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.
Many do not want to speak or even admit the Truth for fear that 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.
We must all examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.
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—true believers and those who might look like believers but do not live like believers.
How do you know if you are a sheep or a goat? First, you must confess faith in Jesus as the one and only risen Messiah (see Romans 10:9). Second, in 1 John 2:3-6, John says that those who know Christ obey His commands. The apostle adds that those who love God's people—their brothers and sisters in Christ—are living in the light of God's Truth (v. 10).
Sheep and goats look very similar. If you are driving in the countryside and you see them, they look alike from a distance, but in Truth, they are very different creatures. Scripture tells us that on the last day, Christ will separate true believers (sheep) from unbelievers (goats) based upon whether they followed His example—whether they understood their need for a Savior and allowed this humility to transform them into gentle and sacrificially loving people.
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. 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).