(Read Part 16)
The Preparation for Christ’s Reign (Matthew 25:32-33):
All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
The long awaited Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, will take His royal throne to judge the gentile peoples and determine who will enter the millennial kingdom, as well as who He will cast into eternal punishment (Matt. 25:34, 41, 46). The Lord establishes two groups of people and uses two metaphors to describe the groups—the first being the sheep and, the second, the goats. The Lord places the sheep at His right hand, which is the place of honor. He places the goats at His left hand, the place of dishonor and rejection. These gentile people managed to escape the massive number of people killed during the seven-year tribulation.
A list of the billions of people killed during the tribulation includes but is not limited to the following:
- One fourth of the world’s population killed in the fourth seal judgment (Rev. 6:8)
- An additional third of the world’s population killed in the trumpet judgment (Rev. 9:15-18)
- A multitude of believers in the Lord martyred for their faith (Rev. 6:11)
- Many die from poisoned water in the third trumpet judgment (Rev. 8:11)
- Those who would harm God’s two witnesses killed (Rev. 11:5)
- 7,000 killed in earthquake (Rev. 11:13)
- Those who refused to worship the Antichrist are killed (Rev. 13:15)
- Massive number of soldiers killed at Armageddon (Rev. 19:21)
The judgment of the nations, the sheep and goat judgment (Matt. 25:31-46), can be confused with the great white throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) based on similarities in the descriptions. Three specific differences exist between the two judgments that unequivocally support the conclusion that the two events are completely separate.
We note those differences in the following chart:
Rightly interpreting Scripture is a mandate from God that requires serious study (2 Tim. 2:15). Understanding distinctive dispensational Scriptural truths enhances every Christian’s ability to avoid confusion when studying the Bible. The judgment of the nations occurs during the transitional period from the tribulation temple (Dan. 9:27) to Christ’s millennial temple (Ezek. 40-46).
The next article will outline the specifics in how the Lord Jesus handpicked the goats that will go to His left, and the sheep that will go to His right.
Here we stand; we cannot, and must not, be moved from this distinctive dispensational doctrine.
(Read Part 18)
Dr. Richard Schmidt is the founder of Prophecy Focus Ministries, having previously served as a pastor and church planter. His love for the prophetic Scriptures resulted in writing a doctoral dissertation on a dispensational perspective on the mystery church age existing between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. Dr. Schmidt offers seminars on a variety of prophetic topics to local churches and conferences. We are very excited to involve him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.
Copyright © 2016 by Dr. Richard Schmidt. Used by permission of the author.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.