“The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” -Matthew 13:41-43
Jesus is the gentle, compassionate Lamb of God. Angels are those cute little winged cherubs we have displayed on water fountains. But the picture Jesus gives of Himself and His angels is all together different than that to which we are accustomed. We suddenly see a sovereign Jesus, commanding his angels to gather people to judgment and to cast them into the fire for all eternity.
We need to see Jesus in this light, for we need to understand that His ultimate concern is that the holiness and righteousness of God is vindicated for all time. All that offends will be destroyed, all sin will be judged. All iniquity will be eradicated at the throne of God. Thankfully, for believers, their sins have already been judged on the cross, but for most of the world, sin will be punished in an eternal flame. Why? So that the righteous (those made righteous by the blood of Jesus) may shine forth, unhindered by darkness forever.
We must learn to love the righteousness and holiness of God as much as Jesus does. We must hunger for God’s nature and name to be vindicated. At this moment, He is being blasphemed, forgotten, pushed under the rug while men do their evil biddings. But someday He will have the last laugh (literally, read Psalm 2). At last every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. All of mankind will acknowledge Him as Lord in that day. In fact, we should get started now!