“Ah, come on. It’s not the end of the world!”
Maybe it is. Jesus has been showing His disciples the signs of the end times, and we find ourselves now living in the last days. These are troublesome times…but for the believer, these are exciting times. We need not run around with headline hysteria. We must simply look up, for our redemption draws nigh!
In Matthew 25, Jesus talks about separating the sheep from the goats. It’s not “What Would Jesus Do”, it’s “What WILL Jesus Do...With You?”, and the answer depends upon what you do with Jesus. What you do with Him in this life determines what He has to do with you in the next.
I. The Coming of the Sovereign.
A. The Glory Throne.
v. 31 Imagine Jesus sitting there on His glory throne! He’s there today, and even when everything seems to be going wrong, He’s still on the throne. But one day soon He will stand up, and come down, and we will rise up, and bow down.
v. 32, 34 This judgment is written of in Joel...
I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
We will all stand before God and be judged one day. If you are not saved, then you will be judged for your sins. If you are saved, your sins have already been judged at Calvary, praise God, but you will be judged for your service.
Today men sit in judgment of Jesus, and all have their opinions of Him, but one day all men will be judged by Jesus.
B. The Gathered Masses.
v. 32 In Bible days it was not uncommon for sheep and goats to be herded together. And sheep are a picture of God’s saved people.
...we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
But goats are a picture of the lost—those who haven’t been saved. Devil worship still uses the symbol of the goat.
Today we put people into categories of our own making: rich and poor, educated and uneducated, black and white, but in God’s eyes there’s only one division among men: saved and lost – sheep and goats
Jesus said you are for me or against me, a believer or an unbeliever, bound for heaven or hell.
Today the saved and the lost are mixed together, working in the same factories, shopping the same stores, attending the same schools, living in the same neighborhoods, but one day soon a separation is coming!
If that line of separation was to be drawn today, which side would you be on? Would you be one of the sheep, or the goats? You say, I’m a Baptist. That doesn’t answer the question. There’s 2 kinds of Baptist – saved and lost. Some of them are sheep and there’s some old goats!
We cannot tell the difference – we are not the judge and we don’t sit on the throne. It’s God’s job to judge who is saved or not. You may be able to fool me, or fool everyone, but you can’t fool God! When God separates the sheep from the goats you won’t be able to pull the wool over His eyes!
The coming of the sovereign...
II. The Celebration of the Saints.
v. 34 This is the invitation of salvation remembered. God has always been inviting mankind to come to Him. Many of today’s churches are trying to bring God down to man’s level, but the invitation has always been for man to come to God. God has already come to us, because we COULDN’T get to Him, but now thru Jesus’ blood on the cross we can come, and the ball is in our court!
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Come forward today at the invitation and you’ll be answering God’s personal invite for you to come to Him! RSVP today and you’ll enjoy safety, cleansing, and rest!
Let me ask you an important question to consider: What ‘on earth’ would you want to go to hell for? Is there anything on earth that you can have that would make an eternity in hell worth it?
Come be saved today, and in that day you’ll be told to come to the celebration of v. 34b – “Come...inherit the kingdom” – then it says, “prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” This means that long before you were born God had you on His heart...He loved you long before you came into existence.
God says to you today: I love you, and I always have. Hell was not made for you, so don’t choose to go there!
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
But if you don’t follow Jesus, then by default you are a follower of the devil, and if you insist on following the devil, you follow him to his ultimate demise! This means that if you end up in hell it will be against God’s will.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is...not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The coming of the sovereign, The celebration of the saints...
III. The Cursing of the Sinner.
v. 46, 41 What is hell?
The phrase “depart from me” indicates it is a place of separation...not annihilation.
That’s right, the worst part of hell won’t be the fire, though it is a literal furnace of fire...the worst part is separation from God and from everyone forever. The worst pain Jesus endured on the cross wasn’t the nails, the thorns, or the beating, it was when the sins of the world were laid upon Him and His own Father God had to turn His back on His Son...just the act of looking away from Jesus caused Him to cry out, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?!”
Hell is separation...
“ye cursed” means “no second chance”.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
You say, I don’t believe God would send someone to a place of eternal excruciation. Would it surprise you to know that I say, I don’t believe that either? God doesn’t send people to hell...they send themselves to hell by rejecting the offer of salvation. Jesus did what was necessary to keep us out of hell if we will grab onto the life preserver He has thrown our way.
Would a loving God send a person to hell? No! The loving God sent His Son to take our hell for us, to die in our place. But He’s not just a God of love...He’s also a perfect, sinless, holy God, so pure and so holy that He cannot look upon sin, or have sin in His presence. No sin can be allowed into heaven, so we must be forgiven. Sin must be judged, so you need to accept Christ’s payment for your sin, or you must pay for your own sins.
And there shall in no wise enter into it [heaven]any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Jesus is coming...be ready, if not saved, get saved!
Jesus is coming...be watching, don’t be surprised, be found faithful when Jesus returns!
Jesus is coming...be witnessing...share the good news with others who need to be saved!
Jesus is coming...be working, we are saved to serve, not just to sit and soak and sour!
What will Jesus do, with you?
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