For the second time in as many months, we come to John the Baptist’s warning about Jesus that “His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Sounds harsh and threatening. But, it really is very good news, news to celebrate! How so?
This life is full of struggles, misery, death, loss, suffering and sin. We all long for a world without these things, don’t we? Our vision of heaven is, at the center, a world without these things — no more death, no more tears, no more sin. These things are the “chaff” that John promises us will be burned up with an unquenchable fire.
The promise here is not so much a threat that we are chaff and to be burned up but that ultimately, the chaff of sin, sorrow and tears will be burned up and we will be as God designed! What a hopeless world this would be without such a promise, and what a delicious promise we celebrate!
This appeared in the January 13, 2019 issue of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
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