Wheat and Tares :: By Sean Gooding

Matthew 13: 24-30

“Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”

As we get closer and closer to the end of the age and the return of the Lord, this parable will make more and more sense. As I was pondering this today, the person of Judas came to mind. How did he fool the disciples for about 3 years? In fact, not only did he fool them, but that very night when Jesus told them that one of them at the table would betray Him, they all thought it could have been any of them. No one immediately pointed out Judas and knew he was not saved.

There are two things here that come to my mind: one is that all of the apostles understood their human frailty. They understood that they could all fail. Secondly, Judas was face to face with Jesus for 3 years and saw His miracles firsthand, and yet he never believed in Jesus as the Messiah. How was that possible to have been an eyewitness not only to the public Jesus but also to the private Jesus who taught them and showed them His majesty?

Jesus warns us in Matthew 24 not to be deceived. Look at verses 3-4:

“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you.'”

There is a deception that will happen in these last days that can even fool the Lord’s people if they are not careful. As we get closer and closer to Jesus’ return, there is a serious division happening in the ‘church’ world. We are beginning to see more and more apostasy in ‘churches’ than before. There are serious attacks on the fundamental doctrines of the Scriptures and even on the person and deity of Jesus. God loves you just the way you are, and there is no need for you to change has become the mantra of many a ‘church’ in our time. But Romans 12:1-2 tells us that God wants to renew our minds and transform us:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Yes, God loves you and accepts you as you are at salvation, Romans 5:8. But His desire for us is that we become more and more like Jesus, Galatians 4:18-19:

“But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,”

When we survey the churches in Revelation 2-3, we find some that are very good and serving the Lord, we find some that are fighting doctrinal issues and need to get back to the narrow path, and we find some that are dealing with personalities inside the church that are trying to lead them astray. To some degree, most churches have internal struggles; some are sitting churches that are the ‘tares’ from the Devil, planted there to cause descent, division, and disruption. We will need to be more vigilant and ask the Holy Spirit to show us the fruit or lack thereof.

It breaks my heart to know that there are people who sat under my teaching – some have led classes and maybe even filled in for me – but they have never known Jesus as their Messiah. It boggles my mind. It also makes me go back and review the choices I made; do I confess Jesus with my mouth? Do I trust in Him only for my salvation? Do I confess Him as God? Do I confess His resurrection?

Judas never got to see the risen Lord; maybe that would have been the tipping point for him to believe. Do I truly believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead? Would I, like the apostles, die for this doctrine? The truth is that time may be upon us here in North America.

There are little subtleties, even in the area of Christian music. My family and I listen to Christian radio stations, and we know a lot of the songs by heart, but if one is careful to listen, there are some lies in these Christian songs. A lot talk about being ‘washed in water’ for salvation, not the blood. Many still teach the prosperity doctrine that Jesus will make you healthy and wealthy; this is not true. Many teach that Jesus went to hell after His death and preached to those in Hell; He did not. He specifically promised the thief that they would meet in Paradise that day. Many artists refuse to take a stand on homosexuality; some of the men seem to be very effeminate, and wow, there is a lot of money passed around and a lot of awards.

I am not sure why Christian artists need an awards show. Jesus did and still does all the work.

Jesus knows His own; no one is fooling Him. Does Jesus know you? Judas knew Jesus the man, but he did not know Him as Jesus the Messiah.

The division between the wheat and tares will become more prominent as we get closer to Jesus’ return. Keep reading and studying the scriptures and ask God to help you to grow in the image of Jesus. This is His will for you.

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

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