Sunday, January 12, 2014

Are we sheep or goats?

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:
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.
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 hungred, 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 hungred, 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.
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.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

In this prophecy, the Lord tells us that there will be a judgement. He tells us that there will be two types of people at that judgement. Sheep and Goats. The sheep make it to enjoy everlasting joy with their Lord. The Goats are doomed to everlasting punishment. The difference between the two? One set obeyed their Lord's commands and reached out to others. They were service oriented. The other set cared only about themselves and didn't reach out to others. They were ME oriented. 

Yes, in order to become a sheep in the first place we must be born again (John 3:3-8, Acts 2:38) for we are all born as goats. But, are all of us that claim to be sheep really sheep? Or are some of us goats? 

Matthew 13: 24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Apparently, not all of us who say "Lord, Lord" will enter in. (Matthew 7:21) So other than being born again, what are some of the differences between sheep and goats that might help us to see what we are and change (with God's help) if necessary? 

First of all, both sheep and goats are pretty dumb animals. However, sheep know their dumb and need a shepherd. Goats resist authority and try to go it their own way.

Secondly, sheep love their shepherd and follow wherever he leads them. Goats are in it for themselves and only willingly obey their owners when it is for their own benefit (in their eyes). 

Sheep know their masters voice and will only listen to him. Goats are subject to many voices for they follow whatever voice suits what they want to do. 

Sheep are humble and gentle. Goats are always looking for a fight to prove who's right- meaning trying to show that they are right and others are wrong.

Sheep trust their shepherd to provide for them no matter what. Goats only trust themselves and do their best to show how "self-made" they are. 

Sheep usually are content to stay in the pasture their shepherd has provided for them. Goats are always looking for greener pastures. In their eyes, the grass on the other side always looks better than what they already have- until they get there. 

Sheep's wool is good to make others warm and comfortable. Goats have no wool and only a few folks can stomach goat's milk. 

Sheep study their shepherd and recognize him afar off. Goats study only what's right in front of them and usually ignore their master. 

Sheep are accepting of new members of the flock- even helpful. Goats usually try to show a new member of the flock just how high they are and how low the new member is. It's about control.

So, church, let's examine ourselves. Are we sheep? Or are we goats?