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Matthew 25 Sheep and Goats

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Introduction

This month we have been looking at the parables of Jesus.  First Sunday we dealt with the parables of the sower as outlined in Mark four.  Jesus explained how it is possible for people to hear the same message and some can use the message to be fruitful and others not.  We discovered that our hearts must be fit to receive the Word of God.

Last Sunday looked at the parable of the wheat and the tares.  Jesus taught us that there will be those among us who look like us but are not a part of us.  In the parable the evil one sowed bad seed with the good seed and they grow together.  In this parable Jesus tells us to leave them alone, He will do the separating.  If we try to separate them, we will destroy some good in our attempt to remove the bad.  We also learn that God is able to turn a tare into wheat, so we are to let them grow together.

This Sunday we will look at the parable outline in Matthew 25.

Matthew 25:31-46

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. KJV

Subject

“Are You a Sheep or a Goat?”

Are you a sheep or a goat is the question?  Jesus in our scriptures today answers the question concerning the events of His Second Coming and what will take place.  We were told late Sunday to let the wheat and tares grow together until the harvest.  What we see in this parable it’s harvest time.  There are three thoughts we will share today.

First                  the Separator

Second             the Separation

Third                the Separated

I

The Separator

Matthew 25:31-32

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: KJV

The first thing we should note in our scriptures is the time of the separation is “…When the Son of man shall come in his glory…”

When is this time?  No one really knows, the disciples asked Jesus about this time.

Acts 1:6-8

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. KJV

It’s not for us to know, we have been empowered by the Holy Ghost to serve until this time comes.

Secondly             We note who’s present.

Matthew 25:31-32

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: KJV

There will be no one left out of this day of separation or we can also call it a day of Judgment.  The most important thing to note is in verse thirty-two.

Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: KJV

The Son of Man “…shall separate them…”

We were told last week in the parable of the wheat and the tares;

Matthew 13:41-42

41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. KJV

The Son of Man it is He who will separate the wheat and the tares, the sheep and the goat, for it is He who can see the heart of man.

II

The Separation

Matthew 25:32-33

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. KJV

We are told that those that are gathered will be separated “… as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats…”

Sheep and goats would feed together during the day; but at night time they are separated from each others.  There were two reasons given for this process.

First      The male goats were often hostile toward the sheep so they were separated to protect the sheet from harm. 

Secondly, the goats needed to be kept warm at night so they were place in an environment more suited for them.

Jesus uses this custom to illustrate the separation which will take place when the Son of Man comes in His glory.  The main point is there is no mistaken a goat with a sheep, it will be clear who is His and who is not.

What is important to us in the parable is how He knew His own?

Last Sunday, we saw that while growing the wheat and the tares looks alike and if we attempted to separate or pull the tares we would destroy some wheat.  But what we see this morning is that the insignias’ saint will not be lost in the crowd of sinners and the smallest of sinners can not hid in the crowd of saints.  They will be as clear to Jesus as sheep and goats are to the shepherd.

Psalms 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. KJV

III

The Separated

 

Matthew 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. KJV

 

The sheep are separated to receive a reward and the goats to receive punishments.  When we look at these scriptures there are four things we can notice.

First we must notice the content of the reward and punishment, secondly the cause for receiving the reward or punishment, third the confusion about the reward or punishment and the clarification given.

First      The Sheep are rewarded

Content:

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: KJV

Cause:

 

Matthew 25:35-36

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. KJV

Confusion:

Matthew 25:37-39

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? KJV

Clarification

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. KJV

The sheep showed compassion for those in need.  It is God’s desire that we show compassion for others.  It was not because of their sacrificial offering in the; but, their compassion shown towards those in need.  It was not because they had built great cathedrals; but, their compassion shown to others.  It was not because they serviced on the deacon ministry or the usher’s ministry or the choir; but, their compassion shown to those in need.

Second             the Goats’ Punishment

The Content:

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: KJV

The Cause:

Matthew 25:42-43

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. KJV

They showed no compassion for those in needs.  They were to busy to give anyone anything to drink or to feed them or give them cloths to wear.  They were not concern about the needs of others.

The Confusion:

Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? KJV

The Clarification:

Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. KJV

Conclusion

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. KJV

This does not imply Salvation by works.  What it does illustrate is the evidence or fruit of our salvation.  Because of our faith in Jesus Christ and our love for Him, we should be concerned about the needs of other.

Our concern for the needs of others should be shown the compassion we show to those who are in need.  Jesus said;

Matthew 25:35-36

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. KJV

Jesus saw that we were in need of a savor.  He showed his compassion for us.

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