Over the past several months, many have dealt with friends and family becoming ill from COVID-19. While I expect a number of them have recovered, I'm sure that some died from it, or complications related to it. Even more have passed away from other health problems too. Of course, the eventuality of death is something that all of us have to face. It is the great equalizer.
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.
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.