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God Makes the Sheep and the Goats
by Scott Price

"And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd dividth 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 to them on His right hand, Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world......Then He shall also say to unto them on His left hand, Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Matthew 25:32-34, 41

"But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you." John 10:26

"...and as many as were ordained unto eternal life believed." Acts 13:48

    One thing that is common among the people who are identified as the Sheep of God is their humility and submission toward Him in seeing that salvation is totally by free grace without any credit given to the sinner at all. The sinner has no ground for boasting in his righteousness because the Bible calls it "filthy rags" and "dung" (Isaiah 64:6 & Phil 3:8). He has no basis for bragging in his faith because it is a gift from God (Psalm 65:4, Matthew 11:27, II Corth 4:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Phil 1:29, Hebrews 12:2, I Peter 1:21, II Peter 1:1, I John 5:20,). He has no basis for bragging in his repentance because it also is given by God (Acts 3:26, 5:31, 11:18, II Tim 2:25). He also has no space to brag about God giving him mercy (Romans 9:15-18).

    The LORD's sheep hear His voice, obey His gospel, submit to Him, and trust in Him as their only righteousness. They are humbled by His mercy shown to them through the obedient life and death of Christ. They do not brag about their love for God but rather God's gracious, unconditional love toward them in Christ. They are thankful for God's choice of them in Christ before time and know they would have never chosen Him if it were not for the work of free grace. They thank Him for the faith and repentance that He gave them.

    The Goats are a different story. They are proud, haughty, self righteous, and boastful. They do not give the glory, honor, and reverence that His Holy Name requires and deserves. They live in a constant state of disbelief and rejection of the Person and work of Christ. They boast in their idol of "freewill". They brag on their works, their love, their dedication, and their righteousness. They will not come to the true Christ that they might have life but rather they pray to a god that cannot save.

    The important question is; who makes the Sheep to differ from the Goats? The important answer is that God makes the difference by the Father's election of them before the world began, Christ dying for them to bring in an everlasting righteousness to be the ground of their justification, and the Spirit working in them regenerating and drawing them to the Father, through faith in Christ, the only Mediator available between God and man. This is God's free grace, totally without the works of the sinner whatsoever. The Sheep cannot make the difference, only God can. The LORD will not share His glory. Salvation is of the LORD from start to finish.

    Is God sovereign in electing of the Goats to condemnation? Yes He is. He is the Potter that made the Goats vessels of wrath, for His own glory, out of the same lump of clay, regardless of any foreseen works (read Romans 9:11-24). God's people are not afraid or embarrassed of the absolute sovereignty of God. Do we have to condition the election of the Goats to condemnation on sin in order to "let God off the hook" to be sovereign? Both election unto life and unto condemnation was done BEFORE any of the Goats had done any good OR evil (Romans 9:11). This is the only true God and there is none else. Submit to Him or perish.

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