The Sheep and Goats Judgement
In Matthew 25, we see Jesus passing a judgment on the nations and people that survived the Great Tribulation under Antichrist’s rule where He places the Sheep on His right hand and the Goats on His left hand. What is this about? Is this just another depiction of the final judgement by God or is this something more specific to the time of the Second Coming of Christ to begin His reign on Earth for 1000 years?
“31When 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.” (Matthew 25:31-46 KJV)
Some are teaching this is the same as the final judgment but this is not about that. This is specific to the survivors of the Tribulation Period where Antichrist was ruling and demanding total allegiance or death.
During the Tribulation Period, those who reject the Antichrist as god (The Sheep) are going to be hunted down and persecuted harshly. Many will be beheaded for their faith in Jesus. Yes, there will be a large number of people who did not get Raptured but after the event will come to faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. Those martyred for their faith are seen in Heaven in White Robes, saved eternally, in Revelation 6. But there will be many who come to faith in Christ during the Tribulation Period who will survive the Tribulation Period as well. These are the Sheep in this passage.
It may seem like this passage in Matthew 25 is saying that works are required for Salvation but it is not stating that as doctrine. For the sheep it says they INHERITED the Kingdom. They did not work for it. But a believer in the Tribulation will be about God’s business right? They will be visiting believers in prison, taking believers in who are fleeing from the persecution, feeding them when they have food, clothing them when they have clothes. Remember that during the Tribulation, under the rule of Antichrist, that “…he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17 KJV).
Believers will be supporting each other in their great time of need. Doing these things shows that they are believers going about showing God’s love to their fellow believers and for the Jewish people being persecuted greatly as the Antichrist attempts to wipe out all Jews from the face of the Earth, as Adolf Hitler had attempted. The Antichrist will have great big brother technology on his side to control the world though. This Mark of the Beast is some sort of technology for buying and selling. We already are using debit cards. With this new technology, debit cards will be gone. People will be tracked like never before under the Antichrist. If we look at today’s technology in comparison to the Antichrist’s technology as described in the Bible, the Tribulation Period is very near indeed. With technology doubling every 6 month, in the next 10 to 20 years we would have surpassed this type of technology. And if the Tribulation Period is nearing, the Rapture Event is even closer!
What about the Goats?
Well, these are those who have taken the Mark of the Beast and by their works one can see they never came to belief on Christ for Salvation. Because of their loyalty to the Antichrist, believing he is God, they are not helping the Jews or believers in Christ for Salvation. Instead they are ignoring their suffering under persecution, or even helping in the process of persecuting. We see Jesus saying this,
“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” (John 16:1-3 KJV)
The Goats will have believed the lie. The great deception of the Tribulation Period. They believe Antichrist is God and will think that by persecuting and killing the Jews and Christians that they will be doing a service for God. They are so very deceived. They took the Mark of the Beast as a badge of servitude and are lost forever. Jesus gives warning to those that take the Mark of the Beast during the Tribulation Period. It will be a clear dividing line between a believer in Christ and non believer. A CHOICE every person alive at that time will have to make. And Jesus says to them in warning,
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11 KJV)
This is the fate of the Goat nations. This is the fate of all people who chose wrongly accepting the Mark of the Beast, and worshiping Antichrist as God, and either ignoring the persecution of the Jews and Christians or actually helping in the persecuting. Jesus will send them away in physical death and they will end up in the torments side of Hades where they will remain until the Great White Throne Judgment of Unbelievers (which happens after the 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth) when Hades and it’s inhabitants will be thrown into a place of eternal punishment that was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels called the Lake Of Fire (Hell).
The believers on Christ for Salvation that survive the Tribulation Period will enter the new Kingdom Age and will repopulate the Earth during the Millennium. We do not know from Scripture if these sheep receive eternal life right at that point, or die after a long life (Isaiah 65:20), to be resurrected at the end of the 1000 years. It may be that these believers and all who come to believe on Christ during the Millennium are sealed from the moment of belief never to die physically and that only the unbelieving die physically. We simply do not know.
But Matthew 25:46 indicates these sheep believers in Christ will be given eternal life while the goats will be condemned to hell.
What about us today? What about the church?
That is the question to ask! If you are saved by belief on Christ (His virgin birth as the God in the Flesh, the only begotten Son of God, His sinless life, His death on a cross paying for the sins of the whole world, and His rising fro the dead) then you will be Raptured before the Tribulation Period.
If you have never accepted the free gift of Salvation, not of ourselves, nor our good works, nor of religious rituals (Ephesians 2:8-9) then NOW is the time to get saved by belief on Christ alone and by RESTING in His finished work on the cross, atoning for all your sins.