The Kingdom of God 5 – the King’s Grace and King’s judgment

The aim of this devotional study is to consider grace and judgment in the Kingdom of God.


Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50

24  Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25  but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26  But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27  So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28  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?’ 29  But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30  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.” ‘ ”

36  Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37  He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38  The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39  The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40  Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.41  The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42  and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43  Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

47  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48  which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49  So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50  and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Observations and reflections

In today’s study we shall reflect on two very similar parables (v24-30 and v47-50), the first one having been explained Jesus (36-43).

  1. The beginning of the first parable tells of good seeds and then bad seeds sown by an enemy. What is Jesus referring to? [hint: the serpent…]
  2. What explanation does Jesus give for both parables? (v40, v49) [hint “so it will be…”]
  3. What are the function of the angels given in both parables? (v41, v49)
  4. What are the lot of the wicked described in both parables? (v42, v50)
  5. What are the lot of the “wheat” and “good fish”?
  6. In the first parable there is reference to God’s Kingdom in two instances: the tares are gathered “out of His [God’s] kingdom” (v40), and there is what Jesus calls “Kingdom of my Father [God]”(43) at the time of the judgment, “at the end of this age”.
    1. What is meant by God’s kingdom today?
    2. What is meant by God’s kingdom “at the end of this age”, at or after the judgment?
    3. Is it another kingdom or the same kingdom? [hint: is it the same king…?]
    4. How will you explain the “kingdom of God is now” and “the kingdom of God is at the end of this age” to someone who asks you? How is the parable of the wheat and tares useful to understand this?

Personal reflection and prayer

  1. Considering these two parables, how will you explain God’s grace and God’s justice (judgment) to someone?
  2. The first parable refers to the righteous and the wicked, as well as their lot at the end of this age.
    1. In your own words, what are the lot of the “righteous” and the “wicked”?
    2. If the King would to judge today, would he find you “righteous” or “wicked”? Why?
    3. What makes someone “wicked” or “righteousness” in the eyes of the King? [hint: what did Jesus came to do? See the series on Salvation]
    4. In light of this, are you fearful or optimistic about the judgment of the King? Pray to God about your anticipation of his judgment.  Plainly tell him what you think and feel, and ask him for grace.  And pray for your friends and neigbours in light of this coming judgment.


Eternal Judgment 1

The aim of this devotional study is to grow in understanding of Biblical concept of judgment.


Romans 14:1-23

1  Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.  2  For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.  3  Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

5  One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6  He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.  7  For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8  For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9  For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

10  But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11  For it is written: “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD.” 12  So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

13  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

14  I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15  Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16  Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

18  For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19  Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.   20  Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21  It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

22  Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.  23  But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.


  1. What does Paul teach about “judging one another”?
  2. Why does Paul argue we should not judge the religious (dietary) observance of another believer?
  3. What does Paul teach here concerning eternal judgment? (v10-12)
  4. Who will judge us one day? (v11-12)
  5. What does Paul write here about judgment and the conscience towards God? (v14-23)
  6. In one sentence summarize this chapter’s teaching on judgment.

Reflection and Application

  1. Do you have the inclination to find fault with the religious observation or beliefs of other Christians? What does the Lord say to your to you in this chapter?  Is there someone you must apologize to?  Send a message now to make an appointment.
  2. “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” How do these words make you feel?  [Picture yourself before God the Judge].  What do you think God will say to you about your life in all its aspects? What will he judge?  Write some thoughts down.


Do you have confidence in your eternal salvation?  Why / why not?  Settle that in prayer now with God, and perhaps make an appointment with a counsellor or pastor now if you feel uncertain.

Then bring every judgmental tendency and thought before God as you reflect on the truth “Who are you to judge another’s servant?”  If needs be, repent to God for judging his children and servants – confess that he is your judge and their judge.