Christians and pseudo Christians
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Jesus told an interesting parable of tares and wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). Tares were weeds that looked like wheat. It was difficult to distinguish between the two. Jesus uses the example of a man who planted good, pure wheat seed in his field. While he slept, someone came and sowed tares among the wheat. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, the tares also appeared. The man’s servants asked if they could take out the weeds, but he answered, “No, because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”
The explanation is easy to understand (Matthew 13:36-43). The man is Jesus, sowing the Word in the world. The good seed, the wheat, represents the sons of the kingdom. The enemy is the devil who sows the pseudo seeds (sons of the evil one), that almost look like the real thing. The latter are to remain, because at the end of the age, the fruit of some-one’s life will identify the true wheat. Then “the Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. The real wheat will be with Christ eternally.
The application is this: In church there are real and pseudo Christians pretending that they believe. The latter are sent by the devil. The work of Christ in a man's heart can't produce a pseudo Christian. We must accept that these false 'brothers' and 'sisters' will always be in the church, they are not rooted out. It might injure real believers, sow discord, suspicion and strife, but Jesus tells us to leave them. Satan as an angel of light easily gets people to impersonate believers. Many people have problems with the church: ‘hypocrites, liars, deceivers, business people who are unscrupulous, immoral men and women, are part of the church!’ What can we reply to such charges? Nothing. Jesus gave us the clue. Their fruit will show what goes on in their hearts. They are also used to test us. Will we love them even if we doubt their commitment? Some may even repent and become real believers.
What can we do if they give Jesus a bad name? To Him it is no big deal when someone slanders His name, as he is the eternal Lord and King. It is like a pauper denouncing a leader of a strong country. The leader is very sure of his position, and his importance to the country, therefore he doesn’t take note of what the pauper, who doesn't even know him, says. So we bear with the insults against the church, and our Lord Jesus.
Do the tares give people an excuse not to take the message of the Gospel to heart? No, no excuse is good enough. A bad imitation of a good product should not cause people to reject the good product.