Advance Warning

Matthew 13:47-52
P.G. Mathew | Sunday, August 20, 1995
Copyright © 1995, P.G. Mathew

Heavenly Father, we praise you and thank you for disclosing to us truth, because this world is a world of wickedness and lies. Men, as inspired by the evil one, speak lies. They speak lies in the morning and they speak lies at night. They speak lies as infants and they speak lies as old people about to die. We do not have light in the world, but we have light in your word. So we pray, O God, have mercy upon us and give us the blessing of the knowledge of your truth, that we may know what awaits a sinner and what awaits a believer in Jesus Christ, as it is disclosed in your holy word and as it is revealed to us by your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Teach us, O Holy Spirit! Enlighten us by your truth, that we may walk in the ways of truth, which are also the ways of righteousness, life, joy and peace. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our only Savior. Amen.

Before I preach, let’s look also at the “parable of the weeds” as found in Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43, so you will have an understanding of these two parables as you hear this morning’s message:

Jesus told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, “Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from? An enemy did this,” he replied. The servants asked him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up? No,” he answered, “because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”

Verse 36: Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where 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.” (NIV)

Advance warning is given in these parables, so that no one on that day will be surprised by reality. From weather experts we receive advance warning about storms like these recent hurricanes. We are supposed to pay heed to these warnings and take steps necessary for our safety. Sometimes these weather predictions fail to come to pass and people tend to ignore future warnings to their own loss.

But we must always pay attention to the advance warning of God, because God’s prediction always comes to pass. God gave Adam and Eve advance warning about eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam failed to take warning, and he did spiritually die the day he ate the forbidden fruit. Through Noah God again warned a rebellious people of the impending destruction of the world by a universal flood. It surely came to pass, and only eight people, Noah’s family, were saved. All others perished in the flood. In the same way in these two parables, the parable of the weeds and the parable of the dragnet, Jesus gives warning about the judgment to come on all false disciples of Jesus and all workers of iniquity. This gentle and compassionate Jesus is given by the Father all authority to judge. This gentle and compassionate Jesus will send the impenitent and the unbelieving to hell one day.

So these parables are speaking about unbelievers in the church as well as in the world. God is not judging sin right away, and this causes people to think that he will not judge. They would say there is no hell. The patience of God itself contributes to human wickedness and hardness of heart. But there is a day of judgment coming.

The parable of the weeds

In the field of the master, the Son of Man, where the sons of God are sown and growing, his enemy, the devil, in malice and hatred, sowed tares, which are the sons of the devil. The tares he refers to are known as lolium temulentum, a species which, botanically, is close to wheat and is indistinguishable from it when it is young.

Similarly, there are false disciples in the church. They look like the true disciples who received the gospel into a good heart, who understood the gospel, and who, with patience, produced fruit. But although they look like true Christians, they are not true Christians. These people represent the first three soils of Matthew 13:1-23. They are people who will not produce fruit for the glory of God the Father. PGM They will not sell all with gladness to possess the hidden treasure, nor will they sell all gladly to possess the one pearl of great price (Matthew 13:47-52). They are those who on the day of judgment cry out to Christ, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” But Christ will tell them plainly “I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23). So in this parable Jesus is saying that it is impossible to have a one hundred percent pure church. There are sinners in the world but there are also sinners in the church. They look like true believers, but they are not true believers. They are sons of the devil, Jesus says.

There will always be false disciples who appear like the true Christians, but who will be separated at the end of the ages. As weeds are collected and cast into a furnace of fire, God will separate the genuine from the false. God will separate the genuine from all sons of the devil and cast the latter into hell. This parable is teaching about the day of separation, the day of hell, the day of judgment, the day of the Lord. And after that day he will receive the sons of God into his heaven. The parable of the dragnet

Here we see that the dragnet brings up all manner of fish, but there shall be a separation of the good from the worthless and useless one day. There shall be a separation of the righteous from the wicked. On the day of judgment, at the end of the age, the worthless shall be cast into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. So both of these parables, the parable of the weeds and the parable of the dragnet, speak of the future aspect of the kingdom of God, which is already present now in the preaching of the gospel. The kingdom has come in Jesus Christ and it is growing. But there is a future aspect of this kingdom, when Jesus Christ himself will come in great glory, with his angels, and he will judge and save.

So the emphasis in these parables is on the judgment of the wicked and their disposition in hell. This is serious stuff. This is advance warning from the lips of him who is the truth. These parables serve as a warning for all of us.

