Sheep vs Goats

Sheep vs Goats
Author: Kim Sheets, Senior Graphic Designer
The Parables of Jesus - Part 6
Goats are so cute, am I right? Well, that is what I thought when my kids — to clarify, my children, not ‘young goats’ (Merriam-Webster) — enrolled in 4-H. This was the time I began my journey as a herdsman, which consumed the next 35 years of my life. The cuteness is a facade.

During this period, I had two very close friends who were shepherds of large, graceful flocks of sheep. It did not take long to identify the opposing characteristics of these two species. Their sheep seemed well-behaved, trustworthy, and loyal to their caregiver. On the other hand, our herd was filled with reprobate goats who were hard to confine inside their fencing and mischievously got into precarious situations.
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left. 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.’
– Matthew 25:31-34
This past weekend, Pastor Tim spoke on the parable of the sheep and goats found in Matthew 25. The illustration is very prophetic in nature, as noted by Bible scholars. It portrays a future judgment upon those living during end-time events. You can view the timeline Tim used in his message here. The separation of sheep and goats occurs after the return of Christ during the ‘First Reckoning.’ These people have lived through the tribulation and experienced tremendous affliction.

Their actions were an outward sign of their true nature.

The sheep are a picture of Jesus’ disciples, the Christians. (Remember how the Bible refers to Jesus as the Great Shepherd?) Conversely, the goats are the unbelievers, those who have aligned themselves with the Antichrist. The sheep will inherit the kingdom prepared since the foundation of the world, while the goats are to be cursed and receive eternal punishment.
Their actions were an outward sign of their true nature. The sheep were loving, caring, and serving one another, especially fellow brethren; however, there were no deeds of Christ-like behavior from the goats. One group displayed evidence of the presence of Christ within them; the other group did not.
This fact should prompt us to ask ourselves: does the fruit of my life reveal Christ? Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourself not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?”
In all His wisdom and understanding, God chose sheep and goats for this parable. Coincidence? Are you ‘kidding’ me? Visit a farm, zoo, or even YouTube and see for yourself. Watch for outward signs of their character. We can learn a lot from them.
Our actions and our service can reveal our faith. Take some time to examine your outward signs. How are you being perceived? Are there opportunities you can serve Jesus by serving others? Imagine how you will feel hearing these words from Christ Himself: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’

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