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How Heaven and Hell ignite passion for Christ and His Kingdom


Main Scriptures
Book: Matthew
Scripture References

Title: “How Heaven and Hell ignite passion for Christ and His Kingdom”

Text: Matthew 13:24-30; 36-50

Date: 11th April 2021


I would like to invite you to take a few moments to reflect on the message of the gospels. The Gospels are precious and priceless because they tell the wondrous story of Jesus and His Love, Who He is, How He came

to save us. Truths that call us to faith, to believe His story and so find eternal Life as children of the Kingdom. Can you reflect and gaze upon anything more precious? This is how John sums it up for us.


John 20:30–31 (ESV)

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.


Luke get to the heart of the gospels when he pens these words.

Luke 2:10–11 (ESV)

10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The gospels tell the good news of the promised Messiah who is the saviour of the world. It is not only a story revealing the glories of Christ, It is also a story about mans response to Jesus, they are clearly a call to decision to accept or reject.  


So as the gospels unfold we find ourselves faced with a bitter sweet story of response. Those laying aside everything to follow Jesus and those doing everything to resist and reject. By the time Matthew’s gospel reaches Chapter 11-12 we reach a climax of hard-hearted rejection and hostility as we read these words:

Matthew 11:20 (ESV)

20 Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.

Matthew 11:24 (ESV)

24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

And then comes the decisive moment the ultimate decision of rejection:

Matthew 12:14 (ESV)

14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

The story will now rapidly lead to His ultimate rejection and crucifixion.

Parables Calling for Response.

It is here that Jesus teaches the parables of the secrets of the Kingdom in Mt 13.

About Life and Responses to Jesus from the time of His rejection and crucifixion to the time of His second coming to set up His glorious Kingdom. It includes our TIME it places us into the story and into the age that CALLS for RESPONSE AND DECISION as He EXPOSES the DIVISION between true disciples and hard-hearted. Offering blessing to the one and judgment to the other. 


1.     To Reveal that the privileges and blessings of the kingdom have been given to His disciples, those who believe and will hear and listen with their hearts and not to THEM…. The unbelievers.

Matthew 13:11 (ESV)

11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.


2.     To Reveal His rejection and judgment of the hard-hearted unbelievers:

 Matthew 13:13–16 (ESV)

13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

       “ ‘ “You will indeed hear but never understand,

and you will indeed see but never perceive.”

15    For this people’s heart has grown dull,

and with their ears they can barely hear,

and their eyes they have closed,

       lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears

       and understand with their heart

and turn, and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.


Its one thing to look back at history and see  the division and decisions of that day, Two camps two choices two hearts two consequences, two responses. Disciples and unbeliever but we must realise that the issues are as relevant today as they were in Jesus day.  Which camp do you fit into, who do you identify with? We are clearly dealing today with a Question of DECISION. What will you do with Christ and His Kingdom? Will you believe or reject? WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

A key phrase repeated in the positive and the negative for emphasis is “He who has ears let him hear.

Matthew 13:9 (ESV)

He who has ears, let him hear.”

Matthew 13:13 (ESV)

13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

Matthew 13:15 (ESV)

15    For this people’s heart has grown dull,

and with their ears they can barely hear,

and their eyes they have closed,

       lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears

       and understand with their heart  

Matthew 13:16 (ESV)

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.

Matthew 13:17 (ESV)

17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Matthew 13:18 (ESV)

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower:


Matthew 13:43 (ESV)

43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.


We cannot escape the importance of the call FOR  DECISION AND TO RESPOND with ears to hear, and hearts to understand,


RESPONSE is at the heart throughout and is clearly the point of the first parable of the sower and the seed in Mt 13:1-9 ……

It teaches mans response to the good news of the Kingdom and the gospel.

·       Some respond like the seed on the path – They hear but Satan quickly snatches it away.

·       Others respond like the seed sown on rocky ground – They receive it with joy but since they have no root they last only a short time, when trouble comes they quickly fall away.

·       Some respond like the seed sown among the thorns – They hear but the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it out.

·       Then there are those who respond like the seed that fell on good soils – They hear and understand and bear fruit.

All that to illustrate the call to right decision and response. Since we are inescapably included in the parable how do you respond to seed of the good news, how does it influence and impact your life?

The Four Parable set of horror and Glory that call for Response

Now we move to our FOUR parable set for today  that CLEARLY SPEAK OF DIVIDED HUMANITY THOSE FOR AND THOSE AGAINST. AND CLEARLY CALLS FOR DECISION AND RESPONSE. CHOSE YOUR SIDE ETERNITY DEPENDS ON IT. In Mt 13: 36-50 he presents our hearts with two negative parables and Two positive parables to help us with right decisions and choices. To do this…….

