Judgment Day (Matthew Sermon 134 of 151)
August 08, 2010 | Andrew Davis
I believe one of the most serious responsibilities a pastor has in life, and one of the most serious responsibilities I have in this church is to keep Judgement Day in front of you constantly, to get you ready for what's really coming. The Day of the Lord is coming, and the Bible makes it plain that there is a day coming in which He will judge all humanity. When the Apostle Paul stood before the Greek philosophers in the Areopagus at Mars Hill, he finished his message with these words, Acts 17:31, "God has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man that He has appointed." Later, when Paul stood before the Roman governor, Felix, on trial for his life, Paul turned the tables and gave Felix a sense of the time when he would stand on trial for his soul. In Acts 24:25, as Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became afraid and said, "That's enough for now. You may leave. When I find it convenient, I'll send for you." Felix dismissed Paul because he could not handle the thought of Judgement Day, it made him feel uncomfortable. But I tell you that concept cannot be easily dismissed by sending the messenger away. You can dismiss the messenger but Judgement Day stands, Judgement Day looms, it is coming. I think it's one of my responsibilities to get you ready for that day. As the Lord Jesus Christ finished his discourse on the Mount of Olives, He's getting his disciples ready for his Second Coming. They had asked him, "When will these things be, the destruction of Jerusalem? What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
In Matthew 24 and 25, He's been answering those questions and He ends with this teaching, what's commonly called the sheep and the goats, sometimes wrongly called the parable of the sheep and the goats. This isn't a parable, actually. It's a simple description from our Lord Jesus Christ of elements of Judgement Day. It's a simile. A simile is a comparison of two things using the word like or as. Jesus said, "All the nations will be gathered before him, and He will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." He's going to put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. What is being compared? Separation. Righteous from the unrighteous, the believers in Jesus Christ, from those who did not believe in Jesus Christ, the saved from the lost, the redeemed from the unredeemed. They're going to be separated.
Recently, I saw yet again, and you've seen it too, I'm sure, the bumper sticker that uses various religious symbols to spell out the word “co-exist.” The crescent moon forms the sea representing Islam, the peace sign forms the O, representing an end to all war. The X was made out of the star of David, representing Judaism. The I is dotted with the Wiccan symbol representing earth religions or pagan religions. The S is made out of the yin and yang circle representing Confucianism and the T of course is the cross of Christ, and we need to co-exist. It's printed by the Co-exist Foundation which seeks to promote peace between the world religions, especially through dialogue.
Jesus told the parable of the wheat and the weeds, also saying that we need to co-exist. In that, and probably in little else, Jesus and those folks agree. We have to live together, but Jesus says, the time is coming when He will separate the wheat from the weeds, and that day is Judgement Day, and we will not co-exist with them anymore. We will be separated from them, and that separation will be eternal. The harvest is the end of the age, and that's Judgement Day. Matthew 25:31-46 is, in my opinion, the plainest description of Judgement Day you will find in the Bible from the lips of Jesus. It's the plainest and clearest He ever gets, and we would do well to heed it because the Scripture reveals, He is the judge, He is the man whom God has appointed.
He begins, I think, by talking about his own glory at that time, the glory of the judge on Judgement Day. Verse 31, "When the son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory." The judge of all the Earth is the Son of Man, that's Jesus Christ. It is the unique privilege and glory of God the Son, of the Son of man, of Jesus, to judge every human being that's ever lived. It says in John 5:22-23, "Moreover, the father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father." Jesus Christ will be judge of all the earth, and every single human being will stand before Him on that dreadful day. What of the time of judgment? When will it happen? He says right here, when the Son of man comes in his glory, that's when the Judgement Day happens, the Second Coming of Christ, it's clear that Judgement Day will follow the return of Christ to the earth in glory.
What is the nature of the glory of Christ, a judgment? We know that Christ in his first advent, his first coming to earth, laid aside, all of His glory. "Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die," as it says in Hark the Herald Angels Sing. He lays his heavenly glorious aside. He was born of a human mother, Mary, in very rude and poverty-stricken circumstances. He was laid in a manger where animals feed, and from that point on, as He grew up, He looked like any ordinary man. That feeling of the ordinary-ness of Jesus reached its climax at the cross, when Jesus was shedding his blood, dying like two other guys who were being crucified with him. Isaiah 53 says, "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him. Nothing in his appearance that we should desire Him.”
