Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats

A new interpretation of the parable of the sheep and goats.  


Scriptures:
  • Matthew 25:31-46
  • Exodus 12:5
  • Matthew 16:27-28
  • Matthew 10:40-42
  • James 2:14-20
  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • Matthew 25:11,24,44
  • John 6:28-29
  • John 13:34-35
  • Romans 13:8-10
Outline:
  • Review
  • Parable of the Sheep and Goats
  • Biblical Context
  • Cultural Context
  • The Story
  • The Interpretation
  • This is a Parable
  • What Works Must We Do?
  • Feeding Jesus
Pet peeve about the word “literally”
Many of the debates between Christian doctrines are over what should be literal and what should be figurative
Examples
  • Catholics believe the communion wine is literally Jesus’ blood
  • People who practice ‘feet washing’
  • People who handle poisonous snakes
  • Some claim to have raised the dead
  • I haven’t seen anyone try to move a mountain with their faith
  • Yet many try to cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead
Often times whether we take it literally is based on if we really think we could do it

Review

The Kingdom of God

 What is the Kingdom of God?

  • “Kingdom” means “reign” or “rule”
  • The Jews thought the reign of God was coming immediately
  •  God’s reign over the earth and the hearts of men
  • The plan for God’s future Kingdom is the same as what He intended with Adam and Eve
  • To have His will implemented upon the earth through mankind

About Parables

parable is a short story that illustrates one or more lessons or principles
  •  A parable is a type of analogy
  •  A parable has a surface story and a deeper meaning
  •  A simple story helps to explain a more complex or hidden story  
No single parable gives a complete picture of the Kingdom.   Each parable is meant to describe certain aspects of it.  
No single story or image tells it all.  Therefore Jesus needed to use multiple parables that each illustrate different aspects of the Kingdom.

Parable of the Sheep and Goats

Matthew 25:31-46
31  "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
32 "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;
33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 "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.
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 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to 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?
38 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
39 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
40 "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.'
41 "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;
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; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'
44 "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?'
45 "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.'
46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Biblical Context

This is the last time Jesus would teach
This parable ends the so-called Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24-25. Jesus is on the Mount of Olives with his disciples, responding to their questions about the future destruction of the Temple and the end of the age:
  • “When will these things happen (the destruction of the Temple)?
  • And what is the sign of your coming and of the end of the age” (Matt. 24:3)?
After telling them signs of His coming, Jesus gets them focused on how to live from now until the end time.
Jesus told 4 parables warning the disciples about their need to be prepared. In these parables things got progressively worse for the people who were not prepared.

  • The parable about the faithful servant shows that you will be punished if you are caught misbehaving when the master returns.
  •  ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’49and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards;
  • The parable of the 10 Virgins shows that each person is responsible for their own salvation, and there will come a time when it’s to late.
  • The parable of the talents shows that you will be held accountable for how you use the resources and opportunities God has given you during your stay on earth.
  • The parable of the sheep and the goats

Cultural Context

Sheep vs Goats

  • Sheep are gentle, quiet and easily led animals.
  • Goats are pushy, self-sufficient, and headstrong..
  • Goats are naturally quarrelsome and have short tempers
  • Goats are more aggressive than sheep.
  • Goats are a more independent animal
  • Sheep follow the shepherd who leads them
  • The shepherd must herd the sheep from the rear striking them at times with a stick
It would not be strange for Shepherd to have a mix flock of sheep and goats together
Typically, a shepherd in Palestine allowed sheep and goats to mingle together during the day. But at night, he separated the sheep from the goats.
Exodus 12:5
'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
Geep
If not separated sheep and goats would sometimes mate together.
A sheep–goat hybrid (called a geep in popular media or sometimes a shoat) is the hybrid offspring of a sheep and a goat.
Moral Implication
Scapegoat tradition (Yom Kippur)
Ancient people drew moral analogies from the habits of sheep and goats.  In the folklore of the general Greek culture, the goat symbolized the loose morals of the lesser gods, Pan, Bacchus, and Aphrodite.
Some religions symbolize Satan or Lucifer as a goat
  • These are religions in which he is revered

Shepherds

Unlike farmers, shepherds were often wage earners.
  • They were paid to watch other people’s sheep.
Shepherds often lived alone.
  • Some were nomads.
  • Shepherds were most often the younger sons of simple farmers who did not inherit any land.

