Sunday, September 27, 2009
Matthew 13 The parable of the weeds And The Problem Of Evil
24 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." ' "
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field."37 He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 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, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself is it considered a hostage situation?
A question worth asking.. when it rains why don't sheep shrink.
If the police arrest a mime do they tell him he has a right to remain silent.
Why do they report power outages on tv?
What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
Why is there so much evil in the world? Epicurus schematized it this way:
If a perfectly good god exists, then there is no evil in the world. There is evil in the world.
Therefore, a perfectly good god does not exist.
God exists God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good A perfectly good being would want to prevent all evils. An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence. An omnipotent being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence has the power to prevent that evil from coming into existence. A being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, who is able to prevent that evil from coming into existence, and who wants to do so, would prevent the existence of that evil. If there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good being, then no evil exists.
Evil exists (logical contradiction)
However one wants to figure it, the problem of evil , the problem of pain, has been a stumbling block to many. My Aunty angrily and vehemently denied the existence of God after her husbands schizophrenia and her son's terrible death with Leukemia.
"Weeds"--NIV, Phillips. b. "Thistles"--Living Bible. c. "Darnel"--NEB, NASV d. "Tares"--KJV, NASV. "Tares" are weeds that go by the name "Bearded Darnel". In the early stages of its development, it looks exactly like wheat. It is only when the plant has matured and the kernels have form in the head of the genuine wheat plant that the 2 plants can told one from the other. The bottom line is this: The wheat has fruit in its head, while the head of the tares is filled with little black seeds. The seeds of tares are poisonous to humans because of the parasitic growths they contain. They produce vomiting & other types of discomfort.
The interpretation of the parable is made for us by the Lord Himself
The sower is Christ. The good seed is the Gospel of grace. The one who sowed tares is the devil. The wheat are those who are saved. The tares are those who are unsaved, but have the appearance of salvation. The tares are those in the church who look saved, act saved, sound saved, but who are in truth deceived about their salvation. The tares are those who expect to go to heaven when they die, but will, in fact, go to hell! You see, just like tares, lost sinners, even those who act saved, are good for one thing and one thing only, and that is to be burned.
1. The Sowing The Problem of Evil,.. "Where did evil come from?"
"Where did evil come from?" It is a real thing not a fiction. The Lord Jesus makes a clear and direct statement about the source, the origin of evil. Evil is something real. It isn't something to deny as the Buddhists and Brahman of India do. It doesn't vanish into the all of nothingness. It is real.
"Where did evil come from?" There is an enemy: He says clearly that the source of evil in the world is Satan.
Since the Garden of Eden, Satan's plan has been to destroy God's kingdom. God had created and established the perfect world order. There was no sin, no sickness, and no death until the crafty serpent approached Eve and questioned God's authority, sowed seeds of doubt in the minds of God's creature. Thus the beginning of Satan's plan to corrupt, destroy, and terrorize God's creation. The forces of Satan are real. Jesus believed in and taught of a personal being called Devil. He did not teach that he is equal in power to God, there is no sense of dualism here. He was not denying the overall Sovereignty of God over all events and circumstances. He was asserting the reality of evil.
Many people question the reality of an omnipotent God who would allow evil to come into the world. In this parable, Jesus asserts the fact that evil exists. He exerts the fact that behind it is "an enemy". To him the tares are tares. They are not imaginary. They are very real and very poisonous weeds. They war against the harvest of all that is good. And they were put their by a real enemy, Satan. The enemy who sowed them is the devil.
Satan particularly works to destroy the good works that the Lord has done with the gospel.
"Where did evil come from?" There are those who serve the devil's purposes. Yes we may think of Hitler, or Stalin or Mao and the millions who have died under their hands. The Pol Pots and every petty tyrant.
