Over the years, Matthew 25:31-46 has become one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture. Jesus is teaching about the serious reality of life and death and faith and works and heaven and hell and judgment. The passage is so attention-grabbing. I cannot help but really get focused when studying it.
Here is what I am learning:
We are saved because of what we Believe! And we are judged because of what we have done!
Both of these are true and both of these are clear in the Bible.
If anyone is going to be saved, it is because God in His grace has given them Faith. Being saved is always a gift and has to be. This way no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
In judgment, we are judged and therefore either saved or condemned due to what we have done. In Revelation 20 at the Great White Throne Judgment it says twice that they were judged according to what they had done.
Now to bring it all back to Matthew 25. Verse 34 says the King (Jesus) will be on his throne separating the Sheep from the Goats. The Sheep will get heaven and the goats will get hell. The deciding factor is based on what they had done. But the whole Bible teaches us that we are not saved by works and cannot be saved by works. Our works our filthy rags. They fall short.
So Faith has a look! Saving Faith has a way of life! It is that a new heart produces good works. Salvation creates in the person the desire to feed the hungry, and give drink to the thirsty, and clothe the naked, and visit the sick and those in prison. Those things don’t save you. We all should know that. But they are going to be the very substance of the judgment.
Is it any wonder at all that James would write so adamantly that “Faith without works is dead.”
Remember, We are saved by what we believe, and we are judged by what we have done.
We must be careful to believe the right things. And when we do, we will start doing the right things.