Dr. Jack L. Arnold Lesson
WHEN CHRIST JUDGE
- As we come to the end of the Olivet Discourse, we
feel that something is missing, not all the pieces of the puzzle have fit
together. So far in this
discourse Christ has given much information concerning the future of the
Jews. He has given some
subtle hints about the Church but, up to this point, He has said nothing
about the future of the Gentiles and their relationship to the Jews. NOTE: At the beginning of the Olivet
Discourse, Christ told His disciples who were then Jews, that Jerusalem
and the Temple would be over run by Gentiles -- this happened in 70 A.D.
when Titus and the Roman armies captured Jerusalem -- and it would be only
natural to give some explanation of God’s plan for the Gentiles.
- This section on the Gentiles and their judgment
before God is necessary because 1) Israel’s enemies must be put down and
the subjugation of the Gentiles is the final step in God’s program for
Israel; 2) Gentiles are to be judged on their treatment of the Jews, and
3) the future judgment of Gentiles determines who will share the blessings
of the millennial kingdom with Israel.
DESCRIPTION OF THE JUDGMENT OF THE GENTILES
- “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all
the holy angels with him,” -- There is
a definite break in thought at 25:31 which indicates Christ is going to
speak on some other subject.
Since 24:42, Christ has been speaking in parables but now He drops
the use of parables and takes up the simple narrative. He does this because He is going
to speak about the judgment of Gentiles at the second advent of Christ. The parables dealt with the
importance of the Church watching for the any moment return of Christ for
the Church at the Rapture that will occur before the Tribulation period
begins. But this section is
dealing with the second advent when Christ “shall
come in His glory.”
The time of this judgment of Gentiles is put at the second advent
of Christ when He shall make a visible manifestation of Himself in
complete glory to all the inhabitants of the earth. He will come in glory, not in
humility as He did in His first advent (Rev. 1:7). Christ will be
accompanied by angels to aid Him in the judgment of men.
- “Then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory” -- The place of this judgment
is on earth, for this throne is none other than the throne that was
promised to David, upon which one of Davis’s sons would sit to reign over
David’s nation, kingdom and land (II Sam. 7:16). At the second advent, Christ
will come to reign as the Sovereign One over the millennial kingdom.
- “And before him shall be gathered all nations
(Gentiles):” -- Many
have thought that Christ will actually judge nations based on this verse
but the Greek word for “nations” is ethne which should be translated
Gentiles. This then, is a
judgment of individual Gentiles, not national entities. God never judges eternally whole
nations but does eternally judge individuals for the scriptures teach
personal accountability to God.
This then is the judgment of Gentiles, the non-Jewish peoples of
the earth, the last generation of living Gentiles before the second advent
of Christ (Joel 3:1, 2; Zech 14:1-3). NOTE: This is a judgment upon living Gentiles, who have not
been exterminated through the wars and pestilences and judgments of the
Tribulation period. At the second advent, multiple millions will be brought into
judgment before the King who sits upon David’s throne as the Sovereign
- “And he shall separate them one from another, as a
shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.” -- There will be a separation of these living
Gentiles to determine who shall enter into Christ’s earthly kingdom which
the Son of Man will establish.
- “And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but
the goats on the left.” -- Without
speaking a word, the King will separate all Gentiles into two groups --
those on the right hand, the privileged place, are the sheep; those on the
left hand, the place of disfavor, are the goats. The sheep are true believers and have the place of
approval; the goats are unbelievers and have the place of rejection.
GENTILES REWARDED ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS
- “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from
the foundation of the world (earth):” -- This “kingdom” is the earthly kingdom of Christ,
for the meaning of “world” is the earth. It has been God’s plan to establish a kingdom over this
world ever since the Garden of Eden and this will be accomplished at the
second advent of Christ.
This kingdom is only for the saved. No unsaved persons will be received into the earthly
kingdom. Only those who have
been “born again,” only those who have received Jesus Christ as personal
Lord and Savior, will be accepted into the earthly millennial kingdom. NOTE: The kingdom is
prepared for certain ones from the beginning. Who are these ones? They are the elect of God;
those who personally trust Christ as Lord and Savior.
- “For I was an hungered, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me
drink: I was a stranger, and
ye took me in: Naked, and ye
clothes me: I was sick, and
ye visited me: I was in
prison, and ye came unto me.”
