Thursday, September 30, 2010
The subjects of Christ's judgment will be all the nations. Ethna (nations) has the basic meaning of peoples and here refers to every person alive on earth when the Lord returns. Although He will have taken all believers into heaven at the Rapture, during the following seven years of the Tribulation many other people will come to believe in Him. During that dreadful time, multitudes of Gentiles (see Rev. 7:9, 14), as well as all surviving Jews (Rom. 11:26), will be brought to faith in Christ.
As Jesus makes clear later in this passage, those who are alive on earth when He returns will include both saved and unsaved, represented by the sheep and the goats, respectively. And those two separate peoples will have two separate destinies. The believers will be ushered into the kingdom and the unbelievers into eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46).
The process of Christ's judgment will include the absolute and unerring separation of the saved from the unsaved. When all the nations and peoples of the earth will have been gathered before Him at His return, the Lord Jesus Christ will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats...