“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 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. 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: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” -Mat 25:37-46
Charity towards others is a standard of God’s judgment on mankind. The way you view and treat others is the way you act towards Christ in the end. In this text, Jesus gives us an ominous message. It shows that the lack of charity is one of the reasons by which God sends people to hell. When people think of “standards of judgment,” the first thing that would usually come to your mind would be our schoolmaster, The Ten Commandments. However in this passage, God reveals another standard. The extent of your charity on earth. This is one that we all seem to forget and not take as seriously for some reason. However, there is a reason why God wrote a whole chapter on charity (1 Corinthians 13). Surely in light of this passage we understand why if we do not have this, we have nothing. He that loves his brother abides in the light.
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” -1 John 3:18
If we say we have fellowship with Him, yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth. We must first abide in the light to walk in the light and therefore love in the truth. Ah! but not just love in truth, but also in deed! For there are many which love only in truth and not in deed. Some others may also say charity is just love in deed. This is also false. The precious words of our Lord define charity for us, and that is to be fully overwhelmed, saturated and engulfed in both.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” -1 John 4:11-13
As the scriptures return to us and speak to our souls, we are reminded that we must love because God loved us. How I hear the voice of that servant and his lord in Matthew 18! The servant’s lord refrained from taking away everything he had to make him pay his debt. Yet it wasn’t long after when that same servant upbraided his own servant, contrary to the grace that was given to him. In the same way, just as Christ gave us the ultimate picture of charity, we are expected to give the same charity to others as we remember what manner of man He was.
No man has seen God at any time, however, through His Spirit we are being sanctified into an earthen mirror, so that man can (in a sense) see God. For in us has God (The Holy Spirit) made His dwelling. We are the reflection point of Christ’s gaze from heaven, and man’s gaze from earth. The mirror is where where the two gazes meet. Just as Christ is the mediator between God and man for propitiation and salvation, the Holy Spirit is the mediator between God and man for sanctification and reflection. No man has ever physically seen God at any time. However, thanks to His Spirit, man can spiritually see God through love that is being perfected in us.
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” -1 John 4:20
The way you view others will be the way you view God. See he who is in need on the earth? Prove your love is in truth by showing your love is in deed. If you cannot love those whom you can see, how then can you love God whom you can’t see? The lack of love for man is merely a statement and reflection of one’s lack of love for God. We as Christians must have pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father by visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction (love in deed), and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world (love in truth).
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” -James 2:14-18
Just as faith without works is dead, love without charity is dead.