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The foundation of hope

Matthew 25:31-46

Pastor David Ernst

Sunday of the Church Triumphant
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Nov 19, 2017 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Where does the concept of progress come from? This is the idea that the future will be better than the present. It is very common to think in this way today. But, there is no logical need for this hope. In ancient times, most people thought of the history of the world and humanity as an eternal cycle. Birth, death, rebirth or reincarnation. Not only the Greeks and Romans thought about an eternal cycle, also today the followers of Hinduism or Buddhism.

The concept of history as a direct line to a point of completion came from the Bible. God created heaven and earth in a perfect state, then our first parents, Adam and Eve lost paradise in the beginning, but God promised them a Savior. So everything else in the Scriptures is the development of the plan of salvation, to prepare the world for the Savior. And the Savior achieved His mission in the person and life of Jesus Christ, His birth, death and resurrection. And finally Christ will come back to judge all the living and the dead. The history of the world will culminate in the victory of Christ and His saints.

The proclamation of the gospel changed the ancient world, bringing the hope of something better to many desperate people. The non-believers also adopted the habit of thinking about a better future. However, they rejected the reason for hope, Jesus Christ. Because the hope of the gospel depends on Him. Without Jesus, there is no hope. A lot of people do not want to trust God. By nature wetrust in our own works.

Therefore, many people today trust in a future paradise on earth. A paradise made by human hands. But, all the plans for a paradise on earth, a society free of all conflicts, injustice, poverty are going to fail.

Our hope has the sure foundation. It does not depend on our strength, but on the promises of God. Amid the fight against evil in this world, we anticipate victory with Christ after this world will end.

Our text for today speaks of the final judgment and the triumph of those who trust in Jesus Christ. Look at the similarity between this gospel and the Old Testament reading (Daniel 7: 9-14).

The prophet Daniel says thus: "I saw in the night a vision, and behold, in the clouds of heaven one as the Son of Man was coming, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they made him come before Him. He was given dominion, glory, and kingdom, so that all peoples, nations, and tongues would serve him; his dominion is everlasting dominion, which will not pass away, and his kingdom one that will not be destroyed. "

Daniel did not know the name of the Son of Man, but we know him as Jesus Christ. Our text says: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory, and all nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the ones from the others, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and puts the sheep on his right, and the goats on the left. "

Who are the sheep and the goats? We are living in the season of God's mercy, when the Lord offers salvation to all who repent of their sins and believe in Him. But, at that time, the period of grace will end and only the judgment will remain. Those who trust in their own works and reject the grace of God in Christ will lose the promise of eternal life. None of our good works can fulfill the Law of God. Those who think of winning the favor of God by works deceive themselves. So, "Then they will also answer him, saying," Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and we did not serve you? "Then he will answer them, saying: I say, as soon as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me either, and they will go to eternal punishment, and the righteous to eternal life. "

The heirs of the kingdom of God in this world are humble and poor in spirit. They do not think about their own merits. But, because of the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, they bear the fruit of good works. Therefore, God is pleased with them; not for the merits of their works, but for their faith.

"Then the King will say to those on his right: Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, because I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was naked, and you covered me, sick, and you visited me, in prison, and you came to me.Entonc is the righteous ones who will answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see you hungry, and sustain you, or thirsty, and we gave you to drink, and when did we see you a foreigner, and we picked you up, or naked, and covered you, or when we saw you sick or in prison, and we came to you? : Truly I say to you: As soon as you did it to one of these my younger brothers, you did it to me. "

Among the struggles and challenges of this world, we anticipate a better future before the throne of God. In this sure hope, we have the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.

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