Separating the Sheep from the Goats

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 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 25:31-33

Several years ago, I had a woman tell me that she was a Catholic and supported same-sex relationships because love is love. When I asked her how she justified her position against the truth of God’s word, which clearly states that such relationships are sinful and offensive to God, there was no answer.

Now, only God knows the heart and whether a person is genuinely saved, but based on my conversation with the woman, it would appear that she was blind spiritually even though she considered herself to have spiritual clarity. Just as the Pharisees viewed the world through their lens of reality, so did this woman regarding same-sex relationships. Yet, both were spiritually blind even though they could see.

In Matthew’s gospel, chapter 25, an illustrative parallel to this reversal of spiritual sight is seen in the foretelling of the millennial kingdom. At that time, the Bible says the Lord will separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep represent the redeemed souls, and the goats represent the lost. The reversal is seen when both groups ask Jesus when did they see Him hungry, thirsty, and a stranger to invite in.

The redeemed (sheep), who have spiritual sight, fed the hungry, gave to the thirsty, and invited strangers into their homes. They did those things because it was natural for them to do so; it was who they were in Christ. However, the lost (goats) failed to do those things because they were spiritually blind, thinking they had it all figured out, their ticket to heaven in hand. However, the sheep will enter paradise with Jesus, and the goats, by their choosing, will be cast into the lake of fire.

It should prompt the question: Am I walking the life of a goat or a sheep?

So what is the takeaway from the blind man’s encounter with Jesus, a man who was healed to see both physically and spiritually?

  1. We live in a world of spiritually starving, spiritually blind people that need our help.
  2. As the hands and feet of Jesus, we must be obedient and faithful to seek out the lost and share the good news about Jesus Christ with them. They are our responsibility!
  3. When people try to silence and threaten us, we must stand firm in our faith as the once blind man did before the Pharisees and as many Christians have done before us and are doing today.

Therefore, let us renew our determination to go out each day and seek out one lost soul as Jesus did. Let us boldly preach the gospel to every creature as God’s word commands. Let us do so with a mindset of righteous judgment, not with a judgmental frame of mind.

Let us continually ask the Lord to open doors of opportunity for us to feed the hungry, satisfy those who thirst, and minister to strangers. Let us be the conduit that Jesus uses in the world to give sight to the spiritually blind, to people within our spheres of influence.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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