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The Lost Sheep....Who Are They?

Updated on March 31, 2016
Which are sheep and which are goats?
Which are sheep and which are goats?

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

How think ye? if a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Matthew 18:11-13 K.J.V.

The Parable of the lost sheep is a well known one to say the least. I recall as a child, having a storybook which told showed a shepherd searching high and low for his lost sheep. It has been one of the more memorable Bible passages for me simply because I have heard it referred to so much. I even heard a children's story based on the lost sheep told from the sheep's point of view. Poor Snowflake after being so sure he was ready to go it alone, realized that perhaps being out on his own was not all it cracked up to be. But he was lost and couldn't find his way back. Then his shepherd came and took him home and how grateful was he!

Most times...well, all the times I hear the parable of the lost sheep, I know and hear the confirmation that Jesus is in fact, the Shepherd and we, the flock and those of His flock who are lost, He will search for, until he brings them back to the fold. I was thinking about this again when I was reading about the habits of sheep and other animals, and the question came to me- just who are these lost sheep? Lost sheep represent the lost of the world. But not just any lost...those who are lost who belong to Him. I have often heard the saying that all are God's children, but then why does the Bible speak about separating the goats from the sheep? If the whole world contains sheep then who are the goats?

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.Matthew 25:31-33 K.J.V.

Christ uses the same terminology he used in the lost sheep parable, likening Himself to a shepherd and then He adds that he will divide His sheep from the goats. I can only come to one conclusion - there are goats among the sheep. Goats who are not part of the flock and who are not the lost sheep whom the shepherd searches for. They do not belong to Him, yet they integrate themselves within the flock. If you have ever seen a flock of sheep you will know when they are together, they all look like one body, an entire mass. Would you be able to tell at a glance, if there were a few goats in the flock? Only someone who searches for the discrepancies, who takes a closer look, would discover the goats. A shepherd knows his sheep. So too does Christ know His flock.

After examining that fact about the goats and the sheep, I can only conclude that the parable was meant for those who belong to Jesus not the ones who don't. And, yes, there are some who don't. I didn't make up the goats part. It is right there in the Bible.

Jesus has said that He will say to His sheep: Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world

And He has said that He will say to the goats:Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

There must be some then who will not enter into the kingdom of God. This is the conclusion I have come to. It is a sobering thing indeed.



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    • Rina Pinto profile image

      Rina Pinto 5 years ago from Dubai - UAE

      Thank u so much my dear NorthWind .. God Bless ya..!

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Rina, I will pray that the Lord be with you indeed. He is the Good Shepherd and I am so very glad that you were found by Him again.

      God bless you and take care.

    • Rina Pinto profile image

      Rina Pinto 5 years ago from Dubai - UAE

      Good Morning from Dubai North Wind,

      Indeed Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows how to get his Lost sheep back to Him.. I used to be a back slider but now am found by Jesus again.. Thank You Jesus for He is using me to minister all the Lost Sheep and gather his wheat into the barn. These 2 categories. May the Good Lord be with me and continue to pray for all of us .. In Jesus name .. Amen!

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello Rina Pinto,

      Thank you very much for reading. I appreciate your comment very much. I do think that there are those who backslide but I also think that those who are sheep are the ones who belong to Him. I wrote this hub to show the difference between sheep and goats. The Lord does call all of His sheep and they will all come to Him. He said that all that are His are accounted for except the son of perdition who was Judas Iscariot.

      Thank you for reading and for your message about backsliders. I do think that He calls them back and we should diligently pray for those who do backslide.

    • Rina Pinto profile image

      Rina Pinto 5 years ago from Dubai - UAE

      Hello North Wind, If you meditate and go deep into who are the Lost sheep, i am given this revelation by Him(Holy Spirit) The back sliders are the lost sheep of His Pasture. So The Lord Jesus Himself goes to search them and get them back into His fold. How Awesome is Jesus who leaves His 99 sheep and goes to get his 1 lost sheep. He will not rest till that prodigal son(sheep) gets back into his fold. Jesus will be like a watchman unto this Lost Sheep guiding him & tending him/her gently. Trying to purify & refine this Lost Sheep like the beaten gold 7 times. Remember He is the Potter and we, (Lost Sheep)are the clay into His Perfect hands. These Lost sheep(back sliders) who once tasted his food begin to wander after a new unknown pasture. Thinking that they are able to with stand amidst this wicked world all by them self without the help of Jesus & His Holy Spirit. These Lost Sheep thought they would never fall again to the lusts of this wicked world. They were wrong .. they lost they balance being the Lukewarm sheep. And what the the Book Of Revelation say about the these sheep(Lukewarm)..?? Please read it in the Book of Revelations. So it is the call of duty for every Pastor/Evangelist/Teacher/Preacher?servant/Disciple/Prophet/Witnesses to lead them and prayer for these Lost Sheep. These sheep will hear His (Jesus) voice for Jesus has called them out for His Kingdom. We must must must call them out from their wilderness & this Lusty world. Satan is luring these sheep into the world of Entertainment (Music, Movie.. n so on) . May God Bless all of us to do his work here for his lost sheep unceasingly with the help of Jesus our Savior & His Holy Spirit. We fight against the heavenly spirits and the principalities of the heavenly realms .. The Lord our God of Abraham, Mosses, Issac & Jacob is with us ..

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 7 years ago from The World (for now)

      @ Michael C true. This is a question that I think only God knows. Then it comes to the question that if He knows then aren't they already sheep? Perhaps they are sheep but like the ugly duckling do not know what they are and all their lives they believe that they are something else, until someone opens their eyes and they realize...hey! I am no goat!

    • Michael C Murphy profile image

      Michael C Murphy 7 years ago from California

      This is the problem we face when searching for the lost. Many times we are talking with a goat rather than one of the sheep and getting nowhere. But the question then becomes, can a goat change into one of the sheep?

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      Oluwafola 7 years ago

      we were all lost in the past but now found, that is why we are called the children of the most high God. Thank you Jesus for saving me.