"Preparing people to make an impact for God in their generation and to be fit to enter His Kingdom"
Bible Reading: Matthew 13:24-30; 36-42
Will everyone who goes to church go to heaven? Will every member of the Body of Christ (including those at Christ Bible Church International) make it into Heaven? I would like to think that if the rapture occurred on a Sunday morning during our main service, that the room would be completely emptied but according to this parable that would be highly unlikely.
It’s a simple parable but carries with it a profound truth.
It goes like this: A farmer sowed good seed on good ground but while he slept an enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. This was a spiteful act of malice. The enemy had nothing to gain except to ruin the wheat crop of the farmer. A tare is a poisonous weed which looks a lot like wheat in the early stages. If eaten by a person or an animal, nausea would occur, convulsions, dizziness and in certain circumstances, even death! When his workers realized what had been done they asked the farmer if they should begin removing the tare and he said no, it’s easier to tell the difference at harvest time. We’ll bring the wheat into the barn, but we’ll separate the tares into bundles and burn them.
The interpretation then is found in Matthew 13:36-42
Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
“He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
It’s not hard to understand what the Lord Jesus is saying by way of this parable. But let’s go a little deeper into the applications and the ramifications of these things…
There are 3 elements: The sowing, the growing, and the mowing [reaping]
1 – THE SOWING
The Sowing of the WHEAT – v.37 Jesus is the sower, the farmer, and He explains to them that the wheat represents the true believers, the good seeds.
Wheat and Christians have some things in common:
Wheat has a head which when mature begins to bow. What a beautiful picture! The head of wheat becomes full of grain and slumps over. We should follow this example – Bearing more fruit for the Christian should not lead to pride but to humility. But for many, success doesn’t cause the head to bow, but the nose to rise!
Wheat represents Christians that are real and genuine. Are you the wheat?
The Sowing of the TARES – v. 25. The enemy came by night when man slept and sowed these tares right among the wheat. This is why we must holler for true churches not to sleep in order not to allow the Devil to sow tares.
Tares are bearded darnel. They are indistinguishable when growing into blades but when they come into ear, they can be separated easily. They are prevented from being removed before the harvest time because the roots of the tare and the wheat are interwoven and wheat can be easily uprooted with tares.
Tares are not from the family of wheat. v. 39. Look at the end of v. 38: “sons of the wicked one.” Remember that the next time you hear someone trying to reconcile Islam with Christianity, making the common statement—“remember, we’re all God’s children!” This is a common belief, that all humans on the earth are God’s children. But, No! We’re all God’s creation, but we are NOT all His children. Jesus told a group that they were of their father, the devil. Apostle said: “For this reason I bow my kneels for the father of our Lord Jesus Christ through whom all the family in heaven and on earth is named” (Ephesians 3: 14).
This means God has a family in heaven and another one on earth. But Christ said that Satan is the ruler of this world. This means there are 2 family lines on this earth: the family of God and that of Satan. Are you a true member of God’s family here on earth? Some have been born once, and others twice. Ye must be born again. Jesus is the way. That sounds narrow and politically incorrect. I have no desire to be narrow except for where God the Creator is narrow: “narrow is the way but very few walk in it”. I’d rather be Biblically correct than politically so.
2 – THE GROWING
So we’ve got children of God and children of the devil together in the field of the world and the interesting thing is that they both look very much alike outwardly. What are we being taught here?
The devil attacks the kingdom of God by infiltration and by planting imitators in the church. The wicked one does not have much work to do on the drunkards, the prostitutes and the murderers in the church but does a lot of work on the tares to make them look like wheat and for them to believe that they are wheat and likewise for other people to see them as wheat. They may not know they aren’t the real thing and others may not know, but Satan surely knows, as does God and His angels! They are counterfeit Christians. Paul called them “false brethren.” [II Cor. 11:26]. They are fakes, phonies, but eventually their true colors show through. In the meanwhile, they can be poison to a church. They know the Bible and they can teach and preach; some of them are the best members of the church, some are ordained, some teach Sunday School and even preach but they are tares.
When this type of sermon is being preached, they look at others instead of examining themselves. You are not a member of Christ Bible Church unless you are a member of the Kingdom of God! There are 160 million members of churches in America today. Are they all wheat? Are they all born again believers in Jesus Christ? I wish! What a Christian nation we’d truly be and we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today. Abortion is on the rise, teen pregnancy, cohabitation, divorce, suicide, drug and alcohol use increase minute by minute across this nation and the world…and I’m talking about IN the church as well as IN the world, because the statistics are virtually the same in every category whether you’re looking at the world or the church!
I attended a ministers’ conference in New York and the invited guest speaker was teaching that churches need to be relevant to the society and that if celebrities join the church, that they are special people who needed to be treated as special members because they are popular in the society and will bring in big money. On so many levels this message was wrong. But I think that anyone that is able to influence multitudes for the true Kingdom of God should be celebrated, whether popular (celebrity) or not. I wish they all would be celebrities for Jesus Christ and not for teachings that follow mainstream beliefs and often promote sinful behavior like homosexuality or immoral living! I also wish any who enter our church doors are or will become born again and truly saved! Another preacher sited at this conference that of the many thousands saved under his ministry, 70% were mere church members and not truly saved. This means they are tares among the wheat: they made a profession of salvation and are amongst the true brethren! They are representatives of Satan in the church and they carry out his work.
3 – THE MOWING OR REAPING
Remember, the tares look and act like wheat; they carry their Bible, pray, sing in the choir, sing the songs, may even have a job in the church…but what are they trusting in for true salvation? Sadly, in many cases, they trust in their being a good person or in being a church member or maybe in their baptism or their service as a Sunday School Teacher.
The tares are the counterfeit Christians; they are not genuine. A counterfeit Christian is someone who looks saved, talks saved, acts saved, BUT IS NOT SAVED! They usually believe they are saved. Some know they are not saved but want to fit in with those who are. They indulge in secrete sins of pornography, fornication, adultery, money laundering, cheating, etc. They say the right things, wear the right clothes, hang out with the right people, some even pray and read their Bibles – EVERYDAY! And some are even ordained in the church BUT they are lost and going to Hell!!!
If there’s any doubt as to whether you have genuinely been born again then you need to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Examine yourself whether you are in the faith! Bury your pride and pray to the Lord Jesus Christ now. Repent and be born again for what good will pride do anyone in hell? I’m not trying to shake anyone’s faith but rather proclaim the truth of Jesus’ parable for your sake! If you have assurance, you know that you know that you have been born again, that there was a specific day when you know with every part of your being that Jesus became Lord of Your Life, then rejoice. But if you doubt it, who am I to give you assurance? You must examine your own heart and salvation.
I know a preacher who just tells people to repeat the sinner’s prayer after him, and then when done he looks at them and says, you’re saved now! I’d rather him ask them if they just got saved, and how! Was their life transformed according to the Word of God from that point forward?
The Lord may return at any time…you don’t have all the time in the world…the ‘mowing / reaping’ is imminent. God is the reaper and the truth is indeed ‘grim’…he will thrust in His sharp sickle and harvest the earth. He alone together with His angels is capable of telling the difference correctly and on that day it will be too late. Remember, a tare can fool the ones who water, they can fool the ones who weed, they can fool the ones who fertilize, the tares can also fool the ones who irrigate but they cannot fool the reapers. The respectable thing to do is make sure you are saved while there is time!