Warning about the enemy

First, these parables give us warning about an enemy. There is an enemy who is the enemy of Jesus Christ, and of every believer. And you see this enemy in Genesis 3: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”‘” So there is an enemy, and in verse 15 we read: “‘And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.'”

There is an enemy, a personal devil and demons, and this devil has a gospel. When the gospel of God is being preached, the devil also is preaching a gospel into the minds of people. What is the gospel of this enemy? “You don’t have to be a creature. You don’t have to obey anybody. You don’t have to listen to anybody. You can be God. You can be a king. Do not listen to this gospel of Jesus Christ, because the gospel is speaking about a God that you should worship and serve and obey. Oh, no. My gospel is that you are God. Do what you want!” This gospel of the devil says, “Do not listen to God’s word. God is a liar. What he tells is not truth.” It says, “Eat and drink and be merry.” The gospel of the devil says, “There is no day of separation. There is no day of the Lord. There is no day of judgment. There is no hell!”

Jesus Christ said to his disciples, “You should think seriously about following me. You should hate your father, your mother, your wife, your children, your brother, your sisters. You must hate your own life. You must deny yourself, take up the cross and follow me.” But Satan says, “You don’t have to deny yourselves; rather, you must affirm yourselves. You don’t have to take up the cross at all. You don’t have to hate your father, your life. You don’t have to follow Jesus Christ.” He says, “Make money and more money. Enjoy life now, to the fullest. There is no hell at all.” But let me tell you, Jesus Christ said, “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy.”

The sons of the devil are in the church, and this is a serious warning. Are you listening to this gospel of the devil, that opposes the gospel of God? The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ demands repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel of the devil offers you cheap grace, an easy life, and tells you “Enjoy life now to the fullest. Pleasure is all that you should be interested in.”

There are even preachers who are really preachers of the devil. There are preachers of the devil throughout the world right now, but they don’t come out and say, “This is the church of the devil.” No! I am talking about pastors in evangelical churches throughout the world who preach a false gospel, which says you don’t have to repent; which says, “Look for an experience. Look for health and wealth. Look for a church that will make you happy, but don’t go to a church that preaches the word and demands repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and discipleship to Jesus Christ. Don’t go to a church that preaches the gospel for 45 minutes. Go to a church where the sermon is 10 minutes and it is entertainment.” On that day of judgment these pastors will find themselves in the bottommost part of hell, says John Gerstner. There will be degrees of punishment in hell, but at the bottom you will find preachers who denied the word of God and who refused to declare God’s truth to the people and warn them. And then on top of them you will find all the so-called Christians who looked for pleasure and entertainment and happiness, and multiplied for themselves teachers who massaged their ears rather than telling them the truth.

But let me tell you, Christ crushed the devil on the cross. Once for all he defeated this devil, although he still prowls around. Peter warns us in 1 Peter 5:8 that he is prowling around like a lion, trying to devour. But he will only be able to devour sons of the devil. No true son of God will be devoured by the false gospel or by the devil.

Look at 2 Corinthians 11, beginning with verse 1. Here St. Paul warns us about the devil and his ministry, how the devil and his agents work hard to spread the gospel of antinomianism. “I hope that you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” And we are told in verses 13-15 “For such men are false prophets” – he is speaking about preachers – “deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

There is going to be a judgment one day, and Jesus Christ spoke about it in Matthew 25:41: “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'” So there is a warning given in the Holy Scripture about the enemy of Jesus Christ, the devil and his angels, and about this devil’s servants, who, in the name of Christianity, proclaim a false gospel and damn thousands and thousands of people throughout the world.

Warning of a day of separation

A day of judgment is coming. We are given a warning that everything is not going to go the same way it always has. We like to say, “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” We have this idea of a cyclical view of history, that things are always going to go the same way. No, no, no, no! There is a sunteleo , an end, the end of the ages. There is a day of judgment, the day of the Lord, that is coming. The warning is given that there will be a separation. The dragnet will drag everything up to the shore, God’s Christ will come, he will command his angels to do the separating, and all will be separated into two. There is no tertium quid – no third anything. People will be separated into two, into wheat or tares, sheep or goats, wise virgins or foolish virgins, good fish or worthless fish, those clothed with righteousness or those not clothed with righteousness, sons of God or sons of the devil. Two – separated into two.

