Matthew 25:46

Are you an enemy of God? Who, even, are these difficult-to-spot individuals, identified in God’s Holy Word as those upon whom He will heap rightly deserved punishment and banish from His presence eternally? If we were to take a survey, the answers would invariably be that it is the murderer, the rapist, the crime lord–someone whose sins seem simply too large to forgive. Yet strangely enough–regardless of how big or small my concept of who the enemies of God are–there is one more individual who might belong on that list: me.

“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46)

As human beings, our concept of who is an enemy of God is tinged by our own condition. If I have stolen, I may not consider theft enough to make me God’s enemy; if I have been unfaithful to my spouse, I might feel adultery is insufficient to qualify me for that category.

Yet the truth is that apart from Jesus, each and every one of us is an enemy of God. In my natural-born human condition, I am born contrary to holiness–indeed, it is almost impossible for me to conceive rightly what the unapproachable holiness of God is, hence, my lax appraisal if my own condition. Comments such as, “I’m not so bad, am I?” are telling and indicative of the fact that my standard of judgment is typically those around me, rather the perfect holiness that is God Himself. We excuse ourselves, saying that none can be perfect, yet, the fact is that Someone has been. God’s Word tells us that, “He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might become the holiness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Jesus Christ was perfect.

Christ was, indeed (humanly speaking), an anomaly by the intent of the Father. He was fully human, yet fully God, temporarily laying aside His God-like qualities by which the world would have recognized Him as such. “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. By Him were all things made, and without Him was not anything made at was made. In Him was life, the light of man…And the Word became flesh, and lived among us…” (John 1:1-12) 

“[Jesus] who, although He existed in the form and unchanging essence of God [as One with Him, possessing the fullness of all the divine attributes–the entire nature of deity], did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it]; but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man].”‭‭ (Philippians 2:6-7, AMP)

Jesus Christ is a mystery–identified as the Word of God made flesh supernaturally through the power of the Holy Spirit, the brightness of God’s glory and express image of His person. He was the only One in all of history without sin “…tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin.” (‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:15‬ ‭NCV‬‬)

And it is because of this that He could take on Himself the punishment for human sin–that “He who knew no sin” could become “sin for us” so “that we might become the holiness of God in Him.” Had He not been God incarnate without sin, in dying, His death would have atoned for no one’s sin.

But how am I God’s enemy? When I reject Jesus, when I do not accept what He has accomplished in faith, when I want nothing to do with the forgiveness the Father freely gives the repentant person through Jesus’ death and resurrection, I am still in my sins, unforgiven–I am the one who is an enemy of God.

This is why hell will be populated with “good” people. It is because we humans have no ability to discern who is good and who is wicked–it is because we fail to recognize that although we rate sin on a sliding scale, any absence of perfect holiness is sufficient to qualify me as an enemy of God.

So, how does this end? Is this it? How sad if it were! But no, we don’t have to push God’s love and offer of forgiveness away. Those of us who come to Jesus in repentance and faith are transferred in status from enemies to friends, from unforgiven to accepted in the Beloved.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”‭‭ (Romans‬ ‭5:8-10‬)

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for forgiving me! Amen.

(See http://www.richmondhillbaptist.org/sinners.html for more detail.)

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6 Responses to Matthew 25:46

  1. Marcus Ampe says:

    Lots of people who call themselves Christian are an enemy of God. First of all have they taken more than one God and use graven images of their gods, pictures, crosses, statues, etc.

    But looking at this text it looks you too have made Jesus into your god. You write “He was fully human, yet fully God,”. According to the Holy Scriptures Jesus is the sent one from God, the son of man and declared by God Himself the only begotten beloved son of God.

    God can not die and man can do him nothing, but Jesus who was seen by man, who did not fall death (though nobody can see God and live), was tempted more than once (whilst God cannot be tempted) and bullied, tortured and brought to death. After three days in hell (what would God have to look for there) he was taken out of the dead, as an example for mankind to what can happen to us. If God would have faked his death, which would have no use at all, He still did not have a proof that man was willing to keep His commandments and could do like He wants. And for us such a faking of his death and resurrection would proof nothing to us either, because than there is no cause to believe man can stand up from death. In case Jesus being God it makes him and God both liars and makes God in a very cruel God, us still having to suffer whilst He so called saved us after such a long waiting period and having so many people having died already.

