Friday, November 18, 2011

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats is found in Matthew 25: 31 – 46. Many preachers use this text to encourage us to be kind to strangers, to help the needy and to visit those in prisons. Great advice – but there is so much more to this parable. In fact rather than call it a parable let’s call it a secret message about the last days. You know I love decoding secret messages . . . here I go:

Vs. 31: Jesus Himself is talking about His 2nd Coming at the end of the 7 years of Tribulation
Vs. 32: “nations” refers to Gentiles
Vs. 33: the sheep are the saved (those who will come to belief in Christ during the Tribulation) and the goats are the unsaved (those who will side with the Anti-Christ)
Vs. 34: “Come, you that are blessed by my Father” implies grace, that is, salvation through faith, not of works. Also note that the Kingdom has been prepared for us since Creation.
Vs. 35-36: All of these kind acts, though definitely things we should do now, are in fact referring to the potentially fatal acts that Tribulation Christians will graciously perform for “Christ’s brethren” (see verse 40).
Vs. 37-39: Christians will be surprised that as they help Christian Jews during the Tribulation they help Christ.
Vs. 40: “One of the least of these who are members of my family” or in some translations: “these brothers of mine" refers to the 144,000 Jews who will proclaim Jesus as Lord during the Tribulation
Vs. 41-45: These verses about what happens to the goats contrast exactly with what happens to the sheep. The goats commit the greatest sin of all: a sin of omission; they fail to put their faith in Christ.
Vs. 46: Jesus is quite clear: it’s either eternal punishment or eternal life.

What do you think? Did I miss anything?