The Judgment of the Gentile Nations, Part 1 (Second Coming Chapel)
TEXT: Matthew 25:31-36
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.
The Judgment of the Gentile Nations (Part 1)
Today we are looking at another judgment which takes place in the end times. Some have called this judgment the “judgment of the nations” leading many to believe that Jesus will judge individual nations (and the people of those nations) based on their treatment of Israel. However, this judgment is a judgment of individual Gentiles. The word “ethnos”, which is translated “nations” in the King James Version, indicates all Gentile people.
Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck state in their fine commentary, “When the Lord returns, He will judge not only the nation of Israel but also the Gentiles. This is not the same as the Great White Throne Judgment, which involves only the wicked and which follows the Millennium. The judgment of the Gentiles will occur 1,000 years earlier in order to determine who will and who will not enter the kingdom.”
Warren Wiersbe said, “We must not confuse this judgment with the Great White Throne Judgment described in Revelation 20:11–15. Some scholars merge both passages and call this ‘the general judgment.’ The Bible knows nothing of a ‘general judgment.’ This judgment takes place on earth immediately after the Battle of Armageddon. The White Throne Judgment takes place in space somewhere (‘the earth and the heaven fled away’). The judgment here in Matthew 25 takes place before the kingdom is established on earth, for the saved are told to ‘inherit the kingdom.’ The White Throne Judgment will take place after the 1,000-year reign of Christ.”
Jesus describes this judgment at the end of what is called His “Olivet Discourse.” This teaching took place shortly before the events of the Passover Week during which Jesus was crucified. Jesus spoke to His disciples at length on the events of the end times and what would happen just before His return. This discourse was when He told the parables of the ten virgins and the talents. Let’s ask some basic questions about this judgement.
First, who will preside over this judgment? The Bible tells us that this person will be “the Son of man.” “Son of man” is a name Jesus used often for himself in the Gospels. In fact, He called Himself the Son of man more often than He called Himself the Son of God. At first, it seems simply as though He is trying to emphasize His humanity. However, as John Piper points out, the title “Son of Man” is tied to the Old Testament prophetic passages in the book of Daniel. Piper said, “If you read [Daniel chapter 7] you’ll see that the Son of Man is a very exalted figure: not just a human figure but an exalted figure. It was Jesus’ favorite self-designation… [When Jesus called Himself the Son of Man], those with ears to hear could hear Daniel 7, in which he was claiming a very exalted role in the history of redemption.”
Second, when will this judgment take place? Jesus says, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him…” This ‘coming in glory’ is a reference to the second part of the Second Coming. This is not the Rapture. During the Rapture, Jesus alone appears to call His children up to Heaven. The coming with the holy angels occurs at the battle of Armageddon, when Jesus returns with the armies of Heaven to defeat Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. After the battle is over and the wicked army defeated, there will still be a whole world of people, many of whom had chosen to follow the Antichrist. That is when this judgment takes place.
Third, where will this judgment take place? Our passage continues, “then shall [the Son of Man] sit upon the throne of his glory…” We know from other passages of Scripture that Jesus will return to Jerusalem and establish His kingdom there. His throne will be there, and thus, this judgment of the Gentiles will take place in Jerusalem.
Fourth, who will be on trial (for lack of a better term) at this judgment? Jesus says, “Before him shall be gathered all nations…” As stated before, the word “nations” refers to the Gentiles. Every living non-Jewish person will come before Jesus Christ in Jerusalem at this time.
Fifth, what will be the purpose of this judgment? Jesus Christ says, “he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” Jesus Christ is described as the Great Shepherd, and the sheep are those who follow Him. The goats are the devil’s followers and those who worshipped the Antichrist.
During the Tribulation, many people will come to faith in Jesus Christ. However, because of the persecution of anyone who does not worship the Antichrist, there will likely be no public church buildings other than those that don’t believe the Bible, and any evangelism will be done in a quiet, underground fashion. Nevertheless, when Jesus comes, He will know those who belong to Him. The Bible says that God will put a Mark on all believers just as the Mark of the Beast will be applied to all of the Antichrist’s followers. We do not know whether this mark will be visible or invisible to the human eye, but when everyone comes before Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, the Good Shepherd will know the believing sheep from the non believing goats. No one who willingly worshipped the Antichrist will be able to switch their allegiance at this moment.
When I think about this judgment, I think about the last book in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. As the world of Narnia is coming to an end, the Lion Aslan stands with all the stars of that world on his right. The fierce light of the stars causes Aslan’s shadow to be cast “enormous and very terrible” to his left. All the creatures of the Narnian world from the beginning of time are called up and they begin streaming toward Aslan. One by one, they face him and look him in the eye. Those creatures who were evil immediately “swerved left, and disappeared into his huge black shadow” never to be seen again. While all the creatures who were good and who believed in Aslan swerved to his right and joined the stars.
That is what will happen at the Judgment of the Gentiles. Those who followed Satan will be sent away, unable to benefit from the blessings of the Millennial Kingdom. Those who followed Jesus will be accepted by Him and welcomed into the Millennial Kingdom to enjoy the blessings and benefits therein.
If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.