All nations - Literally, all the nations - all the Gentile world; the Jews are necessarily included, but they were spoken of in a particular manner in the preceding chapter.
He shall separate them - Set each kind apart by themselves.
As a shepherd divideth, etc. - It does not appear that sheep and goats were ever penned or housed together, though they might feed in the same pasture; yet even this was not done but in separate flocks; so Virgil, Eclog. vii. v. 2.
Compulerantque greges Corydon et Thyrsis in unum;
Thyrsis Oves, Corydon distentas lacte
"Thyrsis and Corydon drove their flocks together:
Thyrsin his sheep; and Corydon his goats, their udders distended with milk."
These two shepherds had distinct flocks, which fed in the same pasture, but separately; and they are only now driven together, for the convenience of the two shepherds, during the time of their musical contest.
And before him - At his coming to judgment the world will be burned up, 2 Peter 3:10, 2 Peter 3:12; Revelation 20:11. The dead in Christ that is, all true Christians - will be raised up from their graves, 1 Thessalonians 4:16. The living will be changed - i. e., will be made like the glorified bodies of those that are raised from the dead, 1 Corinthians 15:52-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:17. All the wicked will rise and come forth to judgment, John 5:28-29; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 13:41-42; Revelation 20:13. Then shall the world be judged, the righteous saved, and the wicked punished.
And he shall separate - Shall determine respecting their character, and shall appoint them their doom accordingly.
“And before him shall be gathered all nations.” The very One who died for man is to judge him in the last day: for the Father “hath committed all judgment unto the Son: ... and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” What a day that will be, when those who rejected Christ will look upon Him whom their sins have pierced. Mar 292.4Read in context »
Whatever work we do, we are to do it for Christ. There are many kinds of temporal work to be done for God. An unbeliever would do this work mechanically, for the wages he receives. He does not know the joy of cooperation with the Master Worker. There is no spirituality in the work of him who serves self. Common motives, common aspirations, common inspirations, a desire to be thought clever by men, rule in his life. Such a one may receive praise from men, but not from God. Those who are truly united with Christ do not work for the wages they receive. Laborers together with God, they do not strive to exalt self. MM 133.1
In the last great day decisions will be made that will be a surprise to many. Human judgment will have no place in the decisions then made. Christ can and will judge every case; for all judgment has been committed to Him by the Father. He will estimate service by that which is invisible to men. The most secret things lie open to His all-seeing eye. When the Judge of all men shall make His investigation, many of those whom human estimation has placed first will be placed last, and those who have been put in the lowest place by men will be taken out of the ranks and made first.—The Review and Herald, July 31, 1900. MM 133.2Read in context »
“Ye have the poor with you always,” Christ said, “and whensoever ye will ye may do them good.” “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Mark 14:7; James 1:27. MH 205.1
In placing among them the helpless and the poor, to be dependent upon their care, Christ tests His professed followers. By our love and service for His needy children we prove the genuineness of our love for Him. To neglect them is to declare ourselves false disciples, strangers to Christ and His love. MH 205.2Read in context »
This chapter is based on Matthew 25:31-46.
“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.” Thus Christ on the Mount of Olives pictured to His disciples the scene of the great judgment day. And He represented its decision as turning upon one point. When the nations are gathered before Him, there will be but two classes, and their eternal destiny will be determined by what they have done or have neglected to do for Him in the person of the poor and the suffering. DA 637.1Read in context »