Summary: Judgment for our benevolence on earth
I have a question for everyone here today; especially those who have been Christians for many years. What happens after faith? We finally accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, start reading our Bibles, try to learn to pray and then what do we do? Isn’t their another step in this journey of faith? Maybe you struggle with this very problem. You have accepted Christ and just don’t know where to go next. Maybe you are still searching for something before you will accept Christ. You want to see genuine Christians living the life they profess and maybe you have other needs which should be addressed. Questions may plague your mind such as who is Jesus really? What does he have to do with me? How do I “believe” in him? Maybe you are searching for love and family or maybe just some answers.
I know that when I found Christ, it was not what I was looking for at all. I started attending church at the bequest of my friend Janice. She couldn’t answer the questions I was asking but assured me that someone there had the answers. I was pretty cocky and assumed the truth was that no one had the answers. I went and went as my family at home degenerated deeper and deeper into despair and hate. I remember it very clearly. I had been going to the church for several months trying to find the answers that I needed. I didn’t understand why my family was so messed up. School had already let out and I kept coming all the way into mid-august when my mother called the state-police and threatened to kill herself so that she would be taken to a mental institution. I sat in my room at our house for the rest of the day wondering what to do. Later that night I found myself crying my heart out and cursing the God I didn’t believe in. It was the strangest thing because as I was yelling at him but he was loving me. It was if he came down from heaven and gave me a hug and promised me he would take care of it all. He didn’t speak verbally but that is how I felt. He took care of everything for me. I’ll never forget how much he loves me, and how much he did for me through the people of the church.
Today we will lay the sixth track for our train to ride on into the future. Today we will talk about need-oriented evangelism. We will answer the question what happens after faith? At any given time you will find at least three types of people in the church. You will find the good and faithful, the bad, and the searching. You will find those who set the example of faith and help those who are searching to find answers. You will find those who come and go and never grow as Christians and you will find those who are seeking the answer to life’s hard questions and need someone to step up and answer them. Flip with me to Matthew 25:31ff. Jesus begins finishing his eschatological discourse or in laymen’s terms, his speech about the end of time. Here he focuses specifically on the judgment aspect, and in it you will find three types of people. (Read 31-33). At the end we will be in either one of two groups, those on God’s right hand and those put over by his left. Jesus now explains what God will say to each group of people. Faith without works is dead. (SBI)