Summary: Satan and God’s design for the kingdom

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Matthew 13: 31-33


A. Jesus shared in the parable of the wheat and tares how that

lost people often become a part of the church

1. Satan then uses these "tares" to:

a. Destroy the witness of the church

b. Disrupt the fellowship of the church

c. Hinder the progress of the church

2. Often, these lost people actually believe that they are


a. Satan wants a lost person to believe that he is saved

b. Satan wants a saved person to believe that he is lost

3. The great lesson of the parable of the wheat and tares is to

be sure that you are saved

B. In v. 31-33, Jesus shares two more parables with the same

design of showing us how both lost and saved fit within the



A. This parable teaches that the kingdom will have tremendous


1. Notice the growth of the church

a. Jesus called out twelve apostles and sent out 70 two by


b. On the day of Pentecost there were 120 in an upper


c. Acts records tremendous growth

d. Christianity has now reached the ends of the earth

2. The secrets of the spread and growth of Christianity

a. The early Christians were aggressive in their sharing of

the gospel-- they had boldness

b. The early Christians’ witness was energized by the

power of the Holy Spirit

c. The early Christians’ lives backed up their message

d. The early Christians were committed to Christ to the

point of death

3. We can still see growth in the church today if we will

apply these principles to our lives

B. As the church grew, the birds of the air came and lodged in

the branches

1. In the parable of the sower, the fowls came and devoured

the seed

a. Jesus said this represented how Satan keeps one from

receiving the Word

b. Keep in mind, that Satan tried in the beginning to

destroy the church

c. He used both religious and state persecution to

accomplish this goal

d. The more he persecuted the church, the more it grew

2. Because of his failure to kill the church, he came up with a

new tactic

3. His tactic was to join the church

a. Under Constantine, there was a merger of church and


b. Many idolatrous and pagan religions slowly merged

with Christianity

c. This is Balaamism which Jesus rebuked in the church at

Pergamus in Revelation 2:14

4. Satan’s goal today is to join the church to the point the


a. Sacrifices its doctrine for popularity

b. Sacrifices its standards for acceptance

5. One way Satan has done this is by using teachers and

preachers to undermine the faith of some


A. The significance of leaven

1. The definition of leaven is, "a species of corruption

produced by fermentation and tends to putrefaction"

2. Leaven was recognized as such a corrupting influence that

it was required by God to be put away from everything

which typified Christ in the offerings of the Old Testament

a. Israel was not allowed to use leaven during the

Passover-- Exodus 12:15

b. Leaven was not to come into contact with any offering

of blood-- Exodus 34: 25

c. Leaven was also to be excluded from the meat offering--

Leviticus 2:11

3. Jesus also used leaven to describe the evil teaching of His

enemies-- Matthew 16: 6, 12

4. Paul also uses the term leaven to describe:

a. Corrupt doctrine-- Galatians 5: 8-9

b. Vain boasting in the flesh-- I Corinthians 5:6

c. Works of the flesh-- I Corinthians 5:80

5. Leaven is always picture in the Bible as sin

B. A woman took the leaven and leavened the whole

1. The woman hid the leaven

a. Sin always has to work behind the scenes in darkness

b. The tares were sown while men slept v. 25

2. Our problem down through the years is that we have

covered up and hidden areas of sin that we should have

openly exposed and rebuked

3. Often, our desire for peace has caused us to compromise

with sin and doctrinal error

4. Notice two quotes from C. H. Spurgeon:

a. Fellowship with known and vital error is participation

with sin

b. It is never right to do a little wrong to obtain the

greatest possible good

5. A little sin allowed can spread, infect and kill the church

6. The picture of what Jesus finds in the church when He

returns is not pretty


A. How can we prevent such from happening to the church?

1. Stress a salvation experience with Christ before joining

the church

2. To prevent sin leavening the church, the church needs to

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