Living Beyond Others

The Person Behind the People We Serve

Matthew 25:32-45

DATE: July 31, 2005  AM

PLACE: BBC Ballincollig


I.         Introduction (Mt 25:40)


A.      What? When we do something for the LEAST of His brethren, we actually are doing something for the Lord Jesus? Amazing! How does that work?

B.       Hmmmmm. Glad you asked!

C.       But first, let’s review the truths we have learned this month


1.        We are just finishing our seventh month of trying to swap out our old lives, old habits, old ways, for the new life that is found in Jesus Christ

2.        We’ve worked through some incredible ways to become more like Jesus

3.        This month, we have been learning that Jesus was people-oriented, and others-minded. He cared about a lost world enough to come down into it, and live in it, amongst us all, and show us the value of the souls of all men everywhere – no discrimination!

4.        We have called it our Others-Filled Life Project


D.      Review (Philp 2:3,4)


1.        Our preaching Sequence this month on the Other’s-Filled Life


a.        The Importance of Having Grace with Others

b.       The Joy of Others (Mt 8:1-3)

c.        Who is My Other? (Luke 10)

d.       The High Cost of Others (Mk 15:31) – Last Week

e.        Living Beyond Others (Col 3:23,24) – Today


2.        Remind me… Just who are my ‘Others’ that I have to react right to on a daily basis? Generally, they are in five regions of life:


a.        God – Don’t forget HIM!

b.       My Family – both close, AND extended

c.        My Neighbours

d.       My Enemies

e.        Regions Beyond - Missions


3.        Did you know that each of those with the exception of God Himself, actually are not who they seem? You MUST get this!


a.        Your family is more than your wife, or Mom, Dad, sister or brother

b.       Your neighbour is much more than the person you meet

c.        Your enemy is much more than the guy who hurt you and you have hated for as long as you can remember

d.       And the people out in the regions beyond, that you have never met are more than just millions of statistics we hear about on TV


E.       Our Challenge today is to stop living for all those people… stop it completely!
and to START living for Jesus Christ! I will explain this shortly!


II.       Background Thoughts


A.      Others Will Wear You Out – people will ruin you! Cause “burn-out!”

B.       Others Have Become the End-All Today


1.        People don’t talk about the LORD being the reason for doing anything!

2.        It is always for people starving in Niger, or recovering from the tsunami

3.        So today, all we hear about are people, people, PEOPLE

4.        And we are back at item #1!


C.       Others Are Only a Shadow of the Person of Jesus Christ


1.        Normally, when people see people, they only see… PEOPLE

2.        The Christian knows that Someone MUCH more important than a prime minister, president, or prince is really the person worth worrying about

3.        All people, no matter who, or how unimportant they may seem, are a chance for me to show my love for Christ, and my relationship to Him


D.      But HOW? How does a person start living beyond other people, and do all things as unto the Lord Jesus? Glad you asked! To learn how, let’s study a yet future event where Jesus will examine how people treated HIM in their lives!


III.     Message – Living Beyond Others (Matthew 25:32-45)


A.      A Second Coming - Jesus is Coming Again (Mt 25:31)


1.        Came once – clearly prophesied – to be born in Bethlehem

2.        Is coming again – very soon (Acts 1:11)

3.        Referred to as the 1,000 year reign of Christ – the Millennium

4.        It follows the seven year time of tribulation (Mt 24:6-8, 21) – called the time of Jacob’s Trouble


B.       A Special Judgment (Mt 25:32,33; Acts 17:31)


1.        For the survivors of the Tribulation

2.        There are three groups of people who survive


a.        The Jews – they get born again right in the middle of the tribulation

b.       The Gentile Believers – born again in the Tribulation

c.        The Gentile Runners – didn’t like the antichrist, but didn’t like Jesus Christ either! Ran for their lives and survived on the run, but have now hit the end of the road!


3.        Jesus divides up those last two groups: sheep, and goats


C.       A Surprised Church (Mt 25:34-40)


1.        Refers to them as Sheep, and Blessed of the Father

2.        They are permitted to walk straight into a brand new kingdom – the kingdom of heaven on earth

3.        Why? Because they were MORE than Christians in NAME only. Just labelling yourself a Christian is like just calling yourself a doctor – very dangerous! A label does nothing for the heart!

4.        These were lost sheep who had been found by calling on Jesus Christ (Isa 53:6; Jn 10:27,28) – feared God, repented of sin, and received forgiveness

5.        They had lived out their relationship with Jesus Christ


a.        By feeding Jesus

b.       By giving Jesus water

c.        By taking in and protecting Jesus in their homes

d.       By clothing Jesus

e.        By visiting and caring for Jesus when he was sick

f.         By visiting and encouraging Jesus when He was in prison

g.       All during some very tough times – during the Tribulation!


6.        You better believe these people were surprised!


a.        Yes! They had done all of those things to people, and primarily to the Jews in the Tribulation

b.       But they had NEVER done any of it personally and literally to Jesus!


7.        Jesus then reveals the real reason why we should do anything for anybody


a.        Because we actually are doing it to Him

b.       Remember, Jesus cares about what we do, how we do it, and how well we do it – so He takes everything we do PERSONALLY!

c.        Jesus Christ is not dwelling in some ivory palace in heaven ignoring this world – He watches a sparrow fall – he counts the number of hairs on every head!

d.       Jesus commends these believers, who have endured the worst time on earth since creation, because they thought of others – specifically the Jewish people – His people! Remember, Jesus was a JEW!


D.      A Shocked World (Mt 25:41-45)


1.        Jesus refers to these people as goats, and as CURSED goats at that!

2.        Jesus condemns them to a devil’s hell – not permitted into the Kingdom

3.        Rebukes them for NEGLECT, carelessness, selfishness


a.        They had never fed Jesus

b.       They had never given Jesus water

c.        They had never taken in and protected Jesus in their homes

d.       They had never clothed Jesus

e.        They had never visited and cared for Jesus when he was sick

f.         They had never visited and encouraged Jesus when He was in prison


4.        You had better believe THESE people were surprised


a.        Yes! All of that was true

b.       They had NEVER done ANYTHING personally literally for Jesus

c.        They gave the clear impression that if Jesus had been there, in front of them in real life, they WOULD have been oh so nice, and caring, and concerned about Him

d.       But because they had never seen Him, and never met Him, they simply never did ANYTHING!


5.        Jesus here is revealing the real reason why people don’t care about people


a.        It is because they don’t care about Jesus Christ – they don’t see Jesus

b.       They only see problems, and time-wasters, and tormentors, and trouble-makers, and people unworthy of their efforts


6.        Shows they had no personal relationship with Christ, and end up in hell


E.       A Serious Challenge for Us Today


1.        Don’t get wearied (Gal 6:9,10) – the only safeguard against burn-out is a single-focused eye (Mt 6:22-24)

2.        Do EVERYTHING as unto the Lord (Col 3:22-24) – this is the key to NOT getting wearied, and to being honoured by the Lord!


a.        Children obey your parents as if obeying the Lord (Eph 6:1-3)

b.       Wives, submit to your husbands, loving Him, and honouring Him, as if he was the Lord Jesus Christ – that’s Bible! (Eph 5:22; Col 3:18)

c.        Servants/employees, work for your bosses as if you were working personally for the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 6:5-7)

d.       Gather at church as if you were meeting Jesus (Mt 18:20)

e.        When you give, whether your tithes at church, or to someone in need, do it NOT for them primarily, but for the Lord (2Cor 8:5)

f.         Ministering - In everything, do things as if you were doing it personally for the Lord (Acts 13:1,2) – the Lord wasn’t THERE was He? Or WAS He?

g.       Nothing is in vain if done for the Lord (1Cor 15:58) – if done for any other reason, it is only in vain and a waste of effort!


IV.    Conclusion


A.      To many people, this is the only Gospel they have ever learned – that we are “to take care of people”

B.       But that is NOT the Gospel, but a test of whether a person really is LIVING OUT what they believe

C.       But you have to start with your own personal need of Jesus Christ in your life

D.      You are NOT going to care about other people like He did, until you have HIS heart in you… Until you have actually replaced your old, sinful, wretched heart for the perfect one that Jesus offers!

E.       It is called being born again –it happens only when you ask God the Father to forgive you and make you His child – all because Jesus made it all possible!


Craig Ledbetter

Missionary in Ireland