Matthew 25:35-36, John 15:5
Jesus said in Matthew 25:35 and 36
For I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was lacking clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’
These are the words of Jesus concerning the final judgment. Many Protestant Christians have understood these words as not telling us what we need to do to earn heaven, but rather Jesus lays out all of these things these good works as evidence of faith.
And rightfully so we know we’re saved not by our good works, but rather our good works are presented as evidence of faith in the final judgment.
Has the question ever come up in your mind though, well, but have I really done enough good works will there be enough evidence for me to prove that I am a Christian in the final judgment on the last day? Yeah maybe I’ve done some good works, maybe I have given a few people a handout to help them, but given food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visited people in prison or in the hospital… not that often.
Right after these verses Jesus says something remarkable about the Christians who he just described. He says they’re stunned. They’re shocked. “Lord when did we do these things?” They can’t even remember.
The truth is that God is often working through us carrying out good works in the small things, the simple things, through our callings and vocations that God has given to us. Quite often it’s not in the big ways when we donate huge amounts of money to charity or when we volunteer at soup kitchens, but as we raise up our children rightly, as we carry out our job well, in serving the customers and in serving our neighbor, God is at work.
In John chapter 15 verse 5 Jesus says
“I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him is the one who bears much fruit, because without me you can do nothing,”
Connected to Jesus we produce good works, fruits of faith, they flow naturally being connected to Christ. So do we need to be worried on the final day, “have I done enough to prove my faith?”
Don’t be worried about that. Rather know that you are already forgiven and already a child of God, you have the certain hope of everlasting life in Christ. Know that you will be surprised as Christ mentions all the good works that he has done through you and that final day. Amen.