Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.
December 30, 2018
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 25:31-46
KEY VERSE: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:40)
BACKGROUND: Today we are living in the (1) Church age (Matthew 16:17-20; 1 Peter 2:4-9). The next event on God’s prophetic clock is the (2) Rapture of the Church (1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The Rapture is Christ coming in the air and snatching saved people up to heaven; it is imminent. The Rapture will take place at a time known only to God the Father. The Rapture will be immediately followed by the (3) Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15-26; Revelation 9:18-21). The Tribulation will be seven years of Satan’s rule on earth ending with the (4) Second Coming of Christ (Matthew 24:16-30; Revelation 19:11-16). Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and He will rule from Jerusalem during His Messianic Kingdom. Jesus will come to earth to put down evil and to set up His promised Kingdom.
INTRODUCTION: Our Bible study is about “Christ’s Second Coming and the Gentiles” (see Matthew 25:31-46).
· People confuse this passage by calling it “the General Judgment,” thinking it’s the same as the White Throne Judgment of Rev. 20:1-15.
There is no such thing as a general judgment in the Bible. (1) The saints have their works judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ immediately after the rapture (2 Cor. 5:1-10). (2) The unsaved dead will be raised to face Christ at the White Throne Judgment at the close of the 1,000 year reign of Christ (Rev. 20:1-15). (3) This judgment is that of the Gentile nations at the close of the Tribulation (Matt. 25:31-46).
· In God’s covenant with Abraham, He promised that all nations of the earth would be blessed through Israel (Gen. 12:1-3).
During the tribulation (“Jacob’s Trouble”), God will be purging Israel, so that at the close of the seven-year tribulation, there will be a believing remnant waiting to meet Christ. The nation of Israel will receive her King, and Christ will establish His kingdom on this earth, as promised in Luke 1:31-33, 67-80, and other places in Scripture. The question is which of the Gentiles shall enter into this kingdom.
· Notice the three groups of people in this scene: (1) the sheep, (2) the goats, and (3) those whom Christ calls “My brethren” (Matthew 25:40).
“My brethren” are the believing Jews who witness for Christ during the Tribulation period. Since they would be enemies of the Antichrist, yet sealed and protected by God, they would suffer great persecution. They would not be able to buy or sell, and thus would be hungry. They would flee from their homes (Matt. 24:15-21) and would need places to stay. Without jobs and without the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:17), they could not secure clothing and would be naked. Many would be cast into prison.
· During this period many Gentiles will believe the message of the Jewish missionaries (Matt. 24:14; Rev. 7:9-17).
They will then show love and mercy to these suffering Jews, by feeding, clothing, and visiting them in prison, etc. Just as Paul had persecuted Christ by persecuting His saints (Acts 9:4-5), these Gentiles will show love for Christ by showing love for His people. These acts of kindness are NOT good works that save them (Eph. 2:8-9); they are PROOF OF THEIR FAITH in the message and their love for Christ. The Gentiles who rejected the messengers, rejected Christ (Matt. 10:16-23, 40-42). Their end is outer darkness – HELL!
INSIGHT: It’s important to note that Christ will not judge the Gentile nations in masse as nations, but as individuals. The word “nations” in Matt. 25:32 is neuter in the Gk. while “them” is masculine, referring to individual people. There will NOT be “sheep nations” and “goat nations,” but “sheep” separated from the “goats” in every nation.
While it is true that God has judged entire nations for mistreating the Jews (Egypt, Babylon, etc.), the truth here is that individuals within the nations will be judged, and only those who have evidenced faith in Christ by their love for the “brethren” will enter into the kingdom. They will have life eternal; the others will go away into eternal punishment.
I. DIVIDING THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS. (Matthew 25:31-33)
A. The King Is Coming (the Second Coming). (Matthew 25:31)
(Matthew 25:31) When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.
1. God’s message to the world.
The polarization of all of the Olivet Discourse is moving toward the placing of Jesus Christ on the throne of this world. This is the message of the Gospel of Matthew -- in fact, it is the message of the entire Word of God.
2. Living nations will be judged.
You may ask, “Doesn’t it mean individuals?” Yes, you can consider it as individuals composing the nations. But nations are responsible to God!
B. The Nations Will Be Judged. (Matthew 25:32-33)
(Matthew 25:32-33) 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
This is the “Judgment of Living Nations.” These are all Gentiles (non-Jewish persons) who have lived through the Great Tribulation and appear as a mingling of sheep and goats, which our Lord will separate and judge as two distinct groups.
II. COMMENDING THE SHEEP. (Matthew 25:34-40)
(Matthew 25:34-40) 34 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: 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them. Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
A. There Will Be Preaching.
During the Tribulation the gospel of Christ will be preached by Jews. 144,000 Jews will be sealed at the time of the Great Tribulation, and they will go out over the entire world to preach the message of the gospel of the kingdom which is (1) to receive Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for their sins and (2) to be ready for His immediate coming. Some people and nations will reject Jesus Christ!
B. There Will Be Martyrs.
There will be many Jew and Gentile martyrs during the Tribulation period. The Antichrist will have God’s messengers butchered and slain, and anyone who would give them a cup of cold water will do so at the risk of his life. To hand out a cup of cold water has little value in our day, but in the Great Tribulation it will have tremendous value. It will mean taking a stand for Jesus Christ.
