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The Gathering

I am reminded of a sentimental Christmas movie from the late 70's called "The Gathering".

What is "gathering"?

Merriam Webster say...
1. come together; assemble or accumulate.
"a crowd gathered in the square"
synonyms: congregate, assemble, meet, collect, come/get together, convene, muster, rally, converge; More
2. bring together and take in from scattered places or sources; to select
"we have gathered the information"
synonyms: collect, select, accumulate, amass, garner, accrue; More
1. a part of a garment that is gathered or drawn in.

There are a good many verses in the Bible about "gathering".

Sometimes the word gather is used simply like "to gather up courage" ( Mark 15:43; )
Or to gather up sticks... ( Acts 28:3; )
Sometimes it talks about people who are gathered together.... ( Matt 2:4; Matt 13:2; etc... )

But the Bible also has several verses that talk about Jesus (His angels) gathering up people.
This is also known as the "rapture". All the word rapture means is "gather up".
The word rapture itself isn't in the Bible. However the term "gather up" is in the Bible numerous times.

There has been a lot of debate about "when" this happens. Even more debate about what happens before
and after. But some debate whether or not this will happen at all.

Lets take a look....
John the Baptist is talking here.. presumably about Jesus.

John 3:11-12; “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Jesus is speaking here...
Matt 13:27-30; The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ But he *said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

Jesus is speaking here also...
Matt 13:40-43; So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Matt 24:29-31; “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from [r]the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Matt 25:31-33; “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Luke 13:34; O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!

2 Thes 2:1-2; Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

2 Thess 4:16-17; For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

... there are more.. but this is a good start, to be continued ..
Matt 13:47-50; “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

One thing I notice about almost all of the passages above, is that the wicked are taken up with the righteous.
This has a lot of implications.

The "tares" are gathered up with the wheat. The "bad" fish and gathered up with the good fish.
The "goats" are gathered up with the sheep.

After they are all gathered up (it seems in a staging area of some kind) but then they separated.
The wheat is put into the barn, but the tares are bundled up and burned.
The good fish are put into containers, but the bad fish are thrown out.
Both the sheep and the goats are gathered before, the sheep get to inherit the kingdom.
The goats get cast into the eternal fire.

Some say the goats, and the tares, and the bad fish were never saved... well this may be the case.
But they thought they were. They may have been Christians at one time, or they may have simply thought they
were Christians. In either case, they were part of the kingdom. (The kingdom has both wheat and tares Matt 13:24; )
(The kingdom has both good fish and bad fish Matt 13:47; )

Matt 7:21-23; “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

There are people who will claim to be Christians. But yet Christ himself doesn't think they are.

Luke 13:23-27; And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’

There will be many who claim to know Him and have communion with Him. They will even say they listened
to His teachings. But Jesus doesn't claim them.

This seems to indicate that something more than simply believing in Jesus is required.

.... to be continued ...
There seems to be 3 separate "gatherings".

First there are the un-saved. Those who never claim to have known Christ, and have never claimed
to be Christians.

John 3:17-18; For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Those who believe in Jesus are not judged (at least not yet). But those who don't believe in Him are already judged.

These people aren't wheat or tares, in fact they are not in the master's field at all.
They aren't good fish or bad fish, they aren't in the net at all.
They aren't sheep or goats, in fact they will claim that they cast out demons and did miracles in Jesus's name.

God will judge these people.
The second gathering is the "wheat", the "good fish", the "good and faithful servant(s)"
the "sheep", the tree(s) that bear good fruit.

Hopefully we are all in that group.

The third gathering (which seems to happen at the same time as the second)
Are the tares, the bad fish, the goats, the wicked and lazy servant(s), and the the trees that bear no fruit.

The tares were in the master's field. The same field that had the wheat in it.
This wasn't just any field. It was the master's field.

The bad fish were in the master's net. The same net that had the good fish.
It wasn't any net, it was the master's net.

The wicked and lazy servant was in the master's house. The same house that had the two
good and faithful servants. It wasn't just any house, it was the master's house.

The tree that didn't bear any fruit was in the master's garden. The same garden that had trees with good fruit.
It wasn't just any garden, it was the master's garden.

These aren't people who never knew Jesus. These aren't people that never heard of Him.
They are people who either knew Him and turned away, or else they heard the truth of who He was and
did not accept it.

... to be continued ...
Some believe that Jesus doesn't judge us.... not now, not ever.
Some say what we do has no worth or no value...
Yet I see the exact opposite in scripture. How we act is determined by our faith.

The master judges which servants in His house are good and faithful, and which ones are wicked and lazy.
The master judges which plants in His field are wheat, and which are tares.
The king judges who are sheep and who are goats.
The master judges which trees bear fruit, and which trees don't. (He even goes so far as to fertilize some trees).

Rom 8:34; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

2 Cor 5:9-10; 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

John 5:25-29; Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

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