Sheep & Goats as Individuals?
Within Pre-Trib, there is dispute as to who the Sheep and Goats actually represent. Some say the Sheep and Goats represent the individual non Jews, persons, that live through the Great Tribulation and see Jesus come at His Second Coming. These Pre-Tribbers say Jesus will classify each Gentile person alive as a Sheep or a Goat. According to Pre-Trib, Jews, also called Israelites, are not included among the Sheep or the Goats. They say the Sheep will be the people who treated the Jews kindly during the Tribulation when Antichrist tries to destroy all Jews. Pre-Trib says these, "Sheep Gentile" individuals will be allowed to remain alive here on Earth during the following thousand years. These individual Gentiles, says Pre-Trib, will come from all non-Jewish Nations around the world. All Pre-Trib Promoters say this "Kingdom" is the fulfillment of all Old Testament Prophecy/Promises made to the Jews. (We suggest that the Bible says Jesus takes His people, ALL of HIS PEOPLE to Heaven at His Second Coming. This includes Jews and Gentiles, and ALL who've died in a saved condition from the time of Creation. Jesus said, "In My Father's house are many Mansions...I go to prepare a place for you...I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am, there ye may be also" See Jn.14:1-3)!
This same group of Pre-Trib Promoters says that, during the Great Tribulation, many individuals will treat the Jews badly, or ignore the Jews completely, and be indifferent to the plight of the Jews while Antichrist persecutes them. These Pre-Tribbers say that many of these Gentiles will even help Antichrist in his attempt to destroy the Jews. Thus these "Goats" will not be allowed to enter the Millennial Kingdom. A Pondered Question here has to do with Pre-Trib's version of what happens to the Goats. According to Pre-Trib, these "Goats" will face a judgment, be condemned, and cast into Hell, then be brought out of Hell to face another Judgment a thousand years later at the Great White Throne Judgment. (It is our belief that the lost wicked will die at Jesus' Second Coming, and will be resurrected a thousand years later. At this resurrection, all of Earth's lost wicked will be raised from the dead and will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment. See Rev.20:4-16)
Sheep and Goats as Nations
These, the Pre-Trib Promoters that oppose the above Pre-Trib Promoters, teach that Jesus will classify whole Nations as a Sheep or a Goat, depending on how the leaders of that nation dealt with the Jews during the Tribulation. Thus, if the Nation's President resisted and opposed Antichrist's attempts to destroy the Jews, that President and all the citizens of his nation will be classed as Sheep and that Nation will be allowed to enter this "Millennial Kingdom." On the other hand, according to this group of Pre-Trib Promoters, if the Nation's President was indifferent to the Jews, or, helped Antichrist persecute the Jews, that Nation would be judged unworthy and the entire nation would be denied entrance into the Millennial Kingdom! In other words, if a person missed the Rapture and is a member of a nation whose leaders treated Jews kindly, he would be allowed to enter the "Kingdom of God" even though he himself was a scoundrel! On the other hand, another person who missed the Rapture, but he himself is otherwise a kind person who cares about other people's needs and acts upon his feelings, could be condemned to Hell and not be given another chance in this "Millennial Kingdom" because the President of his Country joined in Antichrist's attempts to destroy the Jews! Dear Reader!! If this all seems against anything God or Jesus would have any part in, in a moment we will present what we believe the Bible and Jesus really said and meant. First let's look closer at Pre-Trib's view.
Pre-Trib says - "Neither Sheep Nor Goats are Jews"
Jesus said, "All Nations" will be included in the Sheep and Goats. Pre-Trib says the Jews are a third group not part of the Sheep or the Goats. Does this third nation interpretation fit into what Jesus said? Pastor, let's look again, and this time see if we can see anywhere that Jesus allowed for us to switch back and forth from Jews and Sheep. Clearly Jesus is addressing only the Sheep in the following: And before Him shall be gathered all nations [Jews and Gentile nations]: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them ["them" meaning the Sheep on His right hand, not the "Brethren"] on His right hand [the Sheep, not a third group of Jews], 'Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: [Jesus then tells what the Sheep did to deserve inheriting the Kingdom, ending by telling the Sheep how they actually did the kind deeds as if to Jesus Himself] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you [Sheep], Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.'
Can anyone say Jesus was not speaking to the Sheep, but rather to a separate group of Jews? If we accept that Jesus was speaking about the Great White Throne Judgment Scene at the end of the Millennium instead of His Second Coming, His words fit perfectly, even the part about the "Kingdom Prepared from the Foundation of the World."
Goats and the "Brethren"
Pastor, the fact that Jesus did NOT mention His brethren when addressing the Goats is very significant. Notice again His words: "Then shall they [the Goats] also answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer them, saying, 'Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these [Notice Jesus did not say "My Brethren" here], ye did it not to Me" (Matt.25:44-45). Pastor, it would seem that, if Pre-Trib is correct, Jesus would have said, "Verily I say unto you [the Goats], Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these "My Brethren," ye did it not to Me." If the Sheep's reward was for treating the "Brethren" kindly, then the Goat's punishment would be for treating the Brethren unkindly, thus Jesus would have included "Brethren" when addressing the Sheep and the Goats. If, on the other hand, Jesus will be telling all of the Redeemed from all ages that kindness to the "least of these," meaning the way we treat every needy person, will be the same as if we are treating Jesus Himself with kindness, and ignoring the needy will be the same as ignoring Jesus Himself, then the words of Jesus make perfect sense. So why did Jesus mention "My Brethren" only when addressing the Sheep? The answer is clear.
The Sheep ARE His Brethren, while the Goats are NOT His Brethren!
"From the Foundation of the World"
Jesus said the Kingdom was, "Prepared from the Foundation of the World." The, "Foundation of the World," was Creation Week. What was the world like at it's Foundation? It was perfect! There were no defects of any kind. It was truly Paradise, "Prepared" by Jesus Himself. Underscore, "Prepared." Will Planet Earth be perfect at Christ's Second Coming, or, will it be utter and complete devastation because of sin and sinners?
Condition of Earth at Christ's Second Coming
Is there really any possibility that planet earth at Christ's Second Coming could be a, "Prepared Kingdom?" Pastor, Pre-Trib absolutely agrees that this entire world will be in complete and absolute desolation at Christ's Second Coming. A massive, world-wide earthquake and seven plagues will have destroyed everything! Billions of dead bodies will lie unburied everywhere (see Isa.34:3, Jer.25:33)! Would Jesus call this planet in this condition a, "Kingdom Prepared for the Jews from the Foundation of the World?" When Jesus gives His people the "Kingdom Prepared from the Foundation of the World," it will not be a temporary, thousand year Kingdom beginning in complete devastation!! This earth at that time will need all those billions of dead bodies cleared up and buried, but Isaiah and Jeremiah and other prophets tell us they will lie unburied for a long time and that there will be no one to bury them. Those millions of flattened buildings would need to be cleared away and new buildings built. Pastor, we suggest Jesus will give the "Blessed of His Father" a, "New Heaven and a New Earth" "wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2Pet.3:13)!!!
What Did Jesus Really Say and Really Mean?
We could dig deeper and deeper into this Parable/Prophecy Jesus gave concerning the Sheep and Goats, but if we stray from what Jesus really said confusion will abound. The real point Jesus was making here had nothing to do with Jews or Gentiles. Jesus was simply telling us that if we want Salvation, we will demonstrate that we genuinely care about the less fortunate. He was saying that those who treat "the least of these," regardless of what nation they are from, as though they were dealing with Jesus Himself, their rewards in God's Kingdom will be great. But, those who claim to be "Saved," "Born Again," "Repentant," "Converted," or whatever they believe it takes to go to Heaven, yet neglect to treat, "the least of these" (the down trodden, sick, poor, etc) as if they were dealing with Jesus Himself, will be forever lost!! Jesus will say to these hypocrites, "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels" (Matt.25:41)!!