The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares:
Matthew 13: 24-30
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
The Field: the World
The Wheat: the children of God
The Tares: the children of evil
The enemy, the devil, has been deceiving since before the beginning of time. There is no way we can combat him based on human knowledge alone. It takes the wisdom, conviction and power of God’s Word.
In this parable, the enemy sowed an evil seed while men slept. The servants wanted to pull up the tares, but the householder said let both grow together (the tares with the wheat) until the harvest. This shows the concern that the Lord had for His wheat. We have the promise that at the harvest (the end of the world) the tares will be burned.
The Harvest: the end of the world
The Reapers: the angels
Jesus came to save us from eternal damnation and judgment. God made hell for the devil. He never intended that man should go there. But man sinned, and Jesus is our restoration to salvation and eternal life. However, the devil still wants to take as many as he can with him to hell. Without Jesus there is no salvation.
Ask yourself, in this parable, where will I go? To the barn or to be burned?
2 Thessalonians 2 describes what it will look like when the Lord comes back.
2 Thess. 2:3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
“Falling away”- this is where the Greek work Apostasy comes from. This verse says that in that day there will be a falling away from God.
2 Thess. 2:4-7: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? (v.6) And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. (v.7)For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
What is ‘the mystery of iniquity’? It means you have habitually lived in a sin so long that your mind has been convinced that it is not wrong. You feel no conviction about that thing anymore. Iniquity can be passed down and It can only be purged by mercy and the blood of Jesus.
The reason satan can’t have his total way in the earth right now is because God is withholding him.
Jesus told the parable of a strong man. You can’t come into a house and destroy it until you bind the strong man and get him out of the way. As long as the Spirit of God is in the earth, satan cannot have his way. There may be tares all among us, but its not over as long as God’s Spirit (the strong man) is in the earth realm. But there is coming a day when God will call his bride home. Its only then that the Spirit of God will leave the earth. And its only then that the enemy will be allowed to run unrestrained. Until then, God is, for the moment, withholding his judgement on the tares because he is concerned about His wheat. He doesn’t want to destroy them in the process.
Biblically, the Spirit of God is represented by a dove. Noah knew it was safe to get out of the ark when he released that dove and it came back with the olive branch. We see the dove again when the Spirit of God descended on Jesus as a dove.
Luke 17: God said it would be like it was in the days of Noah in the days of the coming of the Lord. He also says it will be like it was in the days of Lot.
2 Thess 2: 8-10: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
The only thing that is currently holding back the judgment of God is that He is not willing that any should perish.
“The days of Lot” are when God went and got Lot out of Sodom before he rained down fire and brimstone to destroy it. It is another picture that God will save the wheat before he destroys the tares.
Genesis 18– God tells Abraham that the cry of Sodom is great and because of that, He was about to destroy it. The issue was homosexuality. The men of Sodom came to Lot’s house for the men in that house. They passed up the women to get to them. They had no desire for women.
Abraham said, “Lord will you also destroy the righteous with the unrighteous?” God wouldn’t destroy Sodom while there was any remnant of righteousness there; even if thats only one man… Lot.
2 Peter 2: 2-9 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
The parallel is that God saved and then He judged. He knows how to keep you in this world, but not let you be of this world. None of us are without sin. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But because of Jesus, we have His mercy. We are saved.