These believing Gentiles will meet the needs of Christ in
the Tribulation period. They
will actually minister to Christ and this will give them entrance into the
- “Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord,
when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee stranger, and
took thee in? or naked, and clothes thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto
thee?” -- The believing Gentile sheep
will be somewhat confused for all will not remember personally ministering
to Christ in the Tribulation period. NOTE: These believers are call righteous for they are
righteous in Christ and have righteous acts.
- “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily
I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my
brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
- The first problem is to determine who the “my
brethren” are. Some think it
refers to any believers in need during the Tribulation period. However, it is better to get more
specific and say “my brethren” refers to the Jews, for Christ, according
to the flesh, was a son of Abraham and was a Jew. These are
believing Jews during the Tribulation and probably can be narrowed
down to the 144,000 evangelists who will preach the gospel of the kingdom
with reverence during this period.
These converted Jewish evangelists will not bow their knee to
Anti-Christ and will be persecuted terribly. When they go from city to city, to announce salvation
through the shed blood of Christ and to warn that Jesus Christ is coming
back to earth to judge, there will be some Gentile individuals who will
hear, who will examine the scriptures to see if these things are true.
They will be
convinced that the message that these preachers bring is the truth of God and
will accept Christ as Lord and Savior.
These Gentile believers will suffer horribly for their faith. Yet these Gentile believers will risk
their lives to help the Jewish evangelists. They will share the basic necessities of life with the
144,000. When the evangelists are
arrested these believing Gentiles will go to the prisons to visit them.
- The second problem is how did these believing
Gentiles minister unto Christ?
Christ says, “As ye have done it unto one of the least of these,
my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Jesus Christ is one with His spiritual people and to
care for them is to care for Him.
If you help them, you help Him. If you ignore them, you ignore Him. These believing Gentiles accepted
the message of Christ and accept Christ’s messengers and by helping them
they actually minister to Christ.
- The third problem is theological, for the text says
that Gentile believers are accepted into the kingdom according to their
works. Is this salvation by
good works? No! They are accepted into the
kingdom because they receive the message of the gospel and prove the
genuineness of their faith by the works they do for those who brought the
gospel to them. These men are not saved by works, for no person in
history has been saved by works.
But these men by works, demonstrate that
they have accepted Christ.
Judgment in the Bible is always on the basis of what faith
produces and what unbelief produces. You cannot see faith but you can see works, and works
are a proof of real faith.
In this context, a practical demonstration of love is the proof of
real salvation, for these believing Gentiles met the needs of the Jewish
evangelists. The ultimate
evidence of a real believer is not his creed, or his faith or his Bible
knowledge but his concern to show love.
GENTILES JUDGED ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS -- Matthew
- “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,
Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil
and his angels.” -- The
unbelieving Gentiles are eternally separated from Christ and placed under
the eternal curse of God.
Why? Because they did
not trust Jesus Christ, who is the only way to the Father. NOTE: Christ says that hell is a real
place but originally it was prepared only for the devil and his angels but
those who reject Christ align themselves with Satan and his program, and,
therefore, deserve the same kind of punishment in eternity.
- “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no
drink: I was a stranger, and
ye took me not in: naked, and
ye clothed me not: sick, and
in prison, and ye visited me not.”
The Lord says that the goats had a chance to minister to Him
as the sheep ministered to those whom He sent, but they will reject the
ministers of the gospel because they reject the gospel they proclaim.
- “Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when
saw we thee and hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or
in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto
you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not
to me.” -- These unbelieving Gentiles
will plead ignorance of their lack of good works towards the Jewish
evangelists, but it will be obvious that they rejected their message of
- “And these shall go away into everlasting
punishment: but the righteous
into life eternal.” -- The
unbelievers are confined to everlasting punishment but the righteous are
destined to eternal life.
is Christ who speaks of everlasting punishment, so best we listen when he
speaks about it.
- Christ is the Judge of all men. There is no human being ever born
who will not pass under the judgment of the Son of God. He will accept into His kingdom
those who have trusted Him as Lord and Savior. He will reject from His kingdom those who do not own
Him as Lord and Savior. All
men must meet Jesus Christ at one of two places: they must meet Him at the cross as Savior, or they must
meet Him on a throne as Judge.
- Those who receive Christ as Lord and Savior have
entrance into eternal life and into the earthly kingdom. To receive Christ gives one
entrance into the millennial kingdom on earth but this also includes
entrance into the eternal kingdom, for the earthly kingdom will be offered
up by Christ to the Father and it will become part of the eternal kingdom.
I want to ask each one of you just one question this
morning. At this very moment, is
Christ your Judge or your Savior?
Your eternal destiny hangs on your answer!