Matthew 25 contains one of, I think, the coolest, most insightful, and perhaps terrifying bits of all the Bible.
All the nations are gathered before the Lord and He separates the sheep and the goats based on how they treated “His brethren.”
As is typical with most cool parts of the Bible, there is much arguing over what it means.
As you know, Israel is in the midst of turmoil. There are many who think that this is a judgment on actual nations for how they treat Israel. This is why many believe America should side with political Israel today (even though it is easily argued that geo-political Israel may not actually be Jesus Christ’s brethren).
This interpretation has always confused me. If America sides with Israel and bombs their enemies for them, do all Americans go to heaven? Perhaps just the bombers go to heaven? The outcome of the judgment is eternity with the Lord, or weeping and gnashing of teeth. Whole nations do this for bombing Israel’s enemies or not? Really?
I believe it is best to view “all nations” as signifying “all people of all races and nationalities.” All of them will be judged by the Lord as individuals.
Judgment is based on their treatment of Christ, which is viewed by their treatment of His family on earth (Believers), which will signify their heart and genuineness of faith. Faith is demonstrated by works. Faith works by love. All judgments of God are judgments on works.
You don’t get saved by being nice and doing good works–that’s what the second group shows–“when didn’t we show love to you?” is their astounding question! They thought they had that one nailed down.
Remember the Apostle Paul in Philippians saying how he was such a good Jew he even attacked the enemy of the Jews, the followers of Christ? He thought he was serving God, until he met Christ, then it was all dung.
The righteous, meanwhile, have troubles coming up with examples of when they gave Jesus a glass of water! Backing up my point made a few weeks ago–if you did attain perfection, you’d be the last to know it.
Righteous people always seen how much more there is to be done, how much more there is in Christ. Self-righteous lost people only see their high points.
This is truly one of the most sobering passages in the Bible. Not all who say to him “Lord, Lord” will enter. This one could shake you to the core if you didn’t have to go play Candy Crush right now.