I brought this up in another thread which had veered off-course. I was emphasizing that the Bible places a value on words. There would be no point to the multitude of places in God's Word which discusses sheep and the Shepherd, if in reality, the Lord intended that the goats are also intended in the flock. Hebrews 13:20:"Now may the God of peace -- who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood" ( NLTse ) The sheep in Scripture belong to Christ. He laid down His life specifically for them. The goats are not among those for whom He sacrificed His life. How could the goats be among the number for whom He died? In Matthew 26:31-46 the sheep and the goats are separated. The former enter glory with the Lord, the latter enter everlasting misery. The Lord does not know certain ones the Bible says. The ones He does not know are the goats. Christ did not die for the ones that He did not know ( in an intimate sense, foreloved ). Christ loves His sheep. He doesn't love them because they merit that love.All of us deserve everlasting condemnation. None of us have a claim on God. The Lord has the perfect right to do whatever pleases Him. He shows mercy to anyone He so chooses. On the other hand, He hardens the heart of whomever He chooses.He's God, He has the right due to His Sovereignty. Does anyone have a problem with that?! Who do you think you are talking back to God?! Jacob was not any better ( in fact he looks worse ) than Esau.But God eternally loved the former, and eternally hated the latter.Let's review. Jacob=a sheep, and Esau=a goat. There are so many references to the sheep and the Shepherd.Peter was told by the Lord three times to feed or tend His sheep.The Lord spoke of the one sheep that He sought at the expense of leaving the others behind. The examples can be multiplied. The sheep are sheep before conversion.They enter this life under the wrath of God like everyone else. They are God-haters like everyone else. But, since Christ loves them, and has foreordained that they will believe -- the Father draws them to the Son.In their lifetime they are regenerated. As I said, the sheep do not become sheep. The goats do not become goats -- they are presently.Remember,the sheep=the elect= the Church=the Body=the saints= His possession etc. The Bible uses other designations for the non-elect in addition to the word 'goats'. It employs the words 'serpents','vipers','snakes', 'foxes' ,'wolves' etc. But ultimately there will be only two groups -- the sheep and the goats. A sheep is one who is eternally safe in the loving arms of Christ where no one and no thing can separate us from Him. Christ is not a Goat-Herder. He is the Good and Great Shepherd of His sheep alone. John 10:11:"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep."( NLTse, see verses 15,17 and 18 also).