Below is the rough draft of tomorrow’s sermon on Matthew 25:31-46, separating the Sheep and the Goats.
A difficult topic for its almost too easy to be judgemental about others whereas the passage reminds us that it is Jesus and he alone who will judge, and his criteria won’t be Church attendance, or brownie points picked up for doing nice things. No, his judgement will be based on our relationship with him, and out of our love for him will flow acts of righteousness. It is because of our love of Jesus and our desire to be Christlike that we begin to see others as he would see them, and love them as he would love.
i pray that I will not be judgemental, that I will preach to myself first not others, and that we may all experience the joy if walking with Jesus.
Illustration. Poppy from the Tower came on Friday, still with mud on it. What a testimony to those men who died in WW1. Their judgement on Flanders Fields and elsewhere ………………..
1. Jesus gives a description of final judgement. Ties in with Mark 13:26 & John 5:22. He will come in glory to judge all the nations and all will acknowledge him as Lord.
Then comes the difficult part to hold onto…….. He will be like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. Sheep representing the righteous a d the goats the unrighteous.
2. Surely this raises the most important question of all for us. On judgement day where will I be standing ? In order to consider this I suggest we should first consider upon what basis will Jesus judge ?
3. Hebrews 6:10 reminds us that those who do good to others will be saved BUT it goes deeper than that for it speaks of our motivation. We should be engaged in acts of goodness because of our love of Jesus. In other words it is those who truly love Jesus who will be judged well. And out of that love of Jesus they will look after his people. Remember he told Peter, “Feed my sheep” that can only truly be done if we have first loved Jesus fr then it becomes sacrificial.
Notice though in verses 37-39 that the righteous don’t even remember they’ve done anything for Jesus. That’s because their love is so deep that it’s become an integral part of them; they’ve truly walked in faith; they’re humble.
4. And then in verse 40 that glorious phrase “What you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”
Jesus is a loving Shepherd, who came to seek the lost. His love is for all and he knows what humankind feels like: this is why when we show love to another person it’s as if we’re showing love to Jesus. This is how we serve him Matthew 10:42 ” anyone who gives even a cup of cold water to one if these little ones because he us my disciple, he will not lose his reward”
5. Let’s be clear, it’s not through the acts themselves that people are saved: it’s not about collecting divine Tesco points, but it’s through our faith in Jesus that we come to desire what He desires and we love others as He loves them.
6. So I come back to where we began: where will you be on judgement day ? Do you come to Church because you always have done or because you genuinely love Jesus ? Do you help others because that’s the decent thing to do or because you see them as Jesus sees them ?
7. Alison and I bought our Tower Poppy, not because we wanted a nice piece of ceramic in our living room or because we wanted something others won’t have, BUT because we wanted to honour a long ago, never known by us, relative of Alison’s.
Well, Jesus asks us to honour him and love him, by doing something proactive……loving them