The judgment of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46 is a good test case for how New Testament eschatology works. It is usually read as an account of a final universal judgment, on the assumption that we are still waiting for the Son of Man to come on the clouds of heaven at the end of history.
It is a traditional perspective, deeply embedded in the iconography of Christendom. The judgment scene that forms the third part of the stunning Redemption Triptych (1455-59) by Vrancke van der Stockt, for example, has Christ seated above the clouds of heaven with a couple of angels. In the arch that frames him are scenes drawn from this passage.
The implication is that at the final judgment people will be judged according to how they treated other people—“the least of these my brothers”—when they were hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, imprisoned, or in need of hospitality. It is sometimes put forward as a biblical argument for a social justice gospel. I have some sympathy for the missional end, but not for the exegetical means.