We learn . . . in these verses, the change that Christ will work in His visible Church at His second appearing. We read in the figurative words of His forerunner [John the Baptist], “that he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.”
The visible Church is now a mixed body. Believers and unbelievers, holy and unholy, converted and unconverted, are now mingled in every congregation, and often sit side by side. It passes the power of man to separate them. False profession is often so like true, and grace is often so weak and feeble, that, in many cases, the right discernment of character is an impossibility. The wheat and the chaff will continue together until the Lord returns.
But there will be an awful separation at the last day The unerring judgment of the King of kings shall at length divide the wheat from the chaff, and divide them forevermore. The righteous shall be gathered into a place of happiness and safety. The wicked shall be cast down to shame and everlasting contempt. On the great sifting day, everyone shall go to his own place.
May we often look forward to that day, and judge ourselves, that we be not judged of the Lord. May we give all diligence to make our calling and election sure, and to know that we are God’s “wheat.” A mistake on the day that the floor is “purged,” will be a mistake that is irretrievable.
Ryle, J. C. (1879). (Vol. 1, pp. 97–98). Robert Carter & Brothers. Expository Thoughts on Luke