The Second Coming of Christ
However, at the Second Coming of Christ, that will all be different, won't it? He's going to come back in a radiant heavenly glory. Christ's glory at the judgment will be even more ominous, even more awe-inspiring. In many cultures, judges at the time of a trial wear certain robes, even ornate robes to set them apart from anyone else in the courtroom. In the United Kingdom, especially, they wear ermine robes and purple and scarlet, silk, and when the judge appears in the courtroom, everyone's commanded to rise out of honor and respect for him and for the law that he represents. If these are the trappings of earthly judges, then how much more glory will attend the judge of all the earth when He sits on His throne? It will be an awesome display of glory and the throne itself that He's going to sit on will exude His attributes and his nature. Hebrews 1 says, "Your throne, oh God will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness, and therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." There Jesus is perhaps on a raised throne high and lifted up, glory surrounding him, and there's going to be angels there.
It's not just that there's going to be angels there, all the angels will be there. Frequently, He dispatches small contingents of angels or just maybe even a single angel, but not this time. All the angels are going to be there when the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him. He will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. Daniel 7:10 describes the scene of Judgment Day I believe very well. "A river of fire was flowing coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended Him, and 10000 times 10000 stood before him." Amazing, 100 million radiant powerful beings. These are angelic warriors, not fat little babies with tiny little wings that could not lift them with little arrows shooting, these are mighty beings. Often when angels appear, the first thing that they have to say is, "Fear not,” because there's just this radiant glory, this power that surrounds them. The Roman soldiers guarding Jesus' tomb shook with fear and became like dead men, at one angel, who moves the stone and sits on it. The Book of Daniel depicts one angel so awesome and powerful and overwhelming that Daniel said he fell at His feet as one dead, he couldn't get his breath. The Book of Revelation in Revelation 10:1-3 describes another mighty angel coming down from heaven. "He was robed in a cloud with a rainbow above his head and his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars, and he planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion." That's one angel. A big one too, I get the sense. These are awesome beings and these warrior servants; these angelic servants move people. I don't mean they move them emotionally, they might do that, but I mean they physically move people like bulldozers. They are the ones that the Lord sends out at the time of the Rapture to gather all of the Elect. But they're also going to be dispatched to gather all of the goats. All nations are going to be gathered to stand before Christ and they, the angels, will be the powerful agents of his wrath to bind the lost, the condemned hand and foot and throw them into the lake of fire.
Judgment at the Second Coming
So that's setting the scene. What of the judgment itself? It’s going to be a comprehensive judgment, all nations, all deeds, all motives laid bare. There's nothing concealed that will not be disclosed. There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. Look at Verse 32, "All nations will be gathered before him." The word ‘nation”, we've learned to understand as an identifiable people group, an ethnic or linguistic people identified by history, geography, world view. This is a nation, and in the Gospel of Matthew it says that He has its eye on the nations all the time. In Matthew 12:18-21, it says there that, "Jesus will proclaim justice to the nations. And in his name, the nations will put their hope." Matthew 24:14 says, "This Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." In that same section of Scripture, in Matthew 24:9, it says that "The messages of the gospel will be hated by all peoples on account of Christ." Then, of course, the gospel itself ends with a great commission, “‘All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me’, said Jesus, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I've commanded.’”
