In the end of the day there are really only two races on earth, and they are not distinguished by skin color or kind of hair. They are the good and the bad, the takers and the givers, the generous and the selfish, The selfish race are judged because they use their religion for murder, greed and oppression. The good are judged because they understand religion rightly as a tool to benefit not harm. In Matthew 25:31-46 these two races are called the sheep and the goats. The goats are the abusive ones who bully the rest for selfish purposes. The sheep are those with a peaceful and gentle nature. Whether or not people know the name Jesus, they may have served him by serving the poor. It is a major area where even many who believe in Jesus can fail. Could it just well be that some who believe in the name of Jesus will be judged more harshly than those who have never even heard the name? Could it be that some who do not even know Jesus by name will be blessed because they already love him by serving the needy?
In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus described ongoing problems in our society such as poverty and sickness. What are some of the causes? Poverty is caused by overpopulation, inadequate distribution methods, rising costs, inadequate education, unemployment and underemployment, environmental degradation, individual responsibilities, medical costs, sickness, greed, the cost and devastation of war, natural disasters, industrial changes, recessions, discrimination, pregnancy out of wedlock, disability, crime and unjust incarceration, immigrant status, gang presence, etc. Goats don’t help and make excuses. Sheep see the need and help. How do we as Christians address those problems? Do we address the short-term need of feeding the poor, or do we address the political and economic issues that cause poverty? Some Christians address the direct need by activity in a soup kitchen. Others address the underlying causes by involvement in politics. Both address the problem, but Jesus only demanded that we at least start by giving the hungry food.
Amos was a prophet with a dire warning to any nation which tramples on the heads of the poor and denies justice to the oppressed. (Amos 2:7) Excuses are hollow justifications for greed and selfishness. While the selfish party, the poor continue to suffer. They oppress the poor and crush the needy and say, ‘Bring us some drinks!’ (Amos 4:1) Campaign contributions are bribes, an assumed obligation to do the donor’s bidding. Our politicians oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in our courts (Amos 5:12). Amos issues a dire warning against any nation or people who stomp all over the needy and the poor of the land (Amos 8:4). That nation is cursed by God and will be punished. He echoes Matthew’s message (25:31-46) to relieve the poor.