Matthew 25 Judgment of Goats and Sheep

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Marcia, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I'm picking up a question from ShotGunWillie on another thread because it seems this should have its own thread. Notice I spelled "judgment" without the "e" after the "g," which is the preferred way to spell it! Okay, I admit it, spelling is a big deal to me. :)

    I assume you are asking about Matt. 25:31-46?

    Many use this passage as a way teaching to take care of poor or hungry people, but I do not think this is what it is about. If it were, it would be saying that if you don't help poor or hungry people, or people in jail, you are going to "everlasting punishment." That always bothered me when I've heard Christians use this passage to say we should help the hungry (and I've heard quite a few use the passage this way).

    Some believe this is a judgment of nations after the MK for how they treated Israel -- this could be the nations in the OT for how they disobeyed God and invaded Israel, etc. The scenario has 3 groups: the sheep, the goats, and the "brothers."

    Some believe it is a judgment after the Tribulation.

    I realize endtime views will play into this and that is fine to use that to give a response, but please don't argue endtime stuff on this thread (as in premil vs. amil/pre-Trib vs. postTrib, etc.) in such a way that the point of addressing this passage becomes lost.

    Thoughts?
     
    #1 Marcia, Oct 9, 2008
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  2. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I'm putting this resource here as I hate long OPs. In fact, if they are too long, I usually don't bother to read them unless they are riveting.

    Here's one article on the judgment in Matt. 25:
    http://www.pre-trib.org/pdf/Rhodes-Posttribulationismand.pdf

    In HTML format
    http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cach...those+treated+Israel&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us
     
    #2 Marcia, Oct 9, 2008
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  3. EdSutton

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    Two thoughts.

    Language Cop, long ago, decided to not 'arrest' every violator of grammatical rules and spelling, preferring to issue occasional warnings, instead, to repeat offenders. ("Potatoe" may be a ridiculous way to spell "potato", but it is still allowable; the same is actually less true with the spelling of "judgement," which spelling, is actually, a much more widely acceptable variant.) He simply cannot put in 60 hours per day, "on the job," and still let Ed get any meaningful work done. ;)

    Ed would argue that the judgment of the sheep and goats takes place "after the tribulation" (Mt. 24:29) and 'at the beginning of the Kingdom reign, of the Lord Jesus Christ, and has those 'who are alive and remain' are here judged. Incidentally, they will not, if I am correct, ever stand before the Great White Throne, for their place and judgment is assured, at this time. One can hardly comment on this passage without 'arguing' their eschatology, i.e. "endtime views," in "addressing this passage."

    Ed
     
    #3 EdSutton, Oct 11, 2008
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  4. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib
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    Matthew 25 is not always limited for Jews only. Of course, the audience of Matthew 25 were all Jews disciples of Christ. But, it doesn't mean that it is for Jews only. It could easily always apply to every individual either Jew or Gentile. Also, Matthew 25 was also given instructions to us as believers or followers. All disciples of Christ were followers or believers. If we watch and ready, then we would not being end up thief as lost at Christ's coming.

    Sheep is easily indentified with believers either Jew or Gentile who belong to Christ's.

    Matt. 25:31-46 is clearly teaching us there will be general judgment for all nations at Christ's coming- the only one judgment day, not two or three future judgment days according dispensationalism doctrine. Also, 'thousand years' is not mentioned find anywhere in Matthew 25:31-46. So, therefore, the Judgment Day is always follow at Christ's coming same time, it is clearly one judgment day for all nations.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  5. EdSutton

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    So what??

    Your implied "argument from silence", concerning a period of 'a thoudand years' falls short, here. No writer gives this time, except John. (No writer speaks of "spiritual gifts" besides Paul; No writer mentions "The good Samaritan" and the "loving Father and his two 'rebellious' sons" besides Luke, either. Yes, both sons were rebellious boors, not just the younger. He just happened to get his 'out of his system', and was reconciled to his father, a lbit earlier! We don't know that the older son ever was reconciled to the Father! You might note that the father went out to speak to the older son, who still "would not go in", here.) Since this particular argument (of 100 years) has nothing to do with the passage in question, again, so what??

    There is also no mention of the so-called "Olivet Discourse" in John. And neither Mk. or LK. mention 'the judgment of the sheep and goats', per se. We don't play "one book 'trumps' another," in this, from what I've read.

    You know, the "All Scripture is God-breathed-out" bit ...

    FTR, most dispensationalists I have known ( and I have known two or three over the years, and I are one, as well), would agree that the Lord, when coming to 'set up the (millennial) kingdom' does not ever 'leave' and that this 'judgment day' follows the Lord's coming "with His saints", and this occurs "after the tribulation," just as Matt. relates.

