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True Faith is Proved by Good Deeds (Matthew 25:31-46)

Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

True Faith is Proved by Good Deeds (Matthew 25:31-46)

06.21.2015

06.21.2015-PHeo

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Sermon Notes

True Faith is Proved by Good Deeds

Matthew 25:31-46 (Pastor Heo)

What is the difference between sermon and testimony?

  • Same: subject = Christ
  • Different: material
  • Testimony = personal experience + Word of God
  • Sermon = Word of God

The Sheep and the Goats

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. 32 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. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For 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, 36 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.’ 

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 

40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 

45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”


 

There are 6 items (v. 35-36)

Conclusion is:
Eternal life in heaven for those who believe in Christ

OR Eternal death and torment in hell for those who do not believe

Last Sunday: faithful/unfaithful

  1. What has God given you?
  2. What are you doing with what God gave you?
  3. What do you believe about your Lord?
  4. What do you think God will say about you at the Judgment?

Today, the sheep and goats.

Yes, originally, Jesus came as the most powerless – a baby.

In his Second Coming, he will come as the most powerful – the reigning King over all the earth and all time.

  • ALL the angels with him –
  • ALL the nations before him –
  • He will separate the people one from another
  • Believer/non, Saved/lost, Christian/non, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Jesus used sheep vs. goats to picture the difference between Christians and not.

  • During the day, sheep and goats graze together. But at night, they are separated.
  • During the growing season, weeds and wheat are grown together. But at the harvest they are separated.

Likewise, in life, the “sheep” and “goats” work together and play together in the same place, even the same church, but at the Judgment, we will be separated.

At the Judgment, he will say to the righteous, “Come and partake of the inheritance that has been prepared for you…”

  1. I was hungry, you fed me
  2. I was thirsty, you gave me a drink
  3. I was a stranger, you invited me in
  4. I needed clothes, you clothed me
  5. I was sick, you looked after me
  6. I was in prison, you visited me

Likewise, the opposite is also true for the unrighteous.

From this story, one thing we must NOT be confused by: it seems to teach salvation by good works – not so! There is NO salvation by good works – nobody at any time was ever saved by good works. The OT saints were saved by faith, the NT saints were saved by faith in Christ. We are being saved by faith in Christ. There is no gospel of “DO GOOD.” Yes, we must do good, but this is not the gospel.

Romans? “It is only by grace you have been saved by faith so that no one can boast – this not of yourselves, but it is a gift of God.”

  1. Habakkuk 2
  2. Romans 11
  3. Corinthians? Colossians?
  4. Hebrews 10:38 

All say the same thing, “The righteous will live by FAITH!”

This story is not teaching “salvation by works” but “EVIDENCE of salvation by works.”

You know a tree by its fruit. Likewise, you know genuine salvation by its works.

When we compare two judicial sentences (34, 41)

  1. One for believers (righteous)
  2. One for left siders (unrighteous)
  • v. 34: “’Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for tyou since the creation of the world.”
  • v. 41 “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

What’s the difference?

The righteous = blessed by Father God

  1. v. 41 is NOT cursed “by my Father” – just “cursed” – God does not want to curse anyone
  2. v. 34 = inheritance (by birth) – this kingdom prepared for YOU since the creation of the world
  3. v. 41 = this kingdom prepared for the DEVIL
  4. The fire was NOT prepared for YOU

There is no evidence from Scripture that says that God predestines sinners to go to hell. (send to Twitter)

But, if sinners do not repent and believe in Christ, that’s where they’ll end up.

There are 4 lessons here.

1. God will judge us according to our ACTION in response to human needs (our HELP). He does not judge us according to our KNOWLEDGE, reputation, fortune, degrees, etc.

Remember Revelation 22: “Behold I am coming soon! I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

2. There are certain things we must know about the HELP we must give.

It must be help in SMALL things.

You know the things here that Jesus picks out are things that ANYBODY can do.

6 items:

  1. I was hungry, you fed me
  2. I was thirsty, you gave me a drink
  3. I was a stranger, you invited me in
  4. I needed clothes, you clothed me
  5. I was sick, you looked after me
  6. I was in prison, you visited me

Imagine these 6 items is NOT a big “give a million dollars” kind of thing – this list describes acts of mercy that we can do EVERY day in our EVERY day lives.

This does not depend on being wealthy, ability, nor intelligence. No special talent is needed. This is a VERY simple action – just to help others (the Golden Rule). Jesus demands our PERSONAL involvement in helping others.

Jesus actually repeated this list of 6 items FOUR times – this shows how important it is as a guideline (not exhaustive) to lead our lives.

3. These deeds were uncounted.

Both the righteous and unrighteous were surprised by what the did or did not do.

The righteous did not think they were helping Christ and piling up eternal reward. They simply, naturally helped because they had a loving heart. Their motive was NOT reward, but sacrificial reward – this was just an ordinary, daily, instinctive lifestyle. This was not a “special” event.

The unrighteous reaction was the same “Really? When? How?” This was in self-defense. “Oh Lord, of COURSE I would have helped if I KNEW it was you. But at that time, I thought that person was just a regular old guy.” Remember, if we help for popularity or publicity, this is NOT true help – not generosity.

The help which wins the real approval of God is “help for nothing but the sake of helping itself.”

4. Jesus confronts us with the wonderful truth that ALL such help given in this way is given to himself. At the same time, ALL such help NOT given is help that is withdrawn from him.

If you are parents, it is not difficult to understand this.

  • If somebody helps my son, his help for my son is helping me – if I’m a good father to my son.

Our God is the BEST Father, the greatest Father. To delight the heart of God is to help his children. So, today, around us, who are God’s children?

Narrow meaning and wide meaning.

  1. Narrowly = only believers in Christ – this is the only way we become adoptees into his household and inheritance in his Kingdom (John 1:12-13 “To all those who believed, he gave the right to become children of God.”)
  2. Widely = all people on earth – God is Creator, the Father of ALL – all people are made in his likeness. (Ephesians 4 “Our God is one God who is above all, in all, through all.”)

God gives his sunshine to ALL without finding fault – to sinners and believers alike. He is gracious, compassionate, merciful, generous to ALL. So, we also must develop this kind of heart so that these actions flow naturally and normally from our regular lives.

Yes, we know, just giving a drink is a VERY small gesture of care and concern – but build that up over time (i.e. compound interest style) – and it makes a HUGE difference. God is CHANGING you from selfishness into the likeness of his Son.

Remember: Whatever we do for others demonstrates what we TRULY believe about Christ.

How are we different from pretenders? Where is your final destination?

“Be reconciled to God” by believing and trusting in Christ and helping others.

**Colossians 3:23 “In whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord and not for men.”

Let’s pray.

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So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen
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