So, this mixture of wheat and tares, this playing of games, will not continue forever. One day there shall be a revelation of the sons of God and the sons of the devil. There is no third anything. There is no purgatory. Purgatory was devised by the Roman Catholic church for the sole purpose of making money, and Protestants have their own purgatories where people are massaged to make money.

There will be a clear division. One day there will be a separation, and the warning is given to us in these parables by Jesus Christ himself that it will be a clear division. You and I may not know who is a son of God or who is a son of the devil, but Jesus Christ will have no difficulty from identifying the good from the bad, the pure virgin from the false virgin, the sheep from the goat, and the one justified by Christ’s righteousness from the one justified by his own righteousness. He will have no difficulty separating the good from the bad. It will be clearly and easily done by Jesus Christ who knows our hearts.

It will be a permanent division. There will be no opportunity for change after your death. Your death decides your permanent destiny. Either you die, you fall asleep, in Jesus Christ, or you die in your sins, in your rebellion, in your unbelief. None can go from hell to heaven once he dies. There is a chasm, a gulf, that separates these two. But Satan comes and says, “There is no hell,” and you believe it. And you say, “That preacher is standing up there and preaching about this hell business, but we all know as modern, scientific people of intellectual distinction that there is no hell, no devil, no angel, no God, no heaven.”

“Creation is all that is and was and will be” is the religion of the devil. “Oh,” he says, “there is no hell, but even if there were a hell, you should enjoy life now. You can repent later on in life. You are young, aren’t you? This is the time you should enjoy. Enjoy now – maybe you can repent later on.” And then the devil comes later on, and says, “You see, it may be you’ll be able to repent after your death. There is a possibility,” and you believe this. Then he comes and says, “You know, it may be that you may be able to defend yourself and justify yourself before this Jesus Christ on the day of judgment.” Oh, the lie of the devil! And this lie is sold continously. And because it is covered with the sugar of the pleasures of life, the lie is bought.

Warning about hell

There is an advance warning here about hell. Let me give you a description of hell that is given in the Bible in terms of various metaphors. It is called “outer darkness.” Outer darkness! You will be thrown into outer darkness. Inside is light. Inside is God. Inside is blessing, feasting, fellowship, joy, peace and righteousness. But you are thrown out, flung out, into the outer darkness, which is called the lake of fire, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, eternal separation from God and his presence and blessings, a prison. In the Bible hell is called a place of torment where worms do not die. It is called a place of destruction, a place of remembrance. It is called Gehenna, which was a place on the south side of the city of Jerusalem where garbage was perpetually burned. The final indignity for an the executed criminal was to fling his body into Gehenna, and thus Gehenna became a symbol for the hell to come. So hell is described with the physical imagery of burning, darkness and weeping because the reality of hell is so great that it is unimaginable for us.

Through Satan we underestimate hell and use the word in a discounted way. We’ll say, “I had to go through hell at the airport; I had to wait for three hours.” We think that was hell. Or “I had to live with my wife; I went through hell.” This is how we misunderstand hell through Satan. He says hell is like these things. You may have perpetual back pain, but let me tell you, that is not hell. It has nothing to do with hell. No one has experienced hell in any degree yet. It is going to be the most ghastly experience possible, so Jesus uses symbols to describe hell. Someone said that a sinner in hell will prefer a literal lake of fire to the reality of hell represented in the lake of fire.

It was the gentle and compassionate Jesus who spoke more about hell than anybody else. Why did he do so? To warn us. I tell you, the Bible alone is the truth. People lie in the morning, they lie at noon and they lie at night. And nowadays some politicians consider lying as the proper way of speaking. We all have accepted this relativism. We all indulge in lies and delusion.

But Jesus Christ said, “No. There is a hell.” Read Matthew 13:42, 50; 22:13; 25:30, 41, 46. These verses speak of a lake of fire, of gnashing of teeth and weeping. These are symbols, yes, but they point to an unimaginable reality.

Characteristics of hell

What are the characteristics of this hell? First, it is everlasting and unending. We read that in Matthew 25:41, as well as other places: “‘Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”” So it is unending. You know, even if we have great pain, we always have hope that it will end somehow, sometime. But there is no end to hell.

Secondly, hell is described in the Scriptures as affliction and torment . Thirdly, it is a place of remembrance . Those in hell will have a powerful memory, a powerful ability to remember everything that happened. They will remember the fact that they came to church and the gospel was preached to them; how they denied the Christ; how they were rebellious; how people pleaded with them and prayed for them, but they rejected. Everything will come to their mind with crystal clarity.

