Picking Out

Packets of taco sauce are a terrible thing to waste.

Before I sold my only vehicle in order to finish building this website, I used to visit the Taco Bell drive-thru every week or two and they’d usually give me a few packets of sauce too many so I just got into the habit of sticking them in a big plastic shopping bag in one of my kitchen cupboards.  And after I sold my car I haven’t been to Taco Bell even a single time so that bag drifted its way out of my mind for that entire time… until last week when I had occasion to delve into that cupboard for something else and, wa-la, there was the big bag of taco sauce packets right beside it… bingo!  Because I had since bought a lot of frozen burritos and chimichangas and the time had come to start working my way through those but I prefer not to eat those plain, definitely need some sauce so the timing was perfect and the bonus was warmly welcomed.

But I immediately noticed an issue:  over the several years I had accumulated those taco sauce packets, some had gone bad at least on the outside of the packet, at least in terms of appearance but that was plenty sufficient for me to toss those questionable ones into the trash and start putting the good ones to good use. 🙂

So I took that big bag from the cupboard and dumped all of those packets onto the (newly-swept) kitchen floor and starting “picking out” the good packets and pushing the bad ones out of the way to form their own pile which I proceeded to toss in the trash can when I was done with this timely task… and while I was doing this it immediately directed my mind to the passage in the Bible which says that this is exactly what the Lord is going to do when He returns:  He’ll “pick out” the “wheat” and later toss the “chaff” into the trash bin of hell.

  • “And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather [separate, pick out!] His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17)

I can’t think of anything which is at once so sad and so blissful a thought!  Sad for all those who will have rejected the gospel, the “love of the truth”, God’s plan of salvation…

  • “… when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power… for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved… in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 2:10,12)

… but beyond blissful for all those who WILL have put their faith in Christ and Christ alone for the payment of their sins, paving the path for God’s full forgiveness so we can have a relationship no longer of enmity and strife but of peace and love with Him now and spend all eternity in heaven when this mortal, finite, temporal life is over, be that through physical death or the Rapture.

  • “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have PEACE WITH GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ… because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us… But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” (Romans 5:1,5,8,9)

It’s a simple yet excellent illustration of the most important matter in this life:  where one will spend the life to come, eternity.

So next time you find yourself “picking out” a certain flavor of Starbursts or color of M&M’s or your preferred type of snacking nut (cashews and almonds for me, though I like them all) think about the “picking out” of believers from unbelievers, sheep from wolves, wheat from chaff which the Lord will do some day (and sooner rather than later methinks, me feels it in me bones… the sky is getting pretty red and “threatening”, my friends, the sky is getting pret-ty red and “threatening” – Matthew 16:3).

And if you see someone else doing this with candy or nuts or anything else, that might be a great “doorway” for the gospel, just to mention to them that after reading this post, watching them reminds you of that coming day and perhaps simply and lovingly ask them if they KNOW which group THEY’LL be in at that time… who knows where the Holy Spirit might take that notion inside of that person’s mind and heart and soul.  May each of us do our part (the Lord through us) to share the gospel with as many  people as possible so the following lyrics can be said of as few  people as possible.

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