Our society has deemed a lot of people to be “outcasts” and it is a sad truth that even sometimes as Christians we let society shape our views at times more so than God’s word! I myself have fallen so many times in this matter and I have been convicted that this should not be.
Jesus used a metaphor and figurative language to make a distinction of what will take place when he returns. He used the “sheep” to describe those who follow Christ and the term “goats” to represent nominal Christians or in name only but are truly not real born again believers. These are those who will claim to know Christ but deny him all the way through life by their actions. They lack of authentic love for others and God.
1 John 3:17-18 but if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Make no mistake, no one is saved by works of righteousness but Christ alone through faith in him and by grace but the righteous display they are truly saved by the way the treat others and obey God!
No there was another group he referred to as “sheep” and these are genuine believers in not just name but also in Spirit and Truth. They have the Spirit of God in them and they obey the Truth in Gods word. They love their brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
So then Jesus gives some practical advice of how this plays out and what it ought to look like in
Matthew 25:34 “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.’
How many people do we pass by who are hurting and in need when we are in a hurry? And how often do we as Americans forget our suffering brothers and sisters in other countries who are in poverty and lack of food or in chains for their faith in Christ? How many times have we all met someone who is “annoying or weird” and avoided them?
Isaiah 58 then gives us some great truth and hope for us if we follow it:
Isaiah 58:2-11 Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it? ‘Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am. ’If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
This is not a promise of if we obey this “a problem free life” here however it is a promise from God that he will show up and do amazing things if we put Him first and love others.