MATTHEW 25:31-46  


Mat. 25:31-46 The sheep and the goats
Verse 31
1. At the 2nd coming: This refers to the general time frame of the day of the Lord. It is initiated by the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky as Jesus taught at Mat. 24:29-31 and 16:27. And which is shown to John in the vision of the 6th seal at Rev. 6:12-17.
However, Jesus will not "sit on His glorious throne" at that time, for He must first "make His enemies the footstool of His feet (Ps. 110:1).
The phrase, "when the Son of Man comes," establishes the time period of the day of the Lord. It does not mean that He will sit on the throne at the time the day of the Lord starts. He will not "sit" WHEN He arrives, but he will sit several months later.

2. Sit on His throne:  The "throne" that Jesus sits on is NOT His throne in the millennial kingdom. This evaluation of people precedes the establishment of the millennial kingdom. In fact, it is probable that the expression, "sit on His throne" is symbolic of the OFFICIAL authority He has, rather than a literal throne set up on the earth, to which all the peoples are gathered.

This is the throne of authority over the entire universe that had been assigned to Him from eternity past. Heb. 1:8, "Your throne O God is forever and ever (to the ages of the age), and the righteous scepter is the scepter of Your kingdom." (Ps. 45:6).
It is the authority described at Mat. 28:18, "all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."
And at John 5:22-27, "all authority," and "authority to execute judgment."
But the OFFICIAL function of that authority has been delayed while Jesus sits at the right hand of the throne of God. Ps. 110:1.

When the 7th trumpet sounds at the end of the 1260 days of the 2nd half of the 70th week, the reign of the beast will OFFICIALLY come to an end, and the OFFICIAL reign of Jesus will begin. Rev 11:15-17.
At that time Jesus will pour out the final judgments of the wrath of God through the 7 bowls, which culminate in the battle of Armageddon.
Through His victory at the battle of Armageddon He will put His enemies under His feet and OFFICIALLY transfer His throne from the right hand of God to the earth. Psalm 110:1, "Yahweh said to my Lord, sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for Your feet."

So at this time He will OFFICIALLY take up the FUNCTIONAL aspect of His authority. Thus, after the dust settles from that victory, Jesus with His newly established authority will conduct the removal of all unbelievers from the earth. He will OFFICIALLY sit on His throne and evaluate all the people left alive on the earth at that time.

Although the people evaluated at this time will be those alive on the earth after Armageddon, the focus on their destiny is NOT the earthly Davidic kingdom.

3. This judgment is not the same as the last judgment of Rev. 20:15.
However, it is preliminary to the last judgment.
   A. This judgment seems to takes place on the earth.
        The last judgment takes place in heaven.
   B. This one involves only living Gentiles out from the nations.
        The last judgment deals with ALL peoples living and dead.
   C. This one involves both believers and unbelievers.
        That one involves ONLY unbelievers.
   D. This one occurs before the millennial kingdom.
        That one occurs after the 1000 year reign of Christ.
   E. However, the destiny of those evaluated is eternal in focus.
       The destiny of both the righteous and the unrighteous looks
       beyond the earthly kingdom and in fact, even looks beyond
       the great white throne, and sees only the final destiny.

Verse 32
1. All nations gathered before Him:  This is the evaluation of Gentiles living in the “homelands” of all the nations. It will take place during the 45 days that immediately precede the “blessing” of the millennial kingdom (Daniel 12:12).
2. It is not “nations” that are judged. Nations can’t be “saved” and nations are not thrown into the everlasting fire. It is talking about PEOPLE.
3. The destiny is viewed from the perspective of eternity, but not mentioned is any time period prior to the eternal destiny.
4. Those “saved” will enter their eternal destiny.  Verse 46, "but the righteous into everlasting life."

5. This is not the 1000 year Davidic kingdom. However, these "sheep" will indeed go into the physical kingdom first. That is seen at Zech. 14:16, "And it will come about that any who are left of all the nations who went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to celebrate the feast of booths."

But at this event, the entrance into the earthly kingdom is simply not the focus. In all of Christ's teachings, He never had in view the earthly kingdom.
It was either:
(1) Entrance into God's spiritual (integral) kingdom through faith in Christ.
John 3:3-5
(2) Living in the kingdom of God right now on earth. Mat. 6:33
(3) Ultimate participation in the eternal kingdom of God.
See Kingdom of God

6. Concerning the “unsaved” GENTILES the focus is on their eternal destiny in the lake of fire. It is the lake of fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels; not torments in Hades. However, they will first go to “torments” in Hades to await the final judgment which takes place after the 1000 years. Rev. 20:11-15. But that is simply not the focus in this event.
7. There is no basis for viewing this event as symbolic:  It certainly uses some parabolic and symbolic language, but it is the EVENT ITSELF that will definitely occur. All peoples are gathered - probably through the use of angels.
8. Those who are believers will then be returned to their respective nations from where they will serve God during Christ’s earthly reign. Zech. 14:16, “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord
of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.”
9. The Jews will undergo a separate evaluation as is prophesied at Ezekiel 20:33-38 and 34:17-23.

