The Judgement of the Sheep and the Goats
The scene opens before us in Matthew 25, the last judgment.
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. (Matthew 25:31)
Before Him are all the people of all the nations of the earth separated into two groups. This is in preparation to pronouncing judgment upon them.
And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. (Matthew 25:32-33)
Here the judgment begins, as the Son of Man praises those on His right for their kindness shown to Him — kindness that He took very personally.
Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.” (Matthew 25:34-36)
Amazingly, they do not understand this. They feel as though there must have some kind of mistake.
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” (Matthew 25:37-39)
So He explains that it is how they treated these brothers of His — His very own disciples. He is rewarding them, the righteous, for the kindness they showed even the least of His brothers.
And the King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)
There is an exactly parallel discussion with those on His left, which culminates in their condemnation. They will go to “the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (verse 41) for not showing kindness to one of the least of these, His very own disciples.
Then He will answer them, saying, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” (Matthew 25:45)
Separate, distinct from the nations gathered before Him are “these brothers of Mine.” Gathered neither to the right with the sheep nor to the left with the goats — no words are addressed to them in this judgment of the nations, but only about them. They are with Him. Based on their deeds alone, the righteous and the wicked, the sheep and the goats, go to the eternal destinies they deserve.
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25:46)
But “these brothers of Mine,” called from every nation and people, ransomed by the blood of the lamb, so weighty are their lives and their place as the “apple of His eye” that the eternal destiny of all who come into contact with them depends on how they treat His brothers. Because, as He makes it clear, that was exactly how they treated Him.
So it is obvious that there are Three Eternal Destinies of Man — the wicked, the righteous, and the holy:
He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. (Revelation 22:11)
Here the wicked are called by the two most common ways they act: unjust and filthy. The unjustare those who take advantage of others, and the filthyare those who are sexually immoral. All three kinds of people, the wicked, the righteous, and the holy will be the way they are forever and ever, still… Which is the basis and the necessity of their eternal destinies. ..