Judge

You Will Not Have a Weight Problem If You Keep Off The Scales!

Ed, my neighbor next door, was told that I have been gaining weight. My neighbor keeps telling me that my walking at the walking track is a failure. He has offered to be my weight-loss manager for a small fee of five dollars for every pound that comes off my weight.

He wants me to consider smoking. “Every time you are about to pop food in your mouth have a cigarette instead,” Ed said. “You have to have bacon and eggs for breakfast with toast and jam, for lunch have three cigarettes and three coffees, and supper can be a full meal but no desserts except for a cigarette. All snacks during the day or at night are to be one or two cigarettes,” was the outline of my weight-loss plan. Ed is sure after a month I will have lost twenty pounds, and I will owe him one hundred dollars. I told him that I couldn’t afford bacon every breakfast or the cost of cigarettes. My neighbor was disappointed that I passed up on his weight reduction plan for me, but he had one last bit of advice for me which was to avoid scales, mirrors and being photographed.     

I know that scales, mirrors and photographs can tell me the truth of my weight gain. Facing the truth can be avoided, but the truth won’t disappear because I avoid it. As the church year ends in November, it confirms the return of Christ to judge the word. All three ecumenical creeds – Apostles’, the Nicene and the Athanasian – all state that Christ will come “to judge the living and the dead.” It is a truth many would rather ignore or avoid.

Scripture is clear on the return of Christ and Judgment Day, “When the Son of man comes in his glory he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep and the goats. He will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on his left.” There are only two groups, either sheep or goats. The sheep on the right will go into eternal life in heaven. The goats will go into eternal punishment in hell. Some would argue that there is no heaven, and no hell but that is arguing against what Jesus has said.

Jesus will judge us on the basis of our works. He speaks of sheep as those that fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, welcomed strangers, clothed the naked, cared for the sick and visited those in prison. The sheep did not do them to gain God’s favor, to avoid hell or get a good seat in heaven. They saw the needs of others rather than selfishly looking out for themselves. They were genuine sheep, of Jesus, the good shepherd who loved sinners and gave himself for them, as an offering and a sacrifice to God. Jesus, the sinless Savior, died so all sinful souls could be connected to him in faith and recognized righteous before God.  Genuine, living faith in Christ leads to loving God and others as Jesus loved God and us. Faith in Christ produces good works.

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Raymond Maher
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