"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. "And 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. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on His left." Matthew 25:31-33
Sheep are the only animals that require a human shepherd to look after them and that is why Jesus refers to His people as sheep. Not so with goats, they are a rebellious lot, always butting their way around and living their own lives apart from the care of the shepherd. Sheep are led and goats are driven!
The Royal Law is not salvation by works, it is the fruit of someone who has been born again, washed in the blood of Jesus, filled with His Spirit and has surrendered his life to the leading of the great Shepherd. The division of the sheep and the goats is not because one group kept the commandments and the others didn't, it is the distinguishing of the sheep having spiritual life which indeed bears fruit for God, and the goats who have no life within them.
A person who has been born again has the life of the Lord Jesus within him and it is impossible to hide the fact that the Holy Spirit now resides within his heart! As the old song states: "I've got a river of life flowing out of me, makes the lame to walk and the blind to see, opens prison doors, sets the captives free, I've got a river of life flowing out of me!" That's what the new creation life is all about, Jesus living His life through us. That's the purpose of His church, not the attending in a building, but the body of Christ, the supernatural expression of Him in us, in the world!
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe in the name of the Son of God. I John 5:11-13
THE NARROW GATE
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13,14
In order for one to enter the narrow gate he must first surrender his life under the control and management of the Great Shepherd. It is not the fact of salvation being hard to obtain, it is the reality that one cannot enter unless he gives up the self suffiency of his own life and submits to enter the very sheepfold of God.
In our previous message the rich ruler wasn't able to give up his life to follow Jesus and the rich man couldn't love his neighbor Lazarus because they didn't have eyes to see the greater gift of eternal life and submit their will under the control of another. So it is with goats, they are totally self suffiencent and don't need anyone to shepherd them, you can put a herd of them in a field and they will be fine with no one to watch them because of their ability to sustain their own lives!
So it is with most people, they can bow their heads and pray a prayer, join the church, get baptised, show up on Sunday, but by no means will they submit their will to the Lord Jesus Christ in obedience because they are the captains of their own ship! To enter the sheepfold of the Lord Jesus is to come under the watchful eye of the Shepherd and allow Him to care for and lead you into His perfect will for your life.
"Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness." Matthew 7:22,23
JESUS IS THE DOOR
"I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." John 10:9
The story of the sheep and goats represents those who know God and are known by Him and those who don't! To enter eternal life one must first surrender and submit to the Holy Spirit's call and repent of their sins in order to obtain forgiveness and restoration. Salvation is not a decision to be saved whenever one wants it, but an action in response to the conviction of the heart that he is indeed lost.
In the great 23rd Psalm the scripture states,"The Lord is my shepherd." The question arises, is Jesus your Shepherd? If not, then who is leading you and caring for your life? Becoming a born again blood washed saint of the Most High God requires the total and absolute surrender to the will and wishes of the Great Shepherd. There is no more quesswork whether someone is a Christian or not because you will know them by their fruit and the fact that they have within them the very life of God!
The true Gospel of the kingdom of God will convict all who hear and recieve its message to repent and allow Holy Spirit to enter the heart and soul and set up residence in order to begin the supernatural work of transformation. Don't be decieved by nice clean church members who do charitable deeds and attend every time the doors open, even though they are good moral upstanding citizens. If there is no visible fruit containing thelife of God and no transformation from darkness to light, then more than likely they are dead in their sins and heading to eternal damnation!
"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Matthew 25:41