Would you turn your back on Jesus?
While many are rich in the Western world, others lack the basic necessities of life. Men, women, and
children go to bed hungry. Jesus' parable of the
sheep and the goats teaches that we must help these
people. The sheep inherit eternal life in God's
kingdom for they ministered to Lord Jesus Himself.
Every time they gave a bag of groceries to a hungry
brother, they were feeding Jesus Himself. The goats
are eternally separated from God in torment. In this
life they turned their backs on Jesus and let Him go
hungry. Every time they turned their back on a
brother, they denied Christ. (Scripture reference
Jesus also taught about a beggar named Lazarus and the
rich man. This account shows us how God is fair and
just. To see God's justice, we need to look at
eternity and not merely our short lives here now.
This is because life can seem to be unfair. The
Apostle James wrote that is his time God had called
many materially poor people who were rich in faith.
Often it seems that the homeless
man loves God though he is suffering with mental
illness and eating out of the trash. Meanwhile the
rich college professor is an atheist. Jesus' account
of Lazarus and the rich man clears up the apparent
inconsistency. The rich man had good food and fancy
clothes in abundance. Yet he failed to come to the
aid of the beggar Lazarus who was living outdoors by
is gate without food and in need of medical
attention. Then one day both died. The angels
carried Lazarus to be with our Lord in paradise
forever. The rich man found himself in torment where
the worm never dies and the flame is never quenched.
(ref. Luke 16:20-31, Mark 9:39-50)
The message is simple. If each is to call himself a
"Christian" which means "follower of Christ" then each
one must be like Christ and help the poor. Faith
without works is dead. My breath isn't my body. The
breath is something invisible and intangible. Yet
take away my breath and my body will die. Very
quickly it would decay, return to the ground, and
disappear. Without breath I would have no life and
therefore no body. We need to continually renew our
bodies by breathing. We need to continually renew
our faith in acts of love for those in need. (ref.
God wants mercy and not sacrifice. If I go to church
and sing, pray, raise my hands, speak in tongues, and
praise God- that is a sacrifice to God. But if I
don't have mercy, God doesn't want my sacrifice.
Mercy is love in action. It is having enough
compassion for someone in need that I lend a helping
hand. Without mercy, my intended sacrifice becomes an
abomination before God. (ref. Proverbs 5:8)
With so many suffering outside the church walls, how
can we not go out and help Lazarus at our gate? Our
Lord suffered outside of the camp. Those who love Him
will follow His example. We enjoy to be inside of the
church sanctuary while the Lord's work is outside. If
we loves others, we will leave our comfort zone.
Jesus commanded His first apostles- "Go ye into all
the world and preach the Gospel to every creature...."
Jesus commands us today- "Go ye..." Isaiah heard the
Lord ask- "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"
Isaiah responded in obedient faith, "Here I am, send
me." Are you willing to go? Are you willing to be
sent? (ref Mark 16:15-18, Isaiah 6:1-13, Hebrews