Approbation is an Old English Word; which simply put is “Approval” which is a “Consent” or “Favourable Opinion.” Now Scripture is just loaded with a vast array of situations that are covered by this word, so we will just sample enough to whet your appetite. We will start with this situation as found in Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” These people think that they possess “Approbation” as they have been doing, but find out that they have had what Paul calls as written in 2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
In the case of the Sheep-n-Goats, we have this in Matthew 25:40-41 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me. 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:” A Goat really looks much like a sheep, you feed them the same, milk and shear them the same, a Sheep Farmer can tell you the difference but the uninformed cannot tell the difference between them in the large flock of mixed animals. Remember that Jesus Christ regularly referred to himself as “The Good Shepherd” so he is definitely not going to be fooled by something that is a goat who is trying to pass themselves off as a sheep.
We have the Wise and Foolish Bridesmaids from Matthew receiving this reply as quoted from Matthew 25:11-12 “Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” There is no “Approbation” and they face a predicament where the relationship has been all “One Sided” and the Lord does not, or has not experienced a complete relationship with them, he in essence “Disowns them.” As they say; “Going to Church no more makes you a Christian than going to a Hospital makes you a Surgeon.” Christianity is not by association, but it is by a vibrant two sided relationship. Our people in Matthew Chapter 7 were so involved in their “Form of Godliness” that they thought that they knew all about God, but sadly God had no idea about them. With a God that knows everything about us, every sorrow and joy and even the number of hairs on our heads, this is obviously referring to a very “One sided Relationship,” more like fantasy and idol worship.
Does God actually “Know You” or does he know about you? Do you actually know the real God of the Bible or do you know a wee bit about him from media and talk? This concept we call a “Fantasy” as the whole relationship is totally one sided. We have seen this for years in the adulation and copying of Musicians, Movie Stars and Sports Stars, where the followers have their rooms plastered in their posters, have all their records or Movies, wear the same clothes, hair styles, act, walk, talk all the same; but the subject of their fantasy has absolutely no idea that they even exist, let alone their name, address, phone or email address. Are you and God chatting back and forwards and are you following the instructions as found in Scripture, or do we just have a “Form of Godliness,” which is the fashion of the day, no relationship and no power or substance, no “Approbation.”.
Having God as it were on your “Facebook Page” or getting his Posts, Tweets or other incoming things is only confirmation of an “Incoming Message.” The Bible is still the biggest selling book, and has been so for many decades, but it is actually a “Love Letter” to us, of who he really is, what his likes and dislikes are and where he wants to spend time with us, and what it is like in our new home. Have you read it, do you daily read it, what is the passion and commitment level you have for the Bible?
We have this parable as found in Matthew 25:21 “His lord said unto him, well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Here the worker had been diligent and now at the time of accounting and reckoning, his life and actions were spread out before the Righteous Judge (Jesus Christ) and then he received the “Approbation” of having done an excellent job in correctly handling the tasks that were allotted to him, and then he received higher and more noble tasks and roles.
Paul in one of his last letters, was writing to his young protégé Timothy, who was Paul’s replacement in leading out in the support and expanding the work since Paul was then imprisoned, and he gave a summation of his life and journey like this, as found in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” Paul was totally expecting to receive Jesus “Approbation” when on the Resurrection Morning, Paul is awakened from his musty dusty grave to see the one he firstly persecuted, then met on the road face to face, and from then onwards, followed with singular mind and step, no more kicking against the Godly Ox Goading, but moving forwards in the strength of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Reader; If you want Jesus’ Approbation then, we all need to be doing and living right, right now and for always, so will you commit to him today?