By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
In the last few decades our culture has made several dangerous shifts in direction. One of the most dangerous shifts has been a move from an emphasis on thinking to an emphasis on feeling. We have shifted from absolutes to relativism. We have shifted from exclusivities to inclusivity.
Many do not want to speak or even admit the Truth because it may hurt people's feelings. Inclusivity has not only become a buzzword in our society; it is now a virtue that is preached. In fact, vast numbers of preachers today have abandoned the Truth of the Scripture in favor of inclusivity.
And yet the Bible declares that while the invitation God has issued is an inclusive invitation, God is an exclusive God. The invitation is for everyone in every nation and every tribe.
But the reward is for those who have accepted the invitation; the reward for obeying the Word of God is very exclusive. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus gives us a picture of what it will be like on the Day of Judgment when He returns.
In this passage, Jesus talks about the separation of the sheep and the goats. Those who have not been saved by grace through faith, loving the Lord Jesus are not His followers, and therefore, they are not true believers.
How do you know if you are a sheep or a goat? First, "If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:8-9). In 1 John 2:20-23, the Apostle John says that those who deny Jesus as the Christ are liars and will not have the Father. Have you confessed faith in Jesus Christ and do you believe He is the only Christ? In 1 John 2:3-6, John says that those who know Christ obey His commands. Are you obeying Christ? 1 John 2:9-11, John tells us that those who walk in the light love their brothers. Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ?
Sheep and goats look very similar, especially from a distance. If you are driving in the countryside and you see them, they look alike from a distance, but in reality they are very different creatures and they will be separated on the last day.
We must all examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. Will you do so, today?
Prayer: Father, I confess faith in Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life and I know no one comes to you, but by Him. Please empower me by Your Spirit to demonstrate my love for You through my obedience to Your will and grant me love for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats" (Matthew 25:32).