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Sheep or Goat?

Sheep or Goat?
We're One or The Other

All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. Matthew 25:32 (NKJV)

I remember in my teen years when listening to conversations about various subjects, how I started to think to myself, "What do I believe about what they are saying?"  I found that my beliefs were based on many things such as my upbringing, my environment - such as social, economic, etc.  But the fact was, my mind was being shaped, and I was developing as an "Individual." 

For some people the process seems to stop and they become dogmatically entrenched in their views and will not listen to others.  Some do this in fear, while others do this as a safeguard - attempting to keep various thoughts from making their way into their minds.  I believe that communication is a bridge to share our views and it should be a good and healthy thing to participate in.  After all, ministry flows through relationships; so how can you promote ministry or the spreading of the Gospel message if you aren't willing to communicate?

What I have found is that I can sharpen my views, and give better defense for my beliefs, if I am communicating - because it forces me to answer questions with facts that can help substantiate my view.  I must say, that it can be hard at times.   And there will be times where it can be downright uncomfortable when someone is well prepared in defending or presenting their views, but that is all part of the reasoning process.  It can be in our reasoning of the Bible, or even in the arena of politics.  

Q:    So what is the end run of our reasoning?

A:    It is what we will ultimately use to make our decisions.

While some of these decisions will be of less importance, others will impact our life, and the lives of those around us, as well as our eternal future.  The key for me is to make good healthy decisions in every category, and this is the reason I choose to read my Bible continually.  It is the wisdom of God given to us for helping us to make those good decisions.  

I thank God for His influence, guidance and understanding of His Word.  It is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to understand things in truth, and are able to reason and choose properly.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:13 (NKJV)

All too often we allow the influence of others determine our choices and beliefs, and we don't ask God to help us in making a good decision.   This is especially prevalent in our understanding the truth of Gods Word. The problem here is that the consequences can be deadly if we are led astray and follow man instead of God.  When this happens we become "Goats" instead of "Sheep." 

A "Goat" is someone who doesn't want to listen to God, and they tend to but heads instead of go along with Him.   A "Sheep" is one of God's children - they listen to Him and respond to His leading.  John records Jesus telling us this very truth.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 (NKJV)

In the countryside, the "Sheep" and the "Goats" spend the day together and they coexist, but at night, they are often separated, as the "Goats" have to be herded together to stay warm, whereas the "Sheep" can better tolerate the colder temperatures. We are further told by Jesus in Matthew 25, that He will one day separate the "Sheep" from the "Goats." It will be at this time where we will stand before God individually and be judged.

The day is almost over, and the "Sheep" (Christian believers) and the "Goats" (Non-believers) will in fact be separated - they will no longer coexist.  And I would add this fact as well; there is nothing between a Goat and the Sheep- we are either one or the other.

Hey Christian, we need to be about our Fathers business - we need to be communicating the Gospel message that Jesus died for our sins and that God wants to have a relationship with each one of us.  That relationship is only possible through Jesus Christ.  He is the only way.  That is not my opinion; it is the words of Jesus.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (NKJV)

We cannot earn our way to heaven; it is by the Grace (Unmerited favor) of God through "Faith."  And even that faith is a gift from God.  He did this so we could not boast about anything (See Eph 2:8-9).

STUDY QUESTION: According to John 16:13, how can we know the truth about God's Word?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you relying on man to lead you in your understanding of the Scriptures, or are you asking God to show you clearly everything that He wants you to know?

APPLICATION: Seek the Lord every time you open your Bible, and ask Him to show you everything He wants you to know.  Ask Him to guide you in all truth and understanding.  Be aware of any belief system that tells you that the Bible is not the inerrant, infallible, complete Revelation of God.

Father, Thank You for giving us Your Word to guide us and to direct us.  Thank You for giving us Your Holy Spirit as an earnest deposit to guarantee Your ownership of those who have put their trust and faith in Your Son as Lord and Savior.   Thank You for allowing Your Holy Spirit to help us to understand Your Word.  Help me today to understand all that I read, and help me to communicate it to those in my life properly.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000