[SW348] 10/13/2018 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018
Will You Inherit the Kingdom?
Text: Matthew 25:31-46
Who will inherit the kingdom of God? In this passage, Jesus will show you that it is the same as in the parable of the talents. There are rewards for obedience, and dire consequences for disobedience.
If you are convicted by Jesus’ words in this passage, there is hope! Repent and cry out to Him!
Many commentators and believers assume that in this passage, Jesus is referring to good works that are done to meet humanity’s natural needs. But even those who have rejected Jesus Christ will supply such things.
Many people in the world need food, drink, shelter, clothing, healing of their bodies, and support when they are in prison. But much more, they need to be saved from the wrath of God and reconciled to Him by believing into Jesus Christ!
So, He is not referring to meeting humanity’s natural needs, but to works that only He can do, through believers whose hearts are completely His.
Verse 31 —
The time will come when the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, comes in His glory. He comes to judge.
No one will be able to miss His coming, for it will be like lightning which flashes across the sky, easily seen from afar —
Matthew 24:27 “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
He will be visible to all the earth, when He comes. All the angels will be with Him, myriads upon myriads and thousands upon thousands of them (Revelation 5:11). It will be an awesome and powerful sight! And He will sit on His glorious throne, where He will judge.
Verses 32-33 —
Who will He judge? Peter tells us that judgment begins with the household of God, that is, with believers (1Peter 4:17). And now, there are both Jewish and Gentile believers. Therefore, Jesus says all believers from all the nations will be gathered before Him.
He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. NOTE: In the natural, sheep are able to withstand cold nights because they are covered with wool, so they don’t need to be closely herded together to survive the night. But goats are covered only with hair, and must be closely herded together at night, or they will not survive the cold.
In what way will Jesus separate one believer from another? He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on His left. That is His judgment. But what happens to each group?
Verse 34 —
On the day of judgment, the King will say to the sheep who are on His right, “Come you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (before anything was).” They are His true children, co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)!
It is just as in the parable of the talents. He will say to some believers, Well done, good and faithful slave! Enter into the joy of your Master!” But other believers will not hear those words, on the day of judgment.
These believers are blessed by His Father! These believers inherit the kingdom of God, says Jesus! But He only says these words to His sheep who are on His right, not to the goats who are believers (see Verse 44), but are on His left. Why are those on His right blessed? Why do they inherit the kingdom of His Father?
Verse 35-36 —
Jesus Christ tells them they did works that the world cannot do. What did they do? He says,
— I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat.
You saw that many were in need of the Bread of Life, and you gave them Me (John 6:35). And they no longer hungered, and now they stand at My right, with you.
— I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink.
You saw that many were in need of my living water. So you proclaimed that I would give them My living water so they would never thirst again. My living water gave them eternal life which sprung up like a fountain within them (John 4:14)! With joy, they drew water from Me, the fountain of salvation (Isaiah 12:3)! And now they stand at My right, with you.
— I was a stranger, and you invited Me in.
Many were far from My Father and Me. But you told them that I would welcome and give eternal life to whosoever will repent (Matthew 4:17) and believe into Me (John 3:16). They repented and believed and entered into eternal life. And now they stand at My right, with you.
— I was naked, and you clothed Me.
Once they were saved, they realized they had no power to live out and spread My gospel. But you told them that I command them to wait until they are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). The Holy Spirit is the power from on high (Luke 1:35). So they obeyed and were filled with My Holy Spirit! And now they stand at My right, with you.
— I was sick, and you came to Me.
Once they were saved, they found that they were still sin-sick, unable to keep from sinning (Romans 7:19). But you came to them with the good news that when they are filled with My Holy Spirit, their sin nature is crucified (Galatians 5:24) and they become partakers of the Father’s and My divine nature (2Peter 1:4). So they were healed of their sin. And now they stand at My right, with you.
