Matthew 25:31-46- “When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not receive me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?’ Then he will answer them, 'I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The story above was told by Jesus Christ to a crowd of many Pharisees. Pharisees were members of one of the most important and influential religious and political parties of Judaism in the time of Jesus. This story was told in order to distinguish between religious people and righteous people. Jesus was telling these Pharisees, the religious people, that the judgment of whether they would go to Heaven or Hell is in the actions that they took rather than in the things that they knew. If these experts in the religious teachings of that day did not feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, invite a stranger into their homes, cloth the naked, take care of the sick or visit the lonely, then they would go to Hell rather than go to Heaven as they had expected.
The motivation of LLIFTT to visit the lonely people in our communities and our prisons is not the motivation to go to Heaven rather than Hell but rather the motivation to be righteous before God. The ultimate heart of righteousness is found in the story above. It is in achieving a level of love to where when you are told that you have fed the hungry, given a drink to the thirsty, invited a stranger into your home, clothed a naked, take care of a sick person or visited the lonely it is so natural to you that you ask when you had done such a task.
LLIFTT will visit people in prison that are lonely and those in prison who wish to have a friend. People shut in their homes necause of mental or physical disabilities or because of bad life experiences will be visited. LLIFTT will share meals, conversations and laughter. LLIFTT will lift the lonely persons out of loneliness.