The Signs of the Times (46): Selection

editor - 5 May 2019

‘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. 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 (…) 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 (…) Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’
Matthew 25:31-46

What does this mean? What will happen when He comes in His glory? It will involve two things: glory and judgement. When Jesus has spoken about the ‘signs of the times’ which will precede His Coming in glory, He says to His friends: ‘When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near (…) Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the Kingdom of God is near.’ (Luke 21:28 and 31). After the darkness and the persecution in the last days of the end-times: great glory for the redeemed of the Lamb! ‘I am coming soon’ He says, ‘Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.’ (Revelation 3:11)

But He also speaks about a terrible judgement upon the nations in Matthew 25. It is one of the few places where Jesus speaks about eternal hellfire. Because He does not want us to perish, He wants to give us eternal life. That’s why He came into this world, to give His life out of His own free will as a ransom for many. ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.’ (John 3:16-17)

But in Matthew 25:31-46 He does speak about eternal hellfire, at the end of His sermon about things to come. It’s the final statement before He begins His road of suffering. All of this dawned upon me when I was in Majdanek.

Majdanek, or KL Lublin, was a German concentration and extermination camp built and operated by the SS (a major paramilitary organization under Hitler in Nazi Germany) on the outskirts of the city of Lublin during the German occupation of Poland in World War II. It’s one of the smaller concentration camps, but it everything is the same as in the larger camps: gas chambers, barracks, barbed wire, a place for horrendous medical experiments, crematoria, etc. Close by is a small train station. Although initially purposed for forced labour rather than extermination, the camp was used to kill people on an industrial scale during Operation Reinhardt, the German plan to murder all Jews within their own General Government territory of Poland.  The camp, which operated from October 1, 1941, until July 22, 1944, was captured nearly intact. Because the rapid advance of the Soviet Red Army during Operation Bagration the SS was prevented from destroying most of its infrastructure,

A selection process would happen there just like in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The German officers – at Auschwitz there was Josef Mengele to select victims for his medical experiments – would simply say: left, left, left, left, right, right, left, etc. Josef Mengele (16 March 1911 – 7 Feb 1979) was a German Schutzstaffel (SS) officer and physician in Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. He performed deadly human experiments on prisoners and was a member of the team of doctors who selected victims to be killed in the gas chambers. Arrivals deemed able to work were admitted into the camp, and those deemed unfit for labour were immediately killed in the gas chambers. Selection.

The Jews had no idea what this meant. But ‘left’ meant: directly to the gas chamber, crematorium, fire, end. ‘Right’ meant: you are allowed to live a little longer for horrible medical experiments, or to be prostitutes for our elite troops and officers, or to work as slaves in the factories and industries nearby. But in the end you will all go ‘left’.

In Matthew 25 the Son of man will make the selection. Then He will say who goes ‘left’ or ‘right’. Which nations will enter the Kingdom of peace and righteousness, and who will not? He will ask: what did you as a nation do with these brothers and sisters of Mine, with these Jews, when they were scattered all over the world and were among you? How did you behave when they were oppressed, mistreated, scorned, ridiculed, beaten, robbed of their goods, raped, deprived of their rights, etc., thrown into concentration camps and murdered?

The Lord will also ask: What were your political decisions and how did you vote in the United Nations when I was bringing My people back into My land? Were you for it? Or against it? Or did you abstain from vote? But he, who is silent, silently agrees. One final warning:

Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice His rule with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him!’ (Psalm 2:10-12)


The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible. The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ is available in our webshop. Order today!

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