In the four Gospels Jesus tells us in many ways that I have to choose between living joyfully with God forever and being forever separated from Him, in great pain over my loss. That aspect of this message is not new.
The special spin that Jesus puts on this question of my choice here is that I have a whole lifetime to make it in. God provides me with all that I need to choose Him and to make that choice concrete in my life rather than just a vague wish or orientation, and I must make that one central choice of my life in terms of the small daily choices that inch me closer to God or away from Him.
One other aspect here is that while the "harvesters" are able to tell the difference between the weeds and the wheat, I myself must ordinarily remain in some uncertainly about whether I truly have chosen God enough, whether I have loved Him enough. Any certainty about whether I am "saved" or not can be a form of self-delusion and lead to pride, laziness, and a fatal assumption that I am "good enough." That sort of thing can be deadly in my human relationships, and it is no different in my relationship with God.
I simply do not know whether I am weed or wheat while I am alive, and the fact is that I am both --- but which is the dominant side of who I am? While I myself am responsible for the choice, it is up to God to decide what I have actually chosen. And that is where the virtue of hope comes in.
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