So we come to the end of our investigation of the parables of the kingdom. It has been interesting to say the least. One truth that I have been reminded again and again is that Jesus is coming back just as He has promised! Another truth that I have been reminded of is that I had best be ready and active in my service of my Lord! This is serious business! The last two parables, concerning the ten virgins and the talents, has challenged me in my realization that there will be some who will not enjoy the blessings of God’s eternal kingdom. Fifty percent of the virgins were locked out because they were unprepared! That is a large percentage indeed! Thirty percent of the servants also missed out because of laziness and indifference when it came to faithfully serving in making the kingdom grow. How are you travelling with all that you have learned over these past couple of months? I hope that you, like me, have started to realize the seriousness of what goes with Jesus’ return … a day of judgement.
Today, we come to that day … the ‘day of separation’ … the day where some will be placed on the right and some will be placed on the left … the people on the right receive eternal life and are sent into God’s eternal kingdom whilst the people on the left are sent to hell which is the place of eternal punishment! This latter place is where Satan and his angels are sent … Jesus calls it the eternal fire! This is a very sobering passage of Scripture indeed! What do you make of it? Will this ‘day of separation’ actually occur? Will God actually do what He says He will? Or, will He change His mind and show compassion on all? I am of the opinion that God will deliver on His word just has He has done so over and over again throughout history.
If this ‘day of separation’ is true, what then must I do to ensure that when assessed I will be placed to the right? This parable of the sheep and the goats provides us with clear guidance. The core teaching of the parable is that being placed on the right has nothing to do with what we actually do. Salvation is only through the work of Jesus on the cross, His subsequent resurrection and our acceptance of this act of great love. What is clear though is that the good works that goes with being a Christian are not the ‘cause’ of our salvation but the ‘effect’ of our salvation! God’s people will love others and through this they evidence Jesus in their lives! This then is what separates the Christian from the non-Christian! There is much to gain from this last parable of the kingdom!