Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words
I understand the power of grace, and am grateful for it. I understand that those walking in the light have lenience with God, and I’m grateful for that! But I still wonder what I’m missing. Many (maybe most) Christians feel the same way. We want Jesus to come back as soon as possible! But the thought is also terrifying. After all, a lot of Christians will be shocked when they’re condemned at judgment (Matt 7.21). So how do we avoid that eternal gut punch?
Obviously, the first step is to join God’s family the way he said to. “Being saved” is not just about rescue from sin. That’s part of it! Being saved is about the last day. When Jesus separates humanity into two camps (Matt 25.32), we want to be in the one that doesn’t get destroyed.
Notice what Jesus tells people on both sides: “I was hungry, so you gave me food. I was thirsty, so you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, but you invited me into your home. I had no clothes, so you gave me some. I was sick, so you took care of me. I was in prison, so you visited me” (Matt 25.34-36).
If that statement applies to someone, they’re saved. If it doesn’t, they’re out of luck.
It’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t say, “You had the correct view of worship. You debated the plan of salvation with religious groups. You read your bible every day.” Those are critical (see the whole New Testament), so don’t misunderstand me.
But when Jesus addresses both groups, their fate will be decided by how they treated God’s family.
So what do we take away from this?
- Take care of the physical needs of church family.
- Be very careful about criticizing the church. Err on the side of caution.
- Keep priorities where they need to be. There’s a time and place for defending God’s word and his teachings! But most of our energy should be dedicated to what matters most to Jesus.
When we take care of each other, we’ll be told, “My father has nothing but praise for you! Come with me, you’ve inherited the kingdom that was made for you when we created the world” (Matt 25.34).