Idle Pleasures?

Goats and Sheep

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they also will answer [a]Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ — Matthew 25:41-45.

Men, at the end of the tribulation, after the sheep are gathered to His right and goats to His left, Jesus will say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels”. Jesus was given no food while hungry, no drink when thirsty, nor was any other charitable deed done on His behalf. Jesus, with Holy Spirit, searches out the heart of mankind. Jesus grants opportunity for those desiring to be His to be His hands and feet.

If we reject Him here, deny Him here, or disregard Him here, an everlasting fire awaits. “Everlasting” here is as long as the eternity that those on His right will experience.

Those on His left ask when they missed an opportunity to serve Jesus. Jesus answered, when they failed “to do unto the least of these”. Interestingly, this judgment is not about the violation of a command or statute. This judgment is poured out upon the sin of idleness. They did nothing, when they should have done something.

Today, in our time, it is becoming more and more common to withdraw from the world around us and hide behind our castle doors where we have everything brought to us. We numb ourselves to the pain and brokenness around us by immersing ourselves into sports, entertainment and small cliques of like minded peers. Obviously, no one among us can be everything to everyone, everywhere at every time. But to those on His left, the indictment reads, they did nothing. What can you do? And will you?

Move forward men, feeding, clothing, visiting and praying for those in need. We may not have more than a whole hearted hug for a brother in need. So be it. Let that man be held with the love of Jesus through you. Do something, for something for someone in need is more than doing nothing, and doing nothing is damning. Where is Christ’s heart broken within your reach? Go and serve.

Vance Durrance

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Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.” — Matthew 11:20-24 NKJV

Men, Jesus closes vs19 saying “wisdom is justified by her children”. Another translation says “wisdom is vindicated by her deeds”. In other words, the wise have not refused John or Jesus, but have come to repentance. From there, Jesus rebukes the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. He tells the multitude that it will be better for the towns of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom which were known as wicked places that had been judged by God. Each of these towns and the deeds done in them routinely could warrant a deeper look.

In general, Jesus has performed a number of miracles in the rebuked towns, but He was not acknowledged and the people did not repent. Jesus says that if those same deeds had been done in those cities which had long ago been judged they would’ve repented in sackcloth. Not so for the cities Jesus has personally visited and Jesus is disgusted with their hardness. Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom had all disobeyed God’s law and Word and they were punished. These current 3 cities have witnessed the Word made flesh, dwelling among them and have refused all opportunities to be made right.

When Jesus said “Woe to you (the rebuked cities) He was declaring a warning to them. These cities have had greater opportunity to come to salvation but refused. How much opportunity have our cities and nation had? If we are judged incrementally by the opportunities granted, how bad will it be for our cities and people? What judgment awaits our own lands? Move forward men, acknowledge the truth granted to us and believe Him. Don’t miss an opportunity to repent and turn even the smallest, most private things over to His hand. The evidence is sufficient for our acceptance of His Word.

How will we be known, to history and to heaven? Decide well.

Vance Durrance

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