Jesus is a worldwide creator, Jesus is a worldwide King, he is a worldwide Savior, and He will most certainly be a worldwide judge. All nations will be gathered before him. Every single solitary person who's ever lived in every nation on Earth will be gathered before Christ's Judgment Seat. Plato, the fourth century Greek philosopher, will stand before Jesus to give an account for his life. Julius Caesar, the 1st century conqueror of Gaul, the beginning warrior of the Roman Empire really, will stand before Christ's Judgment Seat. Shakespeare, the British poet and playwright, will be there. So will Voltaire. Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin, two communist dictators are going to stand before Jesus. Osama bin Laden will be there, so will George Bush. Barack Obama's going to stand before Jesus. So will the most common street beggar in Budapest, or in Calcutta. It doesn't matter the station, everybody's going to be standing before Jesus. The word “gathered” implies something happening to you, doesn't it? All the nations will be gathered before him. It implies in some cases, as if by force. There is no choice but to heed this summons. No Muslim, for example, will be able to say, "I will not stand, I refuse to stand before a Christian judgment, I am a Muslim, and I will only stand before Allah." No, dear friend, you'll stand before Jesus Christ. The Son of Man will send out his angels and they will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin.
It is a comprehensive judgment, not just as to who is there, but as to what is open to view. It says in Hebrews Chapter 4, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from His sight, everything's uncovered and laid there before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account." Everything will be exposed, all of the deeds and all of the motives. Jesus is able to weigh the motive of every deed. Why did you do it? What were you intending when you did it? Proverbs 16:2 says, "All of man's ways seem innocent to him, but the Lord weighs the motives.” see that? He's going to be weighing the reason, He's tracing it back, and it's going to be a divisive judgment. Jesus said, "Do not suppose that I came to bring peace. I came to bring a sword to divide father against son, daughter against mother and daughter-in-law... " He divides people, and this is the ultimate division here. It's a judgment. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people. One from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He's going to put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. We are mixed now; we will be divided then.
We must co-exist now, and it's not easy for us, is it? Surviving in an impure and mixed world. It is because of unbelievers that we have the police forces and courts and jails in the numbers that they are. It's because of unbelievers that so many laws and restrictions need to be written. It's because of unbelievers in Hollywood and New York that we are assaulted daily with images and other temptations that wage war against our souls. It is unbelievers in foreign lands that are waging war against Christians simply because they're Christians. It's unbelievers that make this alluring sinful enticing system known as, in Pilgrim's Progress, as Vanity Fair. Just what it is. However, at the end of the world, this mixed experience in which we must tolerate each other because you can't tell the difference between the weeds and the wheat right now.
I'll tell you this, Saul of Tarsus sure looked like weeds that morning that he got converted, didn't he? Praise be to God that those who look like goats to us now can actually be revealed in the end to have been a sheep, that they're going to be sheep through faith in Jesus Christ. Praise be to God; this is the day of salvation. This is the time when people can be converted. But now I'm talking about Judgement Day when there will be no conversion, the division will be perfect, there'll be no mistakes. The sheep are the sheep, and the goats are the goats. Essential to this is the perfect knowledge that the Good Shepherd has of His own sheep. He says, "I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep, and my sheep know me." No mistakes will be made. He knows the goats, but differently. He knows them, but he just knows them differently. Psalm 138:6, "Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud, he knows from afar." He knows them from a distance, just not intimately and relationally.
Those angels will make no mistakes. All the sheep will be gathered on one side and all the goats gathered on the other, and there'll be no mix ups, it will be a perfect division. And the division is eternal. Oh, the terror of those words. If you're identified as a goat, you'll be a goat for all eternity, there'll be no change. Same thing with the sheep, it's an eternal division, they will never meet again, the sheep and the goats, they will never be mixed again. They will never look on each other's faces again, after that day. I've seen some wrenching scenes in movies in which loved ones were torn apart from each other. In movies about World War II, the Nazis were especially vicious in separating families. The train would pull into Auschwitz and the doors of the cattle cars would clank open, and the SS would pull people violently down out and start separating families, and some of those people never saw each other again, men over here, women over here, those that could work over here, those that couldn't over there. This separation is far more significant than that. But if I can tell you a mystery, the sheep won't miss the goats. How could we enjoy heaven if we're forever missing the goats? A hint of this, in 1 Corinthians 16, "Anyone who will not love the Lord Jesus Christ, a curse be on him." I don't want to spend eternity with people who don't love Jesus. I want to be with people who love Jesus. We're not going to miss them, therefore. Now again, we're in a different era now. We should weep for the lost, pray for them, yearn for them, be pulling on them. Yes, now is the day of salvation. But on Judgement Day, now it's over, it's finished. We will begin for the first time to see things the way Jesus does in every respect, and love him and embrace every decision He makes, but this separation will be eternal.
