“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.” – Matthew 13:41-42 (NKJV)
The last time I was with you I was making fun of my lawn. I had a brother-in-Christ respond in kind that his lawn too is something of a hodge-podge of things that grow alongside, something he also thinks is just grass (Thanks Brain). It’s always a good thing when we can find common ground with common things. I also thought it a careful thing to consider on how we approach folks in our churches who may express a different Biblical view-point on Kingdom principles than what we know as Biblical truth. We desperately need Scripture as our go-to in our everyday things, especially those things that keep us heavenly-minded.
When we get to Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus tells a parable about the wheat and the tares. The farm workers want to shred what they think are the weeds but the land owner, in being wise, tells them not to so that they may not uproot the wheat. I used this as an illustration on how to not just tear into someone who may say something that strikes you as ‘off the mark.’ We need to see “the fruits” of such statements. When we get to Matthew 13: 37-43, Jesus clears the matter up on who has the authority to handle such weedy folks. But we still need to be familiar with the tares, just like a good laborer in vineyard should do…and we need Scripture to divide it rightly.
So…. what are the tares among the wheat? Well, as we read the writings of the Apostle Paul, we can see that he ran into them all the time. In 2 Corinthians 11:1-15, Paul talks about those false apostles that he ran into. I like how he puts it in verse 4, “You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.” (NLT)
He had to scold the Galatians for believing a false gospel. “I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to Himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7)
And, even though he was once a “Pharisee of Pharisees,” Paul understood that “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6a). He then makes this statement, and though it was concerning Israel, it can still be found among Christendom today: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3). Pretty much saying there’s a false righteousness out there to stay clear of.
Paul will give warning to a young pastor named Timothy about false doctrines, but ya know something, it is as if Paul could see right down the line of time and see us in the 21st century, “Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Then there’s this little nugget, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).
Paul will even tell us who will be behind all of the above, “Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming. This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9).
During this time of Advent, many shows have been put on to share with you a viewpoint of the life of Jesus Christ. Maybe some of them hit the mark, maybe some don’t. But none the less, we need to be on guard more than ever because our faith’s value system is under the microscope, so we need to handle stuff…delicately. I like how Nigerian poet, Michael Bassey Johnson, puts it: “You can believe in whatsoever you like, but the truth remains the truth, no matter how sweet the lie may taste.” Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: Daily Quote: “Beware of any man who claims to be wiser than the apostles or holier than the martyrs of the Early Church. The best way to deal with him is to rise and leave his presence. You cannot help him and he surely cannot help you.” —– A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
By transgression an evil man is snared, But the righteous sings and rejoices. Proverbs 29:6