In my last post, we begin to conclude our exploration of what Yeshua has to say about the End Times in the Christian Torah. In this post, we will conclude that exploration.
The judgment described here in Matthew 25:37-46 is different from the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15. Perhaps some time in the future we will look at that judgment more closely.
The Final Judgment ~ Part 2
“Then the people who have done what God wants will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you our guest, or needing clothes and provide them? When did we see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ The King will say to them, ‘Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!’ Then He will also speak to those on his left, saying, ‘Get away from me, you who are cursed! Go off into the fire prepared for the Adversary and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave me no food, thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, a stranger and you did not welcome me, needing clothes and you did not give them to me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they too will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, a stranger, needing clothes, sick or in prison, and not take care of you?’ And he will answer them, ‘Yes! I tell you that whenever you refused to do it for the least important of these people, you refused to do it for me!’ They will go off to eternal punishment, but those who have done what God wants will go to eternal life.” ~ Matthew 25:37-46
We left off in my last post by examining Matthew 25:36-36. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you made me your guest, I needed clothes and you provided them, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me’ ~ Matthew 25:31-36. The righteous are surprised at the King’s words. He commends them for their acts of kindness to Him, but they realize that they did not have opportunity to do such kindnesses to Him directly, but to His people. 
The basis of reward rests on the acts of kindness each individual Believer did for other Believers (these brothers of mine), for in so doing, they did those kindnesses for the King himself. Yeshua himself, through the Ruach HaKodesh, is present in even the most humble, lowly, or insignificant follower of Yeshua.
Yeshua’s original intent seems to be that how we treat lowly and needy fellow Believers determines how truly we love Yeshua. If Believers who have resources would help needy fellow Believers, non-Believers would be totally persuaded of the validity of Messianic love. Such love for others glorifies God by reflecting our love for him. But that does not excuse our broader responsibility to show love and mercy to everyone in need.
For the goats … on His left, however, the story is different. These goats, mingling every day as they did with the sheep, may have thought that they could get by unnoticed. But God would separate them, and their judgment would be severe. There will be no middle ground at the final judgment ~ either a person is a sheep or a goat. And the result will be either eternal life or eternal punishment and separation from God forever.
Eternal punishment takes place in hell, which is the place of punishment after death for all those who refuse to repent. In the Bible, three words are used in connection with eternal punishment:
- Sheol, or the grave, is used in the Tanakh to mean the place of the dead, generally thought to be under the earth. (See Job 24:19; Psalm 16:10; Isaiah 38:10.)
- Hades is the Greek word for the underworld, the realm of the dead. It is the word used in the Brit Hadashah for Sheol. (See Matthew 16:18; Revelation 1:18; 20:13-14.)
- Gehenna, or hell, was named after the Valley of Hinnom near Jerusalem where children had been sacrificed by fire to the pagan gods (see 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chronicles 28:3). This is the place of eternal fire (Matthew 5:22; 10:28; Mark 9:43; Luke 12:5; James 3:6; Revelation 19:20) prepared for the Adversary, his angels, and all those who do not believe in Yeshua (Revelation 20:9-10). This is the final and eternal state of the wicked after the resurrection and the Last Judgment.
The sin noted by the King was (as in the parables of the bridesmaids and the talents) not active evildoing but failure to do good. James later wrote, “anyone who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it is committing a sin” ~ James 4:17. As in Matthew 25:35-36, the list is not comprehensive, but it represents good deeds that people often fail to do. Doing wrong in ignorance may be excusable (see Acts 3:17; 1 Timothy 1:13), but when Believers neglect to help those in need, they disobey Yeshua. These actions do not take special talents, gifts, or lifestyles. One need not be rich to carry these out. Failure to do them then, as with the man who buried the one talent, shows a lack of love for others and, by extension, for the Lord Himself.
The evildoers, also, were surprised at the King’s words. How could He say that they had neglected to do acts of kindness to Him personally when, in reality, that would seem to be an impossibility? So He explained that in neglecting to do these kindnesses to even for the least important of these people, they had neglected to do so for Him. By that neglect, they had shown no true salvation, for their salvation had not manifested itself in good deeds, as it would naturally do. Their failures were not acts of wickedness, but refusals to do good and to show compassion.
God will separate His obedient followers from pretenders and un-Believers, and their destinies will be vastly different. The real evidence of our belief is the way we act. To treat all people we encounter as if they are Yeshua is not easy, for we may not know if they are Believers. What we do for others demonstrates what we really think about Yeshua’ words to us ~ feed the hungry, give the homeless a place to stay, look after the sick. How well do your actions separate you from pretenders and un-Believers? Will you be sent away to the place of eternal punishment or eternal life?
We have now reached the end of the Christian Torah according to Matthew. In my next post, I will compile a wrap-up of the main teachings for those of you who have not been with us from the beginning. Please be in prayer for me as to which way the Lord is leading me for my next series.
 True confession: I was sooo tempted to type “His peeps.”