“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him.”

The lengthy gospel reading from Matthew (25:31-46) has Jesus telling His disciples of the end times.  He begins with the words above.  He then tells of how all present will be separated, as sheep and goats are segregated by a shepherd.  Those on the right (the “sheep”) are told they will inherit the kingdom due to the corporal works of mercy they did for others, which Jesus says they did to Him as well.  Those on the left (the “goats”) are told they are condemned to hell because they refused those same works of mercy to others, thus neglecting Christ in turn.  The opening sentence presents a scene well worth contemplating.  Imagine the day (and we are assured here that it is coming) when Christ manifests Himself in all His glory.  What a joyous and awesome moment it will be for those who have remained faithful to Him in the midst of such a faithless generation.  All the more reason to “want to be in that number” when the Lord calls home those who have remained in His word by adhering to the Golden Rule: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you” (Mt 7:12).  No cheap salvation here.  No “once saved, always saved” as some Christians would prefer it.  No, we must remain steadfast, seeing Christ in every person and treating these accordingly.  And, all the while, we are likely bringing potential goats into the sheepfold by our care and by our expression of what it truly means to be a Christian.  In the midst of a broken world we should pray to hasten the coming of the Lord (“your kingdom come” — Mt 6:10) and excitedly repeat the second last verse of the Bible: “‘Yes, I am coming soon.’  Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20).

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