General Resurrection

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, 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. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder 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 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. … Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 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. 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 13:24-30, 36-43

I find it very interesting that the disciples heard several parables from Jesus but they only asked Him about this one. Their curiosity about the end of the world is mentioned several times in the gospels and at the start of the book of Acts. I guess end times curiosity has been a popular subject for a long time among Christians!

A lot of time and effort has been spent by many speculating about the events of Jesus’ return and the end of the world. Millions, if not billions, of dollars have been made selling books and movies teaching things as though they were true but are fictitious and foreign to Biblical teaching. This little parable about the wheat and tares should not be used to build an entire end times theology, but its details do support the Biblical position of a general resurrection and judgment at the end of time.

In this parable, Jesus tells us that the righteous and the wicked will co-exist on earth until the end of time. At the end, the wicked will be gathered together and punished with everlasting torment and the kingdom of God will be gathered together in peace and safety. 

These details correspond to the clear teachings found throughout the New Testament. Notice the plain words of Jesus in the Gospel of John.

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

Jesus gives no hint of the idea that there are two different resurrections separated by 1,000 years as many suppose. He speaks of the resurrection of the righteous and wicked as occurring simultaneously.

If there were in fact two different resurrections, the perfect time to explain that would have been when Jesus was asked about this parable or when He spoke about it in John, Chapter 5.  I have always been taught when studying scripture to follow this principle: If the simple sense makes sense, seek no other. The simple sense of this topic is the general resurrection and judgment of the righteous and the wicked in a single event at the end of time.

This corresponds to the wording in my home church’s Articles of Faith and in the language of most Primitive Baptist documents.

We believe in a general judgment, and the resurrection both of the just and the unjust, and that the joys of the righteous shall be eternal and the punishment of the wicked shall be everlasting.


from “Articles of Faith”, Mount Paran Primitive Baptist Church

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