What can we expect when Jesus comes in His glory and sits on the throne of His glory? Many things, but one of them is division! Matthew 25:31-46 provides an incredible and terrifying glimpse of the judgment to come. In the passage, Jesus separates people from all the nations as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. This will be great from some, and horrible for others.
Recently we've been examining the idea of the Christian Faith being known as "The Way." As is taught in multiple places, there are only two ways that we can go in this life. Near the end of 1 Thessalonians we read of the conflicting characteristics between the children of the day and those of the night.
Being a disciple indicates that they were being taught. As they learned, they were traveling along the Way of Christ, and did not deviate from it. One impressive thing about them was that they were willing to be persecuted by others for their faith. Despite their terrible treatment, many were willing to be bound with chains and sent to far off cities for the name of Christ.
Jesus begins this portion of His sermon by exhorting His hearers to enter through the narrow gate. For years, I felt like that was a surprising way to start the thought. Especially since He immediately changes His topic to the gate and way that we should not travel. As I reflect on it further, it actually does make sense. The reason is because the consequences of not entering by the narrow gate are horrible.
One common aspect of the Bible is its contrasts. Many passages speak of only two positions. A well-known text that presents such a division is the first Psalm. It describes the contrast between the righteous and the wicked. I think it will be beneficial for us to explore these two different types of people so we are encouraged to go in the way of righteousness.
Students of the Bible will be aware of the act of circumcision that was performed in the Old Covenant. It was commanded of Abraham, and also in the Mosaic Law. These are good to remember, but some may be surprised by other circumcisions in the Bible. Those being the circumcision of the heart, and the circumcision of Christ.
One of the most well known aspects of Jesus' ministry was His miraculous healing ability. The gospel accounts are filled with stories of Him healing lepers, the diseased, and more. These miracles are used for a variety of reasons. Interestingly enough, there is at least one instance where a healing is related to the topic of authority.
When we teach today, we may be tempted to just throw some Bible verses at someone without actually engaging our hearts and speaking with compassion. While God's truth would still be conveyed by using that method, I seriously doubt it would be the best approach! There is a big difference between talking to someone, and talking with someone.