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 (Mat. 24:29-31).

2. Sit on His throne: This will take place several months later, after the completion of the day of the Lord judgments, which culminate with the battle of Armageddon.

3. This judgment is not the same as the last judgment of Rev. 20:15.
   A. This judgment 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.

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 the time period prior to the eternal destiny.
4. Those “saved” will enter their eternal destiny. It is the eternal spiritual kingdom of God that has been prepared for them from the foundation of the world. It is the same kingdom mentioned at James 2:5, "heirs of the kingdom that He has promised to those who love Him."

5. This is not the 1000 year kingdom. However, they will indeed go into the physical kingdom first. That 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 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. Those “unsaved” will be assigned 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.
7. There is no basis for taking this language as symbolic:  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.”

Verse 33-40 - the righteous
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, and10:21-22.
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 Jewish bond servants.

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
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:  indicates the fact that this is Satan’s destiny and does not HAVE TO BE man’s destiny.
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.
    If you reject Christ as savior - you share Satan’s destiny.
    Satan cannot escape his destiny - but man can.

6. 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.



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