The Sheep and the Goats

Joel 3:1-3 and Matthew 25:31-46

   DIG: When does this judgment take place? Where does it take place? Why does it take place? What is the difference between the sheep and goat Gentiles? Who is allowed entrance into the Messianic Kingdom?

   REFLECT: If you are a believer in Jesus Christ right now do these verses apply to you? What do these verses say to the unbeliever?

    Though a vast number of Gentiles will be killed during the Great Tribulation, and the great Gentile army will be slaughtered during the Campaign of Armageddon, some will still survive. At that time, and at the very place where the Campaign ended, each individual Gentile will be gathered for judgment described in two passages.

    First, the prophet Joel tells us that in those days and at that time, God will restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem. We are told that He will gather all the Gentile nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There He will enter into judgment against them concerning His inheritance concerning the people of Israel. The basis for their judgment will be how they treated the Jews during the Great Tribulation. The sins committed against Israel are: first, the Gentiles scattered His people among the nations during the middle of the Great Tribulation; and next, they divided up His Land during the Campaign of Armageddon; and last, they sold the Jews into slavery. They cast lots for His people and traded boys for prostitutes and they sold girls for wine that they might drink (Joel 3:1-3). Each Gentile will be judged on the basis of his or her participation in these kinds of sins, for whoever touches Israel touches the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8).

    Secondly, the results of this judgment are given in Matthew. The Judge, the judgment and those judged are identified in Matthew 25:31-33. When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne as the Judge in heavenly glory. All the Gentiles still living on the earth will be gathered before Him for judgment, and He will separate the people from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats based on their treatment of the Jewish people during the Great Tribulation. He will put the pro-Jewish sheep on His right and the anti-Jewish goats on His left.

    Matthew 25:34-40 concerns the pro-Jewish sheep. They will provide help to the Jews during the Great Tribulation, at a time when it will be extremely dangerous to do so. The Jews who will have to flee into the wilderness without anything with them will often be provided with food, clothing and shelter by the sheep Gentiles. They will also render help to the Jews of Jerusalem. For I was hungry and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison for not taking the mark of the beast and you came to visit me. Because of these acts of kindness, they will be allowed to enter the Messianic Kingdom. 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. It will be the sheep Gentiles who will also play a part in the destruction of Babylon, the capital city of the antichrist (see Ej – They Will Make War Against the Lamb, But the Lamb Will Overcome Them). They will reach the 1,335th day (see Ey – The Seventy-Five Day Interval), and will be the ones who will populate the Gentile nations during the thousand-year reign of Christ.

    As far as the anti-Jewish goats, Matthew 25:41-45 states that all who aid the antichrist in the Jewish destruction will be killed and sent to hell. 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. 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, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. They will fail to reach the 1,335th day and, as a result, will lose out on the blessings of the Messianic Kingdom.

    The basis of judgment will not be salvation or lack of it, but being pro-Jewish or anti-Jewish. Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life (Matthew 25:46). The goats will go to hell, whereas the sheep will inherit eternal life. So is their eternal destiny based upon works? Not at all. The Bible is clear that salvation equals faith plus nothing. Salvation is totally apart from works. During the Great Tribulation the Jews will become a dividing line between those who are believers and those who are not. Only the believers will dare to violate the rules of the antichrist and aid the Jews. As James would say they will show their faith by their works (James 2:14-26 NKJ). But the unbelievers will prove their unbelief by their anti-Jewish acts.

    The judgment of the Gentiles, then, will determine who among them will be allowed to enter the Messianic Kingdom. Only believing Gentiles will be allowed entrance, and the evidence of their faith will be their pro-Jewish works.429

 

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