Look at what Jesus Christ says to the rich man in hell in Luke 16:25: “‘But Abraham replied, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things.”‘” Remember! Remember! Every degree of amnesia will be relieved and you will be given a body, ashamed, but a body that will remember everything – how you defied your father, your mother, the preacher, the teacher and everybody else, and how you asserted your own arrogance, living on and rejecting the gospel and relationship with Christ.

It will be a hell that is self-chosen . Turn to 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11: “and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sent them a powerful delusion,” which is the work of the devil, “so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” Jesus will send you – there is no question about it – but he will send you because you have deliberately chosen hell, deliberately not believed the truth. It is a self-chosen destiny that is waiting for every unbeliever and false disciples.

Not only in that, in hell you will be able to see heaven . That’s the amazing problem. You will be able to see what is going on in heaven – that joy, that fellowship, that communion, that blessing, that festivity, that eternal bliss. You will be seeing all that, but you will be shut out.

And lastly, think about the company you will keep in hell . It will be none other than the devil and his angels. Warning of the resurrection of the just and the unjust

Fourthly, as we study Scripture, there is a warning given that there is going to be a resurrection of the just and the unjust. It is clearly taught in Daniel 12:2-3 and in John 5:28-29. Turn to John 5:28-29. What is Jesus Christ saying? He is warning us again. He says, “‘Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves [all, meaning the just and the unjust] will hear his voice and come out'” at the summons of the Lord of lords and King of kings. “‘Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned by him.'” And look at Acts 24:15 where St. Paul is telling Felix, Agrippa and everybody else that there is going to be a resurrection of the just and the unjust. Paul spoke about righteousness, judgment and self-control, and Felix trembled, but he did not believe in the gospel. But the warning is given: there is a resurrection of the just and of the unjust, everyone will have to face God, and all must confess that Jesus is Lord. Every tongue will confess and every knee shall bow. There is a resurrection.

Warning of the judge

Fifthly, we are given advance warning that there is a judge who will judge. Who is that judge? Read John 5:22, 27, and other passages. It is not the Father. The Father has given the Son all the authority to judge. It is this gentle, compassionate Jesus Christ himself who will be the one who will be judging everybody. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus says this to his own disciples, “‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.'” Jesus Christ, this compassionate, gracious Lamb of God, will be the one who will be judging you and me.

Turn to 2 Thessalonians and read a little bit about this warning given by the apostle. 2 Thessalonians 1, beginning with verse 6, says, “God is just; He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed in blazing fire, with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.”

Think about it! This gracious Jesus, who said, “Come unto me, I will give you rest”; this Jesus who died on the cross for our sins; this Jesus who was raised from death; this Jesus who ascended into the heavens; this Jesus who is seated on the right hand of God the Father – it is this Jesus who shall come again with splendor and glory and in blazing fire to do the judging. Advance warning is given to us!

Warning of a cosmic cleansing

There is a cosmic cleansing coming. Romans 8:18-22 speaks about environmental liberation. But there is going to be a cleansing of this universe of every ungodliness and every worker of iniquity, and that is taught us in Matthew 13:41: “The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.'” There is going to be a cosmic cleaning-up of his kingdom. Advance warning is given to all who mock Jesus Christ and his gospel.

Warning to repent

What is Jesus Christ saying to us in terms of this advance warning? He is telling us to repent! Turn to the thirteenth chapter of Luke. People came to Jesus to reported some news: “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.” Pilate had killed these people while they were worshiping. Jesus did not get excited about what had happened, but he answered, “‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.'” Jesus Christ gave this advance warning: “Repent! You see, they died, but you are living, you are breathing, your mind is working and you are capable of hearing the gospel. You repent! Otherwise, you will perish!”

Jesus knew all about hell. Look at Matthew 22. There we read that a great feast was given, and robes were provided for the guests. But there was a man who said, “Well, you know, I don’t have to be so attired. I am an individualist. I have my own taste. I put on what I want to put on,” and he showed up at the feast. Verse 11 says “‘But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. “Friend,” he asked, “how did you get in here without wedding clothes?” The man was speechless.'” On that day of judgment, you will not be able to hire lawyers to defend yourself. He was speechless! Every tongue shall cleave to the roof of every mouth when we come before Jesus Christ. “‘Then the king told the attendants, “Tie him hand and foot and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”‘”

This man was sneaking in – into the church, into the kingdom of God – but at the same time refusing to bow his knees before Jesus Christ. He was pretending to be a Christian; pretending to be a believer; pretending to be nice; pretending to be a disciple, but refusing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He was without vital Christianity. He was like a lot of people who are true to their confession, who have a certain theoretical understanding of things, but with their hearts they will not believe in God. There were wise virgins and foolish virgins. But there was a separation, isn’t that true?