The Story

31  "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
  • Son of Man = Messiah
  • Jesus uses language from the Hebrew prophets

All the Nations

32 "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;
Are the nations getting judged or the individual people?
  • The people
  • Notice that the King Becomes a Shepherd

Left Hand

Left hand was bad
  • All Holy work should be done with the right hand
  • All unholy work should be done with the left hand

Judgment

Neither the sheep nor the goats seemed to have known the criteria for getting in

What Are They Judged By?

Notice that the reward and punishment is not based on sins you committed, but by how much love and compassion you showed to others.  
Jesus didn’t divide them by
  • Adulterers
  • Murderers
  • Liars
  • Not tithing
  • Not having a personal relationship with God
  • Not going to the temple
What were the saving acts
  • I was hungry
  • I was thirsty
  • I was a stranger
  • I was naked
  • I was sick
  • I was a prison
These are acts of kindness
The judgment was based on whether or not you loved your neighbor

The Righteous

  • Simple acts of kindness were the mark of the righteous.
  • Similar to the parable of the talents, the righteous used their resources as a blessing
  • The righteous were surprised by the impact of their actions
  • The righteous didn’t do it just for the reward

The Cursed

  • The cursed we’re not necessarily wicked
  • It doesn’t mention that these people had committed any sins
  • They sinned for not doing what they were supposed to do
  • Similarities to the Parable of the Talents their judgment was because they did nothing.
  • They did not use the opportunity they had.
45 "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.'
  • They didn’t do it to one
What separated the righteous from the cursed?
  • Jesus is clearly relating their righteousness to the good Works they did
  • To say it's by faith is to read something into the parable that isn’t there
  • (we’re talking about the story not the interpretation right now)

The Punishment

41 "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;
One group went to the place prepared for them.
  • The other group went to the place prepared for someone else.

The Interpretation

We will start with the regular exegesis of the parable…

The Shepherd

Jesus is the shepherd of both the sheep and the goats

Which Judgment is This?

We have to determine:
  • Which judgment is this? - when
  • Who is being judged?
  • What is the criteria of the judgment?
It’s important to establish when this judgment takes place and who it involves as the sheep and goats. There is considerable disagreement over these two questions. Some commentators believe this parable is a general description of the final judgment of all mankind – a summary of both the judgment seat of Christ for believers (Rom. 14:10, 2 Cor. 5:10) and the great white throne judgment for unbelievers (Rev. 20:11-15), even though these judgments may be separated by a thousand years or more. Other scholars, however, believe this parable teaches a separate judgment for all those who survive the great tribulation and witness the return of Christ.
We will explore different opinions on this...

70 AD

Some believe that this judgment took place in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the temple
  • They were asking Jesus when would the temple be destroyed
Matthew 16:27-28
27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
28 "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
  • They are all dead now
Jesus came back in 70 A.D..
  • This is when the Romans destroyed the temple
  • The Jews were severely persecuted for 4 years
  • Jesus returned, but we don’t see him now because he is outside of time.
  • When we die we go to that timeless area.
  • The Heavens are here now just in another dimension.  
  • The great tribulation started in AD 66
None of the Olivet discourse (Matthew 24 & 25) pertains to us.
  • It all pertain to first century Jews and Christians.
The master in the parables always comes back to the same people he left
  • You don’t see Him leave the servants and come back to their great-great-great-great-great grandchildren

Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:6-10)

  • When Jesus judges the resurrected / raptured believers
  • Sin is not judged here
  • Christian service is rewarded - “crowns”   (Revelation 3:11)
  • Rewarded for the love we have shown
  • There is debate whether this happens before or after the tribulation
Rapture Doctrine
The rapture is when Jesus Christ returns to remove the church (all believers in Christ) from the earth. The rapture is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. Believers who have died will have their bodies resurrected and, along with believers who are still living, will meet the Lord in the air. This will all occur in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. The second coming is when Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist, destroy evil, and establish His millennial kingdom. The second coming is described in Revelation 19:11-16.

