Last Sunday of the Church Year
November 23, 2014
“Separating the Sheep from the Goats” (Matthew 25:31-46)
Judgment Day is coming! Are you ready? This is an important question, because the Day of Judgment is indeed coming, and you will be judged. Now that judgment could be positive or it could be negative, but you will be judged.
In fact, everybody will be judged, all the people who have ever lived. Many people don’t want to hear this, but it is the truth. The Holy Scriptures throughout teach that there will be a final judgment, that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again from heaven to do the judging, and that everyone will be included. Likewise, then, the Christian creeds confess the reality of this coming judgment. We just said it a few moments ago in the Apostles’ Creed: “From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead.” The Nicene Creed, same thing: “And he will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead.” And also in the Athanasian Creed: “From whence he will come to judge the living and the dead.”
So there is no question about it: Judgment Day is coming. We don’t know when it will come, that is, the day or hour. It could come tomorrow. It could come next week or next year. It could come a hundred years from now. We don’t know. But we do know that it is coming–or, better yet, that Christ is coming, he is coming to judge the living and the dead.
This is what the Holy Gospel for today is telling us. Indeed, this is what Christ himself telling us, in his own words: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” Jesus here is telling us about Judgment Day, the day when he returns, in glory, as king, to judge. So we will be wise to listen up, as Jesus now tells us about “Separating the Sheep from the Goats.”