sheep and goats

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Helen, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. Helen

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    I always just accepted the 'badness' of goats and the 'goodness' of sheep, reading Matthew 25.....until we got our two Nubian wethers (fixed male goats). They are totally adorable and there is no way I can find fault with them in terms of their personalities or behavior.

    I was thinking about that again out cleaning the stalls this morning. They make it hard because they are totally underfoot, wanting loving and patting, and I find myself stopping to give them rubdowns and laughing at their antics. (The one pictured below is not ours, but I got it off the net for fun)

    [​IMG]

    Now, I know that, genetically sheep and goats are the same animal, but they LOOK so different (sort of like a cocker spaniel and a German shepherd look different even though they are both canis familiaris).

    But I noticed last summer that the shorn sheep in ranches near here looked awfully like goats!

    And this morning it all came together, out there playing with Funny and Shar. The sheep and the goats may have looked alike then, expecially after shearing, but it was not the looks that mattered. It was the actions.

    I am thinking that both the sheep and the goats of Matthew 25 felt they belonged to the same herd with the same Shepherd. But the behavior was different. And it was the behavior which showed the internal difference. The behavior did not make the internal difference, but it demonstrated it (the book of James applies this to people).

    Perhaps I am just a little slow on the uptake here, but I always wondered why the goats were getting 'picked on' in that parable. My goats, at least, are really sweet!

    But that was not the point, I finally realized. The point was that they all looked the same on the outside (after shearing, I presume...), but their behavior showed who they really were inside.

    It's not that I didn't understand the behavior bit before. I did. That part is pretty obvious. What I did not grasp until this morning was that sheep and goats are genetically the same animal, the same way dogs are, but that, even though they look alike -- and probably even more alike then -- it was not the looks that counted.

    A lot of people claim to be Christian and go to church and serve on boards and perhaps even pastor churches. It's not what they look like that counts. Behavior shows who they are inside. And while we can't judge, there are times when we can probably make some pretty good guesses.
     
  2. SBCPreacher

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    That's a neat perspective. Thanks!
     
  3. James_Newman

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    The goats are saved just like the sheep. The only difference is in their actions. The sheep are rewarded for their works, and the goats are rewarded for theirs. Eternal salvation is not based on our works, but on the work of Christ.
     
  4. Helen

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    James, how are you equating eternal punishment (the goats get it) with salvation?????

    I KNOW that salvation is based on Christ's work, and not ours. That is not the point. But the point that I am seeing in the parable is that no matter what we look like to the world around us, who we are inside can be seen by what we do. Our works are the RESULT of who we are, not the cause of it.
     
  5. Martin

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    ==Even though I grew up in a rural area, ok the sticks, and even though I come from a family of farmers (they had their share of pigs, chickens, cows, etc), I know 100% nothing about goats. My grandparents once had a neighbor who had some goats but I never got close to them. After all when I was a child I was afraid of cows and, looking back, they were equally afraid of me. Your comments in this post have given me an insight on Matthew 25 that I have never thought about. Sheep and goats look alot alike and that the goats in Jesus' parable thought they were sheep. That makes sense, really. It fits in with what Jesus said in Matthew 7 about those who thought they were believers but whom, at the judgment, will be in for a big terrible shock. The information you gave certainly will cause me to do further research into this.
     
  6. Martin

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    ==So you are saying that Jesus will cast saved people into the eternal fire prepared for the devils and his angels (Matt 25:41)?
     
  7. James_Newman

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    The punishment of the goats is not eternal, it is temporary although a very long temporary. The word everlasting does not automatically mean for ever and ever for eternity. We believers are every bit capable of being a goat. It won't affect our eternal security, but it will affect our state during the kingdom age, that 'everlasting kingdom' of a thousand years.
     
    #7 James_Newman, Jan 23, 2007
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  8. James_Newman

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    Yes, if those saved people are walking in disobedience.
     
  9. Martin

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    ==So you are saying that saved people perish in the same way the devil and his angels do?
     
  10. James_Newman

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    That depends on what you mean by perish. We know that after the millennial kingdom, even the devil is loosed from his prison for a time. Does the devil perish when he is cast into the pit for a thousand years? In a sense maybe, but not eternally, until he is cast into the lake of fire. There is no reason why a believer may not experience hell and still be eternally saved at the great white throne.
     
  11. Martin

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    ==You are saying that Jesus' statement in Matthew 25:41 does not refer to the lake of fire? I assume you are also saying that God will punish a believer in the same way He will punish Satan, Hitler, and murderers.
     
  12. James_Newman

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    Well let's take one issue at a time.

    Matthew 25:31-34
    31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    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.
    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    When does the Son of man come in his glory? Before the kingdom. The sheep are going to inherit the kingdom in verse 34.

    Matthew 25:41
    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:

    The time frame has not changed, this is still at the coming of the Son of man. When do the lost go into the lake of fire? After the thousand years. So no, this is not talking about the lake of fire.
     
