Jesus identifies himself with the Christian whom we have never met. He says, "I was a stranger, and you welcomed me." We are daily being tested. Do we honor Jesus's name more than our own "comfort zone"? Jesus's teaching in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats guides us to pass these tests with joy and confidence.
Jesus is coming soon. Christians must be sure to be found busily working the jobs Jesus has given us to do.
It is true that Christians have the hope of "going to Heaven" at the end of God's plan for history.
But that is not the good news that calls each of us to follow Jesus.
In this passage in Matthew 16, Jesus exposes the heart of his call to discipleship--to following him and his way. It is the call of the master to his servants. Jesus warns that anyone following him for other reasons will lose the very thing they hope to gain.
Instead, Jesus invites every human being to embrace what we are: servants of God. Jesus invites every human being to devote ourselves to the only worthwhile object in this life: living for the happiness of God. Jesus sounds this call, because the truth is that God alone is worthy.