The Basis of Separation on Judgment Day
This is the key to the whole message. Now, please listen, what is the basis of the separation? I'm going to go beyond what's written here, but not beyond the doctrine of the New Testament, but I'm going to find roots of that full doctrine right here in the text. I'm going to give it to you in redemptive historical order. The first basis of the separation is in the mind of God, it is eternal predestination. Before the foundation of the world, this separation had been made. Look at verse 34, "Then the King will say to those on His right, come you who are blessed by my Father." I say this is a blessing from the Father from eternity past. "Take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." Now, the clear teaching of Scripture, this division of sheep and goats existed in the mind of God, before God even said, "Let there be light." The Elect, the Bible calls them, another word for the sheep, the Elect are chosen by God for Heaven and rescued from hell. The first blessing that the Elect receive, and they don't even, they're not even in existence when they receive it, is eternal predestination, the choice of God, unconditional election, not based on merit or anything that they would do [Romans 9 through 11].
It says in Romans 11, "There is at this present time, a remnant chosen by grace, and if it is by grace then it is no longer by works. If it were by works, then grace would not be grace." So, the first blessing that the sheep received, and they don't even exist yet when they receive it, is the choice of God that they should be sheep. He says, "Come you who are blessed by my Father. Take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you, since the creation of the world." It is prepared for Christ's sheep; He knows his sheep. In God's infinite knowledge and wisdom, it's impossible to think He doesn't know by name each of those sheep, He openly says He does, He knows his sheep by name. That inheritance, that kingdom has been prepared for a specific group of people with their own stories and their own glories, their own agonies, their own struggles and conquests. What a lavish, rich tapestry of history and grace that is. I am looking forward to looking at every strand.
I want to hear all about the martyrs, don't you? I want to learn about those missionaries. I want to get in and find out how people ministered in the poorest and the most difficult places on earth. I want to know my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to study their stories. We'll have eternity to do it and it's going to be delightful. We'll be delivered from our selfishness and we'll have plenty of time. We will just be able to find out what God did in and through them. This kingdom is presently being prepared. What's going on is we are the living stones, we are the building materials, and He is preparing us for Heaven as much as he's preparing heaven for us. That's the preparation that's going on. Isn't that glorious? So, Jesus says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so I would have told you. For I'm going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am." The glory of Heaven is growing brighter and brighter and brighter with every generation of Christians and their stories and their achievements and what God does in and through them.
The second basis of separation is God blessing of those sheep in life. Something that happens to them in life, something happened to them while they live. Now they're born, they live for a number of years, they're drawing breath, they have a bunch of experience, then God blesses them. What does He bless them with? He blesses them with salvation. He blesses them with Christ, He blesses them with revelation. You remember when Jesus was gathered with His disciples in Caesarea Philippi, He said, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They gave a bunch of answers. He said, "What about you? Who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter, speaking for all of us as believers said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Do you remember what Jesus said to him? "Blessed are you. Blessed are you, Simon, son of John, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven, revealed into your heart who I am." God blesses the sheep with a revelation of Christ. God speaks the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ, right into their souls, and they are born again.
The same thing happens at the end of John's gospel. Thomas said to Jesus, that great confession, "My Lord and my God.” Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed." What's the next word? "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Has that blessing come to you? Have you received that blessing? Have you received the blessing of conversion of the image of God and your soul of Christ? And this blessing too, Romans 4:7-8, "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him." The blessing that you receive in this life, the blessing of hearing of the gospel, but God doesn't just do that, He gives you the twin graces of repentance and faith. He gives that to you as a gift. Then He takes out your heart of stone, and He gives you a heart of flesh, and you respond. You might have heard it many times before, but now you're moved. You see it, and He blesses you with the new birth, and with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. He's just lavishing blessing on you. The sheep are no different than the goats. Do you understand that? We're no different. We're no better than they are. We're the same people. But it's the blessing of God that makes the difference.