The Second Coming (Revelation 19:11-16)

  • The Second Coming is after the Great Tribulation
  • The Millennium follows the Tribulation
  • There is a debate as to whether the Second Coming is before or after the Millennium
Most believe this is the judgment of the Gentile nations
  • Not the judgment of believers

Judgment of Israel

  • Jesus said the disciples would judge the 12 tribes (Matthew 19:27-28)
  • Dispensationalists believe that this happens at the end of the millenium

Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11–15)

  • For unbelievers
  • At the end of the Millennium
This final judgment of unbelievers for their sins occurs at the end of the Millennium, before the creation of the new heaven and earth. At this judgment, unbelievers from all the ages are judged for their sins.

Judgment of Angels (1 Corinthians 6:2–3)

  •  Paul says that Christians will judge angels.

We aren’t exactly sure what this means.
Some of these demons are already imprisoned in darkness and awaiting judgment, according Jude 1:6, due to their leaving their proper dwelling place.

Who is Being Judged?

  • Everyone who lived?
  • The Gentile non-Christians?
  • All non-Christians?
  • The Jews?
All the Nations
The term “the Nations” usually refers to the Gentiles (non-Jews).  
  • Christians have been “grafted in” to the Jews (Romans 11:17-21; Ephesians 3:4-6)
  • Is this a judgment for Christians?
  • Is this a judgment for Jews?
So one thought would be that this judgment does not pertain to Christians

The Judgment

No where in scripture does it say that you can erase your sins by doing good deeds

Neither Knew

The sheep didn’t know they had helped the King and the goats didn’t know they had missed an opportunity to help Him.  
The sheep said: thank you Jesus but I think you have the wrong person I never help to you
  • They weren’t doing it for the reward
Similar to the wheat and tares it implies that we can’t decide who is righteous and who isn’t
  • Neither would have been able to judge who was getting in and who wasn’t
  • We are not here to divide between sheep and goats
  • Heaven’s value system will be different than we expect

Inherit 

34 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Inheritance is a gift
  • In order to receive your inheritance someone has to die

The Least of These

40 "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.'
It is clear that all of the sheep got in and all of the goats did not.  
From a literal reading of the parable, you have to admit that the judgment was based on how they treated “the least of these”.  
There seem to be four main views of who Jesus referred to when He said:  "the least of these brothers of mine" (v.40).

Anyone who is hungry or in physical need

This has been the majority view in church history.  

The Jews

This is the dispensational view, which understands the judgment to be one of several judgments; this one placed it at the close of the Great Tribulation after Christians have been removed from the world by the rapture. It is usually described as a judgment of literal nations on the grounds of their treatment of the Jews.
This view is possible only if the entire dispensational understanding of prophecy is valid.

The Apostles and Other Christian Missionaries

It would mean that the reaction to them and their gospel determines the nation's fate.

All Christians or Disciples

Jesus does not use the word "brothers" in those ways in this gospel. In Matthew "brothers" means "disciples," all who follow Christ or all Christians(Matthew 12:48-50; 23:8; 28:10). "Those who are least" also refers to Christ's followers (Matthew 5:19; 11:11; 18:3-6 and 18:10-14).
This does not mean that the Bible is unconcerned for the poor and the oppressed. It is. We read about it often, but that is not the thought here. What Jesus means here is that the fate of individuals depends on how they relate to Christ's followers, which means how they also relate to him.
John A. Broadus puts it like this: "Our Lord is not expressly speaking of benevolence to the poor and suffering in general, but of kindness to his poor and suffering 'brethren' for his sake.”
 Matthew 10:40-42
 40“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.41“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
  • In the name of a disciple
Jesus was talking about Christians.
  •  people will know you by the love you show to one another

