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Matthew 25:43

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I was a stranger - If men were sure that Jesus Christ was actually somewhere in the land, in great personal distress, hungry, thirsty, naked, and confined, they would doubtless run unto and relieve him. Now Christ assures us that a man who is hungry, thirsty, naked, etc., is his representative, and that whatever we do to such a one he will consider as done to himself; yet this testimony of Christ is not regarded! Well, he will be just when he judges, and righteous when he punishes.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
This is a description of the last judgment. It is as an explanation of the former parables. There is a judgment to come, in which every man shall be sentenced to a state of everlasting happiness, or misery. Christ shall come, not only in the glory of his Father, but in his own glory, as Mediator. The wicked and godly here dwell together, in the same cities, churches, families, and are not always to be known the one from the other; such are the weaknesses of saints, such the hypocrisies of sinners; and death takes both: but in that day they will be parted for ever. Jesus Christ is the great Shepherd; he will shortly distinguish between those that are his, and those that are not. All other distinctions will be done away; but the great one between saints and sinners, holy and unholy, will remain for ever. The happiness the saints shall possess is very great. It is a kingdom; the most valuable possession on earth; yet this is but a faint resemblance of the blessed state of the saints in heaven. It is a kingdom prepared. The Father provided it for them in the greatness of his wisdom and power; the Son purchased it for them; and the blessed Spirit, in preparing them for the kingdom, is preparing it for them. It is prepared for them: it is in all points adapted to the new nature of a sanctified soul. It is prepared from the foundation of the world. This happiness was for the saints, and they for it, from all eternity. They shall come and inherit it. What we inherit is not got by ourselves. It is God that makes heirs of heaven. We are not to suppose that acts of bounty will entitle to eternal happiness. Good works done for God's sake, through Jesus Christ, are here noticed as marking the character of believers made holy by the Spirit of Christ, and as the effects of grace bestowed on those who do them. The wicked in this world were often called to come to Christ for life and rest, but they turned from his calls; and justly are those bid to depart from Christ, that would not come to him. Condemned sinners will in vain offer excuses. The punishment of the wicked will be an everlasting punishment; their state cannot be altered. Thus life and death, good and evil, the blessing and the curse, are set before us, that we may choose our way, and as our way so shall our end be.
Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 284.1

People should not be encouraged to prize oratorical display. This kind of sermonizing has the same kind of effect upon the mind as does the reading of an exciting story. It has a stimulating effect, but does not transform the character. The influence of this kind of preaching has been made plain in the results that have followed. The people are attracted to the man, and think no one is equal to him; but I have been shown that as it was in _______, so it is in other places, that no solid foundation is made for the organization of a church. When such a minister leaves those who have apparently embraced the truth, it is made manifest that the people are not bound up with Christ, but have been bound to the man. Christ was as a stranger to them, and they knew Him not. The people left His company, and walked no more with Him. VSS 284.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 675

Poor Sister More! She sleeps, but we did what we could. When we were at Battle Creek, the last of August, we received the first of the two letters I have given, but we had no money to send her. My husband sent to Wisconsin and Iowa for means, and received seventy dollars to bear our expenses to those western convocations, held last September. We hoped to have means to send to her immediately on our return from the West, to pay her expenses to our new home in Montcalm County. 1T 675.1

The liberal friends West had given us the needed means; but when we decided to accompany Brother Andrews to Maine, the matter was deferred until we should return. We did not expect to be in the East more than four weeks, which would have given ample time to send for Sister More after our return, and to get her to our house before navigation should close. And when we decided to remain in the East several weeks longer than we first designed, we lost no time in addressing several brethren in this vicinity, recommending that they send for Sister More and give her a home till we should return. I say: We did what we could. 1T 675.2

But why should we feel interested in this sister, more than others? What did we want of this worn-out missionary? She could not do our housework, and we had but one child at home for her to teach. And, certainly, much could not be expected of one worn as she was, who had nearly reached three-score years. We had no use for her, in particular, only to bring the blessing of God into our house. There are many reasons why our brethren should have taken greater interest in the case of Sister More than we. We had never seen her, and had no other means of knowing her history, her devotion to the cause of Christ and humanity, than all the readers of the Review. Our brethren at Battle Creek had seen this noble woman, and some of them knew more or less of her wishes and wants. We had no money with which to help her; they had. We were already overburdened with care and needed those persons in our house who possessed the strength and buoyancy of youth. We needed to be helped, instead of helping others. But most of our brethren in Battle Creek are so situated that Sister More would not have been the least care and burden. They have time, strength, and comparative freedom from care. 1T 675.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 388.2

But we shall not see it in all its glory and importance until the covenant of peace is made with us at the voice of God, and the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem are thrown open and swing back on their glittering hinges, and the glad and joyful voice of the lovely Jesus is heard richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear bidding us enter.—Letter 3, 1851. 3SM 388.2

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Ellen G. White
Christian Service, 268

Every act, every deed of justice and mercy and benevolence, makes music in heaven. The Father from His throne beholds and numbers the performer of them with His most precious treasures. “And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, when I make up My jewels.” Every merciful act to the needy or the suffering is as though done to Jesus. Whoever succors the poor, or sympathizes with the afflicted and oppressed, and befriends the orphan, brings himself into a more close relationship to Jesus.—The Review and Herald, August 16, 1881. ChS 268.1

Christ regards all acts of mercy, benevolence, and thoughtful consideration for the unfortunate, the blind, the lame, the sick, the widow, and the orphan, as done to Himself; and these works are preserved in the heavenly records, and will be rewarded.—Testimonies for the Church 3:512, 513. ChS 268.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 275

What misery exists in the very heart of our so-called Christian countries! Think of the condition of the poor in our large cities. In these cities there are multitudes of human beings who do not receive as much care and consideration as are given to the brutes. There are thousands of wretched children, ragged and half starved, with vice and depravity written on their faces. Families are herded together in miserable tenements, many of them dark cellars reeking with dampness and filth. Children are born in these terrible places. Infancy and youth behold nothing attractive, nothing of the beauty of natural things that God has created to delight the senses. These children are left to grow up molded and fashioned in character by the low precepts, the wretchedness, and the wicked example around them. They hear the name of God only in profanity. Impure words, the fumes of liquor and tobacco, moral degradation of every kind, meets the eye and perverts the senses. And from these abodes of wretchedness piteous cries for food and clothing are sent out by many who know nothing about prayer. 6T 275.1

By our churches there is a work to be done of which many have little idea, a work as yet almost untouched. “I was an hungered,” Christ says, “and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.” Matthew 25:35, 36. Some think that if they give money to this work, it is all they are required to do; but this is an error. Donations of money cannot take the place of personal ministry. It is right to give our means, and many more should do this; but according to their strength and opportunities, personal service is required of all. 6T 275.2

The work of gathering in the needy, the oppressed, the suffering, the destitute, is the very work which every church that believes the truth for this time should long since have been doing. We are to show the tender sympathy of the Samaritan in supplying physical necessities, feeding the hungry, bringing the poor that are cast out to our homes, gathering from God every day grace and strength that will enable us to reach to the very depths of human misery and help those who cannot possibly help themselves. In doing this work we have a favorable opportunity to set forth Christ the crucified One. 6T 276.1

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Ellen G. White
Medical Ministry, 146

Everything savoring of unbecoming familiarity should be discarded by physicians, superintendent, and helpers. There should be no giving of special favors or special attentions to a few, no preferring of one above another. This has been done, and it is displeasing to God. There are worthy persons who are afflicted and suffering, but do not complain, who are in need of special attentions. These men and women are often passed by with indifference and with a hardness of heart that is more like Satan's character than like Christ's, while young, forward misses, who in no way need or deserve favors, receive special attentions. All this neglect is written in the books of heaven. All these things are developing character. MM 146.1

Let all who are connected with the institution as helpers bear in mind the words of Inspiration: “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” When you pass by one who is in need of your sympathy, of your kindly acts, and give them not, but turn to the forward ones and bestow upon them your favors, remember that Jesus is insulted in the person of His afflicted ones. He says, “I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was ... naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not.” And when the surprised inquiry comes, When saw we Thee thus? the answer, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these [who were afflicted and needed your sympathy], ye did it not to Me.” “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” They that are rich need not your favors, but they that are poor. The bruised and wounded, the lame of the flock, are among us, and these test the character of those who claim to be children of God. MM 146.2

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