When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides His sheep from the goats." Matthew 25:31,32
The parable of the sheep and the goats stirs the hearts of those who don't know who they are or who they belong to, assuming they are good enough to make Heaven! This parable is not describing salvation because we are saved by grace and not works, but rather it is describing the attributes of sheep and of goats.
First of all we will look at the characteristics of the sheep, a sheep is a very docile creature, easily taught, willing to learn, but not easily managed, having to be led by their shepherd. Sheep are the only animals who need a human to oversee their care and feeding and constant upkeep. Sheep are a full time job for those who would choose to raise them. In the book: "A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm" by Phillip Keller it describes in detail what an actual shepherd must endure in the business of managing sheep!
Within this message you will hopefully find where you stand in the scheme of things in regards to whether you are a sheep or a goat, on the right or on the left, and if in fact you discover that you have only made a mental assent by praying a prayer or by joining a church, but never met the Shepherd of your soul, I recommend highly that you repent and make Him the Lord, Savior and Shepherd of your life!
"And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left." Matthew 25:33
SHEEP ARE LED
"Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matthew 25:34
When the great Shepherd of our souls calls for us, because we know His voice we will be gathered together to hear those blessed words, "Inherit the kingdom prepared for you." and because of His divine nature in us we will be rewarded because of the works that we did out of a love for Him and for others who we encountered on our journey.
For I was hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick and in prison and you came and met My need, these are the righteous deeds of a sheep. They come naturally out of our God given passion to minister in His name by the power and leading of the Holy Spirit. The righteous man who has been saved, washed, filled, forgiven and called, has within His spirit the divine nature of God, who in turn gives us His heart toward the welfare of others. As He is, so we are in regards to being able to render aid to those in need, because we have His heart!
The sheep on His right hand answered and asked when they had seen Him in need and He said to them, "Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these, you did it to Me." In other words, the sheep did not realize that when they helped others, in actuality they were helping Jesus. So it is with sheep, they are led by Holy Spirit to be like the Shepherd of their souls and reach out to fulfill the destiny of His divine kingdom!
"And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, "Inasmuch as you did it to to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' " Matthew 25:40
GOATS ARE DRIVEN
"Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, "Inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' " Matthew 25:45
Unlike sheep, goats have to be driven, being hard headed, stiff necked and totally unaware of the need that surrounds them. Goats don't need a shepherd because they are captains of their own proverbial ship and do what they please, when they please. Although they don't have the nature and character of God, in most cases they attend church, sing and dance, do religious works, but do not have within their hearts, the compassion and mercy for others that comes from the Holy Spirit.
Goats also have a voracious appetite for anything and can be put into a field to fend for themselves and they will eat anything they can find, even garbage. Goats also butt at anything, they don't have faith so they don't feed on God's word, because they have no hunger for it, satisfied to hear a refrigerator verse to comfort them in their time of distress they feel because they are good that God will somehow reward them with eternal life. The sheep and the goats could be compared to the wheat and the tares spoken of in the gospel describing the wheat as those of the kingdom and the tares, sons of the devil. Sometimes it takes time to recognize who is a sheep and who is a goat, but in time the divine nature of God will shine through those of His kingdom, and darkness will be seen in the goats.
As we approach these last days upon the earth and as the trumpets of God are sounding, where are you in the spiritual scheme of things, are you a sheep or a goat, do you have the attributes of your heavenly Father or do you have the nature and character of Satan? If you have no mercy or compassion to see others transformed by His divine power, or you really don't care for anyone's welfare but your own, you have to answer for yourselves a very important question, am I a sheep or a goat? Your answer will reveal your eternal destination!
"And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matthew 25:46
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin