“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”
Separation can be a very painful thing. My children are in their teens and younger…both my parents are alive…all of my siblings are alive…so I have yet to experience deep and painful separation, but I know its waiting for me out there in my future. Children leave your home to make their own way. Marriages break up. Families break up. Loved ones die.
I can imagine being at the final judgment in this passage and being able to pick out faces in the crowd. I will see my children, my wife, my parents and siblings. I will see friends from church and from work. I will recognize neighbors and people from my past. In that moment it may seem like the greatest reunion one could ever experience…and then the separation begins. Those who know Him as Savior and Lord to His right…and those who don’t, to His left.
That moment will be the most painful separation any of us will ever know: Watching unsaved loved ones and friends…watching people we knew but never bothered to reach out to with the love of Christ…watching those who we envied because they had so much more than we did…watching those we hated and scorned and made fun of. Jesus will move some to His right and into eternal bliss while the rest He will move to His left and into eternal damnation.
I don’t think about that moment enough. It should haunt my dreams and impact how I care for those around me. It should fill me with boldness so that I will have the courage to risk friendships and reputation in order to share the truth of the Gospel in as loving a manner as I can. It should drive me to my knees in prayer for the lost around me, but especially for the ones that I know personally. It should cause me to live out the love of Christ in my daily life as a reasonable response to the overwhelming grace He showered upon me when He saved me.
That terrible Day is coming, friends…and the final separation with it.