Matthew 25:31-46

Consider Matthew 25:31-46 (WEB),

31) But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32)  Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33)  He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34)  Then the King will tell those on his right hand, 'Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35)  for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. 36)  I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.'

37) Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? 38)  When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? 39)  When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?'  40) The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

41) Then he will say also to those on the left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; 42)  for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; 43)  I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.'

44) Then they will also answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?' 

45)  Then he will answer them, saying, 'Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.' 46)  These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.


Theologians debate the timing of Jesus return, whether before or after the Millennium described in Revelation 20:1-6.  The timing of his various judgments is also disputed.  This subject is relevant to our discussion because it would be helpful to know if the judgment described above is a judgment that sends unbelievers to Hell (that is Hades) before Revelation 20:1-6.  Or, is it a judgment that sends the unredeemed to the Lake of Fire after Revelation 20:1-6?  We have already explained that Hades and the Lake of Fire are not the same place.  Luke 16:19-31 teaches us that unbelieving humans are currently being punished in Hades for their rebellion.  So then we should ask: is the judgment described above the sentencing of unbelievers to Hades, the sentencing of the unredeemed to the Lake of Fire, or something else?

One clue is underlined in verse 41 above.  Based on the underlined words, I conclude that the Sheep and Goat Judgment is the same event as the Great White Throne judgment also described in Revelation 20:11-15.  This passage adds more detail and explains that the Lake of Fire is prepared for... the devil and his angels.

Again this is good news for mankind.  Sadly we all have been partners with Satan and his angels in some way or another.  We sin because we love our sin.  We deserve Satan's destiny in the Lake of Fire.  However, God has demonstrated his grace, his undeserved favor toward mankind, by forgiving all mankind at the cross and giving us Heaven for eternity.  However, the devil and his angels are sentenced to the Lake of Fire for The Ages of The Ages.  Satan and the demons are the goats on Jesus' left, not mankind!  Each of us deserve the destiny of Satan, yet by God's grace alone we are given grace and glory instead. I discuss this further in my article, Matthew 25:31-46, Who are the Goats?