“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”
It is a humbling experience to engage in a prolonged study of the Word of God. When examining a Gospel like Matthew’s for instance we often find ourselves amazed to see how the whole book fits together, along with the rest of the Scriptures to bring us to a real and Biblical faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Immanuel, God among us. In Matthew 25:31-46 we are brought to consider the final judgment of God upon the nations. It is presented within the framework of the work of the Gospel in calling us to real faith in Christ. When the Son of Man comes in His glory He will gather everyone to Himself for judgment. Matthew quotes the Lord Jesus Christ as saying here that this coming, what we call the Second Advent, is first of all a certainty. He does not say “if He comes” He says “When He comes.” There is no doubt about it. There will come a day when He will come. We are never told when it will be. We are however told that it will be. Therefore we are called by the Gospel to prepare ourselves for this reality. We will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Our only hope on that day will not lie in our works or goodness, it will be found in one fact only. This is that our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
The second point that Jesus makes here is that this coming will be in His glory. When He comes we will see Him as He is. His full character, His holiness, purity, power, sacrificial love, and infinite wisdom will be perfectly revealed on that day. What we will be confronted with on that day will be such and encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ that all of our pretension and rationalizing of our sin will be done away with.
What seems apparent here is that there will be a clear connection between His first and second advent when He comes. In His first advent the Lord Jesus Christ came in humiliation. He set aside all of His glory as God in order to become human flesh. He humbled Himself in His death on the cross for us. The Bible makes it clear that the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ was most fully revealed in the cross. As the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:6-11, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” The backdrop to the judgment throne of Christ is the cross. Our judge is also our sacrifice. He gave His precious life in order to redeem us from our sin. That is the glory which will be revealed when He comes again. Nowhere is this pictured more clearly for us than in Revelation 5:5-6 where the Apostle John writes, “Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the centre of the throne.” What unfolds in the rest of the book of Revelation are warnings and judgments all carried out from the throne of God and right at the centre of that throne is a little slain and resurrected lamb. Here is the glory of the Son of Man as He comes to gather us together for judgment.
The price for your redemption has been paid by the Lamb. When you stand before Him on the Day of Judgment know this the judge is also the sacrifice. Today He is calling you to faith in Him. Will you come to Him and receive life?