Discussions Relating to Universal Reconciliation > Bible Verses Used to Assert Not All Will be Saved

Matthew 25:31-46 Sheep, Goats, Everlasting Punishment

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Mat. 25:31-46

31When 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:
 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
 34Then 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:
 35For 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:
 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
 40And 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.
 41Then 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:
 42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
 44Then 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?
 45Then 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.
 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Martin Zender's take on Matthew 25.


Yes, Matthew 25:31-46 does ring a bell. It should, seeing as how I've studied the passage for fifteen years. This is a judgment of nations, not individuals, a fact plainly stated in verse 42. Thus, this is not the general judgment of mankind, as you suppose. This judging takes place at the inauguration of the thousand-year kingdom. The majority of mankind are not even alive at this judging, for scripture says that, "the rest of the dead" (the unbelieving dead of all time) "do not live until the thousand years should be finished" (Rev. 20:5).

If this is the separation of all people into either heaven or hell, tell me: What is the criteria for judging? Is it faith in Jesus? Is it belief in the gospel? Reliance on the cross? No. The only criteria is: How did the nation being judged treat the favored nation Israel? Did they feed Israel when it was hungry? Give it a drink when it was thirsty? This judgment, which takes place in the Kidron Valley (the Valley of Jehoshaphat) upon Christ's return, does nothing more than separate nations that helped Israel (sheep nations) from those that ignored her (goat nations), and determines their placement during the millennium.

The "everlasting punishment" of the King James Version is actually "chastening eonian" in the Greek. ("Eternal" is a mistranslation of the Greek aion, meaning "eon," which always has to do with time.) The "life eternal" is correctly translated "life eonian." This passage has nothing to do with where people will spend eternity. The eon in question is the thousand-year kingdom, and the "people" are nations. Those nations that helped Israel will enjoy abundant life during that eon, probably near Jerusalem. Those nations that didn't will be placed in the outer reaches of the kingdom and will certainly suffer more than the sheep nations. This is the "fire eonian" of verse 41. Since Christ is said to rule these nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27), it is evident that these nations are neither consumed nor writhing in literal flame. Thus, the flame of this context is a figure of speech for suffering.

Lets try a kingdom application here.  Let's do the opposite of what we "think" it's referring to.  Instead of trying to get it to fit to nations outwardly, let's see what it does to the nations "inwardly". 

What is a nation within me?  Well, Abraham had nations in him . . .beyond the number of stars in the heavens or sand on the shore.  "He meant his physical offspring" I don't doubt he did, but again, that's the outward application.  The same goes for Jesus when he stated "tear this temple down" and they immediately interpreted that to mean the literal temple of brick and mortar.

He even tells us the kingdom of heaven is "in" us.  What makes up a kingdom if not nations?  What if this sheep and goats is not God telling us that "in you" there is a separation taking place and he is calling out the carnality in me from the godliness in me?  The godliness in me leads me into the kingdom of his presence whereas the ungodliness in me remains hindered and blind, in need of purging by the fire of his glory to refine all of me into the wholeness of his full nature to manifest freely in every aspect of my life.

Which of these scenerios would benefit my spirit man the most?  The one where nations outwardly are going to be either rewarded or cast out?  Or the nations "within" me that God is promising to bring "all" of me into a place of purity and wholeness?  I'm opting for the latter.

Yes Nathan  :icon_flower:

For mine I see the Natural witnessing the Spiritual- as Within the Natural the Lord using the example of the Pharisses as Goats  , The purpose is ALWAYS the SPIRIUAL intent teaching the Inward Man :icon_joker:

 :cloud9: Amen Nathan......excellent way to explain it  :thumbsup:


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