This passage in Matthew has some pretty harsh words about God separating out the sheep from the goats, and damning the latter to eternal fire. But who exactly are the goats? And what does one do to end up there? You may have been told that people who haven’t accepted Jesus are the ones damned to hell, but this passage gives a very different explanation.
In this episode, we look at…
- “You cannot get from this passage, ‘Just say a prayer and ask Jesus into your heart and then you are good to go.’”
- where we see the type of community described in this passage in our lives today
- how we live out the Gospel in our lives
- how religion doesn’t factor into this passage
- the emphasis on right behavior
- the fear of eternal punishment because of who we are that many LGBTQ people feel
- the question isn’t can you be transgender and Christian, it’s can you be a transphobe and Christian!
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 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 welcomed me, was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Photo by Thomas Hawk