27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.James 1:27
“I wonder what it must have been like to be Abraham’s home teaching companion!”
So what is the gospel? Which programs, doctrines, knowledge and belief is essential and pure and which is transitory?
I think it all comes to looking at what Christ will consider important when we are called home and judged.
21. Not every one that saith
unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven; but
he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven
Matthew 25: 31-46
31. When the Son of man
shall come in his glory, and all
the holy angels with him, then
shall he sit upon the throne of
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
35. For I was an hungred ,and
you gave me meat: I was thirsty
and ye gave me drink: I was a
stranger, and ye took me in:
36. Naked, and ye clothed me:
I was sick and ye visited me:
I was in prison and ye came
37. Then shall the righteous
answer him, saying, Lord, when
saw we thee an hungred, and fed
thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38. When saw we thee a stranger,
and took the in? or naked, and
39. Or when saw we thee sick,
or in prison, and came unto thee?
40. And the King shall answer
and say unto them, Verily I say
unto you, Inasmuch as ye have
done it unto 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:
43. 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.
44. 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
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.
46. And then these shall go away
unto everlasting punishment,
but the righteous into life eternal.
A clear reading of the scriptures is that Christ will judge us not by whether we have recognized him or whether we call upon his correct name, but by whether or not we fed him, gave him drink, clothed him, visited him, came unto him by doing that for others.
Not our doctrine — our calling Lord, Lord — but our love and kindness, our Christlike Charity, reveal whose children we are. Thus “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God,” not “blessed are the scribes and pharisees, who stand in Moses’ gate.”
That is the gospel. The rest is a program and as transitory as home teaching, designed for our needs in the moment (such as the Sabbath Day which was made for man, not man for the Sabbath). It preserves us, like an iron rod through the fog, but the core of it is the Tree of Life, which is the love of Christ. I know, wordy and dense, but this is my conclusion and the essay is already long.
- What do you think the gospel is?
- Why do we need anything else (programs) to help us reach the truth?
- What are your thoughts and additions?
All images from Wikimedia Commons.