“…what can I say to an Islamic brother who has fed the hungry, and clothed the naked? You say, “But he hasn’t a personal relationship with Christ.” I would argue with that. And I would say from a Christian perspective, in as much as you did it to the least of these you did it unto Christ. You did have a personal relationship with Christ, you just didn’t know it.”
– Tony Campolo
I must say that this is by far one of my most favorite quotes, ever. I completely agree with Tony Campolo’s statement. This quote opens up a sense of freedom that is only found in Jesus. While many Christian folk will voluntarily say that you must have a “personal relationship” with Jesus in order to obtain salvation or “go to heaven,” I do tend to disagree. I believe it is a lifestyle, not a theology or a set of beliefs. Primarily found in the New Testament writings of Matthew, specifically chapter 25, I argue point of views that say that you must have a “personal relationship” with Jesus in order to obtain salvation or “go to heaven.” In this passage of Matthew 25, entitled The Final Judgment, Jesus speaks of the final judgment and the requirements to inherit eternal life. In this passage, Jesus tells us that we must feed the hungry, quench the thirst of the thirsty, invite the stranger in, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit the prisoners. Jesus teaches that when we do such things, we also do them to Him. So the poor is Jesus? Yes. The hungry is Jesus? Yes. The thirsty is Jesus? Yes. The lonely is Jesus? Yes. The prisoner is Jesus? Yes. So with that thought and truth in mind, who really is a Christian? Who really has the relationship with Jesus? Formulate your own thoughts, but as for me, I see that Jesus teaches to love the poor and marginalized and hungry and lonely– these are the standards and requirements, so to speak, to have a relationship with Jesus.
To read the passage in length, click here.