So Peter says, “Make your calling and election sure.” Sure! Do you love Jesus Christ? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Do you repent of your sins and believe in Christ alone for your salvation? Do you love him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength? You should all read a book by John Gerstner, Repent or Perish , particularly from chapter nine on. The last chapters speak about what it means to repent. It is published by Soli Deo Gloria. Read it, and it will assist you in your examination of yourself, whether you are called, whether you are chosen, whether you are saved, whether you are sons of God or not.

Warning is given that we do so now. True believers have nothing to worry about. “You will know them by their fruits,” and they will repent and believe and obey God gladly. Some people come for counsel, but when we tell them what the Bible says, they don’t want to have anything to do with it. Yet they pretend they are Christians. True Christians love God’s word, and love the counsel of the Scripture, and love the law of God. They sell all gladly to possess this one pearl of great price. They love God with all their hearts, with all their beings. They love him because they are born of God. They do persevere. They are not like meteors.

Oh, I have seen these meteors. They come to church and tell me this and that. Then I look for them but they are gone. They are meteors. They come and go. But there are people who love God, who are born of God, and they do persevere. They are not like meteors. They are going to shine like the sun, we are told.

In 2 Timothy 2:19 and following, St. Paul is approaching his moment of death, and this is what he is saying, “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are his; and ‘Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.'” How do we know God’s people? They will turn away from wickedness. They are not the ones who run around and say, “I am a Christian!” Why? “I said, ‘Jesus is Lord. Salvation is by grace. I don’t have to do anything.'” Oh, no. Here St. Paul says, “‘The Lord knows those who are his’ and ‘Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.'” We are known by our fruits.

Advance warning is given to you, young man, young boy, young girl, old man, middle-aged man. It is time that we put away foolishness and stupidity and superficiality and joking and game-playing and pretension. Jesus Christ alone tells the truth. Nobody else will. They lie in the morning, they lie at noon, they lie in the evening. They go to Washington and they lie. Everybody is lying – lie, lie, lie, lie – and we all enjoy it. We cover ourselves with lies. But praise be to God! There is a book in which God tells us the real thing.

The other day some people from the State Department were going to Sarajevo somewhere for a peace mission. They didn’t expect that they would die that day. Their vehicle turned upside down, and they were all burned up, including the ambassador and everybody else.

Don’t you think that you will live for a long time. I like to think that way, but this is the delusion that we have in our heads, and we get upset when the doctor tells us we are going to die tomorrow. Read that book by John Gerstner. It says it is by the sheer mercy of God that an infant lives one minute. An infant lives one minute by the sheer mercy of God, and yet you live seventy years, forty years, thirty years, fifteen years without bowing before Christ and saying, “O God, have mercy on me!” May God help you to put away pretense and hypocrisy and stupidity and this know-it-all mentality, that somehow God will accept your claim that you are a Christian. “Lord, Lord, we prophesied; we cast out demons, and we performed miracles.” It doesn’t mean anything.

Think about it. What do you do when you are alone, when nobody is looking at you, when you have the freedom to do whatever you want to do? What is it that you want to do? What is your definition of pleasure and joy? What is it that your mind is thinking about and what is coming at it from this way and that way? What is it?

Think about it a little bit. Exercise your mind. Advance warning is given. There is an end, there is a harvest, there is a separation, there is a resurrection of the just and the unjust, there is a judging, there is a hell. He who sends you to hell is the same one who saves you. Can you imagine that? The same one who saves you is the one who sends you, and the highest sin for which a person will be sent to hell is not adultery or stealing. Those are serious sins, but the highest sin for which God sends a person to hell is the rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. And every phony will be identified as phony that day. All sham will be over. God will remove all pretense. Goats shall go to the circle of goats, the sheep to the circle of sheep; the good to the good, the bad to the bad.

Think about it! Have you sold everything for Jesus? Have you heeded this advance warning? May you do so today as you trust in Jesus Christ alone as your Lord and Savior. Amen.