To set the proper stage for your good question, let’s first read Matthew 24:29-30, “Immediately AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” This lets us know that the events before us occur AFTER the seven-year tribulation period that begins at the rapture of the church.  The remainder of chapter 24 and chapter 25 give us parables and teachings relating to the Lord’s coming at the end of the Tribulation Period and His judgment of the nations of the earth to determine who will enter His Millennial Kingdom.

Matthew 25:31-33 tells us, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”

In Matthew 25:34-40, the Lord welcomes those on His right hand (the sheep) into His kingdom based on their treatment of His people.  That says, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” 

We do well to consider this amazing scene.  The Lord returns in His glory.  He sits on His throne and gathers all nations of the earth to Himself.  He then declares such a nearness to His people and causes all to realize that “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  We read similar words of the Lord to Saul of Tarsus, who was on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians.  Acts 9:4-5 says, “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”  We see the wondrous truth that the Lord identifies so closely with His people that how one treats them is how one treats Him.  We learn in Hebrews 2:11, “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.  It is through faith in Christ that the Sanctified One has sanctified us and we have become His brethren.  He is not ashamed of us and He is not ashamed to identify Himself with us.  What a savior!

So, in this scene in Matthew 25 at the judgment of the nations, the Lord blesses those who have treated His people well.  They are blessed of the Father and inherit the kingdom which was prepared for them at the very beginning of the creation.  However, for those who treated the Lord’s people badly, there is a curse.  Verses 41-46 tell us, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”  These are those who mistreated or had no regard for the Lord’s people.  They are not allowed into the Lord’s kingdom but receive EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT!  I think it is obvious that their treatment of the Lord’s people is an indication of their feelings towards the Lord. These will later be raised to stand before another throne…the Great White Throne of God to be judged for their sin.  We read in Revelation 20:11-12, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”  This will be the final judgment of the lost where, “whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (verse 15).