Friday, November 21, 2014

Christ the King

Christ the King
23 November 2014
Matthew 25:31-46
What you need to know concerning the end

Christ the King will judge the nations. At the end of time. Christ will come. As judge of the nations. As the Shepherd-King, Jesus will separate the sheep and goats. The good and the bad. The basis of the separation is the nations’ ministering or lack of ministering to the hungry, thirsty, sick, and imprisoned.

This passage is not primarily an appeal for social justice or economic aid. The main point is the coming separation of the good and the bad that are destined for either heaven or hell. It should also be noted that what was done to Christ was done not to people in general, but to “the least of these my brethren.” The brethren are Jesus’ disciples. In other words, your brothers and sisters in Christ.   We pray…

“Almighty and everlasting God whose will it is to restore all things to your beloved Son, whom you anointed priest forever and king of all creation: Grant that all people of the earth, now divided by the power of sin, may be united under the glorious and gentle rule of your Son.”

Most of us have an interest and curiosity of what will happen to us at the end of the world. Is there or is there not a judgment? Is there really a heaven and a hell?
Jesus Himself makes certain affirmations concerning the end.  People need to be assured and reminded of these facts.  They make a difference in our way of life.

Outline: What can we learn from this text about the end?

1. Jesus is the judge of all people — v. 32.  All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats

Before Him will be gathered all the nations of the earth. All must be summoned before Christ's tribunal. Every person. Of every age. Of the entire world.  From the beginning to the end of time will be placed before Him.  All the nations. Of men that have ever existed.  Every person. Who has ever walked on all the face of the earth.  All will be summoned before Jesus the Shepherd King. It will be the day of the final accounting of the entire world.

2. As there is a judgment, there will be a time of accountability — v. 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.  Jesus did not say that He would put the rich on His right hand and the poor on His left. He did not say He will put the learned and the noble on His right hand, and unlearned and despised on His left; but the godly on His right. And the wicked on His left.

A distinction will then be made. Between the precious and the vile.  He shall separate them.  One from another.  As the tares and wheat are separated at the harvest.  As the good fish and the bad are divided at the shore.  As the corn and chaff is separated on the threshing floor.  You cannot determine a righteous man from an unrighteous person just by observation. Both the wicked and the godly dwell together.

In the same kingdom. In the same city. In the same church. In the same family.  They are not obvious by simple observation. You can’t tell one from another. But on that day. They will be separated. And parted forever.

3. There is a heaven and hell — vv. 34, 41, 46.  Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;…These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

God indeed tempts no one. Satan does the tempting. He has the purpose of leading us into misbelief, despair, and other great sham and vice. God’s purpose is to test and strengthen faith. The devil uses temptation to destroy our faith.

Neither does He send people to hell. He has prepared hell “for the devil and his angels.” People end up in hell by their own choosing. They reject grace.

Jesus tells us that the eternal hope of the righteous is found in Him. It is offered not as a reward. It is as gift.  Just as eternal punishment awaits the unrighteous. They are apart from Him because they have rejected Him. In the end, He will have to say, “Well then, have it your way.”  

We know. None is righteous. St. Paul reminds us in Romans 3:10, As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one…”Our only hope is found in Christ. Faith alone justifies. Declaring us righteous in God's sight.  Paul continues Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. Romans 3:20-21.

If we are to be found righteous. It must come from outside of us. It is found in Christ our Savior. It comes to us as a gift. Now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Romans 3:22.

4. Compassion is the basis for judgment — v. 40.  The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me. St. Francis of Assisi is to have said: "Preach the Gospel at all times- and when necessary - use words."  

The faith is taught and it is caught. By word and deed we are to express the compassion of Jesus Christ especially to the least of these as such, we should include them in our circle of compassion and mercy.

The key word is the word -   When (vv. 37-39). Three times, the righteous asked the King the same question. And when did we see thee...?”  They served Christ without knowing it.

It was a natural, spontaneous, automatic expression of compassion for those in need. This they did without any thought. It came naturally for them. As they did it, they did it unto Christ.
Words – 1111
Passive Sentences –16%
Reading Ease –79.9%

Reading Level – 4.6

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