Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
Scripture tells us in Matthew 25:31-46 that there will be two groups of people at the end of days; the Sheep, those that know His voice and follow Him (John 10:27), and the Goats, those destined for eternal punishment because as Yashua says in Matt 25:45, you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ To discover what He means by this statement we must consider what Yashua calls the greatest commandment; Mat 22:37-40, “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
To know how to love God YHVH we must know how He wants us to live. An example of how He wants us to live can be found in a story about the traffic circle at Victory Monument in Bangkok, Thailand. This traffic circle has many lanes of traffic with multiple exit points, if you are in the wrong lane for the exit you need to take and you cross another lane(s) of traffic to get to that exit a traffic officer stationed at each exit will motion you over to the curb and issue you a ticket for incorrect lane change within the traffic circle. A friend of ours was issued 3 citations by the same officer within a 20-minute time frame because she couldn’t figure out the flow of the traffic circle. When the officer volunteered after the third citation to get in the car with her and show her how to manage the traffic circle legally, she was finally able to correctly interpret the laws regarding proper use of the traffic circle and thereby avoid further depletion of her bank account. It is the same with us and our relationship with our Heavenly Father. If we keep trying to live our life on our own terms we will continue to suffer set-backs. He has plainly stated in His life-manual, the Bible, how we are to live, but the “goats”, according to scripture, insist on trying to make His Word say something that better fits their interests, or they choose to ignore Him and His instructions altogether.
A few years back I heard a preacher tell his congregation, “that sometimes the Bible just doesn’t have an answer for a situation you might be facing.” What! was that pastor telling his congregation? Nothing but, figure it out yourself, find your own way out of the traffic circle, ignore the rules; in other words, be a goat! If it feels good, do it… and I ask you, just where has that ideology gotten us? 40% of all children born are to unmarried women; 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse; approximately 50% of children in North America will experience parental divorce before age 18 (https://www.wevorce.com/blog/6-surprising-divorce-statistics-divorce-2017/); and in the United States over 58 million abortions since 1973, and over 1.4 billion abortions worldwide since 1980 (http://www.numberofabortions.com/).
These are just some of the issues that divide sheep from goats. So how then, living in 21st century America, do we swim against the strong current of prevailing opinion, criticism, distrust, hatred, violence and materialistic apathy to “love ones’ neighbor as themselves?”
The answer is found in the commandment to love YHVH with all your heart, mind and soul thus becoming that perfect reflection of Yashua that lives in the admonition of 1Corinthians 13; “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” This is living in the presence of Yahweh; that continual practice of being in His presence, listening to His voice, obeying His instruction, following His footsteps.
There is so much “noise” in the world today, so many things trying to draw us away from and out of the presence of YHVH. So much of this “noise” seems to only be serving its own selfish purposes. Looking at Yashua’s parable of Matthew 25 he says to the goats, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. ‘Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’”
The adversary of the brethren, the devil, wants us to live in chaos and confusion; finding problems everywhere and focusing on them; isolating from people and constantly being upset. He doesn’t want us to listen to sound counsel or remain connected with those we love and who love us. He welcomes it when we fight and aggressively judge each other. When we engage in the devil’s games we immediately lose connection with Yahweh and the shalom His presence brings. This is the “noise” of the present age; fight, condemn, judge, isolate. Take a serious look around you and then take an inward look at yourself, and then ask; whose side am I on, the devil’s or Yahweh’s? How you answer will be a pretty good indicator as to whether you are a sheep or a goat.
The world is polarizing; the sheep being separated to the right hand of Yashua and the goats to the left. Let us be like Joshua who said, “Choose you this day whom you will serve; as for me and my house we will serve Yahweh.” Take every opinion, thought and action back to scripture and find out what the Bible, Yahweh’s spoken word has to say and then live that Word in the fruit of the holy Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. YHVH is absolute, He doesn’t change, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow; we can count on Him to remain steadfast, a sure anchor for us in the storms that rage all around us. Trust Him, hold on to Him, He will never let you go, nor will He ever lead you down the wrong path. He IS your SHALOM!