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Summary: Most think that when they stand before God in Judgment, it won't be pleasant, because they know their faults, weaknesses, & selfish. What if instead, we receive from God a ringing commendation and a smile of approval?

HAPPY SURPRISE AT THE JUDGMENT

Mt. 25:34-40

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: WRONG IMPRESSIONS

1. Laurie Navin, in Reader’s Digest, told how her beloved family dog “Lucky” passed away. She was trying to explain what had happened to her four-year old son Ian, in terms he might could understand.

2. She said, “Ian, I want to talk to you about something’s that’s happened to Lucky. Do you remember that baby bird we found on the sidewalk the other day?” she said.

3. Ian’s eyes got real big and he said, “Mom, are you trying to tell me that Lucky fell out of a tree?”

4. How often we get the wrong ideas!

B. TEXT

34 “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. 35 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, 36 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.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “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.

C. THESIS

1. Most people, when they contemplate standing before God in Judgment, tremble, because they well-know their own faults, weaknesses, and selfishness.

2. At best, most people expect they’ll fit Paul’s description of minimum salvation, “as one escaping through the flames” 1 Cor. 3:15. But what if God is keeping score differently than we think?

3. What if, instead of barely escaping through the flames, we receive from God a ringing commendation and a smile of approval from the Eternal Judge?

4. This is more than a possibility for most Christians, so the title of this message is “Happy Surprise at the Judgment.”

I. THE BLESSING ON THE RIGHTEOUS

A. TRADING A CROSS FOR A CROWN

1. Jesus, in eternity, will tell us to “Come & enter your master’s happiness!” During this life He told us “Come unto Me all you who are weary & heavy-laden and I will give you rest!” On earth He gives us relief; but in Heaven He’ll crown us with joy!

2. We who followed Him faithfully during the time of His reproach, will be bidden to follow Him in the time of His victory and triumph. Instead of giving us a cross, He’ll give us a crown.

3. The basis for our future happiness will never be good works, though this passage may seem to indicate this. The real reason for our reward is our connection to Jesus and His atoning work for us on the Cross, after which He imparted His righteousness to us. All blessing is derived from Him.

B. RECEIVE YOUR INHERITANCE

1. Like Paul said (Gal. 4:1-2), as long as we are underage, we are subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by our father (for our majority). When we stand before Jesus, that time will have arrived. We will then “inherit.”

2. WHAT WILL WE INHERIT? Three things:

a. A KINGDOM. Most inherit a little money or a piece of property. The rich may inherit a business or large trust fund. But only a few ever inherit a kingdom. That’s what YOU are going to inherit!

b. A KINGDOM PREPARED. There’s been a great preparation made by God on a kingly scale for the entertainment of His family. He designed it for them guided by His everlasting love and the greatness of His wisdom & power.

c. KINGDOM PREPARED FROM THE CREATION OF THE WORLD. As adopted sons and daughters, our heirship can’t be alienated. We have the surest title-deed to our inheritance. It’s connected to our predestination from the creation of the world! How happy we will be forever!

II. THE SURPRISE OF THE RIGHTEOUS

A. SOURCE OF THE SURPRISE

When the righteous (in Mt. 25) are told they are being honored because of their meritorious service to the Savior, they are shocked and depreciate their service. There are 4 reasons:

1. OUR HUMILITY. Being in the throne room of God, before the presence of Almighty God and the holy angels, it’s easy to understand why we’d think that nothing we had done in this shadowy world was of any importance.

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