Evidence of Salvation

If that’s the only passage we read we would think that we get into heaven from our works.  
  • A salvation by Works believer would say it is their actions that made them sheep or goats.
Most argue that: you don’t get saved through your works. But your works are in our indication that you are saved.  
Works don’t make it right with God.  Works show that we are right with God.
The explanation being that this parable by saying that it is faith that determines whether or not you get into heaven.
  • But if you have faith you will do good works.
  • Good words or an outward sign of your faith.
  • It is not that your good works save you but if you are saved it will be evidenced by good works.
James 2:14-20
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
Can that faith save him?
  • The implication is “no” but a different (real) faith can save him
nekros: dead
Literally means dead or without life
Metaphorically: spiritually dead
  • destitute of a life that recognizes and is devoted to God, because given up to trespasses and sins
  • inactive as respects doing right
  • destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative
argos:Useless
  •  inactive, idle
  • usage - idle, lazy, thoughtless, unprofitable, injurious
Issue
 Although it is not claiming that the works are the means of salvation it is claiming that one is 100% correlated with the other. It is claiming that if you are a person who gets into heaven then you will unconditionally be a person who is doing good works.
The question is, are the Works always present if you’re saved?

Fruits of the Spirit

The parable speaks of acts of kindness that get people into Heaven.
Kindness is one of the fruits of the spirit.  It is used as an example of all of the other fruits of the Spirit which will be the evidence of your faith
Evidence of your salvation is having the fruits of the Spirit
Jesus always talks about bearing fruit

Sheep Will Be Sheep

  • And goats will be goats
When did the sheep become sheep and when do the goats become goats?
  • The judgment has already taken place
A predestination view would argue that people were chosen to be either sheep or goats before the beginning of time.  
Therefore the sheep were doing what was in their nature and the goats  were doing what was in there nature.
  • It wasn’t what they did that separated them but who they were.
  • The  sheep were always sheep and the goats were always goats.    
  • Sheep do sheep stuff, and goats do goat stuff.  
Jesus is saying the only thing I see in the lives of my sheep is good works. The only thing I see in the goats is unrighteousness.
The kingdom was prepared for the sheep before the foundation of the world.
  • Jesus didn’t die for the goats
  • You have to be a sheep to get in to Heaven
  • Some goats will try to get in
It’s not about performance is about election which is Grace

Issue With This

  • There are self proclaimed atheist who do dedicate their lives to humanitarian work.  
The real question is: Was the parable emphasizing the nature of these animals or the actions of these animals?  
Jesus emphasizes the important character traits of the actors in the analogy.
  • For example the parable was clear that week and tears look similar until the harvest.
  • He was not emphasizing any other traits about the wheat or the weeds

Punishment

Hell was never intended for human beings it was intended for the devil
Eternal
Eternal (166 /aiṓnios) life operates simultaneously outside of time, inside of time, and beyond time – i.e. what gives time its everlasting meaning for the believer through faith, yet is also time-independent
  --HELPS Word-studies
  • Eternal can mean going on for ever
  • Eternal can also mean final
  • Eternal punishment could be death
What does eternal mean in a realm without time?

