“Allow both to grow together UNTIL the harvest.” A careful examination of the pre-tribulation theory.
At the harvest, Jesus explains, the tares are bundled up (by the expert hand of angelic beings) and thrown into the fire. AFTER that He will gather His wheat into His barn, to commence Eternity!
“First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’ (Mtt 13:30)
The question must be asked: “Will Jesus gather the wheat (rapture the church) before He separates the tares?” NO!
As we just read, He first sends His angels to gather up the tares to be thrown into the fire THEN He will gather the wheat into His barn.
‘Let both grow together until the harvest.’ No words could be more plain than these. They could not grow together until the harvest, if all, or even some of the wheat were gathered in many years before the tares were fully ripened [pre-trib. position]; and they will not fully ripen until the time of Antichrist; indeed, it is expressly said that the tares are to be gathered first; and let it be remembered that not one tare is gathered except by angels sent forth; not one is gathered except at the time of harvest; not one is gathered without being rooted up; that is, taken out of the world. (B.W.Newton)
“WHEN IT WAS FULL”
Jesus went on to tell a similar parable about the kingdom of heaven: a great net was cast into the sea to gather fish of “every kind”. WHEN IT WAS FULL, they gathered it up on the beach and then sorted the fish: the good into containers and the bad into the furnace of fire.
“So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mtt 13: 49-50)
Did you catch that: “Take out the wicked from among the righteous”?The pre-tribulation position has it the other way around: “Take out the righteous at the beginning of the Great Tribulation (i.e. pre-tribulation) and then after seven years the wicked will be dealt with.”
Brothers and sisters, it is time to clear up the fog surrounding this issue. Until we do, we have little chance to influence and warn a non-believing generation.
For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? I Cor 14:8
“Times of the Gentiles” = When it is Full
Jesus prophesied that “Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”. (Luke 21:24) We can envision that when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, when it is full, THIS is the “end of this age”. This is the time when He comes a second time, as King of kings, and separates the wheat from the chaff, the good fish from the bad.
This is not the end of the world! Jesus says that there will be “BIRTH PANGS” – not death pangs – before the end of this present age! Eternity is just around the corner… The “church of the firstborn” is about to have its first meeting. (Heb 12:22-23)
The apostle John is given more specific detail on this time period in the Revelation:
“Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.” 11:2
Once this period of 42 months is over, when the cup of Gentile iniquity is completely full, you can expect that the Lord Jesus will split the skies and, with the whole world watching, He will ride in on a white horse with His host of angels and deal with His enemies and gather His righteous followers. (Rev 19)