Matthew 13 contains six parables of Jesus and at the end of the last one our Lord says, “so it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (verses 49,50). The parables are symbolic stories, thus the “fiery furnace” is a symbol of the end of existence for some. We must face the fact that God sees humans, the highest form of His creation, as only two classes of people! In yesterday’s chapter 12 Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me” (verse 30).
Each of the parables in their own way teach a similar lesson – that a choice is put before all men and women and “at the close of the age” there will be a time when God will make a decision about the future of everyone. One well known parable is that of the sower sowing seed (the Gospel message) and the different types of soil (i.e., hearts) into which it fell and grew – or didn’t! Another parable is of the wheat and weeds growing together and no action is made to pull out the weeds until harvest time.
It is becoming evident that God’s harvest time is near – although, of course, it comes for everyone when they die! In explaining the meaning of the parable, Jesus said the harvest time is when “The son of man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear” (verses 41-43).
In these days we could add to that saying: those who have eyes to read let them read – and, having read, may they live their lives in ways that will please the sower. Are you hearing what you read?