Summary: Christ the King will one day return to judge the people of the nations and that judgment will be predetermined by our response to the grace of God.
Christ the King Sunday according to the traditional church calendar and it is fitting that we take a look at Christ the King to reconfirm in our minds and hearts just Who we will be waiting for in the upcoming Advent season which starts next Sunday.
With that in mind let’s take a look at
Matthew 25:31-46 (NASB)
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation 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; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
“When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
“for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’
“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’
“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Wow! What a Scripture! Christ the King has so many attributes and activities recorded in the Bible: Creator, Sustainer of Life, The Perfect Sacrifice, The Anointed One - Messiah, The First Born from the Dead, The Counselor, The Prince of Peace, The Mediator, The King of kings and Lord of lords, The Redeemer, and here He is revealed as the Judge who will return in the future to dispense justice to the nations and the King who pronounces judgment.
He is not some puny earthly king.
He is the King of Glory described in Psalm 24 as the LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle and the LORD of hosts.
But this return of Christ as King and Judge had been prophesied as early as the seventh generation after Adam
as it says in Jude 1:14b-15 (NASB) it says,
“Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all …
“and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
So, in this prophecy Christ the King has returned to earth. Why?
Verses 32 and 33 tell us,
“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.”
I tried and tried to think of a common example that could be used to illustrate this separation of the sheep from the goats but was unable to do so because this situation is so unique and the reason it is so unique is because the sheep and the goats have chosen their species.
Imagine a world where a goat, when presented with the opportunity to be transformed miraculously into a sheep could do so just by embracing the offer extended by the one making the offer. Supernaturally the goat would be instantaneously into a baby sheep and cared for by the Great Transformer, Christ the Savior and King!