Christ teaching in several parables describes the binary categorization of people as righteous or wicked based on God judgment of their living. The righteous show themselves fit for God’s purpose and typically fulfill their individual responsibility as he assigns to them. In contrast, the wicked show themselves unfit for God’s purpose and typically decline their individual responsibility. Through the Parable of the Weeds, we learn that God creates every person righteous and gives each a lifetime to show themselves righteous or wicked. He allows them to coexist until final judgment, when he will separate the wicked into hell and call the righteous to his kingdom.
This study begins a miniseries to understand Christ teaching regarding the binary categorization of people as righteous or wicked based on God judgment of their living. The righteous are people that show themselves fit for God’s purpose based on how he sees them. Such people typically perform their individual responsibility as God assigns to them. For example, the righteous typically complete responsibility in a call to compassion.
The other category is the wicked and consists of people that show themselves unfit for God’s purpose based on how he sees them. Such people typically decline their individual responsibility as God assigns to them. For example, the wicked typically decline responsibility in a call to compassion.
The miniseries begins with the Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24–30 and 36–43), where we learn that God creates every person righteous. Also, he gives every person a lifetime to show themselves righteous or wicked. There is no neutral choice. There is no neutral behavior. Whoever is not righteous is wicked. Also, the parable explains that the righteous and wicked coexist until final judgment, when God will separate the wicked from the righteous, throw the wicked to eternal burning in hell, and call the righteous into his kingdom in heaven.
We discuss the Parable of the Weeds in this study to end our 2022 program year. The bible study program will resume in February 2023 with focus on Christ message regarding God categorization of people as righteous or wicked and how the categorization affects our understanding of God’s purpose for human interactions and relationships.
KEEPING WATCH FOR GOD’S FINAL JUDGMENT means always living according to the mission for which he created humankind. God creates every person to convey his image and compassion in human interactions and relationships. He will determine who has fulfilled the mission and at time of final judgment will instantaneously separate them to inherit eternal life in his kingdom. The rest he will condemn to eternal punishment. This bible study discusses Christ’s teaching about keeping watch to be prepared for final judgment by living in the image of God always.
Christ Teaching on Living in God Perpetually
Christ taught us through his disciples to be ready at all times for God’s final judgment. He explained the judgment will occur instantaneously everywhere: God will separate the righteous (people that he has judged to have lived according to his purpose) from the wicked (people that he has judged to have not lived according to his purpose). No one knows the day or the hour: “…not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” [Matthew 24:36]. Christ used parables to explain that being ready for the final judgment means living in the image of God perpetually.
LIVING IN THE IMAGE OF GOD He had in previous interactions explained the meaning of living in the image of God through formal teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (This_Link), parables such as the Good Samaritan (This_Link), and demonstration of human service such as in feeding a crowd of thousands (This_Link). As we discussed in previous bible studies (e.g., This_Link and This_Link), living in the image of God implies representing God in every human interaction such that your actions and words radiate Godliness and provide opportunities for other people to feel God. Furthermore, you fulfill your responsibilities as God’s provider assistant, willingly and gracefully providing service to benefit others when God places a need in your path, or accepting service provided by others with heart-felt appreciation and happiness. Those that God judges to have lived in his image will inherit eternal life in his kingdom. In contrast, those that he judges to have lived a different kind of life will be condemned to eternal punishment.
READY FOR JUDGMENT In this bible study, we focus on understanding what a person needs to do in order to be ready for final judgment. Being ready means living a life that pleases God. We examine Christ’s teaching in the parable of the Faithful and Wise Servant [Matthew 24:45-51] and the parable of the Ten Virgins [Matthew 25:1-13] to understand the meaning of “being ready” or “keeping watch” in the context of human interactions and relationships.