WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 22, 2022
TOPIC: SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF
BY T. O. BANSO
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11-12 New King James Version).
The Bible tells us that there are mainly two categories of people on earth: the good and the bad, the righteous and the unrighteous; the saints and the sinners. But in between the two, there could be those who pretend to be good or righteous or pretend to be saints. But, in reality, there are only two groups. Even in the church, we have these categories of people such that, sometimes, the bad activities of some people give many people, including non-believers, concern.
However, this is not anything new. The Bible tells us that there will be some people in the church whose practices are not consistent with what is expected of Christians. And God will allow this to continue for some time for them to repent before there will be a separation between the wheat (good) and the chaff (bad). “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 New King James Version).
Revelation 22:11 says, “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still” (New King James Version). This is not encouraging people to continue in their sin but a warning that God’s final judgment is near when there will no more be an opportunity for repentance. There will be separation eventually between the good and the bad. The bad people or sinners will eternal damnation.
John the Baptist said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11-12 New King James Version). Take note of the two categories of people: the wheat and the chaff. These words of John the Baptist are also recorded in Luke 3:16-17.
God will separate the wheat from the chaff just as farmers in Palestine did at the threshing floor to the grains they have harvested. The sheaves of grains were laid on the threshing floor, oxen were made to tread on them many times, or machines drawn by oxen were used to thresh them. This process removes the grains (seeds) from the straw and chaff. The winnowing fan was used to throw up the threshed grain against the wind to blow away the chaff. The wheat was stored up while the chaff, a waste material, was burnt. People only eat wheat; nobody eats chaff.
But threshing and winnowing will not take place now, no matter how much anyone desires this. It is not yet time to separate the wheat from the chaff, the righteous from the unrighteous. Jesus explained this in Matthew 13, in the parable of the man who sowed good seed but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. When the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, the tares also appeared. Therefore, the servants of the owner came and asked him the field had tares when it was the good seed that was planted.
Matthew 13:28-30 says, “He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn’” (New King James Version).
From this passage, Jesus made it clear that there would be a separation between the wheat and the tares but that would be at that time of the harvest. Until harvest time, the two must grow together. Tares have been described as poisonous grasses or weeds which resemble wheat, but with smaller seeds. This may explain why they were usually left until harvest time so that the wheat was not uprooted in the process of getting rid of the tares.
But at harvest time when the two are separated, the wheat will be gathered into the barn and the tares shall be bound in bundles and set on fire. As John the Baptist said, the wheat would be gathered into the barn but the chaff would be burnt with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17). This refers to hellfire. In hell, their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44; 46, 48).
Are you wheat or chaff? Are you wheat or tare? In other words, are you a saint or a sinner? Hear another parable of Jesus that talks about the final separation. This should make anyone repent now, who has not given his life to Jesus Christ and is not living a holy life, but thinks everything will continue and end the way it is. Death can come or Jesus Christ can come any time and the opportunity of escaping the unquenchable fire will be lost forever.
Matthew 13:47-50 says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (New King James Version). This scripture again shows us two categories of people: the good and the bad, the wicked and the just. There will be a final separation. Then, nobody will be able to pretend any longer to be what he is not.
The final separation! Matthew 25:31-33 says, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left” (New King James Version). Are you a sheep or a goat? The sheep are the saints, the righteous, the born-again people, the followers of Christ. The goats are the sinners, the unrighteous, the wicked.
The day of God’s judgment, the day of final separation is coming. It is appointed for men to die once, but after this, the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Safe yourself from the coming judgment. “But who can endure the day of His coming? and who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap” (Malachi 3:2 New King James Version). Also, Malachi 4:1 says, “‘For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ Says the LORD of hosts” (New King James Version).
Judgment Day is a terrible day for sinners. The time to escape it is now by giving your life to Jesus, accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour, and following His teachings. “But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7.New King James Version). Why should anyone end in the everlasting fire, which God did not originally prepare for man but for the devil and his angels? (Matthew 25:41).
Why should anyone, instead of being genuinely saved, claim to be a Christian, attend church, or bear a name in the Bible and end up being cast out into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12). Unless anyone is born again, he can never see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3). The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God (Psalm 9:17).
The kingdom of God is not for the chaff! The chaff shall be burnt in everlasting fire. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 New King James Version).
Only those who are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God will enter the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:11). Hear the apostle Paul again: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21 New King James version).
On Judgment Day, the dead shall be judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books (Revelation 20:12). Another book that shall be opened – the Book of life. Anyone whose name is not written in the Book of life will be cast into the lake of fire (verse 15). In other words, the wheat shall be separated from the chaff and the chaff shall be condemned to eternal damnation. “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8 New King James Version).
Are you wheat or chaff, a sheep or a goat, a saint or a sinner?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I am wheat and not chaff; nothing will make me miss eternity with God in Jesus’ name. My home is in heaven, not in everlasting fire. I will occupy my mansion in heaven; I shall not be cast into the furnace of fire where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Father, I pray that all those who are heading for hell will repent and surrender their lives to Jesus. Those who are joking about hell will have a divine encounter that will bring them to their knees, make them go down on their knees, and they will give their lives to Jesus.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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