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Summary: There are responsibities that believers and unbelievers have as we anticipate the coming of Christ.

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End-Time Instruction

Matthew 13:24-30

INTRODUCTION

A. Little boy petting a beagle dog.

1. Mother remarked, “That dog sure has a sad face.”

2. Boy, “Yep, he sure does.” Saw the tail, “But mommy, he has a happy ending.”

B. Life in this world is often difficult.

1. We face hardships, turmoil, sadness, and tribulations.

2. We look forward to a happy ending.

3. James wrote, “Be patient then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains…As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.” (5:7)

C. California newspaper ran a story of a lion who escaped from the carnival.

1. People ran to protect their children.

2. They expected the lion to run for the tall grass.

3. He had been in captivity so long that he returned to the cage.

D. We feel the same way sometimes-caged up.

1. The parable speaks of a time when there will be a better place.

2. A place where we much of what we experience on earth will be eradicated.

I. WITNESS UNTIL THE END

A. Man who sowed good seed in his field.

1. While he was sleeping, his enemy sowed weeds.

2. Wheat and weeds sprouted.

3. Servants asked him about this, and he said it was work of enemy.

B. Explanation found in verses 37-39

1. “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 (believers). The weeds are sons of the evil one (unbelievers), and the enemy who sows them is the devil.”

2. Emphasis is on what happens to the bad seed.

3. Assumed good seed would fall on good soil, prepared properly, take root and grow into productive grain.

C. Tares

1. Comes from a word that refers to a variety of darnel weed.

2. Looks almost like wheat except the grains are black.

3. Impossible to distinguish until wheat ripens and bears grain.

D. Often done in ancient times out of spite or as a source of revenge.

1. It would destroy the crop or reduce its value.

2. It was a common practice. Romans had a law against it.

3. Not uncommon to have a few tares.

E. Explanation

1. Field is the world and Jesus sows the good seed.

2. Good seed is believers, collectively the church.

3. It pictures the church existing until the end of the time.

F. Satan is the temporary ruler of the world.

1. God still controls and it belongs to him.

2. Will redeem it at the end of time and control it.

3. “The creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Romans 8:21)

G. God places us here for a purpose.

1. Here on divine assignment.

2. We are to be permeating influences.

3. One has said, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”

4. We are to grow and mature and reflect his will and standards.

H. During Bolshevik (Communist) Revolution, beginning in October 1917, there was a campaign against illiteracy.

1. Declared war on illiteracy.

2. Thousands joined to launch this campaign.

3. People came from all over to teach others in Russia to read.

4. Two young nurses wrote, “We know that across the great expanse of the Russian land there are those corners where people have not yet heard the voice of a person who can read and write. That’s where we want to go.”

5. Immensity of the task was overwhelming.

6. Within 2 years, more than six of 10 over 8 could read and write.

I. Need enthusiasm to be involved.

II. THERE WILL BE A SEPARATION AT THE END OF TIME

A. Servants wanted to pull up the weeds.

1. Master said no, might pull up the wheat.

2. Let both grow until the harvest.

3. Gather weeds first, tie in bundles and burn.

4. Gather wheat into the barn.

B. Jesus interprets, “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.”

C. Servants had reason to be concerned.

1. Weeds could weaken or destroy the crop.

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