Are you ready to consider another juxtaposition?
In Matthew Chapter 7:8,
“Everyone who asks, receives.
Everyone who seeks, finds.
And to everyone who knocks,
the door will be opened.”
Then, at the end of Chapter 7,
“Not everyone who calls out to me,
will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Only those who actually
do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.
On judgment day many will say to me, ‘
We prophesied in your name
and cast out demons in your name
and performed many miracles in your name.’
But I will reply, ‘I never knew you.
Get away from me,
you who break God’s laws.’
Which is true?
If a person comes to the door of the Kingdom,
and says, "Jesus, Jesus...let me in."
Doesn't that mean that person knows the Lord?
According to scripture,
people are distinguished
by the desires of their heart.
And Jesus divides us into "sheep" or "goats."
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit on his glorious throne.
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 will put the sheep on his right
and the goats on his left.”
“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.”
“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,
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.’
“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
and invite you in,
or needing clothes and clothe you?
When did we see you sick
or in prison and go to visit you?’
“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.’
“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.”
And then Jesus proceeds to say the same,
but in opposite, to the goats.
“For I was hungry
and you gave me nothing to eat,
I was thirsty
and you gave me nothing to drink,.”
“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.’
Jesus ends with this,
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”
Now, at first,
it looks like the separation occurs
because of “good works.”
But, we can trust that Scripture
does not contradict itself;
the Bible says, over and over again,
that salvation comes by faith alone
through God's grace alone,
and not by the works of men.
In Matthew 25:34,
the inheritance has belonged to the sheep,
“since the creation of the world” -
which means long before people were born
they were chosen by God.
And we all know
“faith without works is dead.”
The good works by people of faith
are not the cause of salvation
but the effect of it.
As Christians become more like Christ
we grow the fruit of the Spirit -
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, gentleness,
faithfulness, and self-control.
The good works
completed by faithful servants
occur because they are led by the Spirit.
And this explains why I have to share the truth in love.
A mission given by God that I am NOT comfortable with
but I do it because I am obliged.
On the other hand,
the same works completed
by the spiritually dead
they are trying to earn salvation.
the difference lies in a person's heart,
and whether their desire is to please God
or to please themselves.
While “goats” may be able to talk the talk,
by hiding themselves in sheep's clothing;
the "sheep" walk,
taking many small steps,
to the voice of the Lord.