Part Three: THE PARABLE OF THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS
This parable concludes Matthew 25 and the Olivet Discourse. It may be one of the most highly misconstrued of Christ’s parables. Liberals frequently use it to push their socialist government programs. But with this parable, Christ is not offering the world salvation through do-gooderism or signing onto another nanny state program. It is about the standard by which Christ will judge the surviving post-Tribulation world.
[Mat 25:31-46 NASB] 31 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE GATHERED BEFORE HIM; AND HE WILL SEPARATE THEM FROM ONE ANOTHER, AS THE SHEPHERD SEPARATES THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to ONE OF THESE BROTHERS OF MINE, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' 41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' 44 "Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' 45 "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE, you did not do it to Me.' 46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
As is the case of all the parables of Matthew 24-25, the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats is meant to be understood as connected to the first parable of the series: The Parable of the Fig Tree (Matthew 24:32-36). As we have seen in our study of Christ’s Olivet Discourse, the Rapture (Matthew 24:37-41), the just-past-the-Tribulation-mid-point return of Christ and the “elect” 144,000 to Jerusalem (Matthew 24:22-31), and the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom are all events organically tied to the 70-80-year generation that began with the May 14, 1948 reemergence of national Israel.
THE STORY OF THE 144,000 IN THREE PARTS
In the first parable of Matthew 25, the 144,000 "foolish" virgins will have become "wise" to salvation when they receive Christ at the preaching of the Two Witnesses, Moses and Elijah. In the Parable of the Talents that follows, the 144,000 will be angelically marked for protection from the Beast and his minions and be deposited around the globe by angels on a gospel-preaching mission (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7). Although divinely protected from death, these Jewish men will be much persecuted. Many will be preaching from "prison", will be "hungry", "thirsty", without proper clothing, "sick" and "lonely".
Of course, anyone who does not receive the mark of the Beast will already be in big trouble. They will not be able to buy or sell and will be social outcasts (Revelation 13:16-18). We have seen over the past two years how just how easy it will be for the state to impose and enforce this murderous mandate even in supposedly freedom-loving, “Christian” America.
Attempting to help a member of the 144,000 will result in almost certain loss of life. Head-chopping Islam will likely be the Beast and global Socialism's number one colluding force and enforcer (Revelation 6:9-11; 20:4). Again, however, we have come to recently discover that even family, friends, and neighbors will “be caused to stumble, hand over, and hate” us (Matthew 24:10).
DEFY THE BEAST AND HELP THE 144,000…OR ELSE…
The same angels who transported the 144,000 to their global preaching mission will bring them back at mid-point day 1,335 of the Tribulation to meet Christ on the temple mount (Isaiah 11:11-13; Daniel 12:3, 10-12; Matthew 24:14, 31; Revelation 14:1). They will defeat the Beast's forces in Jerusalem while, simultaneously, a remnant of Jews flees into the wilderness for 1,260 days of divine protection (Revelation 12). Christ and his evangelists-turned-commandoes 144,000 will find themselves soaked in enemy blood "up to the horses” bridles" for two hundred miles in this, the Psalm 83/Isaiah 63:1-6/Valley of Jehoshaphat…Joel 2-3/Revelation 14 "winepress" judgment. It will be the blood of this prolonged campaign that has drenched Christ's robes when He finally shows up at Armageddon (Revelation 19:13).
After Christ "speaks" the wipeout of the Beast and his forces at Armageddon (Revelation 19:15-21), it will be "Sheep and Goats" time. Christ will judge the saving faith of the Tribulation survivors the same way He has always judged faith: the "fruit" of works (Matthew 7:15-23; Hebrews 11:8-17; James 2:21-26). The litmus test for true, saving faith will be "How did you treat these brothers (the 144,000 Jewish global evangelists) of Mine?".
If someone showed the faith and courage to visit these, "the least" of all men (again, notice that Christ refers to them as "BROTHERS"...these are exclusively MEN, likely from the Israel Defense Force...see also Revelation 14:1-5), in prison or attempt to meet their physical needs in some way, Christ will impute to them the righteousness discovered by Abraham. These are the "sheep". They will enter the millennial Kingdom and then eternal life with Christ. Those who ignored their plight will be cast off as unbelievers. These are the "goats". They will go to eternal punishment.