Trinity Vineyard Sunday Morning

Advent - The Sheep and the Goats

December 16, 2023 Trinity Vineyard Church Season 2 Episode 11
Trinity Vineyard Sunday Morning
Advent - The Sheep and the Goats
Show Notes

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
- Matthew 25:31-33

Were constantly fascinated by the idea that the world might one day end - disease, ecological disaster, asteroids, zombies etc etc.

The Bible agrees that the world will end, but it doesn't agree with how the end is often pictured. Instead of alien invasions or massive earthquakes, there is a judgement. A division between sheep and goats.

There's a children's song about the story of the Sheep and the Goats. It goes something like:

I just wanna be a sheep
Baa, baa, baa, baa
I just wanna be a sheep
Baa, baa, baa, baa
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
I just wanna be a sheep
Baa, baa, baa, baa

Don't wanna be a goat…nope
Don't wanna be a goat…nope
Haven't got any hope…nope
Don't wanna be a goat…nope


If you can bear it, it's here.

As much fun as the song is, it's wrong. The Bible's end of the world story doesn't predict that you or me will end up as a sheep or goats. Instead, it is the 'nations' that will be gathered and separated by the Son of Man (a title Jesus used of himself) according to whether they have helped "the least of these brothers and sisters of mine". 

And who are Jesus brothers and sisters? He tells us in Matthew 12: "whoever does the will of the Father in heaven is my brother or my sister or my mother".

So... the end will be a time when those who have been kind or unkind will receive the judgement and consequences of their actions. But kind or unkind to who? Not people in general, to those that fear God and faithfully follow Jesus.

There's a snag. These brothers and sisters will be hungry, thirsty, poorly clothed, sometimes in prison, sometimes sick. At the least, these followers will not be those that have social prestige and wealth. Saying yes to Jesus means saying no to some other things, knowing that he will say the biggest 'yes' to us at the end.