Because of the doctrine, Sola Fide/Faith Alone, many churches/assemblies will not teach other parts of Scripture that bring 'faith alone' into question. One thing needs to be made clear is that you will never see the words 'faith alone' in the Old or New Testament, It's not there. Faith alone is a man made tradition dating back to the 17th century. You can easily investigate this on line.
You won't hear many of Jesus' teachings in your assembly especially to include His teaching on the Judgement of Nations. Many just don't want to hear Jesus talking about good works.
Many Christians believe that faith in Jesus simply means believing in Him as Lord and Savior. But true Christian faith in Jesus is much deeper than that. Jesus told us that faith in Him includes believing and following His teachings and obeying His commandments.
Jesus once asked His apostles, “How can you say that you love Me, if you don’t keep My commandments.
At the Last Supper, Jesus told His disciples, “I give you a new commandment; love one another as I have loved you. This is how all will know that you are My disciples.”
Jesus is clear when He says, “ He who loves me keeps my words and whoever does not love me does not keep My words.
Jesus makes it clear, many times, that faith includes believing and following His teachings, “He told us (Matt 7:24-27)
“Everyone who hears My words and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house upon sand.”
Jesus taught that the most important commandment is to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as our self. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, He says, Do this and you shall have eternal life. That’s worth repeating, Jesus said, “ Love God with all our heart and our neighbor as our self, Do this, and you shall have eternal life.
In the Gospel of The Judgment of Nations (Matt 25), Jesus emphasized the importance of love of neighbor. This Gospel reading is simple and to the point. It is the end of the world and the day of judgment for all mankind. Jesus comes with all His power and glory.
.On this last day, Jesus separates the sheep from the goats, the good from the evil. The sheep will inherit eternal life and the goats will be eternally damned. And Jesus tells us the basis by which we will be judged in this Gospel.
Jesus tells us that those who showed love of neighbor, through acts of kindness feeding the hungry, visiting those in need, clothing the poor, taking care of the sick would inherit Jesus’ salvation and eternal life. Jesus made a point in teaching, whatever you do unto the least of your brothers, you do unto Me. Christians show our love for Jesus, their love for God, through love of our neighbor.
Jesus says that when we show love for our brothers and sisters, we are showing love for Jesus Himself. Jesus directly identifies Himself with the poor, the needy, and the oppressed, all God’s children. By loving and helping others, we are serving Christ.
In the Judgment of Nations, those that failed to show love for their neighbor would be damned for all eternity. What a terrible surprise it will be, for many people, to learn that, in not showing love for their neighbors, they had rejected Jesus and His salvation.
This Gospel reading is so important. It allows me to know what Jesus is going to be looking for when He judges me. Do I show my love for Jesus through love of neighbor? This has always been the acid test of Christianity.
When Jesus walked the earth, He set the example. He spent much of His time ministering to those in need. He cured the sick, made the lame walk, the blind see, and He preached the good news of salvation to the poor. Jesus showed His love by being a servant to people.
He did the service and asks His disciples to do the same. As Jesus’ disciples, He asks us to serve our brothers and sisters. Jesus presented us with a simple example for Christian living.
But you and I are not going to transform the whole world. We aren’t going to eliminate world poverty, or feed it’s millions. We don’t have the resources. Neither will we change the hearts of millions of people who have more than they need, but who won’t share.
But there is no excuse not to help others. We can make small changes for the better, help in small ways, in ordinary and everyday things. It may be as simple as giving a cup of water, maybe a few minutes of our time, maybe giving understanding and our spiritual support for those undergoing difficult situations, small acts of kindness and friendship on our part; treating others as we wish to be treated, with dignity and respect.
But it just has to be about our giving of ourselves to others. That’s what Christianity is all about.
Through Christ, our thoughts, words, and actions, no matter how small are given infinite value. Opportunities, to help others, present themselves many times a day. God has arranged things in such a way that no matter which way we turn, we bump in to someone in need. And when we do help remember, Whatsoever we do for the least of my brethren, we do for Jesus, Himself.
Jesus came to set up His Kingdom on earth, His Kingdom is totally opposed to the ways of this world, where money, power, sports, popularity, pleasure, and fame are false gods; where the importance and worth of people is measured by their fame, status, wealth, and where it is a case of survival for the fittest and luckiest.
The values of Jesus Kingdom are much different. He says the first rule in His Kingdom is to love God and neighbor. In Jesus’ kingdom, everyone is important. The most disabled, poor, or powerless person is just as important as the greatest genius that ever lived, just as important as the most powerful, famous, or richest person.
Our task, as Christians, is to contribute in small ways to the continued growth of Jesus’ kingdom on earth. Never forget that faith in Jesus includes believing what He taught and applying His teachings to our daily lives.
Now many of us may look back at our past lives, I know that I do, and say that I have mistreated so many people, ignored the needs of so many people, there were so many times when I could have helped, but didn’t.
I am surely doomed when Jesus judges me. But that’s just not true. Despite all my failures to show love to others, I still have great hope in Jesus’ salvation for myself.
One needs to remember that all the Great Saints were also great sinners. If we have failed to show our love of others, in the past, we can change. But we do need to ask Jesus for His help to change.
One of the greatest aspects about Christianity is that God offers us His love, mercy, and forgiveness every second of every day. And no matter how many times we have fallen and failed in the past, Christianity always allows us to pick ourselves back up, start over, and return to God.
Every so often, when we get a chance, some quiet time to be alone, all of us need to reflect on ourselves. Do I love God and neighbor? With Jesus’ help do I help others, not with great deeds, but with small acts of kindness? If I haven’t, am I willing to change.
Do show my love of God through my love of neighbor? How will I stand before Jesus at the moment of the Last Judgment?
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