— I was in prison, and you came to Me. Once they were saved, they found that they were still slaves to sin, imprisoned by their sin natures.
But you came to them and told them about My promise that I will set them free from slavery to sin (John 8:36), purifying their hearts (Acts 15:9). So they obeyed and were filled with My Holy Spirit, and I did all of these things in them! And now, they stand at My right, with you.
Verses 37-39 —
The righteous — those who are filled with the very righteousness of God because they are filled with the Holy Spirit — will be surprised! When did we do these things to You, Lord? They did not realize that as they obeyed and were filled and went forth to do all these things that only He could do (Him working through them), they were blessing Him!
What is more, He says that by doing them for the least of His brethren, they did them for Him (Verses 37-38). They did these things even to the least of these who now stand at His right. They did these things for all mankind, including those who were of no significance in the world’s eyes.
So, even the least of these now stand before Him, on His right, with you. They also have done the will of His Father in heaven (Mark 3:35, Matthew 12:50), so they are His brethren. They are His sheep.
And they have done these things to Him. It is not that He needed to be saved and sanctified, for He is the Savior and Sanctifier. So what does He mean?
They did what He has commanded all believers to do. So, He was blessed when they obeyed, and is blessed by the glorious result — all of the sheep who are now at His right hand!
Verses 41-43 —
But the judgment is different, for the believers on His left, who are the goats. They are believers, for they call Him “Lord” (again, see Verse 44).
But He says, Depart from Me, accursed (doomed) ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels. He condemns them to hell!
Why? They gave Him nothing —
— They never spoke to the hungry about the Bread of Life
— They never spoke to the thirsty about His living water
— They never invited any stranger to come into the kingdom of God by repenting and believing
— They never gave imprisoned believers clothing with power from on high, laying hands on them so they would be filled with the Holy Spirit
— They never spoke of freedom from slavery to sin
Because they never did these things to anyone, they never did these things to Him. Heed His words, beloved!
In their churches, no one ever told them they must be filled with the Holy Spirit so they have power to live out and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.They never opened their Bibles to learn for themselves that Jesus commands all believers to do so.
Instead, they did what the world can do equally well. They met the needs of humankind in natural ways. They did not do the things that only Jesus Christ can do, working through them.
Verses 44-45 —
So these believers, the goats who are on His left, will also be surprised. They will say, Lord, when did we see You and not do these things? When did we not take care of You (serve You)?
Lord, we worked hard and spent the church’s resources in order to serve natural food and natural drink, inviting them to come and eat and drink in our church’s fellowship hall. We worked hard and spent the church’s resources to take food and drink to others! We worked hard and spent the church’s resources on “attractional” events at our church.We gave them clothing from our clothes closets, and went to prisons to visit them.
And He will say, Truly I say to you, that you did not do it for even one of My sheep, who now stand before Me on My right. So, you did not do it for Me. You did nothing for Me, because you did nothing for them!
Jesus was never able to rejoice with them, He was never blessed by them and by all who would come to repentance and faith in Him, because they never did what He commanded them to do. That is why He will curse them and sentence them to hell.
If only they had done His Father’s will, by asking Him to fill them with His Holy Spirit, they would have been His sheep, and at His right hand, along with all of those who came to faith and were filled through the ministry the Lord did through them. If only! But they did not.
Verse 46 —
And just as in Matthew 25:30, the believers on His left, the goats, will go into eternal punishment. But the righteous, those filled with His righteousness who went out with His gospel, will go into eternal life.
He does not desire that any should perish, O believer. He desires that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9).
Beloved, if you will heed His words, see the poverty of your heart, and ask Him to change it, He will surely do it. He will fill you with His Spirit, and you will not come to Him empty-handed, but will have done what He commanded you to do.
Then, at the time of judgment, You will be a glad sheep. When all believers are separated, you will find yourself to be at His right hand. And you, even you, will become a co-heir with Him.
Lord Jesus, may many heed your words today. Amen.