In Matthew 24, the disciples want to know about “the Judgment.”
“When is it? What is it? And Who gets in?”
Most folks want to be saved from God’s Judgment with their own judgment.
Which means they’ve judged God’s Judgment as bad, and their own judgment (to be saved from God’s judgment) as good.
“When is it? What is it? And who gets in?”
In Matthew 25:33 Jesus answers the question.
The Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne and divide the people like a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. He will say to those on his left, “Depart from me… into the eternal fire.” These “will go away into eternal punishment and the righteous into eternal life.”
So, when is the Judgment? Now… whenever you see the hungry, the thirsty, the sick and in prison. It’s now and always. There is only one Judgment.
And what is the Judgment? The King separates according to what we’ve done. He is the Judgment. He is the Light, and “this is the judgment: the light has come into the world” (John 3:19).
And, who gets in? He tells us:
If you’ve ever given a hungry person food or a thirsty person drink, you’re a sheep.
And if you’ve ever neglected to give a hungry person food or a thirsty person drink, you neglected your king. For whatever you do to the least of these you do to him; you’re a goat. Goats to the left. Sheep to the right.
That’s a crisis (“krisis” in Greek, a judgment). I’m both wheat and chaff, wheat and tares, true and false, a new man and an old man, good judgment and bad judgment; I’m a sheep and a goat. And it’s a crisis, for my goat self is stuck to my sheep self.
In a panic, we think that God might grade on a curve, but if I judge “the least of these” last, I judge the King on the throne last.
In which case, I certainly wouldn’t want to enter his kingdom, for his presence would burn like fire; his heaven would be my hell.
It’s a crisis, for my goat self is stuck to my sheep self.
I can’t cut out my goat without dying, and I can’t become a sheep by simply trying.
Both goats and sheep say, “Lord, when did we see you?”
No one loved for fear of the fire and no one loved to earn the King or his kingdom.
Sheep don’t love for a reason. Love is the reason. Love is their nature.
Well, what man was ever all love, and never not love?
What man never neglected to feed the hungry or give drink to the thirsty?
What man never judged others last, in order to judge himself first?
What man did all these good things, not because he was trying to be good, but because he is good—good judgment is his nature?
Only one man: the man telling the story. Why is he telling the story?
At this point, we’re all tempted to run from God’s Judgment, but in the next sentence he continues to describe God’s Judgment. He is God’s Judgment.
As he looks at Eden, Mt. Moriah, the Temple Mount, and Mount Calvary, He says, “You know that in two days the Passover is coming, and the son of man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
Jesus is our Passover Lamb. “Your Lamb shall be without blemish… you may take it from the sheep or the goats… it is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover,” says God to Moses in Exodus 15.
Jesus is looking at Eden, where Eve took the life of the Good on the tree in the garden and everything died. In the morning, he will fore-give the life of the Good on the tree in the garden and everything will begin to live.
Jesus is looking at Mt. Moriah, where Abraham said, “Isaac, God will provide a lamb (“sey” in Hebrew).” That can mean sheep or goat. A God/man stopped Abraham’s hand and provided a full-grown lamb.
Jesus is looking at the Temple Mount, where for a thousand years Israel has sacrificed sheep and goats.
They both went into the same fire… a perpetual fire, the eternal fire.
God is Fire. God is Love. God is One.
Good Judgment is Eternal Fire; a Decision to Love is Life.
The Eternal Fire is the Presence of Eternal Life—our Shepherd.
In Israel, I once saw how the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He simply walks and talks. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice and want to be wherever the shepherd is. They walk in his way because they want to.
The goats only walk in his way because they are afraid not to do so.
Goats are driven by goads, and sheep come when they are called.
There is one shepherd, but goats experience him as pain and sheep experience him as their greatest pleasure.
In the temple goats were often offered as the sin offering, and Jesus is your sin offering. “He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows. The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” prophesied Isaiah.
Sheep were often the “burnt offering,” the “olah.” It means, “the going up.” It is an offering of complete love. It is righteousness. Jesus is your “olah.” “Through him the many are made righteous,” prophesied Isaiah.
Jesus is God’s Judgment, but Jesus did not sacrifice so that we would never sacrifice; Jesus sacrificed so we could sacrifice… with him. That’s Good Judgment.
“Present your bodies as a living sacrifice,” writes Paul.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and gave his only son [his Life] as an atoning sacrifice for our sins,” writes John.
Love is a decision to bleed for your neighbor. Sin is a decision to bleed for no one—it’s a blood clot.
Love is sacrifice… and a communion of sacrificial Love is Life.
It is the Body of Christ.
From this side of the curtain, it’s terrifying; but on the other side, it’s the ecstasy of Eternal Life.
The Knife is the Word of God. The Fire is the presence of the Shephard. And on the other side of the curtain is the throne of God on earth. When Jesus died, that curtain ripped.
In the Revelation 5, John see the throne of God in Heaven.
He hears “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea and all that is within them” praising the one on the throne—the Passover Lamb.
On the other side of the knife, the fire, and the curtain, is every sheep and every goat and even you—a brand new you, in an entire New Creation, your home.
Satan has tricked the church into teaching the world to run from the Judgment of God, but the only place safe from the Judgment of God is hell. And the Judgment of God is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus does not save us from the judgment of God.
Jesus is the Judgment of God to save… everyone.
Never run from the judgment of God; always run to the judgment of God.
And when you do, be grateful. It’s the judgment of God in you.
It’s Good Judgment.