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The Final Judgment


Matthew 25:31-46


Good News Translation (GNT)


"Away from me..."


31 "When the Son of Man
    comes as King
    and all the angels with him,
    he will sit on his royal throne,
32 and the people of all the nations
   will be gathered before him.
   Then he will divide them
   into two groups,
   just as a shepherd separates
   the sheep from the goats.
33 He will put the
   righteous people at his right
   and the others at his left.
34 Then the King will say
   to the people on his right,
  'Come,
   you that are blessed by my Father!
   Come and possess
   the kingdom which has been prepared
   for you ever since
   the creation of the world.
35 I was hungry
   and you fed me,
   thirsty
   and you gave me a drink;
   I was a stranger
   and you received me
   in your homes,
36 naked
   and you clothed me;
   I was sick
   and you took care of me,
   in prison
   and you visited me.'
37 The righteous
   will then answer him,
  'When, Lord,
   did we ever see you hungry
   and feed you,
   or thirsty
   and give you a drink?
38 When did we ever see you
   a stranger
   and welcome you
   in our homes,
   or naked and clothe you?
39 When did we ever see you
   sick or in prison,
   and visit you?'
40 The King will reply,
   'I tell you,
   whenever you did this
   for one of the least important
   of these followers of mine,
   you did it for me!'

41 "Then he will say to those
    on his left,
   'Away from me,
    you that are under God's curse!
    Away to the eternal fire
    which has been prepared
    for the Devil and his angels!
42 I was hungry
   but you would not feed me,
   thirsty
   but you would not give me
   a drink;
43 I was a stranger
   but you would not welcome me
   in your homes,
   naked
   but you would not clothe me;
   I was sick and in prison
   but you would not
   take care of me.'
44 Then they will answer him,
   'When, Lord,
   did we ever see you
   hungry or thirsty
   or a stranger or
   naked or sick or in prison,
   and we would not help you?'
45 The King will reply,
   'I tell you,
   whenever you refused to help
   one of these
   least important ones,
   you refused to help me.'
46 These, then,
   will be sent off
   to eternal punishment,
   but the righteous
   will go to eternal life."


Taken from 'The Applied New Testament Commentary' (Kingsway)


The Sheep and the Goats


(Matthew 25:31-46)


In this section
Jesus gives us a description
of what the final judgment
will be like.

He will judge all the nations.
On that day,
everyone will acknowledge
that Jesus is Lord.
He will be like a shepherd
who separates sheep and goats.

He will put the righteous
on His right hand,
the unrighteous on His left.
Then He will invite the righteous
to receive their inheritance.

God knew from the beginning
who would live righteously;
that is,
He knew who would repent
and believe in the Christ.

Man has the freedom
to choose between right and wrong.
It is each man's choice.
If a man chooses to disobey God,
it is his own fault.
He cannot blame God.

God's knowledge is without limit.
He knows everything.
The Lord knows those who are his.
Their names are written
in the book of life.

There is no more important
question anyone can ask than this:
"On the day of judgment,
will I be standing
on the King's right hand,
or on His left?"

On what basis,
will Jesus separate people?
Those who,
during their life on earth,
performed acts of love to
Jesus will be placed
on His right hand.
They will be counted righteous.

They don't remember that
they had done anything
for Jesus Himself.
They are humble.

Jesus came to earth
to seek the lost.
He loves everyone.
He can put Himself in man's place.
That is why when we show love
to another person,
it is as if we were
showing love to Jesus.

It is important to remember
one thing here:
They are saved only through faith.
But these acts of love
are signs of true faith.

First comes faith;
then comes the fruit of faith,
which is works of love.

Then the King will send those
on His left hand
to eternal punishment.
They are the ones who did not
perform acts of love.

Perhaps they went to church.
Perhaps they gave tithes.
They took pride in their
"religious" works.
They did not realise that
when they refused to help
their neighbour in need,
they were also, in fact,
refusing to help Jesus.

The last judgment is final.
There is no appeal.
God judges fairly,
but His judgment remains forever.
On that day,
will God say to us:
"Come ...
take your inheritance" (verse 34)?
Or will He say:
"Depart from me ...
into the eternal fire" (verse 41)?

For what kind of sins
did those on the King's left hand
receive eternal punishment?
Murder? Adultery? Theft?
Big sins? No.
Their sin was neglecting to do good.

Such sins are called "sins of omission."
These are things we
ought to have done but did not.

How many opportunities
have we missed to do good this past month?
This past week?
This very day?

How many times could
we have fed someone,
clothed someone,
visited someone,
cared for someone,
but didn't?

Only by the grace and mercy of God,
and through faith
in the Saviour Jesus Christ,
can we be saved from eternal punishment.



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