When Christ returns, He will separate the sheep from the goats – the righteous from the condemned. The righteous will inherit the kingdom of heaven because they served others as if they were serving Christ Himself. The condemned, the goats, were only willing to help Christ, but couldn’t see Him in others. Each human being is created in the image of God, and only when we can see each other as Christ and serve others as if we are serving Christ, will we be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven. That is judgment.
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Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Be Transfigured. Where we invite you to live a new life in Christ. We pray that this episode is a blessing to you, and will inspire you to rededicate your life to Jesus Christ. We invite you to join us for worship or study at the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida, where visitors are always welcome. We'll be back in a few moments to share some more information about our ministry.
My brothers and sisters, this morning on this Sunday of judgment, we hear exactly how Christ is going to judge us. He is not going to judge us because of the bad things that we did. We have confession to take care of those things. He's going to judge us based upon the good things that we did not do when we were alive. In this morning's gospel, our Lord makes very clear, he says, "When the son of man comes," he's telling the people, "When I return, this is exactly what I'm going to do." And he continues, and it says in the gospel, he separates the sheep from the goats like the shepherd does.
When I was living in South Carolina, I had the pleasure of meeting an actual shepherd. And he taught me something very important about this gospel that I did not know, growing up about sheeps and goats. I only know how they tasted. But the shepherd said to me, "You cannot keep sheep with goats in the same pen. It doesn't work. The sheep go, and they follow the shepherd. The goats, they do whatever they want. They go here, they go there. They go this way. They go that way. You say, "Come." They go, they do whatever they want." And I understood that finally in this gospel, when Christ says, "The righteous are the sheep, the ones who follow Christ." And the goats?
Are we sheep or goats? That's the question of this morning's gospel. Do we live? Do we follow Christ? Do we follow his church? Or do we do whatever we want? Do we say whatever we want? Do we live however we want? But most importantly, how do we see? Because in this morning's gospel, the righteous were the ones who served the poor. And Christ said, "Because you fed me, you gave me a drink, you gave me clothes, you visited me, come inherit the kingdom, which was prepared for you."
And they were very confused. "When did we ever see you like that, and help you? We don't remember." And then he says to the goats, "Get away from me. I was hungry, I was thirsty. You didn't do anything for me." And they were confused. If they had seen Christ sick, they would have taken care of him. If they had seen him hungry, they would have given him food. And Christ said, "Because you didn't do it to the least, the most insignificant people, the poor people, you didn't do it to me."
He wants us, my brothers and sisters, when we look at each other, whether we like the person we're looking at, or we don't like the person we're looking at. Whether the person is a king, or whether the person is some servant somewhere. He wants us to look at everyone the same way he looks at them. Like we're looking at Christ. Because each and every one of us is an icon of Jesus Christ. We are all made and created in the image of God.
And if we are unable to look at each other that way. If we cannot walk down the street and see Christ in each and every human being we encounter, whether or not they're hungry, whether or not they're thirsty, then we're the goats. And we want to be sheep. And so on this day that the church calls the day of judgment, it's a reminder. Christ gives very few direct examples of what he's going to do. Many times, like last week, he spoke with a parable. This week, he speaks clear, exact. Open our eyes. See Christ in each other. Serve each other as if we are serving Christ. And we will find the Kingdom of God. We will find ourselves in heaven. We will find ourselves being blessed by God to hear the words, "Come, inherit the kingdom which has been prepared for you."
It's our choice to make. Heaven is our choice. God is giving it to us. He's offering it to us. Let's open our eyes and accept it, and live it, and welcome it into our hearts. Glory to God for all things.
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