In Matthew 25:31-46, we find the Sheep and Goat Judgment.
This judgment is about who will be accepted into Heaven based on their actions. Christians often misinterpret this judgment and misapply it to themselves.
Let's look at this scripture to understand why this judgment DOES NOT apply to believers in Jesus Christ.
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 And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, but 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 as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you accursed people, 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 as 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 for one of the least of these, you did not do it for Me, either.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
In this passage, Jesus separates people into two groups – “sheep” and “goats” – and judges them based on how they treat Jews during the Great Tribulation.
The sheep are blessed with eternal life, while the goats are cursed to everlasting punishment.
Many Christians misapply the Sheep and Goats Judgment to themselves because they don't understand that Jesus refers to those who will survive the great tribulation.
Many think that this judgment applies to them and that their salvation depends on what kind of good works they do when faith, not works, saves them.
Understanding the true meaning of this judgment is essential so that we don't make false assumptions about our standing with God.
We can only be saved by the works of Christ, not our own works.
When Jesus delivers the Sheep and Goats Judgment, He states that those judged as goats will “go away into eternal punishment.”
We know from other passages in the Bible that no Christian will be judged this way. Instead, we can look at Romans 8:1, which states that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
This proves that Jesus was not referring to believers in this judgment, as they will never face condemnation or punishment.
We can be sure Jesus is referring to those who will have survived the Great Tribulation because He specifies a time frame in the parable.
He returns in glory to set up His kingdom in this time frame. This means that all those judged during this time must have gone through the Tribulation and lost their chance of being saved by grace through faith.
In this section, we'll explore what scripture has to say about this judgment. Let's dive in to uncover the truth!
Those who are judged as sheep are the ones who will be welcomed into Heaven. They will receive eternal life and a place amongst God's faithful followers.
The Sheep symbolize those who put their faith in Jesus and accepted his salvation, while the Goats either rejected or did not hear the Gospel message.
Those judged as goats failed to help Jesus by helping others.
This judgment refers to how people treated the 'least of these,' such as the hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, and imprisoned.
Those judged as a goat will be separated from the sheep and cast into eternal punishment.
Jesus' love for Israel is evident through the Sheep and Goats Judgment. He rewards those who help Jews in distress, punishing those who didn't lend a helping hand.
Even though He allows tribulation, His judgment shows that He cares deeply for His people.
Now that you understand the Sheep and Goat Judgment, you can appreciate why it does not apply to Christians.
Instead, it is an essential judgment for those who will survive the great tribulation, showing Jesus's love for Israel.
Clearly, those judged as goats have lost their chance of being saved by grace through faith.
The Sheep and Goat Judgment is a judgment in the Bible's Gospel of Matthew.
It describes how the Son of Man will separate people into two groups, 'sheep' and 'goats,' based on their treatment of those in need when He comes in his glory.
Those judged as sheep will inherit the Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world, while those judged as goats will be cast into eternal fire.
Understanding this judgment is essential, as it highlights Jesus' love for Israel and shows that it does not apply to Christians.
Christians need to understand that this judgment does not apply to them.
This judgment is specifically for people who survive the great tribulation and have already lost their chance of being saved by grace through faith.
Knowing this helps us understand Jesus’ love for Israel more profoundly and appreciate his mercy and justice in a greater way.
Understanding the Sheep and Goat Judgment correctly is essential because it may deceive Christians into believing they are saved through their works rather than Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
This would nullify the grace and forgiveness Jesus offers us, which can only be obtained by faith in Him.