Judge #5 – Tough Love
Mark O’Connor | Student Director
So often, we like to think of Jesus as a loving, caring figure in our lives. These things are very true. What we do not like to think of so much is that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and will one day decide whether we will spend our eternity in Heaven or Hell. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus is speaking about the Final Judgment after He returns for the second time. He will separate the nations into two groups, placing the sheep at His right and goats on His left. He goes on to say in Matthew 25:34-40,
“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. 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, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 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.’”
He tells us that there is more to our faith than just believing. There are many verbs in the verses above. Our faith is to be an action, and we will be judged accordingly. Living out our faith and experiencing a relationship with Jesus is what we should be striving for. I can recall a time when I was just going thru the motions of church. I would show up on Sunday when I could, or wanted. My wife was becoming more active in serving and was just there. An emptiness was growing inside as I watched others growing and I stayed stagnant. James tells us in 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Jesus warns us what will happen later in Matthew 25:41-46,
“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. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 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.’ 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?’ 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.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
We will be held accountable for our action or inaction as we stand before Jesus when our days here on Earth have ended. It is not enough to just be present at a Sunday gathering. When I truly submitted to what God was telling me to do, I quickly found a joy in my life that had been missing for so long. As I began connecting with and serving alongside my fellow Christians, a true relationship began developing with Jesus, and my life has never been the same. Let’s be what the church was intended to be; not a place to gather, but a movement to share the Gospel and provide a picture of who Jesus is and the sacrifice that he made for us.