Summary: One day the Lord will separate the sheep from the goats. One day we will answer to God for our actions and our decisions.
Sheep and Goats
Please turn to Matthew 25:31-25:46.
This chapter is a conclusion to what they call the Olivet Discourse in which Jesus reveals the truth of His second coming, and the gathering of believers and the judgment of the wicked and the lost.
The problem for some will be the separation of the righteous (those in Christ) and the judgment of the wicked (those who have rejected Christ)
We will see in this passage reward for the sheep, and judgment for the goats.
To one group- Jesus says enter in and enjoy your inheritance.
To the other group- Depart from me.
One is offered eternal life with God and one group suffers eternal life without God.
You cannot find a different ending than that.
The central truth to keep in mind is when Christ returns (and He will return) to His glorious throne, there will be judgment based upon our response to Jesus.
Let’s read this passage with eyes and heart open to what Jesus Himself is telling us.
Think about this-
There are sheep and there are goats. They will be separated by identification. (Jesus identifies us)
All of us were born goats. Born into sin and far from God.
Some will allow God to transform them and some will not want the transformation because they like the way they are and by choice stay far from God.
We see in Scripture that the Lord Jesus is judge and Savior.
He will allow each one of us to enjoy or endure the path we have freely chosen. (repeat)
Imagine a world where a goat, presented with an opportunity to be transformed miraculously into a sheep, could do so by embracing the offer extended by the one making the offer. Supernaturally the goat would be instantaneously a baby sheep and cared for by the transformer. (Jesus Christ savior and king)
That happens by the grace and mercy of God to all those that want and will let God transform their lives.
That is a God thing!
You cannot earn it
you cannot buy it
It is a free gift and can only be received by acceptance.
When Jesus returns, with angels all around Him
He will separate those that are His from those who have rejected Him.
The sheep, those on His right, hold a position of honor, He says (34) “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
By personal choice they became sheep.
By choice they have decided to follow Jesus.
By choice they have participated in kingdom work.
We cannot earn salvation, but it is very clear from this passage that the righteous (God’s sheep) took an interest in people they were around.
VBS talked all week about neighbors- those people around us as well as a world apart, that we must be friendly, giving, welcoming, forgiving, and bold.
The early church exploded because they were willing to open their hearts and lives to others.
A quick reading of the passage suggests that salvation is the result of good works.
The sheep acted charitable, giving food, drink, and clothing.
Jesus made it clear- “their inheritance was theirs since the creation of the world. That would have been long before they could have established any good works.
Good works are not the cause of salvation, but the effect of salvation. (Repeat)
As Christians we are to be more like Christ.
The fruit of the Spirit is to be active in our lives. (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control)
Good works is the direct overflow of God active in our lives.
Good works are only acceptable to God because of our relationship with Christ- not in place of Christ. (repeat)
The core message is God’s people will love others. Amen.
Good works follow believers because of Christ.
Followers of Christ treat others with kindness. (heard that this week)
Goats can indeed perform acts of kindness, but their hearts are far from God and are not right with God. Their actions do not honor God.
Believers, after always keeping our relationship with Christ first, we are called to be a part of kingdom work.
#1- Seek and save the lost
#2- Build each other up
#3- minister to others.