#15 ~ The Separation of the Kingdom

#15 ~ The Separation of the Sheep from the Goats

What are some ways that we spend time with Jesus?

Note:  My point is that spending time with Jesus usually equates to reading our Bibles, praying, singing, and time alone.  The parable (well, not quite a parable) teaches that when we do things for the poor, unclothes, sick, shut-in, hungry, the least of these, we are spending time with Jesus Christ.

Matthew 25:31-46 is sometimes called the parable of the sheep and the goats.  Part of this can be considered a parable, but some of this will happen literally.  Others term this The Judgment of the Sheep and Goats.  Let’s look at another passage where Jesus speaks of judgment, as in, our final destination.

Matthew 10:26-33.  Destroyed in hell.  These are words of Jesus as He sent the twelve apostles out to preach the kingdom of God in the cities of Israel.  Are we commanded to be public about our faith?  Which verses in this passage would help you decide your position about your faith being public or private?  Who does this passage say we should fear?  Does it name who that is?

Matthew 25:31 ~ Jesus sits on the throne of glory.  Jesus is using language parallel to Zechariah 6:12-13.  What does the passage in Zechariah say about what kind of a King this will be?

Matthew 26:26-29, 64 ~ Further teachings about Jesus coming with the Kingdom of Heaven.  What will Jesus do with us in the kingdom?

Matthew 25:32-33 ~ The separation of the nations.  While He is sitting on the throne of His glory, all nations are gathered.  Then there is a separation.  Where else have we seen this teaching of a future separation?  Key phrase: ________________________________.  Where does this kingdom seem to be?

Note: for those following the entire series, this separation has been a common theme.  See Matthew 3:12, 8:10-12, 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50, and even as recently as 25:1-13.

Matthew 25:34 ~ The Inheritance.  Does this verse remind you of any other verses?  This is the fulfillment of the ________________.  Jesus usually referred to Himself as the Son of Man.  What new word is He using here to describe Himself?  Why did He wait all this time before using this word?

Answer:  The Beatitudes.  Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 12:33-37 ~ Criteria for judgment.  What has Jesus already said about how we will be judged?

Matthew 25:35-40 ~ Jesus welcomes in the sheep.  How does this passage say we can spend time with Jesus?  Does it seem odd that the ultimate criteria for entering the Kingdom of Heaven mentioned here is how we treat those in need (the poor).

Matthew 25:41 ~ The devil and his angels.  This verse is foundational for any study on the devil, demons (fallen angels), and everlasting fire.  Revelation 12:7 is the closest we can come to the phrase “the devil and his angels”, stating “the dragon fought and his angels”.  The phrase translated everlasting fire is aionios pur.  Aion refers to time and aionios basically means without beginning and without end, hence everlasting fire.  This phrase was used by Jesus in Matthew 18:8, and it is equated with everlasting punishment or torment in Matthew 25:46.  Where have we previously heard the phrase “depart from me”?

Answer: Matthew 7:23

Matthew 25:42-45 ~ Jesus dismisses the goats.  The judgment is the same as the sheep, only in reverse.  Here they are commanded to depart for a lack of the very things that the blessed did throughout their lives.  Last week we learned about staying busy about the business of the Kingdom of Heaven.  According to this passage, what is the business of the Kingdom of Heaven?  Does it seem strange to you that the Kingdom of Heaven would be concerned with these issues?

Matthew 25:46 ~ The Summary.  What is the final destination of the goats?  And of the sheep?  Compare Matthew 25:34 with 25:46.  What conclusions can we draw by this comparison?

Matthew 5:2-12 ~ The Beatitudes.  Matthew places the Sermon on the Mount toward the beginning of his gospel.  These teachings should give us some insight as to what Jesus meant since He speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven, although it never seems like He fully explains it.  Jesus pronounces a series of blessings upon a category of people that we know to be His chosen.  One of these blessings is that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to these people.

From the other blessings we can get a picture of what this Kingdom of Heaven might be like.  Each beatitude puts the characteristic of the people first, then the characteristic of the kingdom second.  We can overlap them to get a composite picture of each.  The people that will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven are:  Poor in spirit, mournful, meek, hungering after righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and persecuted.  The Kingdom of Heaven can be seen to be:

Verse 3:  The Kingdom of Heaven.
Verse 4:  In this kingdom people are comforted.
Verse 5:  It is here on the earth (read Psalm 37 in its entirety).
Verse 6:  In this kingdom people will be filled and satisfied.
Verse 7:  In this kingdom people will obtain mercy.
Verse 8:  In this kingdom people will see God.
Verse 9:  In this kingdom the citizens will be called the children of God.
Verse 10:  The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to these people.
Verses 11-12:  It is a place of great reward.  Note that the reward is currently in heaven, but this kingdom seems to be here on earth.  See Matthew 16:27 and Revelation 22:12 for more.