C. There Will Be Brothers And Sisters In Christ.
The basis on which the nations will be judged is their acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Who are these people that the King dares to call “My brethren”?
These are the 144,000 Jews who will preach the Gospel during the Tribulation period. (This may also apply to people who will HEAR the message of the 144,000 Jews and TRUST Jesus Christ for Salvation.) Since these believers will NOT receive the “mark of the beast” (Revelation 13:16-17), they will be unable to buy or sell. How, then, can they survive? Through the loving care of others who have trusted Jesus Christ and who care for Christ’s brethren.
INSIGHT: The interesting thing about this judgment is that the sheep individuals are surprised at what they hear. They will not remember having seen the Lord Jesus Christ and ministering to His needs. But just as they lovingly ministered to the believing Jews, they did it to Christ.
Their motive was not reward, but sacrificial love. In fact, these Gentiles took their own lives in their hands when they welcomed the homeless Jews and cared for them. “He that receiveth you receiveth Me,” Jesus said to His disciples (Matthew 10:40); and surely this would also apply to His brethren (both men and women) as they preach the Gospel!
D. There Will Be Final Results.
1. For those who are symbolized as sheep,…
There is the joy of the Messiah’s kingdom on earth (the 1,000 year rule of the Messiah on earth) and then the joy of a wonderful eternity.
2. For those who are symbolized as goats, …
There is only the judgment of a righteous God! (Christ rejecters end-up in a devil’s hell!)
III. CONDEMNING THE GOATS. (Matthew 25:41-46
A. The Christ Rejecters. (Matthew 25:41-45)
(Matthew 25:41-45) 41 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: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 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. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 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.
INSIGHT: Entire nations will enter the millennial kingdom. The judgment of living nations at the Second Coming of Christ is to determine what people are to enter the millennial kingdom. Out of these nations will be (1) some individuals who have accepted Christ and (2) some individuals who have rejected Christ who and will not be allowed to enter the kingdom. This judgment is separate and distinct from all other judgments.
1. Some people will reject the message. (Matthew 25:46a)
(Matthew 25:46a) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
The unrighteous goats (those who reject Christ) are told to depart from Him into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels because they failed to care for Him during the Tribulation -- the terrible “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” spoken of in the OT.
2. They will suffer the results of their rejection.
When they excuse themselves by saying they had never seen Him, He reminds them that their neglect of Christ’s followers constituted neglect (i.e., “a rejection”) of Jesus Christ.
B. The Christ Receivers. (Matthew 25:40 & 46b)
(Matthew 25:40) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
(Matthew 25:46b) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Separation of the sheep and the goats. The goats (Christ rejecters) will miss the millennial kingdom and a wonderful eternity; they will go away into everlasting punishment. The sheep (Christ receivers) go into the millennial kingdom and into a wonderful eternal life.
INSIGHT: Three points should be remembered.
(1) It will be a Glorious Kingdom.
The kingdom is said to have been prepared for the righteous from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34), whereas hell was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). God’s desire is that men and women (boys and girls) should be blessed; hell was NOT originally intended for the human race. But if people willfully refuse life (i.e., “reject Jesus Christ”), they necessarily choose death.
(2) It will be an Everlasting Future.
The Lord Jesus spoke of eternal (same word as “everlasting”) fire (Matthew 25:41), eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46), and eternal life (Matthew 25:46). The same One who taught eternal life taught eternal punishment. Since the same word for eternal is used to describe each, it is inconsistent to accept one without the other.
(3) It will be a Gentile Judgment.
The Judgment of the Non-Jews reminds us forcefully that Jesus Christ and His people are one (what affects them affects Christ). We have great potential for showing kindness to Jesus Christ by showing kindness to those who love Him – even in our day!
Like A King
By David C. Egner
I was a stranger, and ye took me in. (Matthew 25:35)
1. King Abdullah, the ruler of Jordan since 1999, has been known to disguise himself and go out into public places. His purpose is to talk with ordinary people and find out what they are thinking, and to check up on civil servants to see how they are treating his people. He has visited hospitals and government offices to learn what kind of service they are giving.
2. The king got the idea while in New York. He couldn’t leave his hotel without being mobbed, so he slipped out in disguise. It worked, so he tried it at home. He reported that once this practice was begun, civil servants and hospital employees started to treat everyone like kings.
3. When Jesus comes as King, He will judge the nations (Matthew 25:31-46). He said the basis for that judgment will be how people treated Him when He was hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, or imprisoned. Those being judged will ask when they saw Him in these situations, and Jesus will say, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40).
4. Because all people are created in God’s image, and because Jesus by His words and example taught us that He cares deeply how we treat others, we should treat all people with kindness and compassion. Let’s treat them like KINGS.
kindness done to others
Is a kindness done to Thee;
Christlike love for all my brothers
May the world observe in me. -- Brandt
-- Adapted from David C. Egner, Our Daily Bread, February 22, 2001
CONCLUSION: Our Bible study today tells us that when Jesus Christ returns in the Second Coming it will be a time of reward. Even in our day Christians are to show kindness and to give help to others when we can.
Today Christ’s sheep know that they are sheep (see John 10:14, 27-30), but they do not always realize what their service means to Christ. We will be surprised to learn about ministries we performed that we thought were insignificant but that the Lord Jesus will reward in that day.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “When we serve others, we serve Jesus.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.
REV. RONALD PURKEY’S OFFICE
E-mail: Ronald Purkey