By the Cross of Christ, We Enter the Kingdom of Our God and Father
When the crucified and risen Lord Jesus comes to judge the living and the dead, “he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:32). “To those on his right,” who have been crucified and raised with Him through repentance and faith in His Gospel, He will grant the blessed kingdom of His Father (Matt. 25:34). Having been justified by His grace, they live unto righteousness in Him (Matt. 25:35–40). But “those on his left,” who trust in themselves and despise their neighbor, will depart “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). Until that day, the Lord searches for His sheep “as a shepherd seeks out his flock” (Ezek. 34:11–12). Through His preaching of repentance, He disciplines the proud sheep and goats, “the fat and the strong,” but through the preaching of forgiveness He rescues the lost, binds up the injured, strengthens the weak and feeds “the lean sheep” (Ezek. 34:16, 20). In this way, He destroys the power of death in the children of Adam by His cross, so that “in Christ shall all be made alive” by His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20–26).