    BTW, the Greek word "apostasia" linguistically, literally means "away from a 'state'", or a departure. Exactly what 'state' is being departed from, is determined by the usage and context. And as this word is only used twice in the NT, at Ac. 21:21 & II Thes. 2:3, it is a bit harder to build extensive doctrine on this, alone.

    In fact, the word is very closely connected with the word used for "Bill of Divorcement" in Matt.

    Ed
     
  6. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    So why are there 3 groups here (sheep, goats, "my brothers") instead of two (just sheep and goats)?
     
  7. Beth

    Beth
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    The text provides the definitions

    Marcia,
    I think the text provides the definitions...

    The nations are separated by being placed either to the left side or to the right side. Sheep go to the right, goats to the left. By the way, I believe nations simply means people...not separate nations, because salvation is not on a national basis, but an individual basis.

    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

    The sheep are beloved of the Father, blessed to be inheriting the kingdom.

    Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    These are the ones who loved the brethren...by loving the brethren, they loved Christ.

    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    The goats are those who will not inherit the kingdom.

    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.


    Verse 46 sums up exactly who these two groups are....the goats are the unsaved, the sheep are saved.

    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
     
  8. DeafPosttrib

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    Understand, Jesus spoken of "my brother" is uses as example of illustration of people. Christ's point is, why don't you care lost souls, like, to hospitality people who are poor. Most of us ignore people's need. And we ignore homeless people on streets. Also, another point is, we do not care of their lost souls for salvation. Like, do not witness gospel to lost people.

    Many unfaithful servants will be cast away into everlasting fire for not obey Lord's commands same with Matt. 25:14-30.

    So, simple there are only two groups - saved people and unsaved people over the world today. When Christ will come. He will send angels to gathering all nations over the world, to dividied them into two groups - saved and unsaved. There will be a general judgment day. All unsaved people will be cast away, even, all unfaithful servants will be cast away with lost people - Matt. 24:51.

    Matt. 25:31-46 clear teaching us there will be no another second chance for person to become save when ONCE after Christ appears with angels. It will be too late for people who remain in sins without repentance will be cast away into everlasting punishment. Same with Matt. 25:1-13 of five fool virgins as example that unfaithful servants will have no another second chance to repent when once Christ appears, it will be too late for them.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  9. skypair

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    "Least of these, my brethren" refers to those like John the Baptist of whom Jesus used the same term -- "though John was great in faith, he shall be least in the kingdom of heaven."

    BTW, they are sheep (hence, they are not a third group). They are the ones Jesus referred to as "another fold" which He must also "bring in."

    The tribulation is going to be a time of terrible torment for Jews and passing midtrib, many of them will be believing! Much as in Nazi Germany, those who provide them food and water and clothing will be persecuted, even martyred, themselves. But doing so will be a "sign" that they love Jesus and believe.

    And, of course, this is one reason why most dispies cannot understand Christians who "replace" the Jews or don't seek to save them from their enemies now.

    skypair
     
    #9 skypair, Oct 12, 2008
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  10. skypair

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    Just for the record (cause I know YOU won't believe it), the foolish virgins "came also" to the wedding door saying, "Open to us." This is TOTALLY the reverse of you scenarion where Christ comes down to them and judges them.

    Furthermore, AGAIN, they are NOT "cast into everlasting punishment!" You've taken the whole parable and "rescripted" it to be in agreement with your own silly "play!" Please, "bring down the curtain" on this piece of fiction you are performing before Satan gets ahold of you (1Tim 1:20)!!! I can almost guarantee that he will if you live into the tribulation with this eschatolgoy!

    skypair
     
  11. Timsings

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    John Claypool referred to this passage as the "Final Exam for Christians". I've always thought that a key part of the passage is the surprise expressed by both the "sheep' and the "goats" at their respective rewards and punishments. It appears to me that each group responded to the needs of the "least of these, my brothers" according to their own standards. The "sheep" are surprised because they were responding to the needs of people per se, not because they viewed the situation as an "opportunity" to share the gospel, to witness, or to win a convert. The "goats" were surprised about their being punished because they did not respond to the needs of the people on their own merits. I think that the point of the parable is that believers need to value the needs of others on their own merits. They need to help people for no other reason than that they are in need. It is a paradox.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  12. Marcia

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    I appreciate the answers but am still not sure of this. :wavey:

    Here is one view I've read:
    This is a judgment on how nations (the Gentiles) treated Israel and "my brethren" are the Jewish people. Matthew is a gospel written for Jews and this is how they would have understood that term -- when Jesus, a Jew, says "my brethren," this is what He would mean in this context. The Jews would also understand "nations" to mean Gentiles.

