I want to discuss with you one more parable the Savior gave to His disciples to help us prepare for His return. Once again He illustrates the correlation between developing charity and being counted among His elect.
31- When the Son of man shall come in his glory...
32- And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33- And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34- Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35- 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:
37- Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty and gave thee drink?
40- And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41- Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42- For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
45- Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46- And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
The distinguishing characteristic between the goats and the sheep is charity demonstrated through loving action. The sheep cared for their fellow man and the goats did not. It's as simple as that! Isn't it funny how it always boils down to love?
Why is this? Love is the very essence of who God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ are. If we want to dwell in their presence we must become like them. Knowing that we are created not only in the image of God, but also in His likeness... we can trust that love is fundamental to who we are. As we demonstrate our love for the Savior through obedience to His commands His love pours out freely upon us. As we feel of His love, we can't help but internalize it. Consequently, we become vehicles of Christ's love and it naturally extends to those around us through loving action. Charity, the pure love of Christ, is the ultimate evidence of the converted heart. Charity never faileth!
For more thoughts on Charity... check out my post "It's ALL about Love"