T H E K ING ’S BUS INESS
them He regards as done to Himself (cf. Acts 9:4, 5). Who Christ’s brethren are we learn in chapter 12:49, SO; 28;10; Heb. 2:11. But in a very real sense the Jews are also His brethren, and we must re member that this parable is found in the pre-eminently Jewish Gospel, and in the chapter immediately following the descrip tion of the Jewish tribulation and deliver ance. if we wish' to feed Christ, we should feed His brethren; if we wish to minister to Christ in any way, we should minister to His brethren. The real test whether or not we love Christ and love God is, Do we love the brethren (1 John 3:14; 4:20). The real test whether we love our brethren is, Do we minister to their need? (1 John 3:17). The one thing that shows whether or not we have received Christ is our re ceiving those who belong to Christ (ch. 18:5; 10:40). f The Lord Jesus identifies Himself with the least of His brethren (v. 40). What we do to Christ’s brethren we should do it for Christ’s sake (Mark 9:41). It is well worth striving after to be called but before the assembled universe of na tions and of angels and thanked by Jesus Christ Himself for service done to Him. This passage tells us how to gain this honor. What a change! No-longer “Come ye blessed,” but “Depart ye cursed.” If we do not listen to the “Come” of Jesus now, we shall have to listen to His “Depart” hereafter (cf. ch. 7:22, 23; Luke 13:25-27). To the blessed He had said, “Ye blessed of my Father,” but the words “of my Fa ther” do not appear after “Cursed,” ,i. e., the cursed cursed themselves (John 5:40). All who seek to be saved by their own works are accursed (Gal. 3:10). They were to depart into “eternal fire” (cf. Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Luke 16:24; Matt. 13:30-42, 50; 7:19; John 15:6; Heb. 6:8; Rev. 20:15; 21:8). The kingdom had been prepared for the righteous, but the fire had not been prepared for the wicked, but “for the Devil Friday, April 23. Matt. 25:41-46.
and his angels.” The wicked go there, simply because they chose to cast in their lot with the Devil and must therefore share his destiny. They were everlastingly doomed, not because of some evil that they had done, but because of some good that they had neglected to do. They were un aware that they had so neglected Christ (v. 44 cf. 1 Sam. 15:13-15, 20, 21; Jer. 2: 23, 35; Mai. 1:6; 2:17; 3:13). The deceit- .fulness of our hearjt blinds us to the enor mity of our conduct (Jer. 17:9). We neg lect Christ when we neglect those who be long to Christ; we persecute Christ when we persecute those who belong to Christ. Eternal punishment is the lot of those on the left; eternal life the lot of those on the right. As the same adjective is used of both the life and the punishment, evidently the punishment of the wicked lasts as long as the reward of the righteous. We have exactly the same reason in Christ’s own words for believing in “everlasting punish ment” as we have in “everlasting life.” It is said that the Greek word translated “everlasting” does not necessarily mean “never ending,” but that is its uniform usage in the New Testament, and certainly we must at least admit that our Lord was an honest Teacher, and if He were an hon est Teacher, He certainly would not juggle with words and use precisely the same ad jective to mean one thing in one part of the verse and something entirely different in another part of the verse. To question the eternal duration of the punishment of the finally impenitent is to question the in tellectual honesty of our Lord. The whole question of whether any of us shall go away into everlasting punishment or into everlasting life turns upon what we do with Christ as shown by what we do toward those who belong to Him. Saturday, April 24. Matt. 26:1-5. These five verses tell us hat occurred two days before the Passover, but the anointing of Jesus which is recorded in the 6th to 13th verses occurred six days before the
Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker