Lesson Four – You Will Stand Alone

You Will Stand Alone

Lesson Aim:  To show that although Christians are now “individually members one of another” in the body of Christ each of us must be prepared to stand alone before Jesus Christ on Judgment Day.

Scripture:  Matt. 25:31-46.

Historical analysis for reading the parable.
 See Part IV, Lesson Two.


On Judgment Day each member of the church will stand alone.  The Apostle Paul made the following declaration “to the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia.”  II Cor. 1:1.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  II Cor. 5:10

Before the arrival of the Bridegroom (Jesus) the bride (church) must be fully prepared (Matt. 25:1; Rev. 19:7).  One way to prepare her is for the strong in the church to help the weak; however, each Christian must be properly attired because we will stand alone on that Day (Matt. 22:11-13).  Today each Christian should be preparing our attire by our sanctification exercises for that great occasion – “For the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”  Rev. 19:8.  One of these exercises is to properly function in the body of Christ as one of the members to prepare each Christian to individually stand alone (Rom. 12:4-8).  This may sound like a paradoxical hypothesis but those of us who tend to think “that as long as the church is doing what the Lord commands my judgment is secure” will need to accept this paradox as truth.  Today each Christian should:

Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.  Gal. 6:2

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.  Rom. 15:1

And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.  I Thess. 5:14

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.  And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.  Jude 20-23 

These exercises are for both the strong and the weak to help each get ready to stand alone on our personal Judgment Day.  The weak need the strong but the strong also need the weak for the practice of their, or our, “righteous acts.”  See Rom. 14:1-13.  The church of Christ functioning as the body of Christ is organized in such a way that we do not stand alone while we prepare ourselves for Judgment (Eph. 4:14-16).

God has arranged spiritual blessings “in Christ” to allow for our weaknesses at every spiritual level.  Babes in Christ depend upon the older Christians (I Cor. 3:1, 2; 4:14-16; Heb. 13:7).  The younger in chronological age are to consider the wisdom of the older (Titus 2:3-5; I Pet. 5:5).  The church is organized by God to have the mature spiritual leadership of the presbytery (Acts 14:23; I Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9; I Pet. 5:1-4).  The church members will not be prepared to stand alone on that Day by mere charismatic speeches and fellowship programs (I Cor. 2:4, 5).  We must have an educational program where the teaching process matches the way God created mankind to learn: mind learning (cognitive, James 1:21), heart learning (affective, James 1:2-4) and body learning (behavioral, James 2:14).     The maturing and the mature depend upon each other, the word and wisdom of God (James 1:5).  We do not stand alone as we prepare for our Judgment.

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.   Heb. 12:22-24.

Jesus serves us as Prince and Savior (Acts 5:31).  The Holy Spirit is our minister in our sanctification (II Thess. 2:13).  God, our Father, is a consuming fire, but for faithful Christians, He is the God of peace (Heb. 12:29; 13:20; I Cor. 8:6).

This day Deity works for us and strengthens us in Christ (Col. 2:9; I Pet. 5:6, 7).  But on that Day we will stand alone before Deity.  Jesus will not be there as our priest and sin offering.  He will be our Judge in accordance with God’s will (John 5:27-30).  All those beautiful doctrines based on the blood of Jesus Christ, the new birth and justification by faith, will have served their purpose before that Day.  Today, born again Christians are counted righteous because of our faith, but on that Day, Jesus will be talking about the gain from our stewardship.  The gain we attained because of the fruits of our sanctification.

It is true we are now, and will be then, judged by the “law of liberty,” and that “mercy triumphs over judgment.”  (James 2:12, 13).  However, we remember the equation for our judgment from Lesson Two: OA + T = G.  There is ample liberty and mercy within the variables in this calculation.  None of us will be asked for more than our own ability allows; however, gain will be required of all Christians.

The following Scripture depicts the reality of all people who have lived, or who will have lived on earth as we stand alone on Judgment Day (John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:11-15).  Although Jesus used some analogy in the following Scripture, it is not just another story like He used in some of His parables.  It is an authentic picture of a Christian as our Judge identifies us as a sheep or a goat.  It will not happen until Jesus comes in His glory – but it will happen, that is, unless the complete Bible is “just another religious story.”  This is one point of a Christian’s faith we need to settle with ourselves “early on” and hang onto it all the way home.  Is the Bible about our Creator and His plan to have each of us as His eternal child?  It is and the following is the end scene of the world story.

But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.   Matt. 25:31-33

How does one become a sheep or a goat?  A goat today will be a goat at Judgment.  A sheep today will be a sheep at Judgment.  Sheep minister for Jesus Christ by serving others.  This sounds easy enough.  So to be identified as a sheep each Christian accepts the graces of God based on the cross and worship God in the manner He prescribed.  He or she does good to other people.  This could possibly describe a sheep if it had not been for the question asked by both the sheep and the goats.  Their question was; “When did we do, or not do, these things of which You speak?”

Indeed this sheds a different light on the question, “How does a Christian get identified as a sheep by Jesus Christ?”  Please see verses 34-40 from the text Scripture.  It is obvious this Christian was not just a “do-gooder” as, or if, the occasion arose.  If he or she had planned to meet the basic needs of some unfortunate people this person would have known when it had happened.  Many people who do good for the sake of doing good make sure our names are attached.  We generally find a way to let our secret out; however, these people Jesus identified as sheep served people in need from a different level of life.

They functioned from the level of “who they were.”  They had developed the attitude of the citizens of God’s kingdom toward, “God, Man and Self.”  See the title of Part Three of the Parables of Jesus.  Please review the lessons in part three to appreciate Jesus’ way of identifying His sheep.  Jesus, the chief shepherd, knows His sheep and His sheep know Him (John 10:14, 15: I Pet. 5:4).  In fact, we can be sure we have been identified as Jesus’ sheep and consequently have eternal life when we think, feel and act like Him (John 17:3).

Now let us suppose each of us is standing among the multitudes before Jesus as He sets on His glorious throne.  We have just been identified by Jesus as a sheep.  What can we expect for our reward?  What He actually said was, “Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”  Matt. 25:34.  While on earth Jesus actually said to His disciples, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen to gladly give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32.  The Christian’s inheritance is our prime motivator for becoming and remaining a sheep.  We will most likely never serve Jesus in the way He spoke of in our text unless we have faith in the reality of our inheritance.  See Rev. 21:7; Eph. 1:13, 14.  Christians need deep Bible study to develop motivating faith.

What then can we say about Jesus’ identity of a goat?  One thing all Christians will want to say on that Day is that I’m not one.  Note how Jesus’ used the same method for identifying goats as He did sheep.  It was about the manner in which we did, or did not, serve Him.  We do not expect people who have rejected the rule of Jesus to serve Him and we understood from His other parables, neither did He.  Consequently, the people Jesus identified as goats could be believers in God.  Somehow they thought they had served Him.  Today, some goats may be members of the church Jesus purchased with His own blood.  Let us examine ourselves and know our true identity (II Cor. 13:5).  There will only be two places of eternal abode for mankind:  “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  Matt. 25:46

Questions for Discussion

  1. What must happen before the bridegroom arrives?  Describe the proper attire of each Christian.
  2. List one way members of the body of Christ help each other to fashion our attire.
  3. What may be paradoxical about the title of this lesson in relation to a church functioning as the body of Christ?
  4. How has God arranged for assistance for different levels of weaknesses in the church?
  5. In what way must the educational program of the church relate to the way God created mankind?
  6. How will the doctrines of grace based on the cross relate to the Day of Judgment?
  7. How do we find grace and mercy in the equation, OA+T=G, for a Christian’s Judgment?
  8. List the parts of our text that are parabolic and also the au-thentic picture of Judgment?
  9. How does the “when did we” questions impact the subject of serving the needs of others?
  10. What did we learn from our studies from Part Three that will help us understand how Jesus will identify a sheep on Judgment Day?

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply