Scripture Queries and Answers: Matthew 13 and 2 Thessalonians 2

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Q. How may Matt. 13. be reconciled with 2 Thess. 2, upon the following points? In the prophetic teaching of the Lord Jesus, when on earth, in Matt. 13, there is no present hope, but a prolonged exhortation, at the end of the age, when the wheat is gathered into the garner; whereas, in the teaching of the Holy Ghost from the ascended Lord, the Church is besought “by the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto him,” as a present hope. Were the Thessalonians “wheat” —or rather are Christians, as such, in Matt. 13 as well as in the epistles? If so, how can the same persons have a present hope, and a protracted one? B.
A. I am not aware of anything that justifies the contrast thus drawn between the parable of the wheat and tare-field, and the instruction in 2 Thess. 2 and elsewhere. The angelic intervention under the authority of the Lord is to gather together first the tares and bind them in bundles with a view to their yet future destruction, before the wheat is gathered into His barn. But why should this be styled a prolonged expectation? Why should it interfere with the constant hope of the coming of the Lord to receive us to Himself? This parable, like all others, is constructed, as it appears to me, expressly to keep up the habitual looking for the closing scene. One could not collect from it anything to forbid that first generation of disciples expecting to be called away to their heavenly mansions. Of course, the same thing applies to all that followed. Thus I see no reason to doubt that the wheat includes the Thessalonian believers with all other Christians. “In the time of harvest” is not a single point of time with previous events protracting the hope, but the general season of gathering in the saints, executing judgment on the tares already disposed by the angels with a view to it, and then the appearing of the saints in glory, which closes this age and introduces the new one.