The parable of the wheat and the tares is used as a proof text for those who believe the Church must endure the Tribulation and will not be gathered up, or raptured, until after the Tribulation. The parable is found in Matthew chapter thirteen. Jesus told of a man who sowed wheat in his field, but an enemy later sowed weeds (tares) among the wheat. In the parable, the man waited until harvest time when the tares were gathered first and then cast into the fire.
Subscribers to a post-Tribulation Rapture, or the Church being gathered after the Tribulation, believe this parable shows that they are correct. The tares, or sinners, are cast into the fire and the wheat, or Believers, are then gathered into the barn (Heaven).
Later, the Disciples came to Jesus to explain the parable.
“He answered and said unto them, 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; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.” – Matthew 13:37-39The Greek word translated “end of the world” is aion [eon] (Strong’s G165) which means an age, a great amount of time. We are now in the Age of Grace, praise the Lord! Because there is no parallel to the description of angels gathering sinners and casting them into the fire at the end of the Age of Grace, as described in the Revelation, this action must refer to the end of the Millennial Age.
Further explanation from the Lord Jesus:
“As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 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. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” – Matthew 13:40-43This parable is about the Kingdom of God, which will extend into eternity.
The Revelation, which describes apocalyptic events during the Tribulation, does have fire destroying one-third of rebellious mankind (Revelation 9:18), but there is no mention of all-inclusive “fire” until Revelation chapter twenty. Nor is there anything similar in the Old Testament equivalent of the Apocalypse, the “Battle” of Gog & Magog in the Book of Ezekiel.
The Revelation chapter twenty does describe the final destruction of “all things that offend, and them which do iniquity” as noted in the passage above. At the end of the Millennial Age, Satan will gather the nations that choose to rebel against God and lead them against Jerusalem. Fire will come down from Heaven and devour them all. (Revelation 20:7-10)
This is the end of the Age, and of the world for that matter. After the final destruction of Satan and the rebels is the “Great White Throne Judgment” (Revelation 20:11-12) and then the New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation 21:1).
Pray for the unsaved, that their indifference and rebellion will cease.
In this parable, the Lord Jesus described the Kingdom of God. Which kingdom will endure forever and ever. Praise His name!