Sheep & Goats

May 28, 2009

Sheep & Goats

By: Justin Lessard

 28 May 2009

  21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

 22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’

 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

 

 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;

 33and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

 34Then 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.

 35‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

 36naked, 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, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?

 38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?

 39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

 40“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.’

 41“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;

 42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;

 43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’

 44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’

 45“Then He will answer them, ‘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.’

 46“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

(Matthew 25:32-46)

 

Jesus speaks of separating the sheep from the goats. This is a generally well recognized passage, however I believe it to be often misunderstood. I have yet to encounter anyone to come across this passage and say, “Uh-oh. I’m a goat!”

I believe the “goats” to be false converts, believers of improper doctrine, followers of false prophets, the backslidden and lukewarm believers, and the phonies who go to church every week and say the right words before the congregation, yet do not practice their lives accordingly. Let me show you something you may not have seen.

            The goats believe in Jesus. The goats cast out demons. The goats prophecy in Jesus’ Name, and perform miracles. They are like believers, maybe even thinking that their belief is enough, yet is misplaced or weak. The goats have neglected the hungry, the homeless, the naked, sick and imprisoned. They have forgotten the functions of ministry; of the Great Commission. They believe that Jesus is real, but served only on their own terms. Be sure that you understand.

            Notice carefully the two animals compared. Sheep represent the church, congregants, and true followers of Jesus. The comparison to sheep is goats. Not lions, wolves, echidna or chameleon. What is the point of using goats as the illustration comparative? I believe the answer will surprise most. I believe the answer will also provoke into actions that enhance and enforce your faith.

            Goats and sheep are similar, yet each is distinct in many ways.

            Goats look like sheep from a distant perspective. Both have white hair. Imagine shepherding a flock of 500 sheep. In them are 200 goats. They blend together, just as a phony Christian blends in at church. From the point of perspective, it is very difficult to tell them apart, yet when the shepherd positions himself in the field and separates the two animal types, he can easily tell the difference. And when he corrals his flock, he will put aside those which don’t belong.

            Goats sound like sheep. The baas and bleats are very similar. Again, only the true shepherd will know the distinct sound of his flock.

            Goats eat like sheep. Both graze the fields for food.

            People who are religious, people that are cultic, followers of false doctrine, the lukewarm and semi-Christians- All of these eat the same way. They look the same. They even sound the same; that is until you listen distinctly to their words.

            The questions every believer must ask are: Am I a goat? Have I neglected the full ministry of Jesus Christ? Am I going through the motions or am I a truly, full-hearted believer actively living out my faith? Have I believed whatever I was told, or have I sought for myself sound doctrine?

            To answer these questions and act upon the response is to ensure the inheritance set aside for us in the kingdom of heaven.

To ignore these things is maintain a place in the cursed eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

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3 Responses to “Sheep & Goats”

  1. dave Says:

    pretty fair and accurate; similar to wheat and tares.

    d.

  2. flee the wrath Says:

    Well said…

  3. Angelin Says:

    This is good. I plan to read it to my kids tonight to reinforce our conversations on why we are here on this earth.

    THank you for writing this up. God Bless you!


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