Punishment for Failure

Matthew 25:41-46 (45)

45 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.

It was in the 1800’s when Charles Dickens faced a difficult situation.  His father had mismanaged the finances of the household and in accordance with English law was sitting in a debtor’s prison.  Charles was only 10 years old, but had no alternative.  He had to go to work to support the famiy.  At this young age he saw much poverty and injustice.  The powerful, famous, and rich exploited the powerless with impunity. 

From these painful experiences Dickens found the basis for many of his novels.  He spoke to the issues of the day.  Living in the British Empire during the industrial revolution, he knew from first hand experience the ugliness of that age. 

Possibly the story which has been most read is “A Christmas Carol.”  In this account, the infamously stingy Ebenezer Scrooge in his own greedy, selfish, and calloused manner runs roughshod over the lives of others.  Scrooge sees no need to feel any moral responsibility for the welfare of his fellowman.  Through this account Scrooge tries to convince his readers that love and benevolence can change lives.  The ghost of Jacob Marley conveys the understanding that eternal punishment awaits people like Ebenezer Scrooge. 

Jesus pushed this message to a greater extent.  The church has a moral obligation to minister to those in need.  By our demonstration of love, compassionate and generous assistance in Jesus name, we, in some spiritual way, are not only ministering to those in need but also to our Lord.  The good works that are an expression of our relationship with Jesus Christ bring glory to God.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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