Faithlife Sermons

Work As Though You Have Hope

Christ The King  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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There are so many aspects to a church like ours. We are more than programs, events and a building which we have had to come to understand this year especially. I was talking with some other pastors this past week and doing a little bit of lamenting but also some big thanksgiving on what this year has done to the life of the church. Everything we had planned, everything I wanted to do, everything that we as a church do as a part of our normal routine were thrown out the window. That has caused us to take a long, hard look at our identity and the things we do that in the past have given us purpose. In my conversations with some of you it seems that some discovered that they despise change. Some have discovered that there were things that needed to change. Some are looking forward to a new day, while others long for days when things seemed normal and natural. Church, today I want us to look at how we are the Kingdom of God already and not yet. I also want us to know that regardless of what happens in the future, Christ is our King, today and for all time.
Let us Pray and read Matthew 25:31-46
Matthew 25:31–46 NRSV
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal 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 nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Son of Man Son of God King for All!

Jesus is talking about Himself here in the third person. Jesus calls Himself the Son or Man,or some translations have the Human One. He also calls Himself the King. The important thing that I want us to see if that Jesus begins by calling himself the Son of Man or Human One to signify the who He was in the presence of the Apostles, having come down to earth in human form. He, the Son of God, was a human being, fully human.
But then he lead into the same sentence describing His fully divine self as the Son of God, King of all creation. It is as though these two seemingly different aspects of himself are one in the same. Jesus Christ is fully human and fully divine. Wrap your head around that for a minute.
Then Christ goes on to describe how he will split all of humanity into two groups, those on who will be put on His left, and those that will be put on His right. This passage makes a strong case for why the church, or particularly, us as Christians needing to be mission mined and reach out to those who are less fortunate, marginalized, and in need.
But I have preached that sermon, so let us go a little deeper. Truth be told, not everyone of us has a heart for Missions. Not all of us will literally clothe a person, feed the hungry, or take care of those who are physically sick. However, there are others who are really good at welcoming new comers into our church, or who have a heart to invite people to join us to see what we are all about. There is a small group of us who literally go to the prison or accept phone calls from one of our members who is incarcerated. However, there are many more who want to help those who are in a prison in their own mind, or in a prison of sin and don’t want to condemn them but show them the love and grace of Christ.
Simply put, all of us should in some way be reaching out to those in need, Inviting others into a relationship with Jesus Christ, and nurturing others in the faith. Just some of us have a stronger pull to one of those areas over another.


So let us talk about them a little deeper. When I say that we are doing Outreach as one of the ways we are sowing for a Great Awakening, I am talking about those among us who have a heart for those who are in our community and around the world who are in poverty. Those who may be suffering from the effects of abuse or addictions and need a hand up and some help. These people offer help without expecting the person receiving the help to ever walk into this church building. This is true mission-minded outreach.


But of course that is not all we should be doing, lets go a little further. We also need to be welcoming and accepting to all who do come inside the doors of our building, and those who are apart of our community through our live-stream and social media. There are those who are very kind and welcoming to those who visit. There are person who are great at being hosts when we have times of fellowship and events for our community. Honestly, I want to encourage all of you to invite someone to watch our live-stream with us or join you in our church activities as safely and as best as you can during this time.


Going a little further however, is how we can show Christian love and fellowship with one another who are already a part of our church family. We have individuals who feel a strong call to pray for you and one another. We have individuals who long to visit with those who are in the nursing homes and those who are home-bound. We have individuals who are so sweet to always send a card to those who need a little encouragement. This is how we show nurturing care to one another.
These three things along with our discipleship and making disciples of Jesus Christ and our worship of God personally and as we gather together define what it means to be a citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven. So, let us ask ourselves, are we doing what we are supposed to as a part of the Kingdom of God? Do we worship only God, growing in our discipleship, and making disciples as we reach out, invite others and nurture one another in faith? If we are, then there is no reason to worry on which side of Jesus you find yourself when He returns. We should all long to be on the right side of Christ. Therefore, not only are we to give actually clothing, food and drink, but we are also suppose to lead one another to be clothed in righteousness, feed one another with the Word of God and offer one another healing water.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are equipped to do all that is required of us. None of these commands from Christ is more than we can bear. Do you desire to help those less fortunate and marginalized with physical needs? Do you want to see more people become a part of our church family through the acts of invitation and showing hospitality? Do you feel called to pray for others on a deeper level and show Christian love and care to those who are hurting physically, or mentally, or spiritually? Live out your call and bring others to the right side of Christ.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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