Jesus Comes As Our Redeemer
The Final Judgment (Listen)
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,1 you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The Day is Real
One of the things that a little baby has to learn is that when something is out of its sight that it still exists. Infants don’t understand that, to them the only thing that is real is what they can see at that moment. Apparently a lot of people never really made it past this key developmental step, because they still seem to think, “we can’t see Jesus He must not be real.”
Well out text makes it clear that the time is coming when He will be seen and will very much be real. That Day is inevitable and is constantly getting closer and closer, day by day. It is inevitable, it is the only inevitable event to come.
From our point of view the future is unwritten. We make choices and based on those choices anything could happen, nothing is certain. Except this day. No matter what choice we make, no matter what we do or don’t do. This day is coming.
Jesus Reveals His Glory
The day in which Jesus will “sit upon the throne of His glory”
We’ve been talking this year about the hidden nature of God. How God comes in a way that we don’t expect. If we have power or something be proud of we show it off. Look at my medal. Look at my fancy Ferrari. This is the way we act, so when God doesn’t act this way it confuses us.
God reveals himself through an old book? God comes as a peasant born in a manger?
On top of Mount Sinai, God hid His full glory behind a cloud. So also on the top of the mount of transfiguration, the full glory was hidden by a cloud. And when Christ ascended, He ascended to receive again the full glory that was His, but before He received it He was hidden by the clouds.
The clouds here are a symbol of the way in which God know deals with us, His true glory and power hidden.
But on that day, the clouds will be thrown off, and “He will sit on the throne of the His glory.” “We will see Him as He is.” His full glory will be revealed and that will be a terrible terrible sight.
Its like the worst game of peek-a-boo. The cover is thrown off but instead of the smiling face of your father, guess what it’s the almighty judge of heaven and earth, with the fullness of His righteous glory and all His angels. The entire army of heaven gathered behind him. Not the innocent looking white robed singers that we usually picture but an army prepared for battle in full armor.
And before this the Lord of Sabbaoth we are brought for Judgement.
We Can’t Tell the Difference
This judgment however is one that is already made. He isn’t making the decision on that day. He is simply announcing what has already been decided. The sheep are already sheep, the goats are already goats.
The difference is obvious to God. It isn’t so obvious to us. We think sheep are these fat fluffy animals, and goats are more lean and taller and horns and little pointy beards. In real life it’s not so clear cut. When I was in India, there were often herds of sheep and goats along the road, I could never tell the difference. I would ask how to tell the difference and everyone had a different way to tell the sheep from the goats. One said, look at the way they stand, another said look at the way they walk. I’m not convinced they really knew the difference. It’s not so easy to tell the two apart.
And in spiritual matters also we can’t tell the difference. Only the good shepherd, only the true shepherd knows who are sheep and who are goats. We think, oh yeah, look at that guy clearly he is a devote Christian, look at what a good person he is.
But that is the problem isn’t it. It isn’t about those outward things. It’s about repentance and faith in the heart.
In Christ the Judgment is Made
Or is it? I mean Jesus does point to their works, doesn’t He?
Once again we have a passage that seems to promote the idea that our works are going to be the basis upon which we are judged. But we if we look a little deeper we see that is not so.
The goats are already goats, the sheep are already sheep. They are what they are and the Lord separates them on that basis. He doesn’t call them sheep because they do good works, rather because they are sheep they do good works.
Look again at the attitude of the sheep and the goats.
The sheep take no comfort in their works. They don’t rely on them to gain heaven. In fact they are baffled when Jesus says they have done good works. “What good works,” they say, “we haven’t done anything like that.”
What kind of attitude is that? That is the attitude of repentance. This clearly shows a heart that says, “no there is nothing in me that is worthy of heaven.’ And through this repentance and faith in Christ, their sins are washed away.
Read again the list of works attributed to the sheep. Is there any sin listed any where? How can the omniscient judge of all the earth look at any human and give such a list of their deeds that no where mentions even a single sin?
The only way that is possible is that through repentance and faith their sins are washed away in Christ.
Its like the paint program in Windows 3.1. You can pick a color and erase it entirely. So you have red for sins and blue for good works. And the Lord chooses red and the eraser and all the sin is gone. What is left? Well probably not much but whatever is left is only good things. It’s Christ that makes the difference.
On the other hand the goats try to take their stand on their works. They say no but we did do these things. There is no repentance and faith, there is no Christ. Without Christ all the red is still there. Without Christ all the sin is still there. Even if there were some good in there still, who can see it through all the sin.
God looks at the sheep and because of Jesus He sees only good works. God looks at the goats they don’t have Jesus so He sees only sin. The judgment is known right now, through Christ we sheep.
There is nothing for us to fear on that great day, because in Jesus we can’t be judged any other way. There is not even the possibility of sin, there is not even the possibility of condemnation, because whatever sin there is, and there is a lot of it, it is all wiped away in Jesus, every last pixel. It’s all gone.
The Lord Comes as our Redeemer, therefore we will not fear, even though the earth is removed.
The Peace of God that surpasses all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus