Matthew 25:31-40 (KJV) When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
There are days when I wake up tired, restless, and sometimes discouraged. I turn to the news and see that wickedness abounds and it seems as if no one cares. My joints hurt. My body ages. How do I get out of the doldrums? How do I rebuke the devil when he whispers? …
What do we do when we are in the valley?
We look upward.
We look toward the horizon.
We look toward the Son as He rises.
We remind ourselves that we labor NOW for Jesus
But we will not RECEIVE OUR REWARD until our Lord comes.
The Prosperity Preachers will tell you that God wants every believer to be a millionaire. That’s not true. Our Lord said:
Mark 14:7 (NIV) The poor you will always have with you …
The only ones who get rich on the “prosperity gospel” is the “prosperity preachers”. Like politicians with their millions dollar homes and their thousand dollar suits they fleece the sheep while leaving the ones they have stripped shivering in the cold. Beloved, we are not to look for our reward in the present, but in our FUTURE. Jesus blessed His disciples and sent them out with His power. They returned and said:
“Lord, even the devils are subject to us”
To which Jesus replied,
“Do not rejoice in this, but rejoice that
YOUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN!”
We will have good days and bad days on the earth, but our reward is not now. Our reward is WHEN.
Matthew 25:31 (KJV) WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory,
There is coming a day when our Lord will reward us with a crown. There is coming a day when Jesus returns in His glory, and WHEN we shall be blessed. No one receives their reward NOW but the Pharisees and the self righteous, the goats who live not for Christ but for themselves. Jesus spoke of them when He said:
Matthew 6:2 (KJV) Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD.
They gave to the poor not because they wanted to bring glory to Christ, but because they wanted to be seen of men. THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD.
Matthew 6:5 (KJV) And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD.
They are not praying TO God but FOR MEN to see. Many a “Special” has been sung in front of a Church or a stadium for the applause of man. Many a sermon has been preached so that men will say “well done, you good and faithful servant”. But it is not done for God, but for applause, for pay, for adulation. THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD.
For those who are Christ’s will not receive their reward NOW, but WHEN. The Bible says “WHEN the Son of man shall come in His glory”. We will be rewarded at the end of the race, at the end of our mission, at the end of the course.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NASB) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
There is no prize handed out to the also rans.
This is not like modern education where every child receives a prize just for participating. Such things do not build character, but embody and enable weakness and sissification. The crown of righteousness is not rewarded to those who stop in the middle of the race and sit down defeated and discouraged. The Scripture says over and over again:
Revelation 2:7 (KJV) … To him that OVERCOMETH will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:17 (KJV) … To him that OVERCOMETH will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written …
The Child of God – born again by faith in Christ – overcomes and runs because God runs with Him. Christ is with us. We “look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith”. It is He who runs before us as we:
Hebrews 12:1 (KJV) …. let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us RUN WITH PATIENCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE US,
We who are His will be rewarded by He Who saved us.
The Victors Come And Stand With The King
You have probably watched the Olympics at some time in your life. Do you remember at the end of the race when the judges are handing out the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals? Don’t you remember that the judges call up every spectator in the stands, and the crowd stands to be honored? Don’t you remember that? Of course you don’t. It never happens. The crowd has no prize. The crowd is not honored. The judges call up the runners who won first, second, and third place. The winners who struggled and finished the race were called forward. Our King is our Judge, and He will call us forward:
Matthew 25:34 (KJV) … THEN (at the end of the race) shall the King say unto them on his right hand, COME, ye blessed of my Father,
The Law said “Go” but Grace says “Come”. Jesus became a curse for us so that we could become the righteousness of God in Him. “Come, you BLESSED”. You who are saved will be blessed beyond measure when the day of your reward comes. You will be called into communion with Christ forever. All suffering shall be passed.
2 Timothy 2:12 (KJV) If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him …
Jesus calls us now to His side, but we are called to suffer. The world does not love the Christian. “If they hated Me, they will hate you”. Darkness despises the light. To follow Christ now is to suffer reproach, to be thought mad, to be considered weird because we are not of the world. At this time God calls His Children and says:
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 (KJV) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
In this present age our Lord says “Come out from among them”. Do not be like the world. At present we are tempted and tried by the world. Many have succumbed to the whispers of the serpent’s seed. But God says “As Abram came when I called, you come. You will not be Abraham until you come to Me.”
Come unto Me, I will give you rest;
Take My yoke upon you, hear Me and be blessed.
I am meek and lowly, come and trust My might.
Come, My yoke is easy, and My burden’s light.
Our Reward Will Be On His Right Hand
Now we come apart from, but in the future reward Christ will set us apart.