So often its people that cause us the most pain. Yes there is the pain of bad relationships through selfishness envy power and pride. What Jesus has in mind here are largely the teachers of evil under the guise of religion. Those are what he calls "the sons of the evil one." In other words, he thinks of the whole human race as a field, bleak, and lifeless. At the beginning, he scattered in it men committed to him, men and women in whom the truth of the Word had taken root and had come alive. He thrust them out into the field, scattered them here and there, in order that they might reproduce themselves and yield men committed to him. Then Satan came and did the same thing. He deliberately scattered in this field of rather lifeless humanity certain evil teachers who appear to be religious and righteous. Jesus began by scattering men committed to the word of truth in order to produce more like himself. Satan began by scattering men committed to the lie in order to produce more like himself. And so both grow together now until the harvest. See how they grow.
2. The Growing The Problem of Evil, "Why doesn't God Do Something?"
An enemy did this!' he told them. " 'So, do you want us to go and gather them up?' the slaves asked him.
29 " 'No,' he said. 'When you gather up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I'll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in my barn. ' "
"Let both grow together until the harvest." "Why doesn't God Do Something?" Ther is a harvest coming at the end of the age.
Notice here, the field is the world. Its not the church. We are to try and keep the church free from false doctrine and attacks by the devil on the gospel. But the field here is the world. Its in the world that both tares and wheat grow up together. 38 The field is the world,
This does not mean that we are not to expose false teaching and to meet them positively with the teaching of the truth. We are. Nor are we to allow those who exhibit clear forms of error to take leadership within the church. Other Scripture helps us here. But what our Lord wants us to understand is that no human effort is going to eliminate error from the world. "Let them both grow together," he said.
Baptists have always stood for freedom of religion. We believe that the gospel prospers most when everyone is free to believe as they will and preach as they will. So we defend even the rights of the heretics to be free.
"Why doesn't God Do Something?" There are yet tares that will become wheat.
We believe that God will honour His Word. We separate ourselves from evil, but we do not take up arms against those who are in error. Instead, patiently gently we exhort them to come to the Lord. 2 timothy 2:24 The Lord's slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, 25 instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance to know the truth. 26 Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil's trap, having been captured by him to do his will.
It's not the time for this to get sorted out yet.
More people are yet to be saved. 2 Peter 3: Dear friends, don't let this one thing escape you: with the Lord one day is like 1,000 years, and 1,000 years like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that [day]the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, [it is clear]what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness
The evil works of the ungodly are to become more and more apparent. The reason for their judgement, the sins that have captivated them will become the more and more evident as the tares grow taller and taller.
"Why doesn't God Do Something?" There is some wheat that might get rooted up as well
The servants immediately wanted to remove the tares but the master refused. Why? He knew that to do so would uproot much of the good wheat. You see, it is only at the time of the harvest that the ear is completely formed and the nature of the grain is evident. In our haste to judge we may attack and uproot unwheatly wheat thinking it is a tare. We may offend innocent bystanders causing them great spiritual harm.
I once read the story of a young, devout Catholic girl, Mary, who fell in love with a staunch Baptist boy, a fellow named John. They wanted to get married, but Mary's mother strongly objected to her daughter marrying a Protestant. Mary was heartbroken, but her mother suggested a solution: "Sell John on the Catholic Church," she told Mary. "Tell him all about our traditions, our long history, our beliefs. Tell him about our dedicated martyrs and noble saints. Once you persuade him to become a Catholic, you can marry him." So Mary dried her eyes and went to see John. Later that evening, she returned home and burst through the door, sobbing. "What's the matter?" her mother asked. "Couldn't you persuade him to become a Catholic?" Mary answered, "Persuade him? I told him all the things you said, and now he wants to become a priest!" That is the danger of overreaction. Luke 9:54-56 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?" 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 "For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village.
We often become impatient with unbelievers who oppose the truth of God, wanting an outward and final judgment on them now. But Jesus in the parable says we are to leave them alone and they will become manifest, gathered and judged in the end. Our response must be one of patience not judgment. We need to want to see them saved. We want them to not be tares any longer but wheat. "The church is called to preach and teach against sin and all unrighteousness, but, in doing that, its purpose is not to judge but to win souls, not to punish but to convert sons of the evil one into sons of the kingdom." -- John MacArthur
3. The Reaping The Problem of Evil, "Why would God create hell?"
Jesus was asserting something about evil. Yes there is a punishment for sin. There is a punishment for not being in his Kingdom. Nothing shows the evil reality of evil better than the wrath of God against it and the eternal perdition of those who choose evil.. It's judgement and the requirement of expiation for that judgement to be removed, prove to what extent God takes evil seriously." Henri Blocher.