This Is a Parable

My take on it is that this is a parable…
How many of you carry around lamps and extra oil?
  • But the parable of the 10 virgins said it was wise to have extra lamp extra oil with your land
How many of you believe that God is concerned with you having a big bank account?
  • But in the parable of the talents it was the amount of money they earned when the master returned that determined if they got in or not
Why not?
You don’t do that because you understand that it was a parable.
  • You don’t take the story literally.
  • The entrance criteria in the parable are just there as an analogy

A Parable is an Analogy

A parable is an analogy. It is a story that is making a point different then the details that are in the analogy. In the analogy of the people get rewarded for good works. But this is a parable which means the specific details of the story must not be the actual literal interpretation of the message that is being conveyed.
What got these wise virgins into the wedding banquet was the fact that they were prepared. What made the foolish versions foolish was the fact that they didn’t have oil.  The oil was just given as an analogy.
The specific details of the parable are there to make a different point.
When we read the parable of the talents we don’t think oh God wants me to make the most money that I can.… Unless share in the prosperity doctrine.
The point Jesus is making in all three parables is that we need to be prepared.  
Why would we take all of the other parables as figurative but take this one literally. Although we know the sheep and goat part is clearly figurative but we want to take what made sheep and goats righteous as something that applies directly to us.  The acts of good works listed are figurative.
What got these people into the kingdom was the fact that they were righteous.
  • What made them righteous was an analogy

This One is Relatable

In the first the parable of the 10 virgins and the parable of the talents it is clear that the example reason for the separation was to be taken and figuratively.  Why is this one different?
  • Because it is culturally relevant to us
  • This is something we can actually do
  • This one is closer to our theology
  • This analogy is feasible as a real criteria
That doesn’t change the fact that it’s an analogy
We want to interpret this parable differently because the analogy he uses can apply directly to us. That doesn’t make it any less of an analogy. The works that the people did in this parable are not to be literally taken as the requirements to get into heaven. In the same manner that having enough oil or planting seeds in the proper location will get you into heaven.
We have seen that each parable is explaining a specific point.

Consider the Scriptural Context

The parable is the culmination of a 4 parable response to questions about what Jesus’ second coming will be like.  All of the parable are talking about the same event using different analogies.
The Judged
  • Servant
  • Virgins
  • Slaves
  • Sheep and goats
The Judgment
  • Treatment of his fellow servants
  • Having oil
  • Having gained interest on money
  • Having ministered to “the least of these”
The Punishment
  • Cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites
  • Not allowed into the banquet
  • Cast into outer darkness
  • Eternal suffering
They are all parables

Main Points of the Parable

  • There will be a time of judgment
  • There will be a separation between the righteous and the unrighteous
  • The righteous may get rewarded for things they did not do for the purpose of getting a reward
  • The unrighteous will be punished for opportunities they didn’t value at the time
  • Some who thought they’d be saved will be surprised
  • Every denomination every religion thinks their right
How can we be sure we’re right?

What Works Must We Do?

This parable is not explaining what righteous acts get you into heaven and which don’t. We need to look for a specific place with the Bible tells us exactly what acts will get us into heaven.

Lord, Lord

Some will they they fulfilled the requirements, but they will be wrong…
Matthew 7:21-23
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'
  • Only the one who does the will of the Father will enter into the Kingdom of God
  • What is the Father’s will?
Matthew 25
  • Parable Of ten virgins
  • Parable of talents
  • Sheep and goats
Foolish virgins, lazy man and goats represent the same group
Jesus gives 3 examples of those who cry “Lord Lord” but don’t get in
  • Those who weren’t ready - foolish
  • The one who was lazy
  • The goats
Matthew 25:11,24,44
11“Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’
 24“And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.
44“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?’
Some who call Jesus Lord won’t get in

The Works

It would be great if there were somewhere with the disciples explicitly asked what works need to be done in order to be saved
John 6:28-29
28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."
  • The work of God is to believe in Jesus
  • That’s it...
Jesus explained this to them prior to the Olivet discourse.
  • That’s why they didn’t ask Him about this.  
  • He did not need to further explain what the literal works are that they need to do.

Feeding Jesus

“The two rarest things in the world are a young man who isn’t filled with pride or an old man who isn’t filled with regret”.
Story: scrooge
We understand that your good works cannot save you
You’re bad works cannot damn you
In the Faith versus works discussion we have been 100% on the Faith side.
  • We believe that whether you do works or not has no impact on your salvation.  
However the Bible does also teach that those who truly believe will see a result in their life.  
  • That true faith will manifest itself in actions.
We know Works aren’t required but we have to address the question: “Then why are they talked about so much? 
You get one shot and then comes eternity.
Salvation is not that you can erase your sin through good deeds.
  • The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus did that for us on the cross.

