"But he said, ‘No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel,
you root up the wheat with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest,
and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers,
As therefore the darnel is gathered up and burned with fire;
"He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the kingdom; and the darnel are the children of the evil one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.
HOWEVER, this is not to say that it is necessarily easy to distinguish between the two. "Jesus was referring to a weed called a "darnel", which looks exactly like wheat in its young stages and, in fact, only the expert can distinguish some species of this darnel from true wheat. Later on, the differences are remarkable. The darnel has far smaller seeds than wheat, and it is claimed that these seeds, when ground to flour, are poisonous, due perhaps to a particular fungus which develops in the seed itself!" [from Zondervan's Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible.] An appropriate description of the devil's seed!
Don't be so gullible to presume that all the members of your church are children of God; nor even presume that all the members of particular churches in the New Testament were all children of God. It is to be understood that it is not so easy to identify or distinguish between children of God and children of the devil when they are still in infancy. Jesus is discouraging people from inferring that if one is a member of church, such a person must be a child of God. Nor can you simply go back and infer from a single event, of "praying to receive Christ" or getting baptized, must mean that the person is a child of God. Yes salvation occurs at a point in time and continues to eternity. But whether it actually occurred at the particular point in time when the person says it did, is debatable.
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-- unless, of course, you fail the test?" 2Cor 13:5And how do you test yourself? By examining the outworkings of your faith.
"No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother."1John 3:9,10But though the distinctions may be subtle now, they will be clear in the judgment. A weed may be growing next to a stalk of wheat and think it has a common destiny with the wheat. But its end is destruction. The weed is also harmful to the wheat, its roots trying to starve the wheat from its source. False brethren can even become institutional leaders and bring much harm to the maturity of the believers. In his final farewell, Paul speaks to the elders of the church at Ephesus.
"I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them."Acts 20:29,30So let us not be too gullible about assuming who is saved. But then again let us neither make judgments when there is little basis to do so. Let us not be too skeptical about others, especially about young immature Christians. In 1Corinthians 5 and 6, Paul does speak of judgment of other Christians and was very harsh on a particular individual (contrary to the philosophy of much of modern evangelicalism). But it was only because the sin was overt and was being accepted in a lifestyle sense. Such cases demand judgment. "Expel the wicked man from among you."1Cor 5:13 (But only if it's obvious who they are!)
|The kingdom is like a man who had sown
Wheat in his field to reap after it's grown
But while still seed an enemy came
To sow weeds in the field that looked quite the same
The man's servant offered to pull the weeds out
But he might pull the wheat just as it sprout
No, safer to let the two grow together
And in harvest to reap in just the right weather
Put the wheat in the barn, tie the weeds to be burned.
Now let us consider what lesson we learned.
Jesus is sowing his seed on the earth
The Berean Christian Bible Study ResourcesFeb 10,2009