THE SAVIOUR EXPLAINS WHY HE IS REWARDING HIS SHEEP.
“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me,” verses 35-36.
These words do not set down WHY they gained heaven, but rather is descriptive of their characters and how they lived, and are testimonies and evidences of the grace of God in them. Here is proof that they were the blessed of His Father, having His special grace bestowed upon them and that they were the children of God.
We do not get to heaven by our works! This is the devil’s lie and is the foundation of all false religions. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9.
We are continuing our consideration of the Saviour’s words to the sheep, His people, that he has set on His right hand at His return to this earth in glory.
In that kingdom we shall be a glorious people.
“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear,” Matthew 13:43. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is,” 1 John 3:2.
Now please note something more!
Our inheritance is most assured. It is prepared, ‘made ready’. John 14:2, 1 Cor 2:9. See Ephs 1:4.
Our home in heaven is older than the creation. “Prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” That shows how important our salvation is to God! It is prepared for His people, and that from eternity, so they will be there!
IV. NOTE GOD’S WISE AND WONDERFUL TIMING
“ . . and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest,” verse 22.
1. It was Spring time. The land was at its most beautiful. “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land,” Song of Solomon 2:12.
2. It was barley harvest time. The report Naomi heard was true, verse 6. All that God says of the blessings awaiting the repentant is true.
3. It was the beginning of barley harvest. There was much more of God’s mercy and grace to come.
As we continue our look at the Saviour’s words to His sheep when He comes in glory at the end of this age, notice:
An inheritance awaits the Christian. “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” verse 34. We are, “ . . .heirs of salvation,” Hebrews 1:14. We have been written into God’s Will and shall receive eternal salvation!
We inherit a kingdom. This is our inheritance! That means we will be kings! “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen . . . . . . . And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years,” Revelation 1:5-6 and 20:4-6.
Continuing on from our last study. Note the title they are given. ‘Ye blessed of my Father.’ Heaven is the result of the Father’s eternal blessing. The child of God has been blessed of the father in that He chose them in eternity, Ephesians 1:3-4. He has called them by the gospel, Romans 1:7.
Now we consider two more blessings.
Cared for. 1 Peter 1:3-5. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Carried home. Luke 16:22. See Luke 24:51. Two words have common root.
We will be taken to Heaven in the same manner as Christ.
This is but part of the blessings of the father which are ours!