Saturday, January 8, 2022

At His Second Coming

Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Today we return to our on-going study in Matthew. We left off in Matthew 25:30 prior to Christmas. Now, fresh from the celebration of His First Coming, we are given insight into His Second Coming in verse 31.

Drawing on His role as a shepherd, Jesus calls the unbelieving Gentile nations and separates them from the Jewish nation. His life on Earth exposed Him to all nations, and just as in all churches, there are true, committed believers, and there are also professing believers who are less than committed to the Word of His Testimony.

There are believers among the Jews, and among the Christians. There are true believers among Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Catholics. And in those same churches, there are others who take Jesus for granted, take His Word at only face value. He calls these two groups sheep and goats, and seeks to separate them one from the other. One group is called to His right, and the other to His left. These cannot be separated by nationality, or ethnicity, or by the names of their religion, or denomination. There are sheep, and there are goats in all of them.

Jesus looks at the heart. He sees behaviors, not just words that we speak. He measures our behaviors up against His Word and His own example. Thus He can look at a womanizing killer and King, and tell us that David had “a heart after God.” He knows what is in our hearts, and is willing to forgive those whose desire is to follow Him, even though our actions may cause others to question our commitment.

The real question is “What is in our hearts, the base of our desires?” Will He beckon us to His right, or to His left. Will He call us to His sheep, or lump us in with the goats. How closely are we following Him? Only we can examine our own hearts, and ask that tough question, for Jesus has already judged sin and disobedience.

“For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.” - 1 Kings 4:1

Today's Audio Message:
"At His Second Coming" - Matthew 25:31-46

Announcement:  We apologize to our listeners that our audio uploads for the past couple of weeks have been delayed.  We are truly blessed to be able to bring the teaching of God's Word to all of you.  May the Lord bless you as you partake of His Word and apply His truth to your hearts.


Can you imagine a goat in a pasture trying to trick the shepherd into thinking that he was a sheep? He might be able to trick some of us, but he wouldn’t be able to trick the shepherd. In the same way, there will be a day of judgment and Jesus will righteously and precisely sort out the spiritual sheep and the spiritual goats.

Though multitudes claim to be 'believers', there is a vast difference between walking the walk, and talking the talk.  True believers are known by their fruit.  They are known by their love for God, and love for others.  They hunger and thirst for righteousness, they desire to share the truth of God's word with others, and they present the Gospel of Salvation with the lost.  

In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, we are looking at man redeemed and saved, and man condemned and lost. The scriptures here does not suggest that salvation is the result of good works. Scripture does not contradict itself, and the Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches that salvation is by faith through the grace of God and not by our good works (see John 1:12Acts 15:11Romans 3:22-24Romans 4:4-8Romans 7:24-25Romans 8:12Galatians 3:6-9; and Ephesians 2:8-10). In fact, Jesus Himself makes it clear in the parable that the salvation of the “sheep” is not based on their works—their inheritance was theirs “since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34), long before they could ever do any good works!

The good works mentioned in the parable are not the cause of salvation but the effect of salvation. As Christians we become like Christ (see Romans 8:292 Corinthians 3:18; and Colossians 2:6-7). Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Good works in a Christian’s life are the direct overflow of these traits and are only acceptable to God because of the relationship that exists between servant and Master, the saved and their Savior, the sheep and their Shepherd (see Ephesians 2:10).

The core message of the Parable of the Sheep and Goats is that God’s people will love others. Good works will result from our relationship to the Shepherd. Followers of Christ will treat others with kindness, serving them as if they were serving Christ Himself. The unregenerate live in the opposite manner. While “goats” can indeed perform acts of kindness and charity, their hearts are not right with God, and their actions are not for the right purpose – to honor and worship God.

God is not interested in the outward appearance of a man, but His heart.  Where are we in our relationship with the Lord.  Do we truly belong to Him?  Are we God's Sheep, or are we Goats?   

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