Summary: At the end, whether we like it or not, there will be a division of the world into two groups. It is great to be in one, and it stinks to be in the other. What is the dividing point?

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Passage: Matthew 25:31-46

Intro: One of my favorite days in school was the day before a major test.

1. I loved it when the teacher spent the day reviewing what the test would be over.

2, people took notes that day! We listened.

3. for the last several weeks, we have been listening to Jesus talk about his 2nd coming.

4. and here we are, only a few short days from it! May 21st!

5. good time to review what is going to be on the test.

6. for those who aren’t sure there is going to be a test, listen to these first few verses.

I. The Unmistakable and Inevitable Coming of Jesus Christ to Judge.

1. amazingly enough, the reality of the 2nd coming is still a matter of debate.

2. many scholars look at Revelation, for example, and conclude it is describing events that have already happened.

3. others call it “a work of fiction”

4. but perhaps these words of Jesus in verses 31-33 should wake us up

5. there is no “if” here, but only a “when”

6. clearly the “son of man” was Jesus’ favorite name for himself.

7. and who is promising to come with such a display!

8. “glory” twice, surrounded by uncountable angels.

PP Revelation 19:11-16 (preterist bad)

9. no one alive at the time is going to miss this event. No one will sleep through it.

10. everyone who is alive will be gathered for a purpose.

11. there will be a distinction made like there is when a shepherd divides sheep from goats

PP face of goat, face of sheep.

12. important to notice that people are divided in relationship to him!

13. “he will put…” sheep on his right, goats on his left.

14. nationality, race, gender not important here.

15. and of course our question should be obvious: what is the standard by which these two groups are formed?

16. going to find out, good to be sheep on the right, bad to be goat on the left.

17. so what is the standard of judgment?

II The Standard: Whose Family are You In?

1. “for” in v35 introduces the reason some are being blessed

2. no it is real easy to go into a “works righteousness” kind of thought here.

3. “what I have to do is feed the hungry, give water the thirsty, etc.”

4. but notice something attached to every act of kindness…the object of it!

5. “I, me”…12 times in 2 verses! This should narrow our focus quite a bit.

6. it certainly narrows the focus on the blessed, who respond in v37 with a flabbergasted “when did we see you…?”

7. not wondering about the actions, but about the recipient of the actions!

8. these actions were interpreted by Jesus very personally! Why?

9. v40…”brothers of mine” Who are these people?

10. plenty of theories and guesses, but when it comes to this kind of family language, only one group fits the description.

11. they are people who are related to Jesus by faith, part of the “family of God”

12. now someone will say “we are all in God’s family.” Yes and no.

13. we are all God’s creatures, but because of sin everyone has changed families, and faith in Jesus Christ brings us back to our original family

PP Ephesians 1:4-5

14. so now let’s apply this reality.

15. because the real focus is the people of God and the believing children of God under duress and specifically those who are persecuted for their faith.

PP Galatians 6:10

16. this does not discount or trivialize taking care of those outside of faith who need help.

17. but it does say that when we take care of the persecuted believer, we are caring for God’s children, often at great cost to ourselves, and that marks us as God’s own kids.

18. because when push comes to shove, and siding with persecuted believers puts you on the wrong side of the current trend, the nonbeliever will back away and do nothing, as verses 42-43 state very clearly.

19. you did nothing, because it was dangerous to be on the side of God’s persecuted children.

Il) “The Hiding Place”

20. make no mistake about it. In the end, when whatever believers are still here, it will be extremely dangerous to stand up for them or feed them or take care of them in any way.

PP Revelation 18:20,24

21. the way we treat God’s children when it is dangerous and perhaps illegal to love them is the mark of whose family we are in.

Il) could anyone stop you from trying to feed your kids, visit them in prison, clothe them if they were in need? Even if it cost you’re your freedom or your life?

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