Love Replaced the Law

In Deuteronomy 4:5-8 God tells the Israelites that one of the reasons for the law is so that their Gentile neighbors will see how wise and fair the laws were and would realize that they had a God who was near there.
  • One of the characteristics of the law was that it was supposed to inspire Gentiles to want follow God
  • The laws were to make the Jews peculiar and set them apart
Jesus tells is that love has replaced the commandments
John 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
  • Jesus states that love is the new commandment
  • Non-Christians would see the love and be attracted to it
  • Our acts of love are supposed to set us apart from nonbelievers
Non Christians should see the love that we share and be inspired by it
Romans 13:8-10
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
  • Paul states that love has replaced the law

Finding Jesus

In the parable, Jesus said I’m letting you in because I was hungry and you fed me.
Jesus said when you showed love to the least of these you showed love to me.
  • We were showing love to Jesus.
The parable implies that this supreme Christ resides in the bodies of the outcast.
The challenge for us is to see Jesus in each and every person who has a need
Story: Martin of Turin.
He was a soldier and he was a Christian. And as he was entering into a city on a cold day, there was a beggar in rags asking him for help. But Martin didn't have any money, and so he took his coat, his Army coat, and he cut it in half, and he gave half of it to this beggar. It was sort of a tattered coat and all, but he was willing to share it with this man in need. That night, it is said that Martin had a dream. And in his dream he saw the Lord standing with all of His holy angels in heaven, and the Lord was wearing half of an army coat.
Story: Francis of Assisi.
Francis was a wealthy, careless man before his conversion. But one day he was out riding and saw a loathsome leper. Something moved Francis to dismount and fling his arms around the leper; when he did, the face of the leper changed to the face of Jesus Christ
Story: Happy Meal
  • Offered a ride
  • Ran to buy McDonald’s for homeless women
  • Must’ve been for this lesson
“I may not save the world but I have to die trying” — Francis Chan

Conclusion

This is not a parable about recognizes sheep and goats.
  • That is not our job
This is a parable about recognizing Jesus
The paradox of this parable is that if you were living correctly it didn’t  matter if you recognized Jesus or not  
In this parable you cannot get into  the Kingdom without doing the right thing.
  • But you cannot do the right thing by trying to do the right thing.  
  • You can only do the right thing by becoming the right type of person.
It is easy to continue going down the same path.
  • It takes effort to change the path that you were going down.
The more that we do it the more unconscious it becomes in the easier it gets.
Until one day you you find yourself yourself standing in front of God being praised for things you don’t even remember doing.
God has given you an invitation to become the person that He imagined you to be.  
Your daily prayer should be:  God let me slowly and unconsciously become the person that you imagined me to be.
Presenter: Michael Leadon


References

Parable of the Sheep and Goats (GotQuestions.org)
What is the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming?
The Sheep and Goats Matthew 25 Francis Chan
The Second Coming Series #20 The Sheep and Goat Nations - Dr. Kelly Nelson Birks
D’fied Church of Christ podcast on Parable of the Sheep and Goats
Chuck Smith Commentary on Matthew 25
Sheep and Goats - The Very Hardest Parables

Extra

Who Are the Nations?


Ephesians 2:17
AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; 18for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household

Which Judgment?

2 Corinthians 5:6-10
6Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.9Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

The Tribulation

The judgments of the tribulation period (Revelation 6—16). These terrible judgments are pictured as seven seals opened, seven trumpets blown, and seven bowls poured out. God’s judgment against the wicked will leave no doubt as to His wrath against sin. Besides punishing sin, these judgments will have the effect of bringing the nation of Israel to repentance.

