Listen to the sermon here: 2809280

Matthew 25: 31-46 NLT

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ 37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ 41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ 44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ 45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ 46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (Mother Teresa) 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997

Founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1949

Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity continued to grow during her life-time, and at the time of her death, had 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children’s and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools.

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

Mother Teresa heard the voice of God say to her, go live with the poor.

Mother Teresa started the Missionaries of Charity as a means of taking care of the least, the last, and the lost. In Calcutta India in that time there were hundreds of people just lying in the streets left to die, nobody cared. She cared for the people that hospitals had turned away and she described them as Jesus in disguise.

More than 1,000 people were cared for every year at the “House of the Dying” in Calcutta. It is told that a few of the people actually got well from the love and care that was offered to them but the majority of them died, the awesome thing is they were able to die with some dignity and in a place where they were able to feel human touch and know that someone really did care about them.

One particular story that touched my heart as I read about her life is of a man that was brought in off the street and Maggots were eating away his flesh. One of his limbs was being eaten by maggots. The sight was disgusting beyond endurance. The stench was nauseating. Mother Teresa felt faint as she pulled the wiggling white larvae loose. She had to get every last one too, then scrape the wound and disinfect it. She reminded herself that helping this man was like helping Jesus.

When the man was cleansed and bandaged, Mother Teresa said to her novices. If I didn’t believe with all my heart and soul this man’s body is the body of Jesus, I couldn’t bear such an abomination for one second.

After ministering to one of the destitute, one so repulsive that normal people could not bear to look, let alone smell such a person, Mother Teresa would take the novices hand, palm out. One by one she folded the novice’s fingers and thumb back into the palm and said the five words “you did it to me.”

The only possessions they owned were a metal bucket for washing, a sleeping mat that could be rolled up and moved with a moment’s notice, and two changes of clothes, one they wore and one that was clean to change into.

If anyone ever deserved to go to heaven, it is Mother Teresa!

Hermeneutics 101 – the practice of interpretation

It is so important that we interpret Scripture in light of what we know to be true about God.

Principle – Always interpret Scripture in light of the clear revelation of God

One of the greatest things we can do to understand scripture is to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and get a basic understanding of who God is and how God works. Then when we run up on a scripture that seems to be saying something different, we have those bells and whistles that go off inside us.

Remember: I said that if anyone ever deserved to go to heaven, it was Mother Teresa. Well the problem is, no one ever deserved to go to heaven.

The Standard for Christians

Matthew 25: 34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

Illustration

Steve Brown shared a story this week, “a man died and went to heaven, he was standing before God and St. Peter and St. Peter asked the man, what have you done to deserve heaven? He thought for a long time and finally he said, you know back several years ago, I was out in front of a department store and there was someone ringing a bell by a red kettle and I put $5 in it.”

“St. Peter looks at God and says, “I vote we give him his $5 back and send him to hell.”

Romans 3: 21-23 NLT But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

No one deserves to go to Heaven, Even Mother Teresa!

Jesus is not saying that in order to go to heaven, one must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison, and give a drink to the thirsty.

NO, Jesus is saying, if you are a Christian, these are just things that naturally flow from your life

Philippians 2: 12-13 NLT Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

The Separation

Matthew 25: 41-43 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

Heaven is a Real Place but ladies and gentlemen Hell is also a Real place.

We live in a time where people want to deny the existence of Hell.

Do you know who had more to say about the existence of Hell than any other person?

You might think it was Paul since he gave us the largest portion of the New Testament.

You might think it was John the Revelator who gave us the Book of Revelation.

It was Jesus. Jesus had more to say about the existence of Hell than any other person in the Bible.

One Final Point

The ones who had done these good things, “they didn’t even know.”

Matthew 25: 37-40 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Be A World Changer

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” Mother Teresa

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Mother Teresa

“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” Mother Teresa

“I’m just a pencil in the hand of God, He does the writing” Mother Teresa

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish that I had done things different!

I don’t want you to do that either!

Pastor Ronnie