Sunday, July 10, 2011

THE END TIMES - Part 8: The Sheep and the Goats


The End Times
Part 8 – The Sheep and the Goats
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION

Jesus began this discussion with the disciples when they heard Him speak of the destruction of the temple.  When they asked Jesus in private, he explained to them that He was speaking of the end times, to which they wanted to know more.

Jesus explained to them the signs of the end times.  He also talked about the anti-Christ, referred to as the abomination of desolation, where the anti-Christ will stand in the temple, and claim to be God.  Jesus says that the anti-Christ will deceive many, even the elect (the Jews).

Jesus talked to them about the Great Tribulation that will take place, a time like no other the earth has ever seen, or will see again.

Jesus also told the disciples about His second coming. 

He talked about the parables;
·        of the fig tree (recognizing the signs of the end times)

·        the parable of the faithful and unfaithful servant (not knowing when Christ will return)
·        the parable of the ten virgins (some five faithful and five unfaithful)

Last week we looked at Jesus’ parable of the talents to understand that our master has entrusted us with a great treasure, the Holy Word, and expects us to take this word and understanding of salvation and repentance, and multiply the kingdom by teaching it to others, planting seeds for the Holy Spirit to work.

This week we will look at the scriptures and see where Jesus explains to the disciples how He will judge the nations by the way they treat the Children of God.



SCRIPTURE READING

Matthew 25:31-46    The Sheep and the Goats
 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
   
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 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, 36 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.’
   
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
   
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
   
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
   
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
   
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
   
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
I.       THE SECOND COMING AND ITS JUDGMENT
1.      The Second Coming is NOT the Rapture

2.      Separation of the Sheep and the Goats
1.      Sheep and goats were allowed to mingle during the day while at pasturage, but at night are separated.  Jesus is illustrating here the truth that although righteous and wicked are now together, there will come a time of separation.



II.   BLESSINGS AND CURSES
1.      Blessed are Rewarded at the Right Hand of Christ (Sheep)

2.      WHY?
1.      The Right Hand - Most believe that this is a reference to the custom of the Sanhedrin of putting the acquitted prisoners on the right of the president, and those who were convicted on his left. 
2.      I was hungry and you gave me food.
3.      I was thirsty and you gave me drink
4.      I was a stranger and you took me in
5.      I was naked and you clothed me
6.      I was sick and you visited me
7.      I was in prison and you visited me
8.      ALL of these are descriptions of our BEHAVIORS towards others...why?  BECAUSE LOVE IS AN ACTION - not a feeling or emotion.  When we LIVE IN LOVE, we outwardly express the love which is in us...the love of Christ.

3.      But Lord, when did we do these things?

4.       40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

5.      Cursed will be Punished at the Left Hand (Goats)

6.      WHY?
1.      The Left Hand
2.      They did NOTHING for the hungry, the thirsty, the strangers, the naked, they did not visit the sick or those imprisoned.  They lived SELF-centered lives, only truly caring about themselves.

7.      41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 
8.      44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’


III.                        EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT OR LIFE ETERNAL?
1.      God's Plan, and His Will for YOU
1.      34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

2.      God has prepared a place, a kingdom, an inheritance, in which He wants YOU to qualify for. 
1.      1 Timothy 2:3-53 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, “
2.      Hosea 4:6 “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you “

3.      God created this place with the intention of ALL PEOPLE being saved from sin, that is God's will!

2.      Jesus tells us in Matthew 28, that WE must share this good news with the entire world.  Baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit...(meaning to reconcile the entire Word of God, from the Commands man cannot measure up to, showing the need for Christ, Christ, the answer to our separation from God because of sin, and the Holy Spirit, our mediator and connection to our Father in heaven through Christ Jesus!)  After that, teaching them to obey all that Christ has taught.

CONCLUSION

2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”

Knowing that Christ will one day judge you, look at 2 Corinthians 13:5, telling you to examine yourself...

Ask yourself this question, after reading what Jesus Himself says is the measure of one of His sheep, how are you measuring up today?

Galatians 6:1010 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Have you put away selfishness, or selfishly put things away?

Are you living in love, or merely talking about it?

Is the love of Christ Jesus in you?  If He is alive and well within you, then your life MUST be a reflection of this.