So what is the correct interpretation of Christs narrative on the sheep and the goats? (Editor's note: See Reference Below)
1. The sheep INHERIT the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. The fact that everlasting life in Christs kingdom is inherited means there is absolutely no merit in the works or character of those who enter it. An inheritance is bestowed apart from any consideration of good or bad characteristics in the person receiving it. Those who are blessed with the gift of eternal life receive it strictly by the Grace of God in Jesus Christ, purposed transcendent of human time and imparted entirely according to the eternal purposes of Gods election.
2. The sheep are Christs elect brethren ONLY, including the least of the sheep. They are NOT the poor of the world in general--but rather the most despised and shunned of all Christs elect. These are the persons who, like John the Baptist, are HATED by the politicians, religious leaders, and historic churchmen so popular among the masses. Like Christ Himself, they do not respect religion but damn it to hell. They study Gods revelation in the scriptures daily and condemn anything that is not in harmony with the true gospel of free and unmerited Grace in Jesus Christ. They reject and despise the destructive lies of the great apostasy, speaking out boldly against such deception when appropriate opportunity arises. They are not people who most congregations named Christian have any desire to be around or fellowship with. In fact, every effort is made to shun them completely. Due to the progress of human government through the centuries, which now prevents much of the individual persecution of former generations, they may no longer be physically hungry, thirsty, lacking clothing, or in prison. But they are forever STRANGERS to the religious establishment and churches of the apostasy.
3. When Christ welcomes the sheep into His everlasting kingdom of Grace, He commends them for their faithfulness in taking care of the least of His brothers. Though the good works ordained for the elect to walk in from the foundation of the world (Eph. 2:10) are not the basis of salvation in any manner, they are the beginning in this life of salvation realized. Entry into final glory at Christs return is simply the consummation of the salvation process that begins at regeneration in the present age. At the end of his life of faithfulness to the gospel, Paul states that the crown of justification awaits him at Christs appearing. This crown is the logical end, prize, or reward of the purposes of God for the regenerate in this life. It is the consummation of their salvation experience, which has nothing whatever to do with meriting eternal life by personal works or character. The reward is entirely of Grace earned in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is the public and regal vindication of the elect for eternity, manifested in Gods verdict of justification pronounced in the presence of their enemies.
4. The elect sheep are not aware of any works on their part that should be mentioned by Christ as honorable. This is because they have never been focused on works as a basis of assurance. Their faith has rested completely in the person and work of Jesus Christ as the only ground of salvation. As a fruit of that confidence, they embraced the most despised of Christs brethren who held to the same faith. They had no conscious realization that such compassion would one day be valued as embracing Christ Himself. To unite with Christ and all that He is means joyfully accepting, ministering to, and having fellowship with all those justified in Him, and this is not burdensome to the elect in any manner.
5. The goats have been great philanthropists toward the poor in general and are surprised that their destiny is going to be the lake of fire. They try and conceal the fact that, like Judas, the real motive in their care for the poor was personal gain and power. This self-exaltation was obtained at the expense of those they stole from--to give only a portion of the confiscated wealth to the unfortunate. But they worked tirelessly to stop the testimony of those who bore witness to the truth of the gospel. They secretly hated Christs elect as they hated Christ Himself; they were inexorably wedded to the darkness of unlimited pursuit of power at the expense of their perceived enemieswho had never done them any personal harm. They preached a god made in their own image who always sides with the poor in generalregardless of the cause of their poverty. But all devils who hate and reject the true gospel and those who believe it, trading Christ for liberation theology, will end up as Satan. They are little Satans in the image of their father whom they love and worship--and will be condemned to the same destiny as him.
There has never been a time when the words of Christ are more relevant than today. Those who love gospel truth are shunned as strangers in every way possible by the churches, media, and government authorities. Let the elect of God arise to the occasion and boldly embrace the most despised of His brethrenfellow laborers in the gospel whom the world does not know or want to know.
31 But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right, Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? 40 The King will answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.
41 Then He will also say to those on His left, Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me. 44 Then they themselves also will answer, Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You? 45 Then He will answer them, Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me. 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
1 Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5 Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people? 6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. 7 Therefore Jesus said, Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. 8 For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.
Jesus answered them, Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?
47 Someone said to Him, Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You. 48 But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, Who is My mother and who are My brothers? 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, Behold My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.
I Corinthians 5:11
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindlernot even to eat with such a one.
2 Timothy 4
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.