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The Least of These

Apr 17, 2016 Sunday AM
Matthew 25:31-46

This text comprises the conclusion of the Olivet Discourse. In response to the questions of the disciples about details of the "end times," Jesus described in broad strokes what we could expect. We have learned that He is returning, that the world will be very different when He does and that we should be prepared and faithful while we wait. Jesus' conclusion is both comforting and sobering for eternal blessings or eternal torment await every individual. The final judgment will include a test for evidence — it will not be as radical as some think.

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Study Notes

This text comprises the conclusion of the Olivet Discourse. In response to the questions of the disciples about details of the "end times," Jesus described in broad strokes what we could expect. We have learned that He is returning, that the world will be very different when He does and that we should be prepared and faithful while we wait. Jesus' conclusion is both comforting and sobering for eternal blessings or eternal torment await every individual. The final judgment will include a test for evidence — it will not be as radical as some think.

  1. THE Supreme Court
    A day of judgment is coming in the Court that determines eternal destiny.  In that day, it will really be about Who you know and not what you know.
  2. The Invitation to the Blessed
    “Come, you blessed of the Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world.”  This kind of blessing 
    has always been God’s intention.
  3. Evidence in the Lives of the Blessed
    John summarized this story quite succinctly when he wrote in 1 John that the way we know we belong to God is by our love for His children.  If we don’t love God’s kids, we don’t love God…it’s not that complicated.
  4. The Condemnation of the Cursed
    “Depart from Me…into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (demons).”  There isn’t a third option.  It’s either God or hell.  If that seems too limited, you’ll have to take it up with the Creator.  His desire is everlasting joy for every human ever created—if they want Him.
  5. Lacking Evidence in the Lives of the Cursed
    They rejected Christ and refused to identify with His people.  This lack of commitment to the “visible” Body of Christ is the evidence that they never considered the “not visible” Person of Christ.

Conclusion

Jesus concluded this Olivet Discourse on end time events with this sobering reminder of the court date we all have.  What will happen that 
day is determined in this life.  The evidence for Who we have chosen is our commitment to His Body.  It isn’t that complicated—it is serious.

Questions for Small Group, Family and Personal Reflection

What does it say about humanity that a future judgment is almost universally anticipated?

For Further Study

Read Romans 4, what is the connection between justification by faith and good works?

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