Have you been told that the sheep and goats judgment applies to individuals and their eternal salvation? Look again.
From the ‘Oh, duh’ department: In studying a commentary by Clarence Larkin this morning, the true nature of the ‘Sheep and Goats’ judgment at the Lord’s second coming finally became clear to me, as described here:
“This prophecy clearly states that there is to be a “Judgment of Nations” on the earth in the “Valley of (J)ehoshaphat” at the time of the restoration of the Jews to their own’ land, and that the basis of judgment is the treatment by the nations of Christ’s brethren-The Jews.” Larkin, Clarence. The Spirit World- Clarence Larkin Collection – 6 Complete Larkin Books [illustrated] (Kindle location 13150) . Kindle Edition.
Throughout my life, I had repeatedly heard this judgment depicted as a judgment of individuals, but the reality is completely different. It comes at a time when Israel has just been saved, as a nation. As a nation, they have seen Him whom they pierced, repented, and accepted Him as their Messiah…finally.
The tribulation will not have been a time of testing just for Israel, but also for the nations. Those nations who reveal their sheep nature through their treatment of Israel during that period will be admitted into the Kingdom, as nations. It’s difficult to understand because we have been conditioned to think of salvation in terms of individuals. Certainly, no one is saved based on their membership in a church or any other organization, but here we see entire nations being accepted into The Kingdom.
I guess the key is that these groups are not entering salvation, but into the millennial Kingdom; not the Kingdom of God, or Heaven. The inhabitants of that Kingdom will still be sinful, fleshly human beings. They will have been given the opportunity to demonstrate their righteousness in the absence of the influence of Satan (which they will fail), but they have not yet reaped their ultimate rewards.
It can be so frustrating to see how often new understanding in some area raises as many questions as it answers. Add to that the element of seeing through a glass darkly, and the whole exercise makes us long to see Him face to face just that much more. I have no doubt that our grasp of and appreciation for God’s loving nature will never be complete.
- Adapted from #91237724/Jankovoy-adobe stock.com
- #223699519/Lightfield Studios-adobe stock.com
- Don’t Mess With Israel by Greg Lauer @alittlestrength.com