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Goat Or Sheep?

July 13, 2008

Jesus spoke of a separation by the shepherd of goats from sheep. Goats tend to wander off and eat anything, while sheep follow the shepherd's voice, going where he goes, eating what he offers. We must ask ourselves--when we stand before the Shepherd of our souls, will we be goats or sheep?

Bernie Parsons

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Goat or Sheep?


by Bernie Parsons


Presented to the Globe Church of Christ on 07-13-2008, Load 08-17-2008


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."


Based upon these words of our Lord Jesus, we should ask ourselves an important question: "Am I a goat or a sheep?"


The Christian life is a way of life. It is not a creed, or a belief, or attendance at a meeting house with a group of like-minded people. It is how we live our life on a daily basis. In this story, what made the sheep blessed of the Father? Was it not in that they cared for one another?


I was hungry, and you fed me; thirsty, and you gave me drink; a stranger, and you took me in; naked, and you clothed me; sick, or in prison, and you visited me. These all show a commitment to the second greatest commandment given to men:


"Love your neighbor as yourself."


James 2:14: "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15: If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16: And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17: Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18: Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."


Jesus even wants us to regard our enemies in this important matter.


Matthew 5:44: "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"


Romans12:20: "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."


When we feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty, we become the beloved sheep rather than the rejected goats.


Jesus said that to be sheep we must take in strangers.


1 Timothy 5:9: "Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,

10: Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work."


We also need look no further than the story of the so-called "good Samaritan" in order to see that we are to be concerned with the plight of strangers.


Luke 10:33: "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34: And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35: And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee."


To be a sheep, we have to take care of strangers in need. We also have to clothe those who have not adequate clothing.


Acts 9:36: "Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did."


Acts 9:39: "Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them."


James 2:15: "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16: And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?"


As we read earlier, James says that we prove our faith by our works.


To be sheep, we must attend to the sick. Jesus set the example of this.


Matthew 4:23: "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

24: And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them."


Again, recall that the good Samaritan attended to the sick man that he found in the way.  If we cannot heal the sick, we must at least afford them as much comfort as possible.


We are to visit our brothers and sisters who might be in prison for the gospel"s sake.


2 Timothy 1:16: "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

17: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.

18: The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well."


We must minister to the saints if ever they are imprisoned for the gospel"s sake.


Jesus said that when we do these things to the least of His followers, we do it to Him. This makes even more sense when we view ourselves as the body of Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians 12:24: "For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

25: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26: And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."


We are the body of Christ. When we assist any member of that body in any way, we minister, as it were, unto Christ Himself!


John 10:27: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."


To be the sheep of Christ, we must listen to His voice. That is, we must follow Him. He set the example by serving all of mankind by His death on the cross.


Romans 5:8: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9: Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."


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."


1 John 4:11: "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."


Are you a sheep or a goat? Will you be on the right hand, or the left?


1 Peter 1:22: "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

23: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

24: For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

25: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."


When you stand before the Lord, will He say, "Well done"? Will you be a sheep who follows His voice?


Mark 16:16: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."


Galatians :3:27: "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."


Romans 6:3: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."


2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."


Once we are new creatures in Christ, we serve Him by serving others.


Galatians 5:13: "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."


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