Last Judgment



  1. Students should know that Jesus is coming again as judge.
  2. Students should be able to list some of the characteristics of goodness.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Scripture Reference: Matthew 25: 31-46. Have students list characteristics of the sheep as headings on the board – e.g. food, drink, invitation, visit the sick, prisoners.
  3. On this day, we remember that, Jesus came to earth as a humble child and lived among us, but He will come again in his Second Coming as the Judge. When will this occur? Jesus tells us that no one will know…we are to “be prepared” at all times. Those who have done well will be welcomed into eternal paradise, and those who have done evil to eternal hell. Scary, right? St. John Climacus says, “If an earthly king were to call us and request us to serve in his presence, we should not delay for other orders, we should not make excuses, but we should leave everything and eagerly go to him. Let us then be on the alert, lest when the King of kings and Lord of lords and God of gods calls us to this Heavenly office, we beg off out of sloth and cowardice and find ourselves without excuse at the Last Judgment.” And what service does our King ask of us?  The ones given in this verse -- where is the mention of how many times I fasted, or how many times I prayed, or how many times I sang in church? Nowhere! No special gifts are required to be a sheep instead of a goat – the qualities of a sheep are ones we can all show in our daily lives.


  1. Historical review: Review some Old Testament stories of judgment: Adam and Eve and the Garden, Noah and the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot’s wife, Pharaoh and the plagues of Egypt, etc.


  1. Read the Poem, “The Guest,” by Edwin Markham:

Before the Cathedral in grandeur rose,

At Ingelburg where the Danube goes;

Before its forest of silver spires

Went airily up to the clouds and fires;

Before the oak had ready a beam,

While yet the arch was stone and dream –

There where the altar was later laid,

Conrad, the cobbler, plied his trade.


Doubled all day on his busy bench,

Hard at his cobbling for master and hench,

He pounded away at a brisk rat-tat,

Shearing and shaping with pull and pat,

Hide well hammered and pegs sent home,

Till the shoe was fit for the Prince of Rome.

And he sang as the threads went to and fro:

“Whether ‘tis hidden or whether it show,

Let the work be sound, for the Lord will know.”


It happened one day at the year’s white end,

Two neighbors called on their old-time friend;

And they found the shop, so meager and mean,

Made gay with a hundred boughs of green.

Conrad was stitching with face ashine,

But suddenly stopped as he twitched a twine:

“Old friends, good news! At dawn today,

As the cocks were scaring the night away,

The Lord appeared in a dream to me,

And said, ‘I am coming your Guest to be!’

So I’ve been busy with feet astir,

Strewing the floor with branches of fir.

The wall is washed and the shelf is shined,

And over the rafter the holly twined.

He comes today, and the table is spread

With milk and honey and wheaten bread.”


His friends went home; and his face grew still

As he watched for the shadow across the sill.

He lived all the moments o’er and o’er,

When the Lord should enter the lowly door –

The knock, the call, the latch pulled up,

The lighted face, the offered cup.

He would wash the feet where the spikes had been;

He would kiss the hands where the nails went in;

And then at the last would sit with Him

And break the bread as the day grew dim.


While the cobbler mused, there passed his pane

A beggar drenched by the driving rain.

He called him in from the stony street

And gave him shoes for his bruised feet.

The beggar went and there came a crone,

Her face with wrinkles of sorrow sown.

A bundle of sticks bowed her back,

And she was spent with the wrench and rack.

He gave her his loaf and steadied her load

As she took her way on the weary road.

Then to his door came a little child,

Lost and afraid in the world so wild,

In the big, dark world. Catching it up,

He gave it the milk in the waiting cup,

And led it home to its mother’s arms,

Out of the reach of the world’s alarms.


The day went down in the crimson west

And with it the hope of the blessed Guest,

And Conrad sighed as the world turned gray:

“Why is it, Lord, that your feet delay?

Did You forget that this was the day?”

Then soft in the silence a Voice he heard:

“Lift up your heart, for I kept my word.

Three times I came to your friendly door;

Three times my shadow was on your floor.

I was the beggar with bruised feet;

I was the woman you gave to eat;

I was the child on the homeless street!”


  1. Discussion: Begin with your headings under sheep on the board. Make columns under each heading and brainstorm for specific ways that we can personally fulfill that characteristic. For example: under food – homeless bags, under clothing – give to Goodwill. Be sure there are several choices for each heading – actions that are feasible for this age group. Then, have the students commit to doing one of these things each day during Great Lent. Pass out copies of calendars as Lenten diaries to write down the action on each day.


  1. Play a learning game: Finish the Verse. Print the first and last halves of each verse on separate cards. For example:

I was hungry                           You gave Me something to eat.

I was thirsty                            You gave Me drink

I was a stranger                       You invited Me in

I was naked                             You clothed Me

I was in prison                         You came to Me

Give each student a card. At “Go”, each must find his other half. The pair then sit down together. When all are paired, have each team read the entire verse.


  1. Add to your time line as usual.  Focus on the activities or on heaven or on sheep and goats?


  1. Close with prayer. Pray specifically for your plans to fulfill during Great Lent.