Summary: Jesus will judge the nations (peoples) of the world on judgement day.
This reading uses the separating of sheep and goats as a means of illustrating how Our Lord will separate the righteous from the unrighteous on that Judgement Day. The use of the sheep and goats as an illustration always amuses me. Years ago, on the mission field in the Dominican Republic, I was taught very quickly how to recognize the sheep from the goats. If You look at the goats, even from a distance, you notice that their short tails are always pointing up. The sheep are just the opposite, their tails are always down.
What are we going to garner from this reading?
Judging the Nations –
Righteous and Unrighteous –
Hell – The everlasting Fire –
Eternal Life –
Judging the Nations
Lest we get off track, let’s understand that judging the nations is a far-reaching quest of the Lord. Some seem to believe that He is only speaking to the leaders and governments of the nations of the world. I believe if that were so, it would be worded differently and specifically to the leaders and governments as has been done throughout Scripture. Here the Hebrew word “gowy“ (pronounced go-wee) is used for nation and among its definitions is people. Jesus is speaking to the PEOPLE of the world, you and I included.
Another point that I believe is that Jesus is speaking and teaching directly to a future event. I do not think this is a parable but rather a foretelling of a direct event that will occur. The use of “sheep and goats” may be a metaphor within the teaching but by no means indicates that this is a teaching story - it is rather a factual telling of a future happening.
“Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged in Your sight.” Psalm 9:19
“Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, And govern the nations on earth. Selah” Psalm 67:4
“Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously.” Psalm 96:10
“The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelations 11:8
Righteous and Unrighteous
What does it mean to be righteous?
According to Merriam-Webster: Definition of righteous. 1: acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin. 2: morally right or justifiable.
Sinless or Sinful! Are any of us sinless? Not by a longshot! Does that mean we are doomed? No, it does not. What it means is that we all fall short of the Glory of God.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23
“ Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;” Acts 13:38
“Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:17
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:7
“And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,” Luke 3:3
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Luke 5:32
That’s a lot of Scripture! Yes, it is but it is there (here) for us to use and share with others.
What we have just read is the solid Word of God that if we repent of our sins, we will be forgiven. And not only will we be forgiven but God says our sins will no longer be a f our record – Hebrews 10:17.
Beloved this is it in a nutshell. Jesus died on the cross that our confessed and repented sins would be forgiven and that we be counted among the righteous on Judgement Day. I don’t know how it could be any clearer.
So, as we get to the end of the reading, it boils down to heaven/eternal life or hell/everlasting punishment.
Why do we say here at Community Family Fellowship: “We love and serve God by loving and serving each other”? Re-read Matthew 25:45-46 “ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
I often use this reading when preaching a funeral service. As I conclude the message and turn to the casket or urn, I close by pointing to the deceased beloved and saying, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL ENTER INTO ETERNAL LIFE!”
If it is your intention and desire to enter into eternal life, I invite you to the altar and join me in prayer.