Lesson 156-May 27. 2018
IT IS TIME TO PAY ATTENTION!
Today we honor all brave and courageous men and women that gave their call for our freedoms. Today in a special way we remember them on this Memorial Day Weekend! We give our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all our veterans and those currently serving.
Introduction: Today we continue our study on the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. As we have already studied in Jesus’ explanation to His disciples, Jesus identified Himself as the Sower. The Believers Bible Commentary tells us that “Jesus sowed directly during His earthly ministry and has been sowing through His servants in succeeding ages. The field is the world. The good seeds means the children of the Kingdom. The tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy is Satan.” Today we seek to learn what happens to the tares that have been deliberately sown by the enemy.
(v28) It is very obvious that the tares growing among the wheat is the result of a direct and deliberate action of the enemy. The tares have been planted to hinder and hurt the growing of the good seed.
The servants in verse 28 pose an understandable and legitimate question: “Do you want us then to go and gather them up?” The answer that follows may shock us.
(v29) “No!” Perhaps it would seem to us as we study these words that the logical response would be yes. Once the tares are spotted and recognized growing throughout the wheat, should they not be removed immedi- ately? In fact, the thought processes of many were that when the Messiah came would He not bring judgment upon the wicked and unrighteous? “Which was in part why John the Baptist had wondered in Matthew 11 if Jesus were, in fact, the Messiah. John probably thought that the process of separating the wicked from the righteous would be well under way by that time; however, judgment had not yet come, and it’s almost as if Jesus were saying in the parable ‘just wait’.” Platt
There may be times in our lives when we feel as John the Baptist. It may appear that evil is on the rise and that unrighteousness seems to be winning as we look at the world. But let us remember the words of Yogi Berra “it aint over till its over.” And dear friend it is not over.
(vv27-31) In Jesus’ parable the servants were told to wait until the time of the harvest and then the tares would be separated from the wheat. Both the tares and the wheat would grow together until it is time for the harvest. At the time of the harvest they would be separated and dealt with accordingly by the owner.
At the time of the harvest the good (wheat) and bad (tares) will be distinguished with absolute certainty. When the harvest came, the owner would send the “reapers” who would weed out the tares and harvest the wheat. The tares would be bundled and burned and the wheat would be gathered and placed in the landown- ers’ barn.
In verse 39 of Jesus’ explanation, He explains clearly that the harvest time represents a future judgment and that the reapers are the angels of glory. (May I be allowed to offer a Biblical thought concerning angels)? So many times I am concerned that we let our preconceived notions and even Hollywood script writers and pro- ducers become our controlling rationales for the appearance and description of angels. We often think of noth- ing but large harps, fluttering wings, and glimmering halos. In no way do I seek to minimize the brilliance of
as warriors, fighters, and even reapers. Jesus said, “and the reapers are the angels.”
After the Lord has explained and identified the enemy in verse 39, He turns His disciples’ focus and attention to the future.
(v40) “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned, so it will be at the end of this age.” The end of this age will be marked by the return of Christ. Notice how in Jesus stating the parable that the owner was not shocked or surprised by what had happen. He did not quickly rush into a hasty response, rather, He just states that at harvest time it will all be taken care of When the harvest time comes both the tares and the wheat will be tak- en care of accordingly.
At the Harvest time the Lord will send His reapers (angels) to bundle together the tares separating them from the wheat and the tares shall be burned (v40). “SO IT WILL BE AT THE END OF THIS AGE.”
Question: What do each of these passages have in common?
“Both Heaven and Hell are realities. But in the four Gospels the Lord Jesus, the kindest and most compassion- ate One who ever lived on earth, the all-known, Son of the living God, spoke more about Hell then He did about Heaven. The Bible tells us that the ultimate destiny of the lost is the lake of fire. Again and Again Scripture reveals that anguish beyond anything we can conceive is to be the final and conscious condition of those who reject Christ. Our minds can not visualize what Hell will be like.” John Phillips
Along your journey of life, please take the time to read one of the greatest sermons ever preached. The sermon was preached July 8th, 1741, at Enfield, Connecticut by Jonathan Edwards at the invitation of the pastor.
As much of New England at the time was experiencing the “Great Awakening” it seemed that the church at Enfield had largely been unaffected. Jonathan Edwards was invited by the pastor to preach and his aim was to help his listeners learn about the horrors of hell and God’s judgment. Edwards spoke about the terrors of being lost and dying without Christ. Edwards vividly described the shaky position of those who do not follow Christ and receive His forgiveness.
Question: What does it mean to be lost?
Question: What does it mean to be saved?
Please explain what Jesus called the “furnace of fire.”
(v43) Then the “righteous”
Question: Who are the righteous? How is a person made righteous?
The time of the harvest will be a time of triumphant, victorious, joyful celebration for the “righteous.” “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”