The Bible classifies the children of God as 'wheat', and the children of the wicked one as 'tares' or the 'chaff'. There are different metaphors for the lost in the parables, but God's people are always the 'wheat'.
John the Baptist said of the coming Messiah, "he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:12.
Jesus drew His parables from nature so that everyone could understand -- if they were willing to learn. One of His parables was about a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while he slept his enemy sowed tares among the wheat. Matthew 13:24.25. As the days progressed the wheat grew and filled out, but the man was unaware of the evil deed. However, when it drew closer to the harvest, he saw the tares beginning to grow higher than his wheat.
His servants wanted to uproot the tares, 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..." Matthew 13:26-29.
This is an important principle for church leaders. The wheat represents the church and its people. Some people think they identify tares among the wheat, and they might be right, but it is not until just before the harvest that we can be certain. The tares only grow higher than the crop at the end, before harvesting. If those seen as tares are uprooted by man, precious wheat will be lost as well. Each of us is intertwined with family and friends, and some are greatly influenced by the lives of others.
In the church, wheat and tares growing together. Some non-Christian folk see this, and without understanding, say they would not want to belong to a church because there are too many hypocrites in it. But this is the way it is; there is always a Judas among the wheat. The Lord of the harvest is watching over His wheat, keeping it safe.
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Concentrate on the joy and wonder of meeting Christ in person and going to His wonderful heavenly home. But remember that if you are not ready to meet Him, you are choosing to remain behind on the earth.
Will you make a decision for Jesus now? Right at this moment give Him your life and ask Him to change you into the person He wants you to be.
The next page will continue the line-up of final events and what happens to the tares at the end. If it is your choice to read more, please go to -- Tares. If not, you are welcome to return to the Contents and choose another subject.
Those who are 'left behind' will not be living their normal lives with the opportunity to receive a second chance for salvation. Instead, they will die. The earth will be in a huge upheaval. Look at how the Bible describes it in the words I left of the above quote. "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." Revelation 6:14.
The coming of Christ is not a quiet, passive event. Jesus said every one would see it. "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:26.
"The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned up his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation?...." Nahum 1:5.6.
"The earth shall quake before them (Christ and His angels); the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: and The Lord shall utter his voice before his army... for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" Joel 2:10.11.
"The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth." Psalm 97:5.
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." Revelation 1:7.
"The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard.... And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones... and the kinds of the earth upon the earth.. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison (prison-house of death), and after man days shall they be visited." Isaiah 24:19-22. Note the last part of the sentence -- we will speak of this later.
Those who crucified Christ will be raised to see Him coming. Jesus told Caiphas this at his trial. "Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Matthew 26:64.
"And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold... to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth." Isaiah 2:19-21.
Can you imagine the condition of the earth at the time? It will be utter chaos. Volcanoes will erupt sending fiery hot lava; gas pipes will burst polluting the air with poisonous fumes; seas, lakes and dams will burst flooding the land with raging water; buildings will come crashing to the ground. Fires will break out everywhere, igniting the oil, gas, and coal in storage. It will be terrible, and many will die as a result.
However, there will be some who will survive for a short while, but they will be destroyed by "the brightness of His coming." 2 Thessalonians 2:8. You see, Christ is coming in the glory He had relinquished while on earth -- the glory of the Son of the supreme God of the universe. He will also have the glory of this God, His Father. The angels also have shining glory. When the soldiers at Christ's tomb witnessed two angels sent to call Christ from the grave, the men all fainted and fell down in shock.
So we must understand that those who are not taken to heaven with Jesus and the angels, will not continue living upon this earth. Not one man, woman or child will be left alive during the next 1000 years. This is the millennium, but it is not a thousand years of peace as many assume.
"Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upsidedown, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word." Isaiah 24:1.3.
The only ones alive on earth during this time will be Satan and his evil angels. They will have nothing to do but wander around a broken earth contemplating the evil they had caused. Through their influence millions will have lost eternal life and in a little while these wicked angels will be destroyed in a lake of fire.
You may not like to read about this side of the final scenes of earth, but it is essential you understand that God is extremely just. He is the supreme God and He must be just in all His dealings or there would be chaos in the universe. We all want justice to be done when we see the innocent suffer and it is the same with God. Millions of men, women and children have suffered greatly at the hands of evil men. The innocent need to be vindicated and the wicked punished. If we do not believe this for God, why would be insist upon it on the earth? Earthly courts are often corrupt and we are horrified, but God's heavenly court is absolutely just and righteous.
As the earth is going to be chaotic when Christ returns, He will take His people out of it. Read again of this time."Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness; for God is judge himself." Psalm 50:3-6.
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:30.3.
This will be the most glorious day for God's faithful people, those who have been resurrected and those who have remained alive. It is a time when "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces... And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. Isaiah 25:8.9.
But what about the tares? What happens to them when Jesus comes back? This is an important question. First we need to understand that the Bible speaks of two resurrections. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Daniel 12:2.
Jesus said, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28.29.
Those who hear Jesus' voice at His return will rise to everlasting life. This is called the "first resurrection". "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power..." Revelation 20:6.
When Jesus returns, those who are not preparing to receive Him in peace, will sob and moan, afraid to look upon the Saviour they rejected. "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." Revelation 1:7.
"And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together... And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Revelatiion 6:14-17. (Jesus is likened to a lamb because He was the Lamb of God at His first coming, put to death for the sins of the world)
When the latter rain has filled out the wheat fully, the Lord of the harvest 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." Matthew 13:30.
Jesus is the Lord of harvest, and when He returns in power and glory, He will takes His people to His heavenly home.
The book of Revelation likens His coming in parable form to the harvest of this world. "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, 'Thrust in thy sickle and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped." Revelation 14:14.15.16.
Jesus returns in power and glory, not now with a crown of thorns, but with a diadem of glory. As He descends from heaven with all the holy angels, He will call to the righteous dead, "'Awake and sing, the that dwell in dust'... and the earth shall cast out the dead." Isaiah 26:19.
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16.17.
The dead will rise in newness of life, beautiful and immortal. All blemishes will be left in the grave, all scars and diseases gone forever. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.... then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." 1 Corinthians 15:52.53.54.
Then, following the glorious Saviour and the heavenly angels through the wonders of space, redeemed men, women and children will wing their way to the mansions Jesus had prepared for them. "In my Father's house are many mansions... If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3.
The mansions are in His home, the New Jerusalem, a glorious and holy city. This is a city looked forward to by all the patriarchs of the ages, "a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Hebrews 11:10. And what foundations they are -- twelve in all, and each foundation a precious jewel. Revelation 21:19-20. The twelve gates are each made of a single pearl, and the streets are transparent gold. Revelation 21:21.22.
In the symbolism of nature, this is where the wheat are safely stacked in the barn.