Matthew has arranged and structured four parables in a very specific sequence for effect and impact.

The two negative Parables of the wheat and the weeds and the parable of the good fish and the bad fish

Act like two bookends one on either side while the parables of the hidden treasure and the Pearl of great price nestle gloriously in the middle as a centre piece and the primary focal point.

So the outer parables of wheat and weeds and the good and bad fish act as a DETERENT driving us away from the horrors of God’s Judgment and the fiery furnace of Hell. Then in stark contrast we are ATTRACTED called to listen and hear and RESPOND to the glory and Value of the Kingdom as a hidden treasure and a pearl of great price.


 Now lets look briefly at the way the deterring Parables drive the listening hearing believer away from the fiery furnace of Hell and ignite a passion for Jesus and His precious Kingdom.

TWO Parables showing the Horrors of Hell for the unbelieving

What does Jesus want to convey to us and what does He want us to hear with our ears of faith:

Matthew 13:36–43 (ESV)

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.


The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat

1.     That in this world the son of man will sow good seed standing for the sons of the kingdom, while the devil will sow weeds standing for the sons of the evil one.

2.     The Greek for weeds refers to a troublesome weed that closely resembles wheat but are definitely destructive and obnoxious enemies.

3.     The wheat and the weeds will grow alongside each other looking alike one confused for the other. We might even think that the weeds will be gathered into the Kingdom alongside the Wheat…… But that will never happen, God knows and is not confused or blind to the nature of weeds.      The parable reaches its climax and main point at the harvest.

4.      Until the harvest….. the end of the age. Now listen to the progress and the building of horror:

a.     Gods angels will pull up the weeds. The hard-hearted unbelievers

b.     everyone that causes sin and does evil without exception.

c.      They will be thrown into the fiery furnace

d.     Then there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth anguish and agony. This not mere exaggeration for effect. Hell is real the fiery furnace is real the lake of fire is real.

Then we hear what happens to the good seed, the sons of the kingdom.

5.     Then the righteous will shine like the Sun in the kingdom of their Father.

6.     Here in the final few words we find out what the point of the story is with these facts Jesus says “He who has ears let him hear”.  WHAT is your response to Gods Message….


The Parable of the Good and the bad fish

My friend we are deliberately given a second glimpse of HELL for emphasis to ignite a spark of passion for Christ. It makes essentially the same point as the wheat and he weeds.

1.     Good fish and bad fish the righteous and the unrighteous will be found together alongside one another in this world. But…….

2.     Once again at the end the good are gathered and set aside while the bad are thrown into the fiery furnace with its weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Two parables deliberately and carefully placed to give a glimpse of HELL to show that God will judge all unbelievers, there will be no escape no mistake no confusion. This can have only one message May the reality of judgment and Hell ignite a spark of passion for Christ and His Kingdom.

SO MUCH so that

That Jesus and His Kingdom become so valuable and precious that we will stop at nothing to find it.

Two Parables showing the Glory of the Kingdom for the believing

Matthew 13:44 (ESV)

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Matthew 13:45–46 (ESV)

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.


In these parables we find our centre piece standing out in contrast to the unbelieving hardened heart. Here we see a heart of faith that sees and hears about Jesus and His kingdom and responds positively and appropriately.

A Heart that will stop at nothing to grasp it must see and embrace the principles taught in these two centrepiece parables.

Principle of Value

·       Both speak to the value and importance of Jesus and His Kingdom, something to be regarded as supremely precious.

o   The pearl is a fine pearl a pearl of great value.

o   The word treasure speaks for itself it’s something valuable, of high regarded, priceless and important.

o   It speaks to the fact that there can be no higher prize.

No possession, no idol, no power, nothing can satisfy more than Jesus the king and the Kingdom.

o   The point is driven home very powerfully in two other parables.


Luke 12:13–21 (ESV)

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”


Matthew 19:16–22 (ESV)

The Rich Young Man

16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.


The Rich young man saw greater value in his own wealth than in the precious treasure of Heaven.


Principle of Sacrifice

·       Both parables stress the fact that the man sells everything to Gain the kingdom.

·       Both see extreme extravagant response.

·       This is not teaching that we can buy our way into heaven, that would be an insult to the intent of the author.

·       This is about a willing sacrifice of the heart a heart willingness a joyful sacrifice of everything that pales in comparison to the heavenly reward.

·       Is it really sacrifice when the reward way outstrips the sacrifice.

·       Paul saw this when he wrote Philippians

Philippians 3:7–9 (ESV)

7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—



So here at the end as we conclude, as we stand between two realities looking at the agonies of Hell on the one side and the glories of heaven on the other. We must hear Jesus saying, “He who has ears let him hear.”