    • Jesus said, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
      ‭‭(John‬ ‭8:24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬) The “He” of “I am He” is not present in the original Greek.

      And in case they didn’t understand, later in the chapter:
      “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Then they took up stones to throw at Him…”
      ‭‭(John‬ ‭8:58-59‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

      The Jews understood Jesus was saying He is God (“I AM”); they were attempting to execute Him for what they believed was blasphemy.

      • Marcus Ampe says:

        do you believe that when a person says “I Am” he must be God? Than we do have many persons on this earth to be God, because lots of people say “I am” when answering a call or question.

        Jesus told that he was the one spoken of, the son of man and the son of God, who did all those miraculous things.

        The Bible tells us also that the God does not tell lies and is an eternal Spirit (no beginning = no birth and no ending = no death) Who said about the man in the river Jordan “This is my only begotten beloved son”. Do you not believe God told the truth then?
        Jesus told his followers also that God is greater than him and that he can not do anything without his heavenly Father, the god of Abraham, Who is a singular God and not a Trinity. Jesus also showed his wounds to proof he is not a spirit like his heavenly Father is a Spirit.

        God is also omniscient and omnipotent, all things Jesus was not.

      • Marcus, I don’t want to argue with you; God says His people should live in peace with each other as much as is possible.

        I do, however, really think it’s difficult to understand what God accomplished through Jesus. Remember that Jesus said, “I and My Father are one” in answer to Philip’s request that He show them the Father?

        Remember that in Genesis God says “let us make man in our image?” That’s the mystery–that God is one (“hear, o Israel, our God is one”), yet we have the plurality also.

        When I was a young teenager I struggled with whom to pray to–to Jesus, to the Father. Humanly speaking this is an issue, but Jesus said “I and the Father are one.”

        This isn’t a question we’re have to determine if we were praying to Zeus or Apollo of Greek Mythology. I don’t think the Father is offended if I pray to His Son, or Jesus is offended if I pray to the Father.

        I do believe, however, that the I AM issue is an important one. The evidence that by this Jesus was claiming divinity is that the Jews proceeded to attempt to execute Him–they understood what He was saying, even if we miss it.

        Worshipping Jesus as God is not idolatry–it is essential! Remember Thomas’ words, “my Lord and my God!” after he saw the risen Christ? Jesus is God.

  2. There are other verses.

    Jesus prays, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
    ‭‭(John‬ ‭17:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

    Jesus was the Word made flesh. He was with the Father before the world began. Before Abraham was, Jesus was I AM.

    I don’t understand Hebrew, but if you make the effort, reading the Orthodox Jewish Bible version can be very illuminating also (you can google the Hebrew words):
    “Let this mind be in you which was also in Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua, Who, though existing in the demut of the mode of being of Elohim [His etzem or essential nature, Yn 1:1-2; 17:5], nevertheless Moshiach did not regard being equal with G-d as a thing to be seized [BERESHIS 3:5], But poured out and emptied himself [2C 8:9], taking the demut of the mode of being of an eved [YESHAYAH 52:13- 53:12 [T.N. see the AVDI TZADDIK TZEMACH DOVID MOSHIACH YIRMEYAH 23:5; ZECHARIAH 3:8], and was born in the likeness of Bnei Adam [Yn 1:14; Ro 8:3; MJ 2:14-17], and having been found in appearance as an Adam, Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach humbled himself and took the path of shiflut (lowliness), unto mishma’at (obedience 2:12) [cf. BERESHIS 3:17] even unto death [Yn 10:17; MJ 5:8; 12:2], and that, a death on HaEtz [the Tree, DEVARIM 21:23; 27:26; Ga 3:13; Pp 3:18].”
    ‭‭(Kehilah in Philippi‬ ‭2:5-8‬ ‭OJB‬‬)

  3. Jesus also said “I and the Father are One.” (John 10:30)

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