The Second Coming

Revelation 19:11-16
 11And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
When Jesus returns to the earth in glory to establish His kingdom upon the earth, the first order of business at His return will be the judgement of the nations, in which it will be determined which of those people who have survived the Great Tribulation will be allowed to enter into the kingdom age. And so all of the people of the nations will be gathered before Christ for this period of judgement. So it is possible that a person could survive the Great Tribulation and see the Lord when He comes again, and still not be able to enter into the kingdom age. There will be a definite division at that point, as He separates the people, the nations, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
—Chuck Smith Commentary

Judgment of Israel

Matthew 19:27-28
 27Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” 28And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Who is Being Judged?

Romans 11:17-21

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.

Ephesians 3:4-6
4By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,


The Least of These

1 John 2:9-11
9The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. 10The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Acts 9:1-6
1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,
2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;
4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
5 And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,
6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do."
1 John 3:13-18
13Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.15Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

Feeding Jesus

Leviticus 25:35–38
35‘Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36‘Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you.37‘You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain. 38‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
Some of us see Jesus as being a servant when he came to earth the first time and a king when he returns
  • But Jesus clarifies that the king was the king when he was lying in the dirt ditch
  • The king was the king when he was hungry
  • The king was the king when he was carrying his cross to the place where he would be executed
There is a difference between a ruler who has to do things to show you that he is the boss. Versus a ruler who is all and completely powerful and there is nothing left for him to do except to give it away.
Example: Damon break dancing
  • Used the o battle everyone
  • Came back the best
Example: my car
  • Not racing just getting in front of that car
Jesus begin his public ministry with the following statement
Luke 4
16And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

     18“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
           BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
           HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
           AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
           TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,

     19TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
Ephesians 2:8-10
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Jeremiah 22:15-16
15“Do you become a king because you are competing in cedar?
           Did not your father eat and drink
           And do justice and righteousness?
           Then it was well with him.

     16“He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy;
           Then it was well.
           Is not that what it means to know Me?”
           Declares the LORD.
  • To do what is right and just to defend the cause of the poor is to know God
Deuteronomy 4:5-8
5See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
  • What was going to be the people’s reaction to the Jews following the laws?
  • They are a great and wise people
  • They have a righteous  God
  • The fact that God gave them righteous laws was supposed to entice the nations to following God
Is there a more tangible way to show love for Jesus then to give to the poor?
Jeremiah 22:15-16
15“Do you become a king because you are competing in cedar?
           Did not your father eat and drink
           And do justice and righteousness?
           Then it was well with him.

     16“He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy;
           Then it was well.
           Is not that what it means to know Me?”
           Declares the LORD.
  • To do what is right and just to defend the cause of the poor is to know God
Deuteronomy 4:5-8
5See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
What was going to be the people’s reaction to the Jews following the laws?
They are a great and wise people
They have a righteous  God
The fact that God gave them righteous laws was supposed to entice the nations to following God
What do you not do because of your faith?
What do you do because of your faith?
Hebrews 6
  9But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. 10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
God not only sees where you are He sees where you can be
“I may not save the world but I have to die trying” — Francis Chan
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Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted the world would end in: 1914, 1925 and 1975.  
Christ community church
Story of the soldier and the woman with the rose
Is Love or Faith something that should be tested? Society says no, but the Bible says yes.
Without testing our faith we do not know what type of faith we actually have.
  • Judgment is coming
  • Jesus is the judge
  • there will be many surprises on judgment day
  • This judgment is permanent and fixed
  • In the end there are only two types of people
  • It is all about a relationship with Christ himself
Our society is hypocritical because it says that we should not judge yet it is constantly judging us.  we live in a culture where we don’t like judgment.If you have ever been upset at the state of this world that is judgment.  If you are calling for the wrongs to be right at or the any qualities that to be made equal that is a judgment.
When people ask “who are you to judge” I respond “who are you to ask me who I am to judge”. Because they have made a judgment that I should not judge
Jesus is my savior but he is also my judge..