Q. In Matt 13, Christ gives the parable of the tares and wheat. He then gives the meaning of the parable. When does this occur? I’ve always seen this as the Second Coming, but the Lord’s explanation says the angels gather the wicked and they will cast them into the furnace. If this is the Second Coming, then how does this work with the Sheep and Goats Judgment? How can you gather the wicked (which is what I picture Matt 24:36-41 referencing) and toss them in the furnace, and yet have a sheep and goats judgment? Won’t all the wicked already be in the furnace?
A. The sheep and goat judgment is one of four judgments mentioned in Matt. 24-25 that take place at the time of the 2nd Coming. The other 3 are symbolized by the parables of the unfaithful servant, the 10 virgins, and the talents. The unfaithful servant and the talents mention weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the sheep and goat judgment speaks of eternal fire.
Since the punishment in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares contains wailing and gnashing of teeth as well as fire, it’s reasonable to assume that it’s an overview of all four judgments from Matt. 24-25.