will you be on the day of final judgment? Will you be among the sheep, or among the goats? What about your friends and your family--where will they be?

Yes, these are sobering questions, because this is a sobering time!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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