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Matthew 13:43 reads, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” In this chapter the Lord Jesus told seven parables to illustrate the history of Christendom from His First Advent to His Second Advent. This verse links especially with the parable of the “wheat and tares” in verses 24-30 and the Lord’s explanation of that parable in verses 36-43. This parable illustrates that between the first and second coming of Christ there will be a mixture of true believers (represented by the “wheat”) and mere professors (represented by the “tares”). When Christ returns to this earth as “King of kings and Lord of lords” all mere professors will be exposed as such and will be cast out of His kingdom.  All true believers will enter into His Millennial kingdom to reign with Him in His glory. Let’s look at this in a little more detail.

The parable starts out in verses 24-25, which reads, “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.” In the Lord’s explanation of these verses He said, in verses 37-39a, “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil.” Again, the “wheat” pictures true believers in the world who the Lord has saved and are thus fit to be in His coming kingdom that will be established on the earth at His Second Advent. The “tares” are false professors that the devil has deceived into thinking they are true believers, who make a profession of faith in Christ without genuine faith.

The parable goes on to say, in verses 26-30, “But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the household 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 the 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 Lord’s explanation is most illuminating, for He says, in verses 40-43, “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire: so shall it be in the end of this age, The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” In short, the Lord is teaching us that there is to be no attempt to separate the true from the false until the end of age, when Christ comes to rule. At that time He will use angels to gather all unbelievers out of His kingdom and THEN, and not until THEN, “…shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

I would encourage you to read Matthew 25:31-46, which speaks of this same event, when all that are living shall be gathered before Christ and a separation of true believers and false professors, will take place. True believers are looked upon as “sheep” and false professors as “goats” in this passage. To the true believers He says, in verse 34, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” All who are alive on earth at that time and have believed on Christ will enter into that Golden Age that we refer to as the millennial kingdom of Christ. When Christ comes to reign He is called, in Malachi 4:2, “…the Sun of righteousness” because He is ushering in the glorious “Day of the Lord.” How fitting it is then that those who reign with Christ will “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”  The prophet Daniel spoke of this same truth in Daniel 12:3 which says, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament.”  Believers will share in Christ’s glory and His glory will be seen in them! To the mere professor Christ says, in verse Matthew 25:41, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” All who were deceived by the devil and who made a false profession here on earth will share in the fate of the devil.

In light of all the solemn truth we’ve had before us, we do well to consider the last words in Matthew 13:43, “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Our prayer is you will take to heart the words Christ has spoken and if you have never trusted Him as your savior, do so now before the time of harvest comes.  (133.5)  (DO)