Verse 33-40 - the righteous
Verse 34
The destiny of the believer is described as "enter into the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
Prepared: The verb is hetoimadzō as a perfect passive participle.
It has been prepared in the past with the result that it remains as the designed inheritance for everyone who trusts in Christ. This then refers to their eternal (everlasting) destiny and not participation in the 1000-year earthly Davidic kingdom. It is the same kingdom mentioned at James 2:5, "heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him."
Titus 3:5-7 - heirs according to the confidence of eternal life.
Eph. 3:6 - Gentiles are fellow heirs to the promise.
Gal. 3:29 - heirs according to promise.

2. Those who love Him: This refers to the basic "first love" attitude that places value (agapao) on the character and plan of God that is represented in the gospel message.
A. 2Thes. 2:10 - receive the love of the truth
B. John 3:36- hear and obey.
C. 2Thes. 1:8 - obey the gospel
D. Luke 8:13 - receive the word with Joy,
E. 1 Pet. 1:8 - love and rejoice
F. Rev. 2:4, "I have this against you, that you have left your first love."


Verse 35-40
1. These are recognized for aid given to the servants of Jesus during the Day of the Lord judgments (after the rapture).
2. The “My brethren” are probably the 144,000 of Rev. 7:1-8.
3. This “aid given” is NOT the basis for salvation but EVIDENCE of their salvation.
    This is action that is opposite to that described at Mat. 24:10-12.
And at that time many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold."

and 10:21-22.
Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all because of My name."

4. The fact that they help the “brethren” indicates that they have accepted their message. In fact, it is possible that these “righteous” become saved directly through the ministry of the believers they help.

5. These believers will be living outside the direct jurisdiction of the beast. For these people there will be great economic hardship throughout one fourth of the earth (Rev. 6:5-8), but they will still have limited resources. After they are saved, they will be able to help the nomadic Jewish bondservants who are proactive in taking the everlasting gospel to the nations.

6. At first glance, this looks problematic, because if they had believed in Jesus, then they would be considered “My brethren” instead of members of the nations. However, if “My brethren” are viewed as the SPECIAL 144,000 Jews who trust in Jesus right after the rapture, then there is no problem. It seems that the 144,000 have a world wide ministry as servants of God (Rev. 7:3) and would need assistance in the nations where they are serving God.

7. They are called “righteous” because of salvation -
   NOT because of good deeds.
8. There is only one way to be saved; only one way to be considered  “righteous.”
   A. Acts 4:12,
   B. 1 John 5:12, “he who has the Son has the life,
      he who does not have the Son does not have the life.”
   C. Isaiah 64:6, “all our righteous things are as filthy rags.”
   D. Romans 5:1, “having been declared righteous through faith.”
   E. Ephesians 2:8-9, “not as a result of works.”

9. If you did it to them - you did it to me: John 15:18-21
10. Their question does not question their status as righteous. It questions HOW they had aided Jesus, since they will not see Him personally on the earth.

Verse 41-46 - the unrighteous

1. These are recognized for their failure to aid the “servants.”
2. This failure is indication that they rejected the gospel message and that they are antagonistic to God and to God’s people.
3. They are condemned - NOT - for not helping, but for not believing.
   John 3:18, “he who does not believe has been judged already.”
   John 3:36, “he who is not persuaded by the Son, shall not see
   life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

 Verse 41 - depart into the perpetual fire
aiōnios pur: perpetual, continuous, everlasting.
1. This refers to the ultimate destiny of the lake of fire, not torments in Hades.
2. Torments in hades comes first (Luke 16:23-24, 28), but that is not in view.
3. Then comes the lake of fire after the last judgment. Rev. 20:12-15
4. Prepared for the devil and his angels: 
    A. Prepared is the same word and same construction as at verse 34.
    Satan's destiny was designed by God and established as of the
    moment that he sinned and rebelled against God.
    B. This indicates the fact that this is Satan’s destiny
         and does not HAVE TO BE man’s destiny.
    C. It also shows that Christ has in view the ultimate destiny
        and not the intermediate destiny of Hades.

5. Christ died for all. Anyone can believe. John 3:16; Joel 2:32; Rev. 22:17
    If you trust in Christ as savior - you share HIS destiny as a
    “joint-heir” with Him. Rom. 8:17
    If you reject Christ as savior - you share Satan’s destiny.
    Satan cannot escape his destiny - but man can. That is, if a person
    trusts in Christ during his life, he will be saved and share the destiny
    of Christ instead of Satan's.

6. Verses 42-45
The same issue of aid to My brethren is presented as EVIDENCE of salvation; not as the means of salvation.

7.Verse 46 designates the 2 destinies for the human race.
Eternal (aiōnios) punishment (kolasis) vs. eternal life.
A. A Resurrection of life vs. a resurrection of judgment. John 5:28-29. B. To shame; to a rejection (separation) of perpetuity. Daniel 12:2.
Everlasting judgment or everlasting life.
C. Rev. 14:9-11.



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