“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 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; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left,” (25:31-33).
Jesus had explained His Coming: His disciples were to live wisely, read the signs of the times and remain alert, and concluded with His warning for those who choose self over their Master. But there’s more. There’s His Solemn Separation, and He begins to unfold this final scene before His kingdom is established.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom…” (25:1-13).
“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them…” (25:14-28).
Jesus painted a clear the picture; His own are to live pure and prepared as the five wise virgins, and resolute and righteous as the two slaves, faithful with a few things. But the sad truth is, there are those who will choose to live foolishly and unprepared, selfishly and shortsighted until there is no turning back.
Consider His Solemn Separation
- He will separate the sheep from the goats.
- “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; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left,” (25:32-33).
- He will invite His sheep into His kingdom.
- “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,’” (25:34).
- He will send the goats away accursed.
- “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;’” (25:41).
How do we respond to His Solemn Separation?
His Solemn Separation will divide those who are His from those who are not. As we consider His words in Matthew 25, it may appear as though it is the things we “do” that make us acceptable for His kingdom. So we must consider this in light of what Scripture imparts concerning His Solemn Separation.
- Those who enter the kingdom of God must be born again.
- Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God,” (John 3:3).
- We are born again and saved by grace through faith, not the result of our works, the things we do.
- For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9).
- Through faith in Christ we are created as new creatures in Christ.
- Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- As His new creation, we belong to Him and we will hear His voice.
- “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd, (John 10:14-16).
- When we hear His voice, He leads and enables us to the good works God has prepared in advance for us to do.
- For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them, (Ephesians 2:10).
The reality is His Solemn Separation will separate those who are His from those who are not. Let us seriously consider the following now, before the occurrence of His Solemn Separation; for then, it will be too late to choose.
- Am I born again, saved by faith, a new creature hearing the Good Shepherd’s voice, walking in His good works?
- (John 3:3; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 10:14-16; Ephesians 2:10)
- Am I trusting God, Who is always at work, to conform me to the image of His Son?
- And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, (Romans 8:28-29)
- If so, am I growing in my resemblance to the selfless Savior through serving others?
- “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many,” (Mark 10:45).
When we are His by faith, living surrendered to His Holy Spirit, He will do the work in us to conform us to the image of Christ and create in us a heart like Jesus, concerned with the least of these, His brothers. And at the end of this age, at His Solemn Separation, we can know by faith we will hear Him say to us,
‘‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world... 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,” (25:34,40).