    As for judging nations -- look at Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel and see God pronouncing judgment on various (Gentile) nations.

    Another view:
    The "brethren" are the followers/disciples of Christ. The goats rejected them and the Gospel message; the sheep did not.
     
  13. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, pre-mill second Coming of Jesus

    Beth: // I believe nations simply means people...not separate nations, because salvation is not on a national basis, but an individual basis. //

    Yes, Eternal Salvation from punishement in Hell is individual.
    But the Salvation here is to the (non-eternal) Millennial Messanic Reign of Messiah Jesus on the throne of David in a physical Jersualem on a physical Earth.
     
  14. Gold Dragon

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    I think there are a lot of connections between Matthew 25 and James 2.

     
    #14 Gold Dragon, Oct 13, 2008
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  15. Beth

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    Marcia

    Marcia,
    Perhaps the answer to these questions might be found in a larger study on the Kingdom of Heaven. Your question has prompted me to study this topic....the answer to your question, I think, will lie in identifying the Kingdom.

    Your sis in Christ,
    Beth
     
  16. Beth

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    Thank you Ed

    Thank you, Ed, I'll examine this more closely!

    Your sis in Christ,
    Beth
     
  17. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Beth, glad my question prompts more Bible study! :applause: That's always a good thing!

    I've almost finished reading "The Gospel of the Kingdom" by Ladd. It's very good on discussing the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom ideas expressed in the 4 gospels. He uses scripture throughout. The NT professor at my seminiary recommended it.

    Thanks for your kind remarks.
     
  18. Beth

    Beth
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    Marcia

    I just googled for the book on Amazon, and the reviews look very good! I'm going to order it today....thank you so much for the tip!

    Your sis in Christ,
    Beth
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    A linguistic note: whenever you see an extra vowel in the spelling, it is often the British spelling as opposed to the American spelling, vis potatoe/potato. Some of these are in the KJV, a British translation, vis: Saviour/Savior, labour/labor.

    However, in this case Marcia is right and judgment is the preferred spelling in both Britain (as witness the KJV spelling) and the US. Having said that, linguists treat language as it is, while grammarians treat it as they think the rules say it should be. So, my non-grammarian viewpoint is, can't we all get along?!:smilewinkgrin:
    My view is that this is the judgment of the nations at the end of the Tribulation, in which God will judge each nation (not individuals) for how they treated the Jews who trusted Christ as Savior during the Tribulation Period.

    However, here is my caveat. Notice in the Bible how no one alive at the time of Jesus could figure out the prophecies being fulfilled until afterwards. After the fulfillment happened, they would smack their forheads and say, "Oh, how could I be so dumb! The Bible says "Bethlehem," right there in Micah!"

    Thus, my caveat is that we should not be dogmatic about the specifics of end time prophecy. Jesus is coming, we know that no matter what. But the rest? We have a lot of surprises coming! :type:
     
  20. DeafPosttrib

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    J of J,

    I disagree with you. You saying these nations are not speaking of every individual, but these who how they treat the Jews who trusted Jesus in the Tribulation Period.

    I disagree. Christ doesn't saying it. That is your own opinion.

    First, of course, Matthew 25:31-46 was given to the audience - Christ's disciples only. They were all Jews. But, also, they were Christians same as us. This is not always for Jews only, also, it apply us as Gentiles well as Christians. Christ expects us that we shouls treat to the people(either Jew or Gentile) as to witness or to hospitality them. Also, "my brothers" is not speaking of during seven year of Tribulation period only. Also, it apply to us throughout all ages that we are suppose to treat people with love and care by hospitality and to witness gospel them for Jesus.

    Remmeber the first of two passages of Matthew chapter 25 deal with servants. Aren't we the servants of the Lord? Clearly, we are the servants. Also, both passages are obivous speaking of conditionals that we must meet them for being prepare to face judgment before Christ at His coming. If we fail to meet conditionals at time of His appearing, then we shall be shame and cast away into everlasting fire -Matt. 25:30 also with 41 and 46 too.

    If we fail to care as hospitality to people, witness gospel to them, we shall be cast away into everlasting fire -Matt. 25:41 & 46.

    If we do obey Christ's commands, to do hospitality to the people, then we can enter eternal life -Matt. 25:34, 46.

    Matthew 25:31-46 teaching us very clear that all nations of every individual will face Christ sit on throne to judging us at His coming. There is the only one judgment day, not two or three future judgment days. All sheep(believers) go into eternal life with Christ. All goats(unbelievers) go away into everlasting fire separate from Christ. That's simple and plain as what Christ saying so.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     

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