Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pentecost 24

Today's readings: Daniel 7:9-14, 2 Peter 3:3-14, and Matthew 25:31-46 (sermon text).

In the parable today, we see that there are two people groups that count for anything at Judgment Day: those who believe in Jesus Christ, and those who don't. Regardless of belief, all will see that He is both Son of Man and Son of God. His blood has set us free; this is intended for all nations (Matthew 28:19). But all hear only when the Word is sent forth to all people and nations.

We are the sheep, who eat only what the Lord in His pasture feeds us. The goats will eat anything - false teachings, auto-salvation, teachings denying Christ's work. This text is often misinterpreted to call for social action. "Come--unto Me," says Christ to the blessed. These are those who eat of His body, something CHRIST does. "Inherit--the kingdom prepared for you." Not all sheep will come, for some become goats. He waits to give the kingdom because He says "Come" in patience, for He desires all to be able to enter.

Those who love the Lord honor His word, and the pastors who preach it. "He who hears you hears Me." Therefore pastors should distribute only Christ's words. Not our deeds, though His love spills over into service to each of our neighbors. To do so, we must first be hearers of the Word. This Word in Baptism immunizes us from hell's fires. God's word is not silent - so feed upon it! Later, with all the saints, we will worship Him forever.

Soli Deo gloria.

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