“The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out . . . everything that causes sin and all who do evil.” (Matt. 13:41)
Expanded Passage: Matthew 13:40-41
You sometimes hear people say that the Old Testament is about law while the New Testament is about grace. I once had a professor who said, “In the Old Testament we learn that God can fry us alive. In the New Testament, we learn that God loves us.” Therefore, he said, the whole Bible teaches us that “The God who can fry us alive loves us.”
It is true that God loves us and that he can “fry us alive.” However, God’s love and his correction are in both Testaments. One of the pervasive themes of the Old Testament is that God is gracious and compassionate (see, for example, Jonah 4:2). Similarly, there are stark warnings of judgment in the New Testament, such as here in Matthew 13.
I was recently in a discussion of whether God loved Satan and whether God would forgive him if he repented. We were all pretty sure that Satan is never going to repent. Interestingly, we all also had a sense that God still loves Satan and would forgive him if he did.
The story of the prodigal son shows that God will gladly let a “weed” become wheat. Hebrews 12:15 also warns that a “bitter root” can grow in us and take over. God takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked (Ezek. 18:23).
Ask God to keep your heart soft and free from bitterness.
Ken Schenck is vice president for university partnerships with Campus EDU. He previously served as vice president for Houghton College (NY) and dean of Wesley Seminary (IN).
© 2024 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.