07-21-18

07-21-2018
Dr. E. Dale Locke and Billy Langley

Series:  Bless this Mess

Week 7 – The Sheep

  1. Spend a few minutes in your group sharing whether you are:

a dog person or a cat person; a morning person or a night person; an introvert or an extrovert; a beach person or a mountain person; a warm weather person or a cold weather person; a city person or a country person.

 

  1. Can you recite from memory our verse for this series?

Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

 

  1. Share how this memory verse has affected you as you’ve become more familiar with it over the past few weeks.

 

  1. Read Matthew 25:31-46 When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 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.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your     inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘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 invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

  1. Share what comes to your mind when you read this parable.

 

The Big Ideas:

There is a Coming Future Kingdom

Everything we see now in this life is not all there is. Jesus’ parables all indicate a coming future Kingdom. Here are verses from just a few.

 

  1. Read: Matthew 25:1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

 

  1. Read: Matthew 25:14“Again, it (referring to the Kingdom) will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.

 

  1. How does the idea of a coming future Kingdom impact your life? Share your thoughts.

When the Kingdom Comes, Accountability will Take Place

 

  1. Re-read Matthew 25:31-32“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 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. 

 

  1. Sheep are docile, naïve, and require training for their own protection, while goats tend to be stubborn, independent and more resistant to training. When sheep and goat are combined, the sheep tend to be more difficult to train.

Can you see why Jesus uses sheep and goats to describe people who will be held accountable when the Kingdom comes? How can you tell the difference between the ‘sheep’ and ‘goats’ you may know in your life?

It’s the small things that matter

  1. Review Matthew 25:35-36 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Now review Matthew 25:42-43 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

Read John 17:16 “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” Who are ‘they’ in this scripture? ‘Sheep’ or ‘goats’?

 

  1. Can you recall a time when you fed a hungry person, provided drink to a thirsty person, befriended a stranger, clothed the naked, or tended the sick?

Or, can you recall a time when you had the opportunity to do one of those things and chose not to?

Tell about your experience.

 

It’s the small things that matter, and they are easy to miss.

 

  1. Review Matthew 25:37-39“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘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 invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

Now review Matthew 25:44-45 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

 

  1. Can you recall a time when someone else fed you when you were hungry, or provided drink for you when you were thirsty, or were befriended, or tended to or visited by another when you didn’t expect it?

Or, can you recall a time when you needed someone to do one of those kindnesses for you but nobody did?

Tell about that experience.

  1. Read Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Who are the poor in spirit? What does being poor in spirit mean?

 

This is Good News!

 

  1. Read Matthew 5:3 again: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Do you think the good works done in this parable of the sheep and goats are the cause of salvation or the effects of salvation? Explain your reasons for your answer.

 

  1. Read Matthew 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”  Why is this Good News?

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