A Short Study of Matthew 25:33-34

“He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 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.” 
(Matthew 25:33-34)

In this great and notable day of judgment, the Great Shepherd of the sheep shall make a just distinction between His elect, chosen and blessed in Christ and those left to justly perish in their sins (Matthew 25:41). As the sovereign Lord of all He has the supreme knowledge and divine right to make these exact distinctions between the sheep (believers) and the goats (unbelievers) (2nd Timothy 2:19). I want you to notice carefully the words of commendations and grace given to His church, “The King shall say unto them…”

1) “Come.” 

The great Shepherd calls His sheep unto Himself, ten thousand welcomes (John 17:24). Come to Me, come unto my dearest embraces, come into my sweet and eternal communion, come into my spiritual kingdom take possession of all covenant mercies (Romans 8:32; Matthew 25:21). Come unto my throne of glory (Revelation 5:10).

2) “Come, ye blessed of my Father.” 

The reason of our coming and blessing is found in the eternal covenant of grace (Jeremiah 31:3; Psalm 65:4; John 6:44-45). As the Spirit glorifies the Son (John 16:14), so the Son glorifies the Father by referring the salvation of His sheep to the eternal purpose of God (Romans 11:36), He is the first cause and last end in justifying His elect (Ephesians 1:3-14; Ephesians 3:10-11).

3) “Inherit the kingdom prepared for you.” 

This is the eternal inheritance of God’s grace (1st Peter 1:3-5), bought with the precious blood atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:5-6; John 14:1-6). Not acquired by our merit, but rather by His free grace (Romans 3:24). This inheritance is freely given to all those made heirs of God and joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17; Revelation 21:6-7).

4) “Prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” 

All of God’s preparations for the sheep on His right hand are by His eternal decrees (Acts 15:11; Revelation 13:8). These preparations are not only eternal but also particular, “for you” (2nd Thessalonians 2:13). The Lord Jesus Christ lived as Mediator (1st Timothy 2:5) and died as Substitute for the sheep on His right hand (John 10:15; Matthew 1:21). “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1st Thessalonians 5:9)

One can easily see that the whole of our salvation and final glorification is all of God’s free and sovereign grace; to the total exclusion and any consideration of creature merit or righteousness (2nd Timothy 1:9; 1st Corinthians 1:30-31).

T. Harding

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