"Why would God create hell?" God takes sin seriously and He is boss. Evil is real and very present in our world, but God is ever guiding us to that great day when He will say to His angels, "Now is the time. Go in and harvest. Separate the wheat and gather them into my house where there will be love and joy. But the tares, those who have never accepted my loving grace, who have never accepted my Son as Lord and Saviour of their lives, take and bind them and cast them into the fire that is never quenched."
"Why would God create hell?" There will come a day when all will know and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, willingly or unwillingly.. Phil 2:8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross. 9 For this reason God also highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow— of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth— 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
"Why would God create hell?" All creation will vindicate God's Justice: The angels will work with the Lord at the end. They are coming with Him when He returns. 2 Thess. 1:7-9 and [to reward]with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. [This will take place]at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, 8 taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don't know God and on those who don't obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of everlasting destruction, away from the Lord's presence and from His glorious strength,"
"Why would God create hell?" To warn you of the severity of God's Justice The punishment of the wicked is one of the main points of the parable. "Furnace of fire" - One of Jesus' expressions for the eternal hell fire. "Wailing and gnashing of teeth - Because of the intense pain and suffering. Jesus' teaching should cause us to utterly fear hell. We should do all we can to avoid going there.
"Why would God create hell?" God's Justice will be glorified in the punishment of all evil Rom. 2:6-9 He will repay each one according to his works: 7 eternal life to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but wrath and indignation to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth, but are obeying unrighteousness; 9 affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek;
Good men are getting better, and more powerful, and more extensive; and evil men are getting worse, and more powerful, and more destructive. The two sowings are growing up to a harvest, side by side. If evil is getting worse, God is matching it with a demonstration of his power and with the increase of good. That is why I think it is logical to expect that, as we near the end of the age, and increasingly see evil amassing itself and breaking out in tremendous authority and power, we will also see the Spirit of God breaking out in authority and power among the same groups of people and an awakening will occur right along with the deepening decline into darkness and evil. That is what is happening in our own day. Jesus says it will go on until the harvest. And when the harvest of earth comes at the end of the age God will begin to reap -- the good to be his, the evil to be destroyed.
Now, where do you stand?
That is the question we leave each one with today.
Is the seed of the Word of God growing in your heart? Are you a son of the kingdom, and therefore an influence for good throughout the earth?
Or are you a son of the evil one, beginning to spread lies, deceptive concepts, and to spread abroad the destructive philosophies that are so widespread in the world today. They are part of the lie of Satan that man can live by himself, that he is self-sufficient, that he is able to carry on his own affairs, that he can run his own life, and, therefore, does not need God. That is the great lie which always marks the philosophy of the devil.
Or are you one of the sons of the kingdom whom God is using in this day to bring this great harvest to fruition and to produce that which will glorify and delight his heart throughout all time?
A few thoughts about the Apologetic method of the Lord Jesus Christ used here.
- It was a straight out declaration and assertion.
The authority for his assertion is that He is the Lord of the Sabbath.
The authority for His assertion is that it accords with Old Testament revelation.
The authority for His assertion is that it accords with human understanding and is a credible account.
The authority for His assertion is made simply, powerfully and memorably.
The authority for His assertion demonstrates His earlier statement that those who understand will understand more fully and those who do not understand will be in the dark. Matthew 13: 12 For whoever has, [more]will be given to him, and he will have more than enough. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 For this reason I speak to them in parables, because looking they do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand. 14 Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You will listen and listen, yet never understand; and you will look and look, yet never perceive. 15 For this people's heart has grown callous; their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn back— and I would cure them. 16 "But your eyes are blessed because they do see, and your ears because they do hear!
The authority for His assertion reminds one of the moral responsibility that there is to hear and understand.
(and also indicates that the lack of hearing and response is a moral fault in the hearer).
The authority for His assertion demands response.
Are you with Him or against Him?