Sabbath School Lesson 27 – “Come, Ye Blessed of My Father”
Read the Missionary Report from BAMI and GAMI below
Sabbath, December 30, 2017
“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.” –(Review and Herald, July 31, 1900) Medical Ministry, p. 133.
Difference and separation
1. While believers and unbelievers, faithful and unfaithful, have lived side by side for their entire lives, what will take place when the Redeemer appears in glory?
Matthew 25:31-33 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: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
“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.
“In that day Christ does not present before men the great work He has done for them in giving His life for their redemption. He presents the faithful work they have done for Him.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 637.
Welcome into the heavenly kingdom
2. What welcome will those who have listened to the Saviour’s voice and followed Him by faith hear on that great day? What imperishable kingdom will He invite them to enter and inherit?
Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
“To become a toiler, to continue patiently in well-doing which calls for self-denying labor, is a glorious work, which Heaven smiles upon. Faithful work is more acceptable to God than the most zealous and thought-to-be holiest worship. It is working together with Christ that is true worship. Prayers, exhortation, and talk are cheap fruits, which are frequently tied on; but fruits that are manifested in good works, in caring for the needy, the fatherless, and widows, are genuine fruits, and grow naturally upon a good tree.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 24.
“May God help us in the great work of overcoming. He has crowns for those that overcome. He has white robes for the righteous. He has an eternal world of glory for those who seek for glory, honor, and immortality. Everyone who enters the city of God will enter it as a conqueror. He will not enter it as a condemned criminal, but as a son of God.” –Temperance, p. 114.
Sensitive to the needs of others
3. In addition to having faith in His message and promises, what will characterize those whom Jesus will welcome into His kingdom?
Matthew 25:35, 36 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
“It is conscientious attention to what the world terms ‘little things’ that makes life a success. Little deeds of charity, little acts of self-denial, speaking simple words of helpfulness, watching against little sins–this is Christianity. A grateful acknowledgment of daily blessings, a wise improvement of daily opportunities, a diligent cultivation of entrusted talents–this is what the Master calls for.
“He who faithfully performs small duties will be prepared to answer the demands of larger responsibilities. The man who is kind and courteous in the daily life, who is generous and forbearing in his family, whose constant aim it is to make home happy, will be the first to deny self and make sacrifices when the Master calls.” –Lift Him Up, p. 346.
4. How conscious are they of helping and serving? How do they view their actions, in contrast to the Pharisee who extolled himself in prayer?
Matthew 25:37-39 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Luke 18:11, 12 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
“That which is worth doing at all is worth doing well. Whatever your work may be, do it faithfully. Speak the truth in regard to the smallest matters. Each day do loving deeds and speak cheerful words. Scatter smiles along the pathway of life. As you work in this way, God will place His approval on you, and Christ will one day say to you, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’
“At the day of judgment, those who have been faithful in their everyday life, who have been quick to see their work and do it, not thinking of praise or profit, will hear the words, ‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ ” –(The Youth’s Instructor, January 17, 1901) Lift Him Up, p. 346.
Identifying with the needy and suffering
5. In reality, whom have they served? How does the Lord consider the help and relief given to one who is in need?
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
“By imparting to others the love and tenderness which God has so abundantly bestowed on us, we are to let our light shine. We should put every gift of God to the best possible use, making it a producer of good. To God we can give nothing which is not already His, but we can help the suffering ones around us. We can supply them with the necessities of this life, and at the same time speak to them of the wonderful love of God.
“Christ … has plainly stated that we can minister to Him by ministering to His suffering ones….
“We are to be in the world as a corrective influence, as salt that retains its savor. Among an unholy, impure, idolatrous generation, we are to be pure and holy, showing that the grace of Christ has power to restore in man the divine likeness. We are to exert a saving influence upon those in the world.” –(Bible Echo, June 11, 1900) Reflecting Christ, p. 198.
The opposite–those who are self-centered
6. Did the other class serve Jesus by giving to the needy, such as those who were poor, thirsty, strangers, and prisoners?
Matthew 25:41-43 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
“There are men in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers who are holding fast their earthly treasure. It is their god, their idol; and they love their money, their farms, their cattle, and their merchandise better than they love their Saviour, who for their sakes became poor, that they, through His poverty, might be made rich. They exalt their earthly treasures, considering them of greater value than the souls of men. Will such have the ‘Well done’ spoken to them? No; never. The irrevocable sentence, ‘Depart,’ will fall upon their startled senses. Christ has no use for them. They have been slothful servants, hoarding the means God has given them, while their fellow men have perished in darkness and error.” –Counsels on Stewardship, p. 123.
7. Did they see their Lord in the person of the needy and suffering? Not having cared for Him, what can they expect to meet on the day of judgment? What will be the result of their selfishness?
Matthew 25:44-46 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
“The whole world will then receive sentence. Of all the question will be asked, ‘Have you diligently studied the word of God that you might know the will of God, that you might be enabled to understand the difference between sin and righteousness?’ Sad will be the fate of those who would not come to Christ that they might be cleansed from all unrighteousness. Then sinners see the character of God as it is. And they see, too, the sinfulness of the sins that have drawn souls away from Christ, and placed them under the banner of rebellion, to war against Him who gave His life for them.
“Because Christ was one with the Father, equal with Him, He could make an atonement for transgression, and save man–not in his sins, but from his sins.” –The Upward Look, p. 272.
For additional study
“Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles. Through the influence of the divine Spirit they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives. Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God….
“As you open your door to Christ’s needy and suffering ones, you are welcoming unseen angels. You invite the companionship of heavenly beings. They bring a sacred atmosphere of joy and peace.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 638, 639.
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Missionary Report from BAMI and GAMI
To be read on Sabbath, December 30, 2017
The Special Sabbath School Offering will be gathered on Sabbath, January 6, 2018
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6.
Berea Adventist Missionary Institute (BAMI), located in Nairobi, Kenya, was dedicated on October 15, 2006, by Elder Branko Cholich, who served as General Conference President. The Institute currently offers Certificates and Diplomas in Bible Education and Church Administration. Its primary objective is to provide a balanced education to gospel workers and members for the purpose of promoting unity of action and teaching in every church, field, and union. Classes are open to students from Africa as well as from countries outside the continent.
While instruction is in English, the Institute wishes to add language classes in French, Spanish, and Swahili. In the near future, and as God allows, additional fields of study will include Medical Missionary Work, Business Administration, and Information Technology. Connected with the latter is a long-distance learning project for evangelists, missionary workers, and church members who are not privileged to attend a missionary school personally.
To achieve the above objectives and become self-reliant, the Institute needs to acquire its own facilities; currently it is housed in the Kenyan Union Headquarters. So far, BAMI has contributed to missionary work especially throughout Africa. Since its establishment, there have been five two-year classes from which more than eighty students from fifteen unions and fields in Africa have graduated. Today eight of those graduates are ordained ministers, while others are ordained elders helping to advance the work, most in new mission fields.
In addition to helping open new fields, former BAMI students now direct and teach in the newer Gilead Adventist Missionary Institute (GAMI) in Accra, Ghana. By God’s grace, its first class began in 2014, with students from Nigeria, Liberia, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Sierra Leone, Mali, and Ghana. The second class was from Ivory Coast, Guinea, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Liberia, Togo, Benin, and Ghana. Many are now serving as missionaries in their home countries.
Like BAMI, GAMI also shares a headquarters building. The facilities in Accra, Ghana, are quite large, but they can accommodate no more than ten students at a time, as space is needed for bedrooms, bath facilities, kitchen, classrooms, and a meeting place. There is no space for practical training in such things as gardening, baking, and beekeeping.
The teachers and staff of these Institutes are dedicated to the preparation of men and women for Christ’s service. Under the authority of Scripture, the instructions of the Spirit of prophecy, and the delegates of the International Missionary Society, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Reform Movement, the leaders of these Institutes seek to help carry out Christ’s commission to His church by thoroughly training well-disciplined and -instructed missionaries who excel in matters of doctrine and faith.
“Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in the world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.
“The source of such an education is brought to view in these words of Holy Writ, pointing to the Infinite One: In Him ‘are hid all the treasures of wisdom.’ Colossians 2:3. ‘He hath counsel and understanding.’ Job 12:13.” –Education, p. 13.
Expenses of the Institutes are financed mostly by student tuition, and most students have been supported by grants from others and/or other institutions, such as fields, unions and the General Conference. The contributions gathered for the two Institutes will hasten the preparation of workers to serve in countries just recently entered or wherever they are most needed, thus supporting the expansion of missionary training worldwide.
As you prepare to give your gifts for BAMI and GAMI next week, we encourage everyone all over the world to see yourself as part of that great army of reformers who envision remarkable advances in the field of education in the church. May God grant you a willing, generous heart to give bountifully so an abundant harvest will be reaped, according to His promise.
“The Lord is soon coming, and for this very reason we need our schools, not that we may be educated after the order of the world, but that our institutions of learning may be more like the schools of the prophets–places where we may learn the will of God, and reach to the very highest branches of science, that we may better understand God and His works, and the character of Jesus Christ whom He has sent.” –General Conference Bulletin, October 1, 1896.
–Parmenas N. Shirima, African Division Leader
Lencha Tekle, African Division Committee Member