Welcome Sacredfly! I’m glad you’ve joined us and I look forward to discussing things with you. I commend you for being like the Bereans – graceful, open-minded, and diligent to study to find what is true! Welcome!
I find the parable of the wheat and tares to be a terrible warning of judgment for all the children of God, especially me! Note that in Jesus’ explanation of the parable he says that
36 Then having let away the multitudes, Jesus came to the house, and his disciples came near to him, saying,
Explain to us the simile of the darnel of the field.' 37 And he answering said to them,He who is sowing the good seed is the Son of Man,
38 and the field is the world, and the good seed, these are the sons of the reign, and the darnel are the sons of the evil one,
39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is a full end of the age, and the reapers are messengers.
As, then, the darnel is gathered up, and is burned with fire, so shall it be in the full end of this age, 41 the Son of Man shall send forth his messengers, and they shall gather up out of his kingdom all the stumbling-blocks, and those doing the unlawlessness, 42 and shall cast them to the furnace of the fire; there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth. 43**Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun **in the reign of their Father. He who is having ears to hear – let him hear.
Note that it is the “Kingdom of God” that is being purified. Also note that in the Greek text, vs. 41, can be, should be I think, translated as “they shall gather up out of his kingdom evertything that is offensive and all works of iniquity”. In this verse it is not people that are being cast into the fire, but things in the kingdom of God, in us, that are offensive, wicked! Yes there shall be plenty of weeping and gnashing of teeth when we see in the perfect light of God’s holiness how wicked we, His children are. But the goal of this judgment is so that “the righteous shall shine forth as the sun”. I take the warning of this verse to speak to me, calling me to repent and to be watchful of what I allow now sowed into my heart!
Also, the “traditional” way of interpreting (misinterpreting) this passage, as God separating the saved from the unsaved, actually nullifies the power of this passage to call anyone to repentance! Believers say, “Well, I have nothing to worry about because I’m saved.” And unbelievers don’t care what this passage says.
I believe this passage is a call for us believers to watch what we allow sowed in our hearts and minds, to embrace the judgment of God now in our lives and repent of evil, and to look forward to the day when God fully delivers us from the evil (darnel, tares) that consume us today like the plague!
Also note that the phrases in vs. 38 “children of the kingdom” and “children of evil” , I think, are metaphorically speaking of the fruit of good and evil that grows in us through good/evil beliefs and good/evil attitudes. All of us have within us good and evil beliefs and attitudes, and thus have actions that are both good and evil.
This passage reminds me of when Isaiah encountered the fire of the Lord that burnt the hell out of him in Isa. 6, purifying him so that he might become a spokesmen for God and “shine forth as the sun”! Shoot, Isaiah still “shines” today because of having encountered the fire of God!