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 glorious throne. 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, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters 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, ‘Truly I tell you, 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.”
New International Version (NIV)
You’ve seen people on street corners holding up signs like this. You have seen them at your churches asking for food or money to pay a bill. These are the weak links of society.
Some of you go to church, maybe since you were born. You’ve learned to talk the talk and how to look good but you haven’t yet caught on that it’s not about going to church or about knowing all the Christian words. You maybe have one foot in the Christian world and the other in the secular world. You think you can have it both ways. Others of you think this whole Christian thing is a load of tripe. You think everyone who goes to church is a hypocrite and you might be right. But there is a big difference between going to church and being a follower of Christ. Being a follower requires action. A friend of mine once said the Bible is a book of action, it says go and do not sit and stew.
If we are going to be more then church goers we need to take a lesson from Jesus. He spent most of his time with the weakest links. The sick, the poor, the oppressed. Even the disciples he chose were weak links.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
You’ve just seen some pretty amazing martial arts demos, but each of these teachers are themselves weak links. They had to become weak before they could become strong in Christ. Some of them are pastors, teachers and evangelists. They do this to teach us all how to be weak.
When I was a teenager, I was the smallest in my class. I stood at an enormous height of 4 feet 11 inches. I often was picked on because of my size. I was always picked last or not at all for any sport I hoped to be involved with. Because of this, I grew hateful and violent. I hated school and would fight anyone. I almost flunked out of junior high. My parents didn’t know what to do with me so when an evangelist came to town they dragged me there to hear him. I was bored and angry. The next day they made me come along again. I sat there cursing god under my breath and hating my parents. Then something strange happened. When the evangelist asked people to come forward to receive Christ dozens of people went forward, but I resisted. In my mind I was saying no no no, but it was as if a giant hand grabbed me, lifted me from my seat and brought me forward and before I knew what was happening I was praying to receive Christ as my savior. God in his mercy saw my brokenness, my weakness and my anger and reached down and took me as His own.
For those of you that have gotten off the fence and given god your brokenness, share your story like I just did. For you fence sitters, you can’t have it both ways. It’s time to get off the fence and give your all to Christ. For those of you who have never accepted Jesus, the one who died for your sins that you might have eternal life, today would be a good day to be weak so that you can be strong. Today is the day of your salvation. A friend gave me a bumper sticker that says friends don’t let friends go to hell. If you go to church but aren’t sure where you’re going when you die, today is the day of your salvation. If you are a spirit filled christen that is busy for the Lord, praise god, but remember, good works don’t save us they simply show the world who we are. For everyone here, today is the day to be the weakest link because God is here to scoop you up, to claim you, to love you as his own. Today, let us all be weak so that we might be made strong through him.
If you have never been saved or if you need to rededicate your life, consider praying this prayer with me: Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name.
If you prayed this prayer, make sure to tell you pastor if you have one or the Christian friend who brought you because now, you belong to the family of God.