Speaking of Jesus, John the Baptist, Matthew 3:12 (NIV) says, “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor, gathering His wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
In this verse, Jesus is portrayed as someone who will separate the wheat from the chaff, gathering the wheat into His barn and burning up the chaff in a conflagration. This is the first instance that the idea of separation is brought up within the New Testament. Though the full meaning of this verse has eschatological significance, it could be argued that this verse is applicable at all times and places. God is always, in varying degrees, separating the wheat from the chaff in His church and separating the wheat from the chaff in the individual lives of His people as well.
Whenever I browse throughout Christian news sources, there seems to be an underlying theme at work within the American church—separation and sanctification. Christians are being faced with many choices. For example, will they serve Christ or seek the “riches” of this world? Will they faithfully hold on to the truth of God’s Word, or will they compromise with the culture? Will they live in holiness or give way to the decadence around them? Will they look to the world for their hope, or will they look to Christ?