Now what happens? The third basis of separation is that those sheep at a certain point repented and believed in Jesus. Actively, they believed, they trusted, they turned away from their sins. This is not so evident in the sheep and the goats, but this is what it says, "The King will say to those on His right, 'Come you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom.'" The key concept here is an inheritance, a kingdom, something that's promised. Jesus began His preaching, saying, "The time has come. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news." If you repent and believe, you get a promise, you get an inheritance. You get a kingdom. They believed the gospel, they trusted, and this inheritance was given to them, they became heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ of heaven, and they get this beautiful inheritance, this kingdom given them as a gift. Notice in verse 37, the Lord calls them righteous. “Then the righteous will answer, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?” Etcetera. How did they get this label “righteous”? Let me tell you something, if there's a good time and a good place to be called righteous, Judgment Day is it, don't you think? And even better, if it's Jesus, the judge, calling you righteous, how sweet is that? Jesus calls them righteous. It says in Romans 3:10, "There is no one righteous, not even one." How did they become righteous? They believed in Jesus, they trusted in Him, and the righteousness of God was given as a gift. Then on Judgement Day, they're vindicated in that righteousness. That's the third basis: [Romans 3:22], this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
The fourth basis and the one most obvious from the text is a lifestyle of good works, that flows from the first three. True faith always results in a lifestyle of Christ-focused good works. "For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them." [Ephesians 2:10]. Notice that these good works are Christ-focused. Everything the sheep do they're doing for Christ's pleasure, for Christ's glory, to minister to Christ's people. Look at verse 35, and following, "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. And then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you something to drink. When did we see you a stranger, invite you in and needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and help you?’ And then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’” Clearly, the righteous sheep wanted to please Christ with their actions. Christ Himself was the focus of their desires, and then they acted. It was simple and practical, they fed hungry people, they gave drink to thirsty people, they invited strangers in, they were inviting hospitality kind of people, they clothed the naked, they provided clothes for people, they looked after sick people in their time of struggle and distress, visited prisoners as well.
In every case, these sheep were truly ministering to Christ. Notice that the sheep are not falsely humble here, they're just stunned by the fact that anything they would do would look good in that context, the holiness of Christ, and those eyes of blazing fire. "Lord when did we do anything for you?" Don't you feel that now? I don't feel like I do anything really perfectly for Jesus, everything is marred and flawed in some way, because I've touched it. When did I do anything? And He said, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did." Oh, what a sweet word, “whatever” is. I mean, that's... Gives you freedom, right? Whatever you want to do for the body of Christ, just do it. Do something for a brother or sister, do something for Jesus. "Whatever you did, you did it for me."
We're going to talk about the sheep and the goats and mercy ministry in the next message, but we'll just leave it there. I want you to notice therefore the four-fold basis of separation, it starts before the foundation of the world, in the mind of God, it's an eternal plan. It starts there, eternal predestination, resulting in the temporal blessings of the Gospel that come in in space and time into the sheep's life at the right time, resulting in the sheep repenting and actually believing in Jesus, resulting in good works, which are described here. It's the exact opposite for the goats all the way across. Rejected by God before the foundation of the world, under the curse of Adam, under the curse of the law, they stand fully accountable for their own sins, they have no Savior. They reject Christ and the Gospel; they turn their back on Christ and the Gospel and they have no Christ-centered good works.
Now, I find it interesting on their rejection of Christ, notice that they call him Lord here. Have you noticed that? I find that interesting. Look at Verse 44, then the goats are going to answer, "Lord," just stop there. I find that an interesting word, especially when spoken by Voltaire, don't you think? Or Thomas Jefferson who said, "The doctrine of the trinity will someday be seen to be a myth like Minerva bringing fully formed out of the brain of Jupiter." We know that's a myth, and so the Trinity is a myth. Or this quote from Benjamin Franklin. "As to Jesus of Nazareth, I have some doubts as to His divinity. Though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon having never studied it and think it needless to busy myself with it now when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with much less trouble." If that doesn't bring a chill to you, you need to read it and think again, what he's saying. He says, I'll find out whether Jesus is God or not. Oh, he'll find out. He has found out.
