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Summary: "The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats" is not mentioned in any of the other gospels, no doubt because the other Gospels do not focus on Christ’s kingship, as does Matthew. For that same reason Matthew places much greater emphasis on all aspects of the L

The American economy faced an economic decision like it never has before this week. After decades of overspending, a judgment of budgetary failure came upon the American people. Unable to deal with their ever increasing debt load they faced the challenge of resolving their debt.

All actions have their consequences in judgment. An accounting for actions will eventually come to everyone. Not even the sins of Christians are exempt. The marvelous and gracious privilege granted to Christians, however, is to have had the judgment and punishment for all their sins placed upon the Lord Jesus Christ, who died as the substitute for sinners. By God’s divine grace working through their obedient trust in His Son, believers have the guilt and penalty for their sins nailed to the cross with Christ. But those who do not receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior must bear the penalty for their own sins, which is spiritual death and eternal damnation. The warning to unbelievers is stated over and over again in Scripture by word and demonstrated by direct acts of divine judgment.

Jesus’ closing words in the Olivet discourse-a sermon on His second coming given privately to the disciples after His last public teaching in the Temple-were one of the most severe and sobering warnings of judgment in all of Scripture, pictured as the divine separation of the righteous sheep from the unrighteous goats. Not only will it determine the ultimate, eternal destinies of everyone but will also determine who will and will not enter the kingdom. Only those who belong to the King, believers who have been born into God’s spiritual family and been made citizens of His spiritual kingdom, will enter His glorious kingdom.

"The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats" is not mentioned in any of the other gospels, no doubt because the other Gospels do not focus on Christ’s kingship, as does Matthew. For that same reason Matthew places much greater emphasis on all aspects of the Lord’s second coming than do the other gospels, because it is at Jesus` return, He will manifest Himself as King of kings and Lord of lords in consummate regal glory and power (Rev. 19:11–16). Therefore, in Matthew 25:31-46 we see: 1) The Setting of Judgment (Matthew 25:31–32a) and 2) The Process of Judgment (Matthew 25:32b-46)

1) The Setting of Judgment (Matthew 25:31–32a)

Matthew 25:31-32a [31]"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. [32]Before him will be gathered all the nations, (and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats). (ESV)

The four parables of Matthew 24:43–25:30 have all alluded to judgment, even while concentrating more on right living in this life. The parable of the talents taught the need for faithful work and service, which will be rewarded at the judgment. The final story is of the judgment itself. There is also a progression. In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, the women who were not ready are shut out from the banquet. In the next parable, the wicked, lazy servant is thrown out into the darkness. In the story of the sheep and the goats, those who have ignored the needs of Christ’s brothers are cursed with an eternal punishment (Boice, J. M. (2001). The Gospel of Matthew (540). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.).

This passage is often described as a parable, but Jesus does not use this term for it. This, of course, is not decisive (he does not describe the story of the talents as a parable either). It is described as a parable in the fact that it describes actual future events based on present imagery of separating sheep from goats) (Morris, L. (1992). The Gospel according to Matthew (633). Grand Rapids, Mich.; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.)

a) The Judge When the Son of Man (25:31a)

Please turn to Daniel 7

The sovereign Judge over the separation of the sheep and goats will be Christ Himself, the Son of Man. Jesus had earlier declared that “not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father” (John 5:22). God the Father has delegated all judgment authority to the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the fulfillment of the vision of Dan 7:13–14 where the Son of Man is enthroned as judge over all the nations (France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (957). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.)

Daniel 7:13-14 [13]"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. [14]And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (EV)

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