Matthew 5:13-16 ~ The role of “The Blessed” while they are here on the earth.  Jesus gives His followers instruction on how they are to influence the world around them.  You are the salt of the earth, the flavor of the whole earth.  You are what makes the world taste good.  You are the light of the world.  You are what allows people to see anything that would bring glory to God.  Without you shining your light, the world is in darkness.  Currently the Father is in heaven, but His followers (the ones to whom the kingdom belongs) are here on earth.

This was a fun lesson to teach.  At the end of the lesson, I drew attention to an older man who goes to visit a friend of his who is shut in on a regular basis.  This faithful friend has nothing to gain by his visits to this shut in.  I said:  “Fred, can you imagine standing before the LORD Jesus and He says, ‘Fred, come on in.  We’ve had such a good time visiting all these years.’  And Fred, you say, ‘I don’t remember visiting with You, Jesus.’  And Jesus says, ‘Don’t you remember, Fred?  We had such a good time visiting week after week.’  And Fred says, ‘I don’t remember that, Jesus.’  And Jesus says, ‘Don’t you remember coming to visit me in that little trailer.  Nobody else would come.  But you did.  We had such a good time.  Come on in.’ “

It’s true.  When you do it for the least of these, you are doing it for the LORD Jesus Christ.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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3 Responses to #15 ~ The Separation of the Kingdom

  1. Yves P. says:

    Hi Darrin,
    after waiting 3 months for this new installment in your series on the Kingdom I was afraid that it was permanently interrupted. Thanks for #15.

    “What new word is He using here to describe Himself?” My answer is : A King.
    But I am not so sure how to answer the next question: “Why did He wait all this time before using this word?”
    Could it be that it was not in Jesus’ interest to reveal too early that he would be a king, knowing that it would give munition to those who wanted to kill him.

    For me this lesson was the most important one of your series. What I retain is that no matter how eager we are for the return of Christ each one of us must act ‘now’ and do whatever we can to to ease the pain and misery of others. This is the only way to secure our entry in the Kingdom. The parable of the Good Samaritan illustrates perfectly your text.

    Good job Mailman.
    Yves P.

    P.S Ever wonder why Noah released the raven out of the Ark? For most of the people it was a waste of time because the bird didn’t bring back anything to Noah. I wrote an essay to show that the use of the raven was not only essential to Noah, it was also essential to reveal a road to redemption that end with Christ.
    Go to http://www.ezekielmasterkey.com/
    and click to open “The surprising flight of Noah’s raven”

    • Hi Yves. Thanks for the encouragement.

      >>>“What new word is He using here to describe Himself?” My answer is : A King.
      But I am not so sure how to answer the next question: “Why did He wait all this time before using this word?”
      Could it be that it was not in Jesus’ interest to reveal too early that he would be a king, knowing that it would give munition to those who wanted to kill him.>>>

      The format was discussion based. I asked question to get people talking. Our pastor was preaching a series of sermons (I believe on the gospel of Mark) and mentioned what he termed “The Messianic Secret”. This was the idea that Jesus commanded people not to tell others that He was the Messiah. So as I was teaching, this idea that Jesus suppressed this fact was in the minds of people in the class. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer. But why did Jesus tell people to NOT make certain things known, like the devils were not allowed to say He is the Son of God, certain people were commanded not to tell of miracles that He had performed, and then this Messianic Secret as well. So the discussion proceeded along those lines, but if you or someone else were teaching, it could take a different direction. Just so long as people are discussing things from a scriptural point of view, the teacher should be willing to let the discussion take its own shape.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  2. rapazoe says:

    “Son of Man” is an important title meaning that He represents all of humanity.
    Jesus identifies himself with humanity and in the flesh and thus refers to himself as the Son of Man.

    1 John 4:2-3 WEB
    2  By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
    3  and every spirit who doesn’t confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of whom you have heard that it comes. Now it is in the world already.

    The significance to us is that flesh is raised from the dead giving us hope of resurrection in the Kingdom of God.
    1Co 15:12  Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 
    1Co 15:17  If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. 

    Jesus does not reveal himself as the King until the kingdom comes because now is the Day of Salvation. But the kingdom age is coming when Jesus will reign on earth as it is in heaven.
    Rev_11:15  The seventh angel sounded, and great voices in heaven followed, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. He will reign forever and ever!”

    rapazoe – 13 Oct 2020

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