You need to find out now, by faith that Jesus is Lord, because you're going to say it then either way. "Before me, every knee will bow. By me, every tongue will swear that Jesus Christ is Lord," it says. Richard Dawkins, who doesn't even think that Jesus really existed, will, find that he not only existed, but is his judge. All of these men are going to say, "Lord."
The Work of the Goats is Not Christ-Centered
I want to say just a brief word about the good works. Did they really do no good works at all, the goats, nothing? They didn't feed any hungry people; they didn't put any clothes on the naked? Well, I think the goats break into two categories on this one. First, there are some that literally didn't. They didn't care at all about anybody. They lived selfish self-feeding lives, and they walked by the guy on the Jericho Road, and they don't give a rip, they just walk right on by and they don't care. There are goats like that.
But there are other kind of goats too aren't there? There's some that actually spend a lot of their time doing these kinds of good things, these good works. There are secular aid agencies, like for example, the International Red Cross, helping 97 million people worldwide. I would think many, if not most of their volunteers do nothing in the name of Jesus Christ, they just do good works to help people in disaster areas. But here's the key. They don't do anything in Jesus’ name. United Nations aid agencies, they're all over the world, alleviating human suffering. How about the federal government itself? Does it feed anybody? Does it clothe anybody? Are there programs for the poor and needy? Oh yes. Can you do those and never think about Jesus at all? Oh yes. As a matter of fact, that almost seems to be a goal, the secularization of these kinds of good works. That will not work on Judgement Day, friends.
Other charities which were begun by Christians and begun in Christ's name, now have drifted. They are still done by many Christians, but open to non-Christians to take part. Like the YMCA, for example, or Habitat for Humanity. You don't have to be a Christian to go build a house for somebody. There are non-Christian religions that have aid agencies, there's something called the Red Crescent, which is the Islamic version of the Red Cross operating in Muslim countries. There are many famous rock stars and movie personalities that get involved in things like tennis matches for Haiti and things like that, you know what I'm talking about. Or “We are the World” kind of concerts. You know what I'm talking about. I mean, they have a certain number of pet issues that they definitely get involved, but it's not a surprise to see them involved. Are you shocked when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Elton John and others do concerts for AIDS victims? I'm not shocked by that. Doesn't surprise me at all. I know Christians do those kinds of things too. But the key issue here is that none of those non-Christians, none of the goats, did anything for Jesus.
They're not trying to minister to Jesus, they're not trying to minister to Christ's people, they're not trying to find who are Jesus' brothers and sisters and care for them, they don't care about Jesus at all. They're not thinking about Jesus, Jesus is irrelevant to their lives. But can I tell you He will not be irrelevant on Judgement Day; He will be the relevance on Judgement Day. What did you do for me through caring for these? The King is going to tell them, "Depart from me, you who are cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
Anything not done in obedience to Christ's commands by faith in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, for the body of Christ and for the up building thereof is no good work on Judgement Day. That's all I'm saying, and the outcome will be eternal -an eternal separation, eternal punishment and eternal life.
What applications can we take from this? First, I urge you to come to Christ if you're here in a lost state. You can't get across that barrier, once the separation's made, it's stone. Now is the time to cross over from death to life. John 5:24, "Whoever hears my Word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, he has crossed over from death to life." Let now be the day for you to do that. Look to Christ crucified, He shed His blood for sinners like you and me. It will be enough for you on Judgement Day, it will be infinitely enough for you on Judgement Day, trust in Him. But if you're a Christian, I urge you to make Judgement Day come alive in your mind every day, make it part of your quiet time. Say, “I know I'm going to stand before you, I want to be rich in good works." If I can give you a hint on that, please focus on the body of Christ, even in evangelism, what are you doing? Paul says, "I suffer everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." That's our mission. We want others to come and join the body of Christ, the brothers and sisters in Christ. If I can urge you, please first of all, have a ministry to build up the body of Christ. Get involved in women's ministry, if that's your calling as a woman. Get involved in international student ministry or urban ministry, look at the ministry teams and say, "I want to be rich on Judgement Day" and minister to the body of Christ. "Whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you do it for me." I just want there to be lots of whatevers for us. By the power of the Spirit, we can be rich in good works.