Can’t a be a Christian and hate God’s people?! Strong words! But Jesus speaks of a judgment at the end of the Tribulation period that teaches just that. People will be judged based on their treatment of the Jews.
So this is the final lesson on the Olivet Discourse. This study started in Episode 5, with the Jews fully and finally rejecting Jesus. Jesus then told them that He would not return to the Temple until they welcomed Him back. His strong words led the disciples to ask three questions:
- When will these things be?
- What will be the sign of your coming?
- What will be the sign of the end of the age?
Jesus answered these questions. He gave specific signs for each.
In the last episode, we learned what will happen to Jews who reject Jesus. In today’s episode, Jesus will focus His words on the judgment of gentiles, or non-Jews.
A believer must have the right attitude about the Jewish people.
Judgment of the Nations
Jesus sets up His throne, most likely the Throne of David, and begins to sort people into two groups – the sheep and the goats
A word to help us understand this passage is “nations” in verse 32. In this verse, the word “nations” means “gentiles.”
Both Joel 3 and Matthew 25 are speaking about the same event. Joel tells us more about the judgment. God judges the gentiles based on their treatment of the Jewish people.
The Valley of Jehoshaphat could be the valley created when the Mount of Olives is split in two. Zechariah 14:4
In Matthew 25, what makes a sheep a sheep or a goat a goat? Are the Jews sheep and the gentiles goats? No. Both sheep and goats are gentiles.
Here are three things to consider.
- Both sheep and goats are gentiles.
- People are sorted into these groups based on how they treated the Jewish people during the Tribulation period.
- They are condemned based on whether they are saved or not.
So the first consideration comes from the correct understanding of the Joel passage and the Matthew passage. There is a word in Matthew 25:40 that helps us understand. That word is “brethren” or “brothers”.
When Jesus uses “brethren” He means Jews. The Jewish people are His brothers. Jesus does not set up the throne to judge His brothers. He set up the throne to judge gentiles.
The second consideration is that Jesus divided the gentiles based on how they treated the Jews. Look again at Matthew 25:35-40. All the wonderful things done for Jesus were actually done for the Jews.
The third consideration is that people are never saved based on their deeds. They are saved based on the grace of God. See Ephesians 2:8-9. Note how in Matthew 25:37 Jesus refers to the sheep as “righteous”. Believers have the righteousness of Christ. This righteousness is applied to a person when they believe on Jesus.
What is your attitude toward the Jewish people? Are you pro- or anti-Semitic? If you hate the Jewish people then you are in error. The Bible teaches three important facts about the Jews.
- The Jews are God’s people. Look at Deuteronomy 7:6-8
- God has promised to bless people who bless the Jews. See Genesis 12:2-3
- Salvation comes from the Jews. Read John 4:22
I know that most Jews today are secular. I know that most do not believe the Bible, even the Old Testament. I know that some Jews, like all nationalities, do bad things. But none of that removes our responsibility. We are to love the Jewish people. And believers should be witnessing to the Jewish people.
This study on the Olivet Discourse has focused on three things.
- I have repeatedly stressed the right relationship toward the Jewish people. That was a feature of this episode, episode 14, and episode 6.
- I have frequently asked you to share Jesus with your friends, neighbors, and loved ones. I hope you have done so. Time could be running out.
- I have shared the truth of Jesus with those who do not believe.
I told you at the beginning of this study that I am a reluctant end-times preacher. I get no joy in it other than this – Jesus is coming again.
For those who do not believe, the return of Jesus means judgment. For those who believe, His return means salvation.
I hope you are one of the saved. I hope you have put your faith in Jesus. If not there is still time. Stop what you are doing at this moment and sit down in a quiet place. Share your heart with God. Ask God to show you your sin. Ask God to forgive you your sin. If you believe on Jesus – that He died for your sin and rose again – share that with God.
Look at Romans 6:23. This verse teaches two important points. 1) The wages of sin is death. That means left to ourselves, our plans, our methods, it all leads to death. And not just any death, but eternal death or hell. 2) But the gift of God is eternal life. Eternal live is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Stop trusting in your ways. Those only lead to death. Trust in Jesus. Choose eternal life. Choose Jesus.
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