Saturday, February 8, 2014

Parable of the Weeds

The Kingdom of Heaven, Part 1

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; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 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?’ 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?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 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 I was reading one of Jesus parables on the kingdom of heaven, it dawned on me there are many times when He preached on this subject. I looked for all the times where Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like..." I'd like to address each one.

This first one's explanation is easy. Jesus explains it Himself a few verses later:

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. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 13:37-43)

If you believe in Jesus Christ and the Bible, these words must be true. They are not easy words. Jesus came to save us from eternal death. He became a Man to bring the good news of Himself that those who would follow Him would continue to sow into this world.

We all have an enemy who comes along wanting to plant seeds of doubt among the good seed. The worldly pleasures, self, and things that don't have time for God get mixed in. This is happening today.  We see how offended many are by the name of Jesus or any reference to God. That is another of the enemy's seeds being planted, producing weeds. Who wants to be part of that group, people might ask.

Those who do not follow Christ know who they are. Do we say we know Christ but live as we have always lived? Do we believe this part of the Bible but not that? Are we in the Word or is that just an old book too difficult to understand? Do we rely on our clergymen to teach us or do we learn from Christ? Or do we not want that sort of understanding? Are we afraid of what others will think if we devote such time to Him?

Remember, it's not about our earthly good works on their own. It's about the good works that are born out of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Only at the very end of time, which could be any time, when Christ returns to gather His people, will we all know which category we were in. We will be gathered together and taken to our eternal fate in the lake of fire or taken with Christ to the kingdom of heaven.

He who has ears, let him hear.

Revelation 20:15 - This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. 

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