If we love the world and the things of the world, we can’t be God's: “"If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). If we covet, wanting more and more things, we are not one of His sheep: “Nor thieves, nor covetous . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:10).

These believers will be goats, but not just because they lust for things or they didn’t help the needy. The Lord will tell them, “You misrepresented Me to the world. You caused the ungodly to identify Me with prosperity, money, success. You deceived the poor by telling them I wanted to make them rich. And you told the sick they were suffering because they lacked faith.

“I blessed you. I poured out My resources on you, because I loved you. But you didn't open your ears to the needy cries around you. Instead, you choked on your own goods. If you were Mine—if you loved Me—you would have obeyed My commands.”

You may say, “Brother Dave, this is too hard. Surely God isn’t like that.” Read the words of Ezekiel: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness . . . neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49, italics mine). When God judged Sodom, He didn’t mention their homosexuality or idolatry. It was all about pride, ease and neglect of the needy. They had no concern for the poor.

How can you get involved with the needy? That’s the work of the Holy Spirit. If you are convicted by this message, go to Him. He will lead you directly to the needs He wants you to meet, in one of these areas of hands-on love ministry. This is not meant to put you under guilt or condemnation, but to help you search your heart in light of Jesus’ words.

The Lord doesn’t expect any of us to do it all. But I know He expects us to be personally committed to hands-on involvement in at least one of these areas of need. Can you say you’re ready to stand before Christ on that day, knowing you’re helping feed or clothe the poor, visiting prisoners, blessing or visiting widows and the fatherless?