Seperating Sheep From Goats
The Church is divided on many issues but choosing life and helping those in need should not be issues that divide the Church. We are commanded to obey the word of God. We are commanded to choose life. We are commanded to help those in need. We are commanded to feed those who are hungry, to provide shelter to those that are homeless. We are commanded to visit the sick and those who are in prison. The Christian walk is a personal walk and each of us have to walk it all by ourselves. We can't blame our parents, our government or our friends. We know what the word of God declares about loving our neighbors, fornication, adultery, lying, gossip and helping those in need. The question is, what is your response to God's word? Are you obedient or are you one of many who receive Jesus as their Savior but reject him as the Lord?
Jesus said: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall” yet the same writer, Luke also wrote “and he will reign over Jacobʼs descendants forever; his kingdom will never end” Luke 1:33; 11:17 NIV How do we reconcile these two verses? Jesus provides the answer: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 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. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” The shepherd metaphor softens the judgement image but does not diminish the foreboding consequences of separating the sheep from the goats.” 1
The two previous parables, The Ten Virgins and The Talents, are refering to Christians, those who have gone forth to meet the heavenly Bridegroom and the immediate servants of the Lord. The first parable represents the judgement of the inner life of the soul; the second, the judgement of the outward life of obedience or idleness. Each parable reveals to us one of the many aspects of those tremendous judgements.
“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. 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, 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. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “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. 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 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?’ “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.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” Matthew 25:31-46 NIV
Jesus is going to separate his sheep from those who look and talk like his sheep. From those who think they are following Christ because they attend church, read their Bible and say Christian cliches' like "praise the Lord" and "Hallelujah" but Jesus knows they really are just old Billy Goats. Which one are you? Are you a sheep or are you a goat?