Jesus gave his chosen witnesses another illustration of his future return to the earth (181).
“When I return as king with my angels, I will sit on my royal throne and all the nations will be gathered before me. Then I will divide them into two groups, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. I will put the sheep on my right and the goats on my left.
“Then I will say to the people on my right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by God; inherit the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the foundation of the world, because:
- I was hungry & you fed me. I was thirsty & you gave me a drink.
- I was a stranger & you welcomed me in your homes.
- I was naked & you clothed me.
- I was sick & you took care of me.
- I was in prison & you visited me.’
“But these righteous people will answer me, ‘When, Master, did we ever see you hungry & feed you, or thirsty & give you a drink? When did we ever see you a stranger & welcome you in our homes, or naked & clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, & visit you?’ And I will reply, ‘Whenever you did this for one of the least of my brothers, you did it for me.’
“Then I will say to those on my left, ‘You are under God’s curse and must go away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for Satan and his evil spirits — because I was hungry but you wouldn’t feed me, thirsty but you wouldn’t give me a drink; I was a stranger but you wouldn’t welcome me in your homes, naked but you wouldn’t clothe me; I was sick & in prison but you wouldn’t take care of me.’
“But these selfish people will answer me, ‘When, Master, did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and refuse to help you?’ And I will reply, ‘Whenever you refused to help one of least of my brothers, you refused to help me.’
“These, then, will be sent off to eternal punishment, but the righteous will go to eternal life.”
(181) Matthew 25:31-46