the sheep and goats

Topic: Inherit the Kingdom. The Sheep and Goats. Category: Kingdom> End Times>
Bible Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46, Matthew 12:48-50, Luke 4:18-19 and Revelation 20:10-15.

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At a time before Jesus went to the cross He sat on the Mount of Olives with His disciples. In a private moment with them, they asked about the end of the age and how to inherit the kingdom.

Consequently Jesus shared with them the things that will take place and the sign of His coming. He talked about the great tribulation and that no one knows the day or hour of His coming except our Father in Heaven.

Jesus explains that at the appointed time of our Father, there will be a separation of those who have received Him and those who have rejected Him. Let us read of that time and what will take place.

the sheep on the His right

Matthew 25:31-40 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was 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, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

blessed of the Father

Jesus the Son of Man is coming back! He’s coming with His holy angels. In all His glory He sits in His rightful place, on the throne of glory.

All the nations, tribes and people will be gathered. As the good shepherd He sets apart His sheep. His sheep have received Him and His right to rule and reign. As a result they are blessed. 

As Jesus says in verse 34 ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:’

Inheritance cannot be earned. It is a gift. The legal right is determined by identity. Usually it is the children of the deceased. In Christ Jesus we are adopted into the beloved. We inherit the identity of Jesus and His relationship with God the Father. We become a child of God. Through our identity in Jesus, His inheritance becomes our inheritance.

the sheep inherit the kingdom

His sheep inherit the kingdom. All those who receive Him and His right to rule and reign are His sheep. Set apart at His right hand. In a position of power and inheritance. As His sheep we live in His eternal kingdom that was prepared before the foundation of the world.

This has always been God’s plan even knowing the rebellion of humanity, yes even knowing each ones failures and weaknesses.

Before we were born, God prepared a place for us.

Jesus makes it very clear we cannot earn or possess His kingdom through good works. God
has blessed us and brought us into His family and kingdom through receiving Jesus. The outworking of His kingdom within us is how we see each other and do relationships.

Jesus reveals the care He and the Father have towards others, especially the poor and the outcast. The human need for clean drinking water, nutritious food, adequate clothing, good health, community and freedom from captivity are the personal concerns of God. 

Jesus declares, ‘I was hungry, you gave Me food. I was thirsty you gave Me drink, I was a stranger you took Me in, I was naked, you clothed Me, I was sick you visited Me, I was in prison, you came to Me.

the flock of sheep

Jesus makes Himself and relationships with others personal. According to Jesus there is no separation of relationships with Jesus and with others, especially within the flock of His sheep.

Jesus said in verse 40, ‘…inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.

Using the words ‘My brethren’ Jesus reminds His disciples of a previous time when He declared those who have received Him are part of His family. Jesus was not referring to a family of physical birth.

Let us look at that earlier time. Matthew 12:48-50 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” all who do the will of My Father in heaven is my brother.

After His death and resurrection Jesus used the term again in reference to His disciples.

Matthew 28:10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

His kingdom

In the text Jesus very clearly shows His disciples throughout all the ages what His Kingdom should look like.

It is interesting to note the sheep were not aware of their acts of kindness. There was no hidden agenda or need to do the good works as they asked the Lord, when did we do such things? Jesus said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

The way Jesus’ disciples treat each other is evidence of the transforming work of God within them.

Remember the sheep were not aware of their acts of kindness. Their acts of kindness were the natural outworking of the supernatural transformation of the love of God in their hearts.

fulfilment of His kingdom

For such is fulfilment of His mission. Jesus declared in Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

His mission continues by His Spirit in and through His disciples. There is only one mission, one ministry, that of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which every disciple has a part. Above all to know Him and His love is our first priority. Living in daily surrender of selfish desires, receiving and responding to His love we are being transformed into His character. This transformation then outworks in our relationship with each other.

the goats on the left

Then Jesus turns His attention to those on the left of Him.

Matthew 25:41-46 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’

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.”

The goats. In complete contrast to His own on the right, Jesus declares to them on the left the pathway they had chosen.

To those on the right He says come, to those on the left He says depart from Me. That was the choice they had made. They refused to receive Jesus, therefore now they are to enter into the destiny of their choosing.

the goats are cursed

Jesus said in verse 41,  ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

God doesn’t curse them. They are cursed as a result of rejecting Jesus and His right to rule and reign. Jesus came to set humanity free from all the curses. Curses were a result of humanity giving their power over to evil and self.

Unlike those on the right who are free of all curses and blessed of the Father, those on the left remain cursed. They are bound to evil, trapped in the bondage of self and to their chosen destination.

This is the direct result of rejecting Jesus, as they have rejected their only pathway to salvation. They will stand before the throne and be judged accordingly.

judgment

Revelation 20:10-15 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away and there was found no place for them.

I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Jesus shows how evil and self are totally opposed to God and His Kingdom. In rejecting Him the goats effectively are choosing evil, bondage to self and eternal darkness.

He makes Himself personal

With the sheep and the goats Jesus makes Himself personal. He declares to the goats on His left, ‘I was hungry and you did not give Me food. I was thirsty and you did not give me drink, I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

The response of those who rejected Jesus reveals their heart of pride. ‘Lord when did we not minister or serve you?’  They see each one according to their own selfish, prideful heart in defining the outworking of respect and equality as servitude. Instead of seeing each one as Jesus does–equal.

Jesus said to them, these things you did not do unto the least, therefore you did not do unto to Me. Certainly they would consider those who are without the basic human needs as the least in their community. Jesus is saying, in fact those you consider the least, they are as Me. Therefore the King of all kings aligns Himself with those the world considers cursed. Yet it is those who are on His left, that are the ones who are cursed.

eternal destiny

Jesus will separate the sheep, those who received Him, from the goats, those who rejected Him. It is the inheritance of every disciple of Jesus to live in the reality of His Kingdom where the least are raised up equal. Everyone is equal in Christ Jesus. He gives His honour, identity, inheritance and respect.

Through surrender of self will to the will of our Father, His Kingdom becomes established in our hearts and minds. In surrender we live each day in the victory of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. As a result our relationships one with another are also transformed. We then see each other through His eyes of love with no selfish intent in what we do. The outworking of His love in us becomes the witness to the world.

As Jesus said, ‘Come you blessed, My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:’ He also said, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:’

Consequently everyone has a free choice. To receive Jesus and enter into His Kingdom of eternal life or reject Jesus and enter into the kingdom of eternal bondage.

Who do you choose?

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