  13. Helen

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    James, let's take a look at the last verse in that parable:

    Matt. 25:46
    Then they will go away to eternal punishment, bu tthe righteous to eternal life.

    Now, however long eternal life is, that is how long eternal punishment is.
     
  14. James_Newman

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    Well, first my bible doesn't say that.
    Matthew 25:46
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
    But strictly speaking, I don't think even the word 'eternal' has to automatically mean lasting forever and ever in endless eternity.

    Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    Is the fire that burned Sodom still burning today? No, eternal means something else in that verse. Context will have to define these types of words, in the context of verse 46 eternal is a thousand years. Of course, those in the kingdom will enjoy uninterrupted life on into eternity, so in any sense they are entering into eternal life. But everlasting punishment does not have to be endless.
     
  15. Brother Jeremy Slone

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    2 peter 3:8 being considered and the thousand years will end when he returns but thats another topic. I think in Matthew the separation of the goats and sheep is just used for its metaphor like the jews separated the sheep and goats because of the goats were milked and probably needed a little better feeding. But the Goats are clean under the law. And Christ is called our scape goat. The goat divided the hoof and chewed the cud. I believe you will find 14 goats on Noah's ark
     
  16. Mel Miller

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    The punishment of goats is not eternal, it is temporary...The word everlasting does not automatically mean for ever and ever for eternity. We believers are every bit capable of being a goat. It won't affect our eternal security, but it will affect our state during the kingdom age, that 'everlasting kingdom' of a thousand years. [End of Quotes].
    ______________________________________________________________

    James,

    You are assuming that 1000 years means "everlasting"!
    You are assuming Believers may suffer as goats in Hell for 1000 years!!
    You even assume Satan will suffer (perish) while Believers are in Hell!!!

    My main concern is that, not even the Sheep "go into eternal life" based
    on how they "treated the least of Jesus's brethren"! The Sheep "inherit
    the eternal kingdom ON EARTH prepared for them from the foundation
    of the World"!! They will demonstrate their right to this EARTHLY kingdom
    based on their worship of the One true God as well as their treatment of
    the "brethren of Jesus"!!!

    During the Millennium the NATIONS will form so that, when Satan is released for a short time, goat nations will be deceived! Outwardly, during the Age to Come, they will worship God just to be eligible for material gain
    from the rain needed for their crops (Zech.14:16-21)!! It's not the
    Goats who wonder why they don't inherit the Kingdom...but the Sheep that wonder why they DO inherit the Kingdom!!!

    If you insist on the separation of Goats from the Sheep at the start of
    the period during which Christ "sits on His throne" (Matt.25:31), then you
    must acknowledge a different "way of salvation" is available other than
    faith alone in Christ! During the Millennium, there will be no need for
    faith; for "all will know the Lord, from the least to the greatest"!! Only by
    recognizing the formation of SHEEP NATIONS during the Millennium do we see why Rev.21:24-26 states they will "bring their glory and honor into the New Jersualam" AFTER it comes down from heaven!!!

    Mel Miller www.lastday.net
     
  17. Helen

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    Regardless of how your Bible translates it, James, the same Greek word is used for both: aionios. It is used 71 times in the New Testament and is translated as 'eternal', 'everlasting', and 'forever.'

    It is from the root 'aion', meaning 'perpetuity,' 'eternal,' 'without end.'
     
  18. J. Jump

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    Actually aion means an age. It has a distinct beginning and end. Aionios would be better understood in most cases as age-lasting, or for an age. The coming kingdom of Christ is the next age, not the first part of eternity as most of Christendom sees it.

    The text in view is not in regard to the "earthly" kingdom as Christians have no part in that kingdom. The physical (earthly) kingdom was promised to the nation of Israel.

    The text in view is in regard to the kingdom of the heavens. It is improperly translated kingdom of heaven in almost every translation that exists, but there is a definite article in front of the phrase and heaven is always plural when this phrase is used in Matthew.

    By the way this phrase the kingdom of the heavens is also used in the aleph text in John chapter 3.

    This is speaking of the spiritual kingdom that was being offered to Israel in which they rejected.

    Christians must be found to be obedient, faithful and overcoming in order to have a part in this coming age or coming kingdom. If they are not then they will not rule and reign with the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

    Back to our word in question. Really the only time that I can find aionios to mean eternal would be when it is used in direct reference to God.

    When the idea of lasting without end was to be presented aionios is used in the plural or multiple time as in ages upon ages or ages without end.
     
  19. Brother Jeremy Slone

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    James Newman i have a question for you, I take you are a universalist and believe all of adam's race will be eternally saved in the end. is this your position?
     
    #19 Brother Jeremy Slone, Jan 23, 2007
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  20. Brother Jeremy Slone

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    Revelation 4:9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for anion and anion, 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for anion and anion.......
     

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