7th January 2024

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"The judgment of the nations"
The nations are gathered before God's throne and separated.

"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. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

This is not really a parable;
it is a description of a future scene of judgment after the glorious second coming of Jesus.
Seemingly this throne is present on earth, because it happens when the Son of Man comes in His glory.

He lived in utter simplicity, almost poverty - and was rejected by almost all the great and mighty men of the world; yet He said He would "sit on the throne of His glory."

This particular judgment seems distinct from the great white throne judgment described in Revelation 20.
It happens at a different time. The Great White Throne judgment clearly happens after the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ and His saints.
The Judgment of the Nations of Matthew 25, happens immediately after the glorious return of Jesus.

"In the countryside sheep and goats mingled during the day.
At night they were often separated: sheep tolerate the cool air, but goats have to be herded together for warmth."
This is true of the final judgment, when humanity will be divided into two groups and only two.

Yet in the opinion of this commentator (definitely a minority opinion), Jesus spoke here not of the final judgment, but of the separation that will happen after the glorious return but before the final judgment to deal with those who have survived the Great Tribulation.

Nevertheless, one can assume that there will be many people - perhaps 3 billion or more - still remaining on the earth after Jesus returns in power and glory at the end of the last seven-year period.

It is fair to ask, "What happens with all these people - perhaps 3 billion or more - who survive the Great Tribulation and Armageddon?"
This judgment of the nations answers that question.

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: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying,

'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you: The reward for those on His right hand (the sheep) is that they enter into the Father's kingdom.

There is no mention of faith or even forgiveness here. This judgment was based purely on their moral kindness.

Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me.

This is another clear distinction between this judgment of the nations and the final judgment.

Though the Christian and Jewish brethren of Jesus may be first in mind, knowing the nature of Jesus.
Then He will also say to those on the left hand,

'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
Inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me

The charge against the lost ones did not concern any obvious moral violation, but their indifferent attitude toward Jesus (and His people).
Their indifference sealed their doom.

This is an edited version.
The full article and Bible references are avaiable on request

David Guzik
Enduring Word exists to promote the work of Christian discipleship and evangelism worldwide, mainly through the publication and dissemination of the Bible teaching work of David Guzik and likeminded people.
When David Guzik was a young pastor in Simi Valley, California, he (among many other pastors) was asked to send his teaching notes to the developers of a new internet Bible research site: Blue Letter Bible.
In the late 1990's, David's material first appeared on the Blue Letter Bible, and was found to be a valuable resource.


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