Matthew 25:31-40 (KJV) And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  And HE SHALL SET the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
There will be no darkness nor unsaved in that future reward. The bullies will be gone, cast out into outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. James and John came to Jesus and asked:
Can one of us sit on your right hand, and the other on the left?
They didn’t know what they were asking for. Their request was foolish. ALL of Christ’s Children will be on the right hand of the Savior, and ALL of those who rejected Him will be on His left hand. In this present life it seems as if the wicked prosper:
Psalm 37:35 (KJV) I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
Psalm 73:7 (KJV) Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
As C.H. Spurgeon once said, “The world is upside down now; the Gospel has begun to turn it the right way uppermost, but when the day of grace is over and the day of glory comes, then shall it be righted”. When Jesus returns the wicked and the unrighteous will be cast away. Those who love neither God nor their neighbor will be placed with all the other selfish and immoral people. In this life the rich man steps over Lazarus and feeds the dogs while the beggar starves. In the next life we will be in a place where:
Revelation 21:3-4 (KJV) … the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Those on the right hand of Christ will be in a right place.
Matthew 25:34 (KJV) Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Come from your graves.
Come from among the ungodly.
Come and wear a crown.
Come receive your reward.
Come and sit with Me in My throne.
Come My Beloved.
Come receive the mansion I have made for you.
John 14:2-3 (KJV) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
The right hand of Christ is where the blessed are. We inherit the Kingdom prepared for us. We receive the mansion then, in the when of Christ’s coming. What a glorious day that will be!
I remember when we first bought our home here in Columbia. We have two tiled bathrooms, but we’ve never had tiled bathrooms. We have marble sinks where we’ve never had marble sinks. Both Sherry and I have never had fancy things like this. But God blessed us, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t touch the marble sinks and marvel at it. But as blessed as we are now, this is not our reward. Our reward is coming. We have a place prepared for us where the street of it is paved with gold. But this is not what is important. What is important is that we will be with our Savior. We will be with Him forever. We shall inherit the KINGDOM PREPARED FOR US. The Bible says:
Revelation 1:6 (KJV) He hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;
We will inherit a kingdom prepared from before the foundation of the world. There will be nothing missing from our reward.
Who Shall Enter This Reward?
Who are those who will enter Christ’s glory? Who will be placed on His right hand forever? For whom is this reward? To those who are indwelt of Christ. To those who love because God is love, and God operated through their lives.
Matthew 25:34-35 (KJV) Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Those who are “blessed of the Father” are distinguished by their hospitality and their charity.
There are some who call themselves “Christian” who are distinguished by their harshness and their willingness to judge others, to demean, to discourage. They are GOATS, chewing up anything and everything. These goats tear down rather than build up. But those who ran their race and are rewarded by their Master showed evidence that they were actually born again. Jesus said that the basis of the future reward is that..
Christ was hungry, and you fed Him.
Christ was thirsty, and you gave Him drink.
Christ was lonely, and you took Him in.
Christ was naked, and you clothed Him.
Christ was sick, and you visited Him.
Christ was in prison, and you came to Him.
The listeners asked the King:
Matthew 25:37-39 (KJV) Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
When did we do these things, Dear Jesus? And Jesus replies:
Matthew 25:40 (KJV) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
A Christian is a person who has a present relationship with God. This relationship is intimate and leads us to imitate Christ. What does the Scripture say?
Romans 8:9 (NASB) … you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the SPIRIT OF CHRIST, he does not belong to Him.
The day you were saved God’s Holy Spirit came to you. As you read God’s Word, hear His Word, speak to His Word you change more and more into the image of Christ.
1 John 4:13 (NASB) By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
God is love, and God indwells His people. If God is in you, then it is evidenced by how you live for Him. Do you love your brother or sister in Christ? Do you love the family of God? Or are you selfish, loving only YOUR way and YOUR stuff? The world is selfish, but the future Kingdom will not be. The Lord said:
inasmuch as you have done it to the least of THESE MY BRETHREN
Another translation makes it clearer:
… to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine,
even the least of them, you did it to Me. (NASB)
The faith of a Christian – if genuine – effects him from the inside out. If your faith does not touch your wallet your faith is false. There will be no discouragers in Heaven, only encouragers. Who shall be cast into outer darkness? Those who saw a brother or sister in Christ in need, but did nothing about it.
I was hungry, and you gave me good advise – but no food.
I was thirst, and you gave me a prayer – but no water.
I was naked, and you gave me good wishes – but sent me away naked.
I was sick, and you told me about your doctor – but had no time to visit me.
The family of God is a family of love. Love requires effort. Love lifts up. Love cares.
So keep loving, dear Christian. Keep giving. Keep running.
To the victor goes the blessing.
Love. Love. Love!