Grace on Judgment Day

Matthew 25:31-46
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, 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?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
At a quick look at today’s passage Matthew 25:31-46 “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance …”, we might think that we earn entrance into heaven on judgement day by feeding the hungry, giving the thirsty something to drink, inviting the stranger in, clothing the naked, looking after the sick, and visiting the imprisoned.
But at a closer look, the King does not say, “You are about to be blessed.” He says, “You who are blessed,” which could just as well mean, “You have been blessed.” The blessing is not given at the final judgment because we did these things. The blessing is given to us right now. God is our Father, and Christ is our Saviour, so helping others is our joy right now. Not a way of being saved on judgement day. That is the blessing.
Look again and see how Jesus’ words are filled with grace. “Come” is an inviting word of grace. An “inheritance” is not a reward for good behaviour; it’s the result of being part of God’s family. A “kingdom” is out of all proportion to the deeds Jesus mentions. And God “prepared” it long before we were born before we ever thought of doing anything for anyone else.
Today, as we think about our entrance into the kingdom on judgement day, turns out once again, to be thoroughly and a gift from our Father in heaven, who has blessed us lavishly and yet notices, remembers, and gives us compliments on even the smallest things we do for others. We have grace at the final judgment!
Let’s Pray
Yahweh, our God of grace. We thank you for your gift of grace and the gracious blessing of helping others now and anticipating eternal life with you in the future. Father, we are grateful for your favour as we anticipate the judgement.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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