Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” Matthew 13:40-43
Most Christians live with the concept that, at some point, they will pass over to God. And well they should.
It comes down to what we do with our discipleship that matters. Those who do not receive Jesus’ message and live a life of righteousness, but instead choose to do evil and harm others will be left outside his kingdom and face eternal punishment.
Either/or. But it’s not so easy. Jesus warns us that there is an enemy who seeks to destroy the good seed of his word before it can bear fruit. Both good and evil can be sown in our hearts like tiny seeds which germinate, and in due time yield a harvest of good or bad fruit. We must stand guard lest evil take root in our hearts and corrupt us.
The kingdom itself is spiritual but we, its members, live in a physical and sinful world This kingdom represented by believers, or “sons of the kingdom” is found not only in the church, but in businesses, in education, in labor, and in government; but so are the weeds. This is why we need patience. God is not yet going to remove the weeds, so we have to learn how to live within this reality as Christians. So, the point to see is that this reality becomes a challenge, not only because these weeds are present, but because the enemy of Christ – the devil himself – seeks to destroy the wheat by the works of his people: the “sons of the evil one.”
The reality is that there will be a distinction or difference between believers and unbelievers that at times may be hard to detect, yet God’s people will live in this mixed population until the final judgment. This reality is illustrated for us in the parable before this one, the parable of the Sower, which teaches us that the very nature of the kingdom is that not all the seeds planted become wheat, for various reasons. Yet all these seeds live together in the world, as our parable today teaches us, and sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference, even in the church.
As Peter said, “The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The reality is this: the devil and his weeds are going to make life difficult for those who live in the kingdom, wherever the kingdom manifests itself.
Charles Read wrote “Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.” In the day of judgment each will reap what he or she has sown in this life. Those who sow good will shine in the kingdom of their Father. They will radiate with the beauty, joy, and fullness of God’s love.
The very reason for the weeds among the wheat is to call us to teach and to do the opposite and to help us realize that we must not be complacent.
If we persevere through all things now, and we strive to do so with patience and grace, we can be certain that all the struggle and all we have to endure will be worth it in the end. In the kingdom of God, we will be at peace, and joy will fill our lives forever. We need to be sure that we have “ears to hear” this truth and hold on to it through all things.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, help me to keep my eyes on You and Your final victory. Help me to patiently await Your final victory and to endure the evil of this world with the grace and strength You give me. May I never forget the final promise that You have spoken to me. Jesus, I trust in You.
When Jesus does return in all His glory and sets all things right, will the evil we now endure even matter? In fact, from the eternal perspective, the evil we endure should only serve to give us holy endurance. It has all potential to be used by God to manifest His grace and strength